July 6, 2013

Loving The MTC
Time is flying by, and I find myself feeling like the every day is just zooming right past me. I’ve already been in the MTC for one month and have less than a month to go. All the days have so many different experiecnes but they all mesh together. I can’t even remember simple things, like what I ate the day before for lunch…wow I really can’t remember haha. I’ve been thinking about what it will be like packing up all my stuff to fly over to Japan soon. I want to spend every moment I can here at the MTC wisely so I’ll be the best prepared I can for the Japanese people.
   So I had the goal last week to memorize Joseph Smith’s First Vision in Japanese, and I completed that goal this past week. I’m really happy that I can look someone in the eyes and share that powerful true story from my heart. It’s not perfectly smooth, but I try to say it from my heart. I had a humbling experience on Tuesday. I was feeling like I could be a better missionary. I felt like I needed to work harder, trust more, and give more. In my feelings of weakness I went to Devotional hoping for a message of comfort. I continaully receive messages of comfort, but at this time was feeling that I needed to be a better missionary. I loved Elder Richardson of the 70’s talk. He talked about, “Wher’er thou art, act well thy part” and gave an amazing talk. I still had an empty feeling inside though and wondered why. I felt the Spirit, and I understood his message. As much as his uplifting words were to edify, I felt I still needed uplifting. It was until the very end of his talk, when I was yearning for comfort from the Lord, that Elder Richardson showed a picture of Christ. That’s when my feelings of needed self-improvement turned into feelings of comfort and love from the Lord. Then we closed with singing the hymn, “How Gentle God’s Commands”. The line, “Come cast your burdens on the Lord” sank deep into my heart as I learned that I need to always remember that the Lord will comfort me.
     Sister Morrison and I volunteered to host all the new incoming missionaries again on Wedneseday. It was a lot of fun seeing the excited new missionaries. It touched my heart seeing sons and daughters hug their parents good bye and then getting to see the parents reaction as their child walked away in the distance. One mother I won’t forget. She was smiling and waving with joy and then as her daughter disappeared she put her hand over her mouth standing by the car and began to cry. I could tell she really felt so much love for her daughter and was proud of her. She then got in the car with the rest of her family and let out all her tears. I felt for this mother and then pictured what it would be like to one day send my own son or daughter off on their mission. I was able to get a small glimpse to what that will feel like as a mother so proud of their child. While waiting for cars pulling up to host a missionary, things were coming to a close and all the missionaries had almost all arrived. I saw a few missionaries jump with excitement as they’d see friends they knew. I thought, “That’s so special, I wonder if I got to see someone I knew”. Then the miracle happened! The next car pulled up and the other hosting sisters said, “You got this one sister Butler”. I walked over to the car to open the door and there was my friend Diane Poklinkowski from BYU-Idaho. She cried as I opened the door and then I started tearing up. I knew the Lord allowed Diane to be the sister I would host, because I needed her. We were so excited to see each other. Last time I saw her was before Jerusalem in the fall and we were on councils together in Student Support. The first time I met Diane was when I was her mentor for Get Connected 2 years ago. I’ve always looked up to her and had no idea she was serving a mission. She explained to me that no one in her family is a member and she’s a convert. She said she wasn’t planning on serving a mission but felt she needed to recently. I am so proud of her decision, which must be so hard with little family support. She explained how she desires to have her family come to the Gospel and be happy like her. Diane reminded me the blessing it is of serving a mission. She is going, not because anyone expects her to but because she loves the Lord and wants to serve. She is serving in Poland, where her family heritage is from. As I showed Diane the Bookstore and her room and around the MTC, we both talked of the joy it is to be given a call from the Lord to serve where our family heritage is from. She will be a wonderful missionary.
   So Thursday was Independence Day and it was so fun! It was a normal day and then surprises just kept popping up in the evening. All the missionaries got out of class early aroud 7:30 and we had a mini devotional. It helped bring the Spirit. Then we all were told we’d get to watch “17 Miracle”. I was so excited! I love that movie and have seen it many times. Sister Morrison hadn’t seen it so I was excited for her. I want everyone to see that movie to understand how blessed we are today for those Mormon Pioneers who suffered so much for us and trusted in the Lord. I learn something new every time I watch that movie. This time I learned that the Lord was with them the whole step of the way. I also noticed that every miracle came because of a prayer of faith. It seems like this whole week I’ve been learning about the power of prayer through experiences I’ve had. I know that Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers. Just take the time to get on your knees and tell him the desires of you heart. He is listening, always.
   I hope something I said is what someone needed to hear. I pray for all who read my letters that they will feel the great feel Heavenly Father has. I love all my parents, my brother Abe and my sister Amber. I am always thinking of my family and friends. Thank you for your love. I am so excited to meet the people of Japan soon.
SIster Butler

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