Saturday, March 21, 2015

I Have Been Changed for Good

MTC in a Nutshell:

The MTC started off rough, for the first few nights I wondered what I had gotten myself into. The boys all ate hamburger patties in between two glazed doughnuts for lunch and study time turned into story time. I wondered how I would survive. I remember reminding myself over and over, "If Jesus started off his ministry with a 40 day fast, I can make it through six weeks at the MTC."

After the first few days though, spending most of my time completely turned inward and worrying about me, myself, and I, I realized that this was God's training center and He was going to train His missionaries how he wanted them to be trained. So I stopped worrying about whether or not the methods or language studies would work, and I just trusted. I trusted and loved, and that's when God's grace stepped in to my life.
I grew to absolutely love all the Elders and Sisters in my district. This past Sunday we all took a group shot of Elders hugging Elders and Sisters hugging Sisters because we are all going to miss each other so much! 
My companion is one of my favorite people in the entire world. Boston is getting one of the coolest and funniest missionaries ever.
I love Portuguese, I'm far from being close to speaking the language, but my brain automatically replaces English words with Portuguese words now, and it's super cool.
I've never laughed as hard as I did while here and I've never felt such great love for my Heavenly Father. 
There is a difference between testimony and conversion. Many members of the church have a testimony, but fewer are those who are truly converted to the Lord. The difference between the two is the direction you face. The natural man inside us turns inward, and life is all about what you want and how things affect you, it is possible to be this way and still have a testimony, it's called being human, nobody is perfect. However, true conversion comes from constantly trying to learn from the character of Christ, turning outward when the natural man inside us would turn in. This is how the Savior lived his whole life, and this is how we learn to be truly happy. 
This is the kind of missionary I'm trying to be, and the feeling you get from turning outward, not in, is the greatest thing ever! A mission is not about you, and what a blessing that is.
I love you all! 
Have a great week!

Sister Hanzel

P.S. Try a doughnut burger, they're delicious. Seriously. 

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