My most beloved Jaime (yes, that was intentional) -
WOW. I don't even know where to start! this has been the craziest, busiest, most challenging yet most fulfilling week of my life, hands down! And I haven't even been here for a full week yet, which utterly blows my mind. (You know, I'm not used to writing letters by hand yet, so I apologize for the atrocious penmanship :).)
I have to tell you, I'm absolutely positive I made the right decision in coming here because from the moment my parents dropped me off on the curbside until now, I've had a strong sense of purpose and belonging here. And I can tell you that I've never felt more pushed to the max spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and even physically (I'll explain later.) I never fully appreciated the fact that missionaries have such limited time, but now I fully understand that. To give you an idea of how busy we are, I took the letter you gave me Tuesday night to the MTC and this morning (my first P-Day) was the first opportunity I had to read it. I'm not joking. We're up at 6:30, we go to breakfast, class, gym, lunch, more class, dinner, various meetings and service projects, plan out the next day, set goals, get about 20 minutes to read and write in our journals then it's lights out at 10:30. ¡No tengo tiempo! But it really is god to be busy again. In fact, I'm feeling pretty guilty about all that time I wasted lounging about in pj's and the like for the past few months.
(Those days are long gone!)
Thank you so much for your letter - for BOTH of them (I almost cried with joy when I got a letter from DearElder.com from you on my 2nd day! You are the absolute BEST. I send my hugs.) You have no idea how badly I want to respond right away when I hear from you and it kills me that I have to wait for P-day to roll around. But that obedience thing is proving to be a blessing so far. :)
I absolutely cherish your letters because it makes me feel like you're here (well, you ARE here as long as I am.)
What you said meant so much to me. As a new missionary still learning the ropes, I know I have a long way to go before I reach the potential I'm aiming for. But you're giving me the hope I need to get there. :) You definitely give me more credit than I deserve. Don't think for a moment that I could've been as happy and cheerful as I appear to be without you as my wonderful friend. Take that away and there's a gaping hole in my life. You are my sister, Jamie, and very, very dear to me. I couldn't do this without you!
If there's one thing I'm learning while I'm here that I think would be of benefit to you (well, it's ALL beneficial) it's that we can't lose patience or hope with ourselves. The things that we struggle with internally that we don't think others will understand or relate to are not there to make us feel guilty or bad about ourselves. You're right when you sat that there's a reason for the trials you're having right now regarding the temple. One week at the MTC doesn't make me an authority on spiritual topics by any means, so don't think I've got all the answers, but because we're always talking so much about how much God loves us and wants us to be happy, I have no reason to doubt that. I constantly feel inadequate here ("Oh man...I have no idea how to start teaching about this...", "That person seems to be getting this so much better than I am...", "I don't have what it takes to talk to investigators...") But I try not to think like that. They tell us here all the time not to ever compare ourselves to others. The fact is that we've all got things we're dealing with and so we all have different strengths and weaknesses. What comes easily to one person may seem impossible to another. The one thing we can take comfort in is the fact that if the Lord gave us these weaknesses it's because He knows we have the strength to eventually overcome them - provided we trust in His power to help us with that, of course. We definitely can't do it on our own.
All right, I don't want to sound too preachy here, so let me just tell you that I love you so much and I know you're going to be just fine. Let's just keep praying for each other, all right? :)
Oh man...I have so much I want to tell you and absolutely insufficient time! I've been writing this since laundry this morning and we've just got done with lunch but we're about to leave with our zone for the temple...Ay, yi yi! Not fair! I was hoping to get a chance to tell you all about how cool my classes have been, how much Spanish I've been learning, what my companion and the other Hermanas are like...all that and so much more! I did get a chance to finally e-mail mis padres today and I asked them to forward it, so e-mail them and they can forward it to you: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell Marissa and Scotti that I LOVE THEM VERY MUCH and that I'm sorry I couldn't write to them today, but yours is the only address I have anyway. (Like a dote, I didn't get those before I left. Bah!) Share with them everything I said, okay? Their letter will come once they give me their addresses!
Happy Christmas, Ron! I love you. :)
Hermana Brewster :)