Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Alyssa's Email (October 22, 2014)

Hey Family!

Good luck in hunting! Good luck in your talks too! I love that topic, let me know what you speak about. I'm going to have to write letters too because I just have so much to say. Thanks for the quote too, it was just what I needed. Think of more things to tell me!!

Don't be stressed at all, if you could just email me Tuesdays then I can read it early, and send you one about this time! I am so happy it's PDay, all I've wanted to do all week is tell you the amazing experience I am having. I know you're probably wondering how I'm doing, I am so happy. I love it here. It's difficult, I'm transparent and all of my weaknesses are so exposed, but I love it. They say the best way you can learn is to teach, it's so true. 

My first day I was so stressed, I hated not knowing what I was doing, and I just missed home. As soon as I stepped into the MTC they told me my companion wasn't going to Sweden, she was going to Suriname, and speaking Dutch. My companion is literally going to a different continent than me! So I didn't meet her all day, but as soon as I did I loved her. Her name is Zuster Walsh and she is from California, she is a convert of just a year. How incredible is that? We have a great time even though we don't spend too much time together. We have this thing called companion inventory and talk about our strengths and weaknesses, and literally this is what she said "EMERGENCY comp inventory: You've got to stop being such a morning person, no jokes or smiles in the morning" so that was hilarious. I have been praying to wake up happy and on time, apparently I'm hated for it haha. Also, my zone tried to have comp inventory with me and say that I have too good of a sense of humor, and laugh too hard at people's jokes. So that gives you a pretty good idea of how well I'm doing.

My zone is fantastic. I should know by now, that it's in my nature to naturally get along best with whoever I would least expect to, and again, this is true. Aldste Falkner is from England and we have so much fun. We started a quote wall for everything funny that is said, and it's filling up, in Swedish, English, and Swenglish. "We thank thee for thine duck" already happened. The language is coming easier than I would have expected. I love it. I love Swedish. I love my teachers! Especially Broder Marchant. He is hilarious and we get him to speak English all the time. The other zone is all elders and it's SO crazy. We just refer to them as the goobers. We don't let them come in when we are studying, they're distraction tornadoes. 

So, I wasn't doing very good the first few days, but Sunday made all the difference. In one Sunday, I got to listen to Sister Reeves, Chad Lewis, and Elder Bednar (video). Every concern I had was addressed, which were mainly, "Can I do this? Am I cut out to be a missionary? Do I have to completely change who I am? This is hard."

Chad Lewis talked a lot about letting our light shine, even if our language will only let us give a bright smile, we can let it shine. We weren't set apart to fail, but to succeed. Sister Reeves talked about Acts 5:41-52, read and think about that for a bit. And Elder Bednar (FULL Character of Christ) talked about the difference between a testimony and conversion (think about that too.) He talked about our purpose, becoming Christlike, and turning outward. I realized how all I ever think about is "I, I, I, me, me, me, me" and I am not here for me, I am here for the people of Sweden and because I love this gospel and I want to share it. Ever since I realized that, I have been so happy. 

My testimony is growing, especially of the power of the Atonement and of the Restoration. "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" says it all, 

  1. 1. Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
    Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
    Whose wondrous pow'r hath raised me up
    And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
    What tongue my gratitude can tell,
    O gracious God of Israel.
  2. 2. Never can I repay thee, Lord,
    But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
    Hath it not been my one delight,
    My joy by day, my dream by night?
    Then let my lips proclaim it still,
    And all my life reflect thy will.
  3. 3. O'errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
    Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
    Chasten my soul till I shall be
    In perfect harmony with thee.
    Make me more worthy of thy love,
    And fit me for the life above.
 Applying the Atonement is the only reason I am able to be here. I have already overcome some struggles, the natural man is not a good missionary. Speaking of that, that's the scripture I want on my plaque. Mosiah 3:19. It explains the gospel in one verse. 

So, the reason I titled this email how I did is because the most powerful statement I heard this whole time is from my Zone Leader (from Scotland, the other from Portugal). (He sang the solo at Priesthood session, go back and watch it!!) He said the very first night we were there, "Missions are hard, they are going to be. Make your mission your own Gethsemane. The question has already been asked, "Lord, is there any other way?" 

So I love you and miss you all, but this gospel is true, and absolutely necessary to share. I feel the spirit so much here, I feel like I'm living in the temple. Within one week, it has been confirmed over and over again, that God wants me here, I'm in the right place at the right time. The church is absolutely true. 

Jag alskar ni. 

Syster Stetler