"Go forward in life with A TWINKLE in your eyes and A SMILE on your face, but WITH GREAT PURPOSE in heart." -Gordon B. Hinckley

Friday, February 22, 2013

3 going on 4 Weeks!!!

Hey! So this week marks my third week as a missionary, I´m going on four..which is so hard to believe. Half the time it feels like time goes by super fast and other times it feels like we have been here for ever! It is always so hard for me to write every week because nothing really changes. I go to class everyday, eat unfortunately terrible cafeteria food, study study study and party all night(aka until 10:30PM) with my friends. And when I say party, I mean throwing pretzels out our window to see who can get it the furthest, scheme out a plan in order to trick the people at the front desk into telling us where the MAGICAL pillow room is, hide in each others closets and jumping out to scare the sugar(or whatever other word you wanna substitute here that is missionary appropriate) out of our roommates, singing disney songs through the halls of our living quarter...you know the usual. We make sure to make the best of our time here. 
As for something new that I learned this week, well what can I say, you learn so much here everyday. The amount of spanish that I have been able to learn and actually speak here exceeds the three years of Spanish that I learned in high school. I love it! Last week we got to teach our first lesson at the TRC- the training resource center. It is where volunteers come to the MTC and we have the opportunity to get to know them better and teach real people lessons! Granted they are members, but I had such a cool experience with one lady that we taught who just moved here from Chile! She was so cute and just one of those people who glow when you look at them, so I knew I would like her from the minute that we walked into the room. She is a mom of four kids and a grandmother of five! I got to know her entire family just from the pictures that were on her phone. We got to talk to her about how important the plan of salvation is in our lives. The knowledge that we have that we can live with our family forever through living the principles of the gospel. I have such a strong testimony that we will all get to live with our families again in heaven. It is going to be such an awesome blessing and I wish I could just go right now, today. But I also know that although life can be hard sometimes, that we are here for our good and a great purpose! And we have the greatest blessing for times that are too hard to bear, the times that we miss our Heavenly Father too much. We have the gift to pray to our Him any time that we want and receive guidance from Him. Prayer has been such a blessing for me this week! Knowing that I can talk to someone who knows me perfectly and wants the best for me. We just have to be willing to come to him and talk with him, tell him about our day, the things that make us happy or the things that make us sad. Anything and Everything! He wants to hear from us. If we just have the patience to wait for answers to our prays and have the faith that he is there listening to us, we can be so happy in developing a personal relationship with him. I have been able to learn this over and over as I go through hard times or just going about my day. How can we question if he even exists or if he loves us when we look around and count all of our many great blessing! God is so good. Take care loves. I love you guys so much! Keep in touch.
xoxox, Hermana North

picture 1: All of my main people

picture 2: Winterwonderland :)

picture 3: My soul mate Hermana McKnight(middle) and personal Chef, Hermana Monroe(right)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Oh what a week

Happy Valentines Day everyone! I definitely felt the love here at the MTC. Yesterday, the mail room was complete chaos, there were over 1400 packages just in one day! This week we all indulged in generous amounts of chocolate, sugary goodness, more sugar and anything and everything pink or red. After all of that, now just the thought of sweets makes me sick, but at the time of my indulging my sweet tooth thanked me for it! YUM. Holidays are fun here, or at least Valentines Day was fun! There was nothing out of the ordinary, we just told each other, "I Love You" more times than the normal day and exchanged love notes but it is just exciting to see everyones eyes light up when they get packages and letters. Long story short, People Watching just gets better during the holiday season. 
So just a little thought that I've learned this week and wanted to share with you guys. One of the quorum of the seventies came to speak to us on Tuesday night! (By the way, I decided that Tuesdays and Sundays are my favorite days of the week because we get the BEST speakers!) He was awesome and gave me a lot of new perspectives on my missionary service and how I can best reach our to those people that I will serve in the mission field. However, I also could see how this message can be applied in our everyday lives aside from the mission. That's right! LISTEN UP PEOPLE. One thing that I loved, and which I have conveniently been struggling with this week, is when he told us to "Give of yourself by forgetting about yourself." This is obviously something that every good missionary must do as they serve a mission, because it is a completely selfless service, but there are times where it is easy for our personal fears become a focus. I have seen this especially with learning a new language! I have to put myself out there to speak to strangers, in a language that I am not yet comfortable in, who will most times reject me (I'm just being real here, not pessimistic. If it was an easy work, then the good times would not be as sweet), it can be intimidating. We have been taught that where fear exists love and faith does not. So as we strengthen our faith in the Lord, knowing that he will bless us according to our faith in him, we can overcome those fears. I read a scripture that talked about this concept perfectly in Doctrine and Covenants 67: 2-3, "Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you and the heaven and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give. Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in you hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive." As my companions and I pray to have the gift of tongues and to be blessed with the Spirit in our lessons, we also need to practice the language and seek out opportunities where we can be uplifted by the Spirit. We also need to have complete faith that the Lord is aware of us and the work that we are doing. He will make up for the areas that we lack, and make sure that we are on the right path. And what a great blessing it has been for me as I've felt real love for those "strangers," aka soon to be life long friends, in Chile. I feel that because of this love that I have for them, I will not fear those times that will normally be intimidating for me. I am not going to Chile to convince people that they should join the church, I am going to Chile to help facilitate a change in their lives that will bring them Happiness and Perspective. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father loves us so much and he wants us to be happy in this life. If we just have faith in him and do his will, we will be able to accomplish the things that are asked of us. Our burdens will be made light, and our weaknesses will be made strong. My purpose is to help others draw closer to Christ. How great is my calling!
I love the work that I am doing here and am so grateful to be a missionary at this time. I have never been more happy and am so excited to go to Chile in just 4 more weeks! What?? Life is so Rad. Thank you so much for your love. I love you guys so much! Keep in touch. xoxoxox

Picture 1: Brisbane. My precious Australian friend

Picture 2: Lipstick Party!

Picture 3: Going all around the world!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Week 2!

Hey Loves! I hope that you are all doing well! I wanted to thank you for all of the love and support that I've gotten as I've been here at the MTC. Letters seriously mean the world to me! My district leader and I have a close relationship because I am always hunting him down for my mail. Ha ha. Anyways, I am doing so well here and it already feel as if I've been here forever. Last night I had to give a tour to all of the new missionaries that just moved into my new zone, which was kind of crazy since I've only been here for one week! Supposedly I'm some kind of veteran since they already trust me to teach the newbies how to be missionaries. But it is kind of cool because everyone looks up to me as if I'm the Rafiki of the MTC. And it has been so fun getting to know all of the new missionaries. 
Learning Spanish here has been a CRAZY experience for me! My district is lucky because we have the three BEST teachers on campus. And I am not just saying that because I am biased. The other kids in my class think the same thing ;) Their names are Hermano Day, Hermano Painter, and Hermano Larson. They all teach do differently but thats what makes it so fun! Everyone in my district is really close. Sometimes it is hard to focus because we talk a lot and go on crazy tangents or break out into song and dance. Just like in musicals...but really (Especially the elders. Believe me, I have videos to prove it). We also all work together really well, helping each other learn and taking turns saying prayers and bearing our testimonies in Spanish. I am so excited to be here! I can not wait to be able to speak fluently so that I can serve the people in Chile at my best capacity. As I think about the people in Chile, I keep getting weirdly emotional, like there is water coming out of my eyes. And anyone that knows me well, knows that I never cry. But it is a HAPPY cry, because I have just felt so strongly over and over again that as the Lord prepares me to go serve, he is also preparing the people in Chile for me to come teach them about this gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so excited and can not stop smiling! I can't say that it has been a breeze here, it is definitely a lot of hard work, but I am willing to work hard because I love the Lord and I feel such a love for the people in Chile. They make all of this worth it. I am already reaping the rewards of my missionary service. I find it so interesting that as we serve others, we find the greatest happiness and usually always feel more blessed than the people we are helping.
Along with all of that hard work I am also having the same amount of FUN, if not more! The days would be a lot tougher if it weren't for my lovely roommates and companions. All of the people here in general are just great! Everyone is so happy and super nice. There is just such a feeling of love here that you would never feel anywhere else in the world. Its amazing. I feel like I'm in kindergarten all over again. Where I could go up to anyone on the playground and say "Do you want to be friends?" And they will always say Yes and be your best friend forever! But not only are my roommates and companions my best friends, I honestly feel like they are my long lost soul mates. I have never laughed so much in my life than when I am with them and they are always doing the sweetest things for me. I feel like I've known them my whole lives. I can not wait to get home and hang out with them! 
So long story short, I am doing awesome here! I'm healthy, I am happy, and feel so loved! And I have the Lord to thank for all of that. And all of you guys back at home. I hope that you all are having a great week! Send me your love! I love hearing about you guys as well! 
xoxox, Hermana North

picture 1: all of my soul mates in one picture

picture 2: They have Coconut M&Ms at the bookstore!!!! I bought every bag on the shelf. Just about died when I saw them. This place really is just like heaven.

 picture 3: working hard...

picture 4: Red hot lips

picture 5: The Elders stole my lipstick. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

First Letter EVER!

Being here at the MTC has been one of the Best experiences I've had. I feel so blessed because I feel so at home here. Since day one, I've seen the great blessings that Heavenly Father has given me. He knows of my needs and has blessed me with the greatest companions ever, Hermana Furhiman, who will be serving in Canada and Hermana Mecham who is serving in Argentina. We seriously get along as if have known each other forever. A day has not gone by where we have not laughed so hard that our abbs hurt. They are so awesome and the best part, their testimonies of Christ are so solid.They have been such great examples to me and they even love to run! Which we have been doing everyday during our GYM time. Everyone here in the MTC are working hard towards the same goal, which makes it so much easier to get along with people and to work hard as well.  I can not believe how much I've learned in such a short amount of time! Yesterday I taught my first lesson to an investigator, in SPANISH! It sounded intimidating at first but we were promised that if we prepared our lesson, the Spirit of the Lord would help up and give us the words that we needed in the very moment that we would need them. And let me tell you, that promise was made as yesterday as we went into our appointment with just our scriptures and taught him the entire first lesson on the Restoration of the church...in SPANISH. I was so surprised with how well we were able to teach, and while it was not perfect, we were able to feel the Spirit and our investigator promised that he would read the Book of Mormon as well as come to church with us this Sunday. Granted he is just a pretend investigator, but it just gave me a taste of how the real mission field is going to be like. As I study and work hard in class, I cant help but think about the people that I will be serving in Chile and how much I already love them! I can't wait to meet them and teach them about the reasons that I am so happy and have so much peace in this life. 
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here at the MTC. I had my first experience of thinking in Spanish yesterday where I was writing in English and then wrote a word in Spanish without realizing it until I reread what I wrote. I am so excited to be able to start speaking fluently. My companions and I made a goal to finish reading the entire Book of Mormon in Spanish, so that by the time we leave here, we will be able to speak the language perfectly. There was a promise that Gordon B. Hinckley (my favorite prophet and the CUTEST prophet Ever) made where he said that if we study the language everyday and read the Book of Mormon, in the desired language that by the time we finish the Book, we will be able to speak the language fluently. So we'll see if we can get it done before we leave. We figured that we have to read 16 pages a day, but I believe in us ;)
I can't say that I've had the easiest time here, the work is exhausting and waking up at 6 every morning has been a new challenge, as the days seem to be really long. But now I can see why being a missionary is so worth it! The good stuff outlasts the tiering stuff. At the end of the day, being exhausted and pushing ourselves to stay awake in class all seems to be worth it when I can see how blessed and happy we are. It is quite simple for me. The church is true and Heavenly Father is so aware of everyone of us. Yo se que nuestro Padre Celestial nos ama mucho y que el hice un plan para podemos regresar en su presencia otra vez (just a little taste of what my spanish sounds like). Love you guys so much! I will be uploading pictures soon. Hope everyone is doing well! Keep sending me letters:) I love hearing from you guys!
p.s: My P-day is on Friday's starting next week. And I get to go to the Provo temple every P-day as well! Session starts at 6:30AM, just fyi for those who might want to visit me ;)

picture 1: My lovely Companieras

picture 2: First day and we totally rocked our "Dork Dots"

picture 3: The signature Missionary picture!

picture 4: Riding on the bikes with the elders

picture 5: One of my new loves, Hermana Monroe

picture 6: My district all acting as our animal spirit names. They named me Dori ;)