Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I love to see the Temple

One very important part of preparing to go on a mission is going to the temple to receive your endowment. In the temple, we make covenants with God, and He promises us protection and help. Missionaries need a lot of help! These verses from Doctrine and Covenants section 109 say it a lot better than I can-

22 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house[the temple] armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;
 23 And from this place they may bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings, in truth, unto the ends of the earth, that they may know that this is thy work, and that thou hast put forth thy hand, to fulfil that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of the prophets, concerning the last days.

On Friday, October 14 my parents came out to Utah to take me and Michael through the temple! It was so fun to be with them, and I'm so grateful they were able to be with my brother and I as we made those important covenants.
Me, my Mom, my Dad, and Michael in front of the Salt Lake Temple
(notice the tall boy is standing on the ground while the rest of us are 
on the pedestal, making us more of an equal-height family)

If you're curious about LDS temples, check out these questions and answers about temples. And I love this talk by President Monson. Oh oh oh, and this article by President Packer.

This website has information about all the different temples around the world. Some of my favorites are the Salt Lake Temple and the Washington, D.C. Temple. Also check out the amazing story behind the Bern Switzerland Temple, which I will hopefully get to go to on my mission!

(sorry for the link overload, can you tell I get a little excited about temples?)

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Call

Me and my verrrrry tall littlest Brother, Michael
One of the coolest things about this whole experience is that I get to share it with my little brother! Michael is two years younger than me, and we have gone through every step of this process in tandem. His papers went in a little bit before mine, and we all waited eagerly to hear where he would be called. Then it came! Utah St. George Spanish speaking! I know it sounds odd, but I really knew, almost from the moment he first read his call, that that was where the Lord needed Michael to go. I know Michael will bring so much energy, wisdom, and love to those people he is supposed to find. Some may think it’s a little bit of a bummer that he’s not going abroad, but to us East Coasters, Utah at time seems like a foreign country ;)

The next week I waited eagerly for my call to come. And I was not the only one waiting: my roommate Maddy had also put in her papers the same time as me! Normally the calls are mailed from Salt Lake and get to Provo on Wednesdays. Michael’s had come on a Thursday, though, so I had prepared myself not to be disappointed if it came of Thursday, not Wednesday. But then on Wednesday afternoon I got a very thrilling text from Maddy. It said (and I quote) “I HAVE BOTH OUR ENVELOPES IN MY HAND.” As soon as I read it, my heart started racing. 
Maddy and I with our calls!
(picture shamelessly stolen from Maddy's blog)

After coordinating schedules with my roommates and setting up Skype with my parents, I sat down on my couch to open the letter. I got one line in and promptly exploded. ALPINE GERMAN-SPEAKING MISSION. It was everything I’d ever hoped for. For those who don’t know, I have been learning German since I was 6. I did two years in a German immersion program in elementary school. Then in middle school I picked it back up again and took it all the way through high school. Then the summer after my senior year of high school I did an exchange program for three weeks in Bavaria. Then the summer after my freshman year of college, I did a study abroad in Berlin. Safe to say I think the Lord has been preparing me my whole life for this moment. I am so excited to go to Germany/Austria/Switzerland. I love the German people. I love the countryside. I love the chocolate. And don’t even get me started on the yogurt. Oh dear goodness I can’t wait.

Later that same evening that I opened my call, we headed over to Maddy’s aunt’s house for her to open her call. She has been called to the Brazil Santa Maria Mission, reporting to the Brazil MTC in March. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty awesome. I know that as Maddy embarks on this adventure in her life, she will learn and grow so much as she teaches the people in Brazil.

So, to sum up, wherever the Lord decides to send you is where you’re supposed to be. It could be Utah, Germany, or Brazil. There are people all over the world who are waiting for the message that we, as missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have to share with them.