Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Arise and Seize the Day!

Oh man! Ain't it a fine life carrying the banner of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Today is the half-way point of my stay in the MTC - and I love being a missionary more and more each day.
This week had far more high times than hard times...

Sometimes the livin' is sweet:

Thank you for the mail and sweet treats this past week! I know I sound like a broken record, but you all deserve a huge "THANK YOU!" with confetti and a mariachi band because that's how I feel every time I get your mail. Loves and Hugs!
Love getting packages
This Sunday was especially sweet. In the MTC, Relief Society is combined with all the sister missionaries. The meeting starts of with "Music and the Spoken Word", which is always the highlight of my Sunday. Seriously, you should all watch it on Sundays because it is fantastic. This Sunday however, my highlight was not "Music and the Spoken Word", because guess who the speaker was for our hour of Relief Society? Sister Linda S. Reeves - Second Councilor in the Relief Society General Presidency. How cool is that? She gave an amazing lesson keeping converts active in the church, and while she was talking I just kept thinking...

"We're not inviting people to church, we're inviting people to come unto Christ. And we're not introducing people to a religion, we're introducing people to a loving Heavenly Father."

In the MTC, they push us really hard to teach people not lessons, and that idea was illuminated for me while Sister Reeves was speaking.

And, sometimes there's nothing to eat:

Twice this week my companion and I ended up dining out of the vending machines, which is always a fun fattening adventure.
The first time was because my companion had a meeting during lunch hour. This week she was called as the Sister Training Leader for our zone; which is a huge responsibility, but she's going to rock it because she's so outgoing and fun. She's like the sister zone leader and that means that we'll be on splits a lot for the next few weeks while she's in meetings I'm not allowed to tag along to (during these meetings, her "companion" is the two zone leaders, crazy right?). It's sad because we love being together. But I'm also super excited for her and love being a trio with the other two sisters in my district while she's busy. My district sisters are the best!

The second time we had vending machine cuisine was yesterday because we were both sick all day. To avoid getting others sick we were told to stay in our dorm room, but we felt free as fishes and the extra hours of sleep were heaven sent. In the MTC, we spread germs faster than the Gospel, but we're feeling a lot better today. So, I always lands on my feet.

When you got a hundred voices singing...

Choir this week was amazing! The choir director is so great - it takes talent to make a choir of missionaries sound good, but he always does. Plus, he has the coolest spiritual insights and he's totally hilarious. This week's song for the Tuesday Devotional is, "Consider the Lilies", and it's beautiful.

Neighbor to neighbor...
Guess who arrived at the MTC this week and is my new dorm neighbor? Sister Lauren Taylor! My temple buddy. We went through the temple together and now we're in the same zone learning Portuguese together! She's so cool.

My temple buddy, Sister Taylor
I also ran into Maren Dunlop this week from Oregon. She's a teacher at the MTC.
This week as I tried my best with the language, teaching, and missionary life, I was constantly reminding that perfection is not the goal. I am not perfect, but that's life. Or rather, that's this life. I am not perfect, but I do aspire to be, and someday I can be, just like God, it's one of the things I'm going to Africa to teach. I am not perfect, but I am doing my best, and the great thing is my best is enough. And so, instead of worrying about the things that make life imperfect, I should enjoy the mess of this imperfect life. After all, you're only blessed with an imperfect life once. :)

And with that mindset, my companion and I rocked our meetings with our "investigators"! The spirit was so strong with Sister Maria Teresa, we made her cry. And she's not even a real investigator. But it was such a happy visit anyway, and how awesome is it going to be when that happens in real life? Totally awesome. 
We also had our first TRC meeting this week. TRC is appointments with active members from your mission who now live in Utah and volunteer at the MTC (except for we taught Brazilians because there aren't many Cabo Verdeans in Utah County). You teach them like you would a member (so visiting teaching), and the Sister we taught this week wrote on our feedback card that she could tell my companion and I really loved each other and it helped invite the spirit. Ah! Shout out to Sister Jones, the best companion ever! And when the spirit takes over while you are teaching, great things happen. I can't wait to start preaching happiness in Cape Verde, then the world will feel the fire and finally know!

Much love,
Sister Hanzel

* this week's theme was brought to you by the movie "Newsies".  Any quote confusion should be resolved by a family movie night. :-)

P-Day Excitement - Laundry and Letters


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