I'll start off with Christmas. It was honestly one of the funnest Christmas's I have had. No offense family... but when you are surrounded by missionaries and actually have free time for the first time in two months... It is so fun. First, we had our Christmas devotional with a GA. Elder Nelson spoke to us, and it was so good. Being in the presence of a General Authority always changes the feel of things. They are so powerful. His wife spoke as well, and she said some things that I really loved. She said that while we are teaching people down here on earth, we may not realize it but we are also teaching those from the other side. As we teach, there may be spirits present wanting to listen. They may even be the ancestors of those we teach. Those ancestors are helping encourage those we teach, because they need their work done as well, and the only way that will happen is if their family members are converted. I've never thought of it this way before, but I really liked it. :) After that, we had some free time. Our district went to the classroom and arranged our chairs in a circle. We played Mafia, Signs, and a few other games. It was seriously so fun. Like I've said before, our district is unusually close. We thought it was normal for districts to be this close, but I guess its not. It is the best though. We finally had some time to just chill and be friends. Then we had lunch. There was a talent show after lunch and at approximately 3:15... I got to call home! :) That was easily the best part of the day. As missionaries, we are often encouraged to not think about our families at home. We are told to know that they are being blessed, and that we are doing the right things. But I loved that I was able to remember home a little bit more, and hear your voices. After all, the gospel is very much about families. I was so glad I got to pray in Korean for you all as well. Praying is one of the few things I can solidly do in Korean. Though they are not complicated prayers by any means, I am at least confident when I pray in Korean. I mean God understands me no matter how I say things. He knows my heart. He knows what I am trying to say. I am glad you are all doing well though. And yes, I do miss you! I didn't say it on the phone because as the clock was counting down I was trying to say all I could. But I do miss you all and love you so much. After we all called home, we met back in the classroom and played more games. I didn't cry the whole time on the phone, but after saying goodbye I had to choke back a couple tears. Goodbyes are the worst things ever. But I hope you all had a great Christmas! It was a white Christmas at the MTC. And it seriously was so perfect! :)
So this week has been a bit crazy. Guess who was at the devotional on Sunday? David Archuleta. Yep, he spoke to us and sung. So that was pretty cool! Our district got seats pretty close to the pulpit, and it was one of the best devotionals we have had. He has so many heart-felt stories, and he has an amazing voice. He sang the song, "Glorious," off of Meet the Mormons. If you haven't heard that song or seen the movie yet, I encourage you to look the song up and watch the movie.... they are both so good and so uplifting.
This week, Satan has hit me hard. My learning has hit a wall. Every time I try to speak Korean, it flies out the door. I didn't expect this at all. But, after talking to some people in my district about my frustrations, I am definitely not the only one who has struggled this week. Satan really tries to stop you before you do something good. I thought this week would be a good week of learning. But whenever I try to come up with a phrase in my head, as soon as I start translating it in Korean it leaves me. It is a weird sensation, but I think once I get to Korea it will go away. Or so I hope. I have started memorizing the first vision in Korean. I was meant to be done by today, but unfortunately only got 4 of the 6ish lines memorized. I am getting close though! Funny story though... one of my teachers was listening to me recite what I had memorized. I guess I was pronouncing one of the words slightly wrong. Not a huge error, but enough that it definitely needed to be corrected. Haha I was saying "pillar of poop" instead of "pillar of light"... Korean vowels all sound the same to English speakers but sound very different to Koreans. So if you don't pronounce it right, they will definitely notice. :)
The spirit of Christmas was so strong here. Bust just remember that even though Christmas is over, we should still keep Christ in our heart. His light should show through our eyes every day. People should be able to see him through us. What if spending a day with you were like spending a day with the Savior? I may have an official name tag to show that I am Christ's representative, but even without that name tag we should still represent Christ at all times. Every member a missionary. Always. We must be good examples of what we believe in, because after all, no one is going to believe someone who says they believe one thing but show they believe another. Keep Christ in your hearts because you are always in His heart! He has promised to take care of you, so you must show your appreciation to him by being the best you can be. I love you all and thank you for everything! Also, thank you for those of you who sent me gifts! I really appreciated everything I got, and the outfits/pajamas/coat all fit perfectly. You are all amazing. Love you! Miss you! :)
Sincerely, Sister Maughan :)