Friday, November 30, 2012

Ok... So I'm really lame and haven't posted Amy's emails for the past month or so.  So here I go!
This one is her email from October 30th. Enjoy! - Stephanie Hodges

Kamusta pamilya at mga kaibigan!!! :) (Tyler, Amy's brother - who already served a mission in the Philippines, translated this for me.  It says: How are the family and friends?)
Thank you again for all the letters and prayers. It has been another amazing week here at the MTC. Wow, I only have about 3 weeks left here! How crazy is that??? I will probably be getting my flight plans in about a week! Ahhh!! I am so excited, but I don't feel ready yet! There is still so much to learn.

This week I have had a mix of emotions coursing through me. The older districts that were in before us just left yesterday, so it's been really weird seeing them packing and emptying their rooms. There were a bunch of sisters that left! I miss them all so much already! I am super excited for them, but at the same time I was sad to see them go. Some of them were crying, others were just plain excited, and others felt sick to their stomachs. But the overall feeling was that of excitement and anticipation. I'm sure they are all on planes right as I write this email!! So Mom, I think that answers your question about having any older districts here when I first came in. There were a bunch! I think the sister who had the biggest impact on me though was the coordinating sister, Sister Huddleston. The coordinating sister's calling was to love and serve the girls, and be aware of their needs. She went to various meetings with the Zone Leaders and branch presidency throughout the week and really made us feel loved. Every night before we all went to bed, she came in and chatted with us, sometimes very briefly, but we always counted on it. She helped us when we were struggling with things, gave us advice, and just loved us. She is AMAZING. I was really sad to see her go.

Me and my companions realized that with Sister Huddleston leaving, it meant that one of us would be called to be the new coordinating sister since we are the only "older district" now. They would call the new sister last Sunday. Saturday night, I said a prayer of thanks right before I went to bed, and asked Heavenly Father to strengthen whomever He chose to call. I knew it was a time consuming calling, and time is already a precious thing here because of the limited amount of it. I prayed for each of my companions, asking Him to strengthen them if they were called. I also told Him their strengths and why they would be amazing at the calling. But I also told Him I would be willing to do whatever He wanted if for some reason He chose me. I didn't think it likely, seeing my companions strengths and wonderful qualities, but I told Him I would dedicate my life to Him if He did call me. I felt at peace knowing that God does not make mistakes, and I didn't have to worry about anything. I slept soundly that night.

was an exciting, sad day since it was the older district's last sacrament meeting here at the MTC. After breakfast, our district was studying in our classroom, preparing for various lessons and talks and reading our scriptures. I love Sundays. :)  One of the branch president members came in and called one of the elders out, and then called me out when he was finished talking to the Elder. I thought it was probably just another interview like each of us missionaries often have each week, but I was wrong. I almost started crying when he told me they were calling me to be the new coordinating sister. I felt overwhelmed, humbled, and strengthened all at the same time. I knew what I had promised Heavenly Father the night before, and I wasn't going to let Him down. I accepted, and went to my first meetings that day. We were invited to love the missionaries that we were looking out for and to set the tone/example for the district. That night, as I went to my residence hall, I got to visit with each of the newer sisters. It was hard to jump out of my comfort zone at first, but as I did, I felt a huge love for them! These sisters are truly amazing daughters of God. Last night as I visited with them for a short time again, I felt an overwhelming love for them. I didn't know I could love this much!! Last night a couple of the sisters were struggling and I felt prompted to share a bit of advice with them and remind them of something that I had been taught. As I did, their fears seemed lessened, and I knew that the Spirit was teaching them and testifying. I am still overwhelmed a bit with the calling. It definitely takes time and sacrifices, but it is so worth it.

It always amazes me at how much Heavenly Father cares for each one of us and knows our needs. He definitely knows us better than we know ourselves, and will stretch us in ways we never thought possible. But we can do it with His help
because He is helping us!!! I love this gospel! I love my Savior, and I feel my His love more than I ever have. I love missionary work, and I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father!!

"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God. -Mosiah 2:17

I know this is true!! I love you all!!!

Sister Harston

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