Thursday, March 27, 2014

3/37/14 Spain MTC

So Spain, it´s an adventure... so is using this keyboard. I have had more typos already in the past two minutes than I have my whole mission! So sorry if I misspell anything. I really like Spain. It is a beautiful place; there are big tall red brick building contrasted with light blue skys with streams of thin clouds that stretch accross the horizon. There are many windows in the buildings, giving the place a feeling of openess. We are right by the Madrid temple. It is so beautiful! We got to go this morning, and we will get to go every P-day. So lovely. The celestial room was the prettiest celestial room I have ever seen! I really like the MTC President and his wife - President and Sister Lovell. They are really great and they made me feel welcome right away! So, I felt very welcome! The MTC building is on Temple Square. It too is a tall brick building that is very lovely. The first three floors are the church, I believe, and the last three floors are the MTC. We eat at the top floor, sleep on the second, and then study on the third - so it is like the three kingdoms of glory! Haha! It is pretty great. The food is good - all of it is very warm and somtimes I think the meat is mystery meat, but I still like it. Their pudding taste like bubblegum, so that´s fun! I have not met all the teachers but so far I have liked them - though I admit, I miss my teachers in the Provo MTC, they were the best. Everyday we have "sport" and that is pretty fun. Everyone really likes to play soccer, and we all get roped into it, even if you are inept like me; I am really good at hitting the ball... with my face. Honestly, the ball loves every part of me except my feet. I got smacked in hte face really hard twice. But it is still fun! I just wish I wasn´t such an embarassment when I played!! The dorms are small and nice. The sheets smell clean - of yummy spices and something exotic that makes me sleepy. I really like it. Today is Pday so we get to go out into the city and go to a muesem or see some ancient castles! Best Pday ever! I am excited! Spain is quite wonderful!
I am so grateful the Lord gives us opportunities to grow and learn. I can already tell that I am growing by being at the Spain MTC. I can also tell that he really loves the people here. Everyone involved working here at teh tmple or the MTC are so kind and genuine all the time. They all shine with the love of God. IT makes me want to be better and to tune my life more towards Christ so I can have that same light and draw people to me. Heavenly Father is so aware of all his children! He loves them so much, and I am honored thatI can be involved in teaching them. Sorry I did not have so much of a spiritual thought this week! But even without grand spiritual moments and learning, I know that God is in my life and in the lives of everyone around me. He loves each of us, that is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, for us. What a blessing.

I love you more. I am going to eat and then will have 30 more minutes of email and try to write you each a little more individually. Love you!

Friday, March 21, 2014


I am going to the Spain MTC! What what!?!? Yes! So, on Monday Morning at 6am I will be leaving for the Spain MTC and will finish my training there. Exciting... and terrifying! It is strange, because the night before I found out, I was suddenly overcome with gratitude that I was at the MTC. I was so happy to be here! I love the people, the learning, the spirit, all of it! I was so grateful that the Lord continued to encourage me to go on a mission; and I was so happy to be here, at THIS MTC. Then the next day I get called to the Spain MTC! I am excited, but a little sad because I love this place; I think I have become comfortable here, which is probably why the Lord wants me to go! Haha! What a great God we have! He knows what we need when we need it! I am so honored He lets me be apart of His plan and that He takes the time to bless my life individually. I am sad to leave - I love my elders! They are great. Each one has a deep desire to serve and share their testimony. They are hard workers too. They learn the language so easily! I have learned so much from them and will be sad to leave them - we have all become very close! It is fun to see how the Lord works in their lives individually as well. He loves them, and He loves me, and He loves you!

I am sorry that as of late my letters have been choppy! I am just learning so much it is hard to put it all down and make it flow. Plus, I only have a limited time to write so I just kind of write whatever comes. It is amazing the amount I am learning; there have been a few motifs however. One theme I have noticed in my stay here is that God knows our name individually. I think I wrote before about the touching experience of watching The Testaments; yes, that movie is dripping cheese, we could have a nacho party that could satiate all of America, but there is still a powerful message in it. As I mentioned before, I was touched by Helam, the father; he spent his entire life preaching of Christ and waiting for him to come, and yet, when the Savior did come, he had been blinded during the catastrophe that came to the Americas when The Lord died. He had his son describe what the Savior looked like. Then, the Savior came to him, called him by his name, "Helam" and healed him. Helam was able to see the Savior, what he had been waiting for his whole life! I realized I need to make the Savior the focus of my life! What a wonderful, honorable thing to be called by name from the Crowd by the Savior! And the blessing is that he KNOWS are names! Each of them! And he has a calling for each of us to fulfill! This thought again was reiterated to me when I was reading 3 Nephi 11. In verses 17-19, it talks about how Nephi was in the crowd and the Lord called him forward. Nephi, too, had spent his ENTIRE life preaching of Christ and waiting for him to come. And when the Savior did come, Nephi did not clamor to see him, he waited patiently with everyone else in the crowd to see the Savior that this prophet had dedicated his life too! And then the Savior CALLED HIM OUT OF THE CROWD, BY NAME (!!!!! so exciting!!!) and Nephi just fell and wept at his feet. It made me realize that I need to work harder, I need to dedicate my life even more to the Savior, like Nehpi did. My greatest honor should be that the Lord knows my name. Finally, one more experience ingrained this thought into my soul, that it is an honored to be called by name by The Lord. It was a story of a man named Joseph Millett (Or perhaps Milett, or Millet... not sure... look it up, it is an amazing story). Anyways, he had heard from his children that a man named Brother Hall had run out of flower for the winter and needed more flower. Immediately Joseph Millett (spelling??) prepared some flour for Brother Hall. Shortly after, Brother Hall came to there house. He explained that he had prayed to the Lord for help to get flour for his family, and the Lord told him to "go see Joseph Millett." And so he did. Joseph Millett gave him the flour. Afterwards, Joseph Millett remarked that it was "a marvelous thing to know that God knew Joseph Millett." And that's the thing, He knows Joseph Millett! And He knows Lauren Poet! And he nows Annaliesa Peterson! And he knows EVERYONE. He called Jospeh Millett to the task to serve his fellow man and give Brother Hall flour. That was a calling, from the Lord; and he was called by name to do it! I realized that I need to be a servant that the Lord can call by name. I want to serve Him and honor Him so I can help others like Joseph Millett helped Brother Hall. Just as He said "go see Joseph Millet," the Lord says that for each of us. Sometimes he says "Go see Annaliesa Peterson," and that is a call from God, a call to you, by name to serve.

I realized this and I had the desire to work even harder. I want to be able to be a servant that the Lord can call by name. Then I had the most remarkable, humbling thought. He already has! I have a mission call to Russia, and at the bottom of that call is a signature from the Prophet, who speaks for God, saying that that call is a call from God. What an honor! But it extends far beyond that. Each of us that are here on this earth have been called. We have made the decision to follow Christ. Because of that, we were all called by name! And we have an obligation and the opportunity, and the honor to live up to that calling! We each have a calling, a call that we have been selected for by name! It is an amazing thing to know that God knows our names. He knew Joseph Smith, He knew Nephi, He knew Joseph Millett, and He knows you! Rise to the call! It is a blessing, an honor, a gift!

I am so glad that I have this call. I will do everything I can to endeavor to be worthy of it (yes I jacked that quote from Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility). I am glad and grateful He knows my name! What a blessing! 

Now, I must go. I love you so much and I miss you! I hope you are well. I will keep you in my prayers. Please continue to write! MIss you!!! 

Umm.... I don't know my Spain MTC address yet, but I will try to find out and then I will let you know ASAP but considering that I will only be there 3 weeks, the letters may not get there in time... you can just dear elder me!! GAAAHHHHHH!!! I miss you all so much! It is not even funny. And I love you even more than I miss you! LOVE YOU!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

3/13/14 Happy Birthday Lauren!

Today is Lauren's Birthday! Please feel free to send her messages at She will get those messages today! It is free to send her those messages in the MTC- make sure that you select the PROVO-MTC selection. She is not in Russia yet.
She is in unit 78 and her mission is RUS-YEK. departure date is april17.

This is Lauren and her companion! As you can see Lauren hasn't lost her sense of humor!
Lauren and Her companion in front of the Russian flag holding their name tags.
My adorably stylish sister and her companion. What beautiful sister I have!

She is so beautiful and has already made some great spiritual growth. She is doing well and loving the MTC. What a wonderful thing Lauren is doing. Happy Happy birthday to my sweet sister!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


No major update from Lauren

Here is a tid bit:

Hope. I have learned a lot about hope. I have not been studying it as much anymore as I usually study the topics that I am going to teach investigators (we have fake investigators) and lately I have been studying judgment (weird looking word). But I will tell you what I have learned about hope. I have learned so much! I realize that hope is necessary for faith. Hope is the optimistic factor of faith. I also learned that hope is provided only through the Atonement. The only way that we are able to hope is because Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for us. The Atonement allows us to progress, but we can only progress is we have repentance. Hope and progression are inextricably linked. Our greatest hope should be to become like our Father in Heaven, but we can only do that through the Atonement. Does that make sense? I have it written in my journal in a much better way, but I don't have it with me unfortunately.

Lauren's email is: - She would love to hear from you

Lauren's Birthday is on the 13th! She would love to get some mail for her birthday!! 
Her MTC address is: 
Sister Lauren Poet
april 17 RUS-YEK
2007 N 900 E unit 78
Provo UT 84602

Monday, March 3, 2014

2/27/14-Part 2

Dear Mom, 

Here is a long email.

So, I wanted to tell you want I learned in the TEMPLE - I realized that this world was made for us to use! And the Lord "beautified' it so that we could enjoy it's splendor! When it was created, it was perfect, a celestial state. Then a really sad thought came to me!!! When we fell, the earth fell too, because it was under our dominion. This made me extremely sad because the Earth in itself did not do anything wrong - the earth was naturally obedient... it changed with the seasons, followed the pull of gravity, grew as it was instructed, and supported life as it was created to do so. But, because we fell, the earth had to fall as well. I remembered how in the scriptures it talks about how the earth groans with the weight of our sins - how badly the earth wants to be obedient! How hard we make it by destroying the earth so it cannot produce life as it was created and how we make it filthy with pollution and trash. It is in a fallen state, but does not wish to be. I just felt so sad for the earth, and the sea, and the trees, and just everything that was trying to be obedient but as in a fallen state because we had dominion over them. But then I remembered  the Lord would celestial the earth again -- it would become the celestial kingdom! So long as the earth remained obedient (which was it in it's nature - no pun intended), the Lord would celestialize it. I realized, that it is the same for us! We are like the earth. We naturally are pulled towards our Heavenly Father, but we are in a fallen state. But, So long as we try out hardest the Lord will no allow us to remain in a degressing state - He will help us reach a celestial state.... why? Because HE has dominion over all of us, the earth, the trees, the animals, the people - all of us. We are under His name so He will not abandon us. I am grateful for this. How much He loves all His creations, not just us, but the earth too!

Sorry you have a hippy child! Okay! Thought over!!

I have been studying language again. I realize that as true church leaves the earth, there is a new language that takes over. I call in "Language of the Apostasy" and it includes flattery, bribes, hypocrisy, lies, and boasting. More on this to come! It is a fascintatnig subject to me!

So, is it bad to have favourite teachers? Because I definitely have a favourite. His name is Brother Parson and he is just really a great teacher. I feel that he is the most effective teacher as well. He stays on point, he is very kind, and he speaks so we understand -- he makes US figure things out. He RARELY speaks in English. So much so, that when he does, it is weird. He has an amazing testimony - you can feel it when he speaks Russian and when he speaks English. He takes the time to get to know us as individuals. He is very much into role-playing, which I like because it forces us to use the language. But I also like it because it allows me to take on the perspective of an investigator and think about questions they may have or concerns that may arise so that I can better prepare myself for discussions. He is just a really good teacher. I have learned so much.. I have been studying verbs like crazy - if you know verbs, you can say anything. I used to have such a difficult time with verb conjugation in Latin, but in Russian, it has not been much of a problem - I know this is because the Lord is helping me - I need to learn Russian not for myself, but for the people I am going to teach. One time, while Brother Parson was praying I heard him say my name in the prayer - I thought it was very kind. He is a great teacher, I have great respect for him. HIs wife is going to have a baby soon and I now from watching him teach he will be a great father too! I hope I can know the scriptures and bear my testimony like him someday! 

My other teacher Brother Morris is also amazing. He is great with time managment. I am learning so much from him. What is more, is he has a great genuine desire to teach. He wants us to understand. He is very patient and kind, so I like him immensely. I am amazed with his testimony of planning - he is teaching me so much. He taught us how to create effective study plans. I am learning at a much faster rate now. He knows what it means to dedicate his time to the Lord. I hope I am better about that. I am already obsessed with my time, but he made me reaize it is never MY time. It is always the Lord's time, especially on the mission, and every moment counts. we teach him as an investigator too, and he always asks very interesting questions that are basic, but complicated at the same time. I like this becasue it really forces us to KNOW the doctrine and to seek out what things the investigator needs. He is a great teacher.

My Last teacher is Brother Ekkersely. He is also a great teacher. He is very very fun. We goof around the most with him. He keeps things light, yet serious at the same time. I really like him. He is fun. He teaches very well too - though he probably speaks englisht eh most. It is nice though because he clears things up for us that may have been confusing. He seems like a very d worker - he comes in whenever he has an hour to spare. I admire him for this. He is very smart and chill. He is also good at listening. There is one elder that he always takes time to listen too and talk to. He is a very kind person.

So really, I love all my teachers. They are all great!! Like I said, they are all married. They each have different things and yet they all work together to teach us. I love it! I love the MTC!

We sing in  Russian and like I said we pray in Russian. It is fun. The langauge is coming slowly, but it is coming!!!


Anyways, I have some bad news. Apparently I may have misread the thing - I may not be allowed to have a blog at all when I am in Russia! For now in the MTC it is fine. But, when I go there I will get more information and find out what is appropriate and not. I thought I could have a blog if I left out names and places of where we were - I thought I had to do that for every letter - but my companion thought we COULD mention names and places, we just coulnd't post ANYTHING on blogs. So, I will find out at let you know.

Anyways.... now for some other stuff. So. I am just here at the MTC. I love love love love love it. It is amazing. The spirit of the Lord is so strong here. Everyone is working their hardest and trying their best to serve the Lord. I love the feeling that it produces. I have noticed my English vocabulary that I have worked so hard to cultivate and nurture is starting to wane. I was somewhat sad, but then I realized it was actually a great thing because it just means I am making room for the Russian language. I am learning so much. I am amazed at the blatant blessings from the Lord that He gives me. I could hardly grasp Latin, but with Russian I am learning more and more everyday and I know it's because God is helping expand my understanding. He is opening my heart and my mind to receive the Russian language. I realized part of this was the difference of my motives. I was just trying to learn Latin for me, but I am learning Russian in order to become a better Missionary so that I can be a useful tool for God in Russia. I want to be of use to Him. I can only do this if I remove negative emotions such as pride, envy, contention and so that the Holy Ghost can fill me and teach what needs to be taught. I know that I, myself, do nothing; it's all the Lord. I just need to do my best to be living and working in a way that is acceptable to him so that I can feel the Spirit and the Spirit can teach. It really is an amazing thing. I am continually humbled every day at the honor it is to be a servant of the Lord. I used to get discouraged about the concept of being a servant for the Lord -- the reason being that I knew whatever I did I would never be a profitable servant; I could work and try, and work some more, but I would never be able to repay that incredible debt that the Lord suffered for me in the garden and on the cross. What was more, is my debt was continually growing as He would continually bless me. I do not deserve those blessings - I am already in His debt! I was saddened that no matter what I could do, I would always be an unprofitable servant. But then one day I realized something! It is true, I am an investment in the Lord, so therefore I can never pay Him back. Really, all of this is to help me so naturally I will be unprofitable, but I came to the realization that though I would never be a profitable servant, I could be a faithful one. I can work and work and work to show Him my gratitude. I can work and say thank you to show him how grateful I am and how humbled I am for this opportunity to serve. I get the chance to interact with more of Gods beautiful children, here in the MTC and eventually in Russia. I know that each of them are special. I know that He wants each of them to return to Him. I know he has a specific, individual plan for each of them... I am honored that He has selected me (and was patient with me as I came to terms with the call to serve) to be apart of His plan for those children. I know that I may never baptize anyone one (maybe I will, who knows!) but I know that so long as I work hard, those seeds are planted. That is a start. I am just happy and humbled to be a part even that much. How Great and Marvelous is our God! to come up with such a loving, specific, and nurturing plan for each of us! His plan will have the highest rate of return, it will have the highest success rate. I am comforted by the love of our Father and our Savior. What an immense sacrifice for both of them. I often think of the Savior bleeding in the garden and on the cross - what pain and agony He suffered just to give us OPPORTUNITY. Then I think of our great, merciful, Father in Heaven - how hard it must have been to watch His son suffer as He did! Yet He stood by and watched, and waited, and sorrowed so that we could have a CHOICE to return to Him. It wasn't guaranteed that we would all return to Him - He knew some of us wouldn't... in that way the sacrifice was heightened! But He knew that agency was essential, and He knew the price of agency, though great, was worth it. What a glorious gift both our Father in Heaven and our Savior provided for us. What a sacrifice for both of them. We need to take every opportunity and every choice and dedicate them to the Lord, so that we can return to our Heavenly Parents and our celestial Brother. I am so humbled by their love... I just hope that I can maintain a holy spirit about me so that I can be the faithful servant the Lord expects me to be. I have heard an analogy for it before - it is like piano lessons. Piano lessons are already paid for by a parent, just like we were already bought through the Atonement. However, it is choice of the child whether they practice or not. When we practice, or when we obey his commandments and use the gift He gave us, that is us showing our gratitude for the price that was paid for us. I thought it was a cool analogy. So, here I am, in the vineyard, I am working as hard as I can and I will continue to do so! I want to serve those wonderful children of our Father! I am excited to do so!

So, thank you for your letters - both the dear elders and the written letters. You have such beautiful handwriting! I really appreciate your spiritual thoughts. They are like spiritual candy, I pop them in and the sweet taste lingers throughout the day. I often roll them around in my mind and think of you words; thank you so much for the encouragement. Thank you so much for your love.


This is 2 emails from Lauren- they are from the same day, just different times.

I am where I need to be and am as happy as taffy when she gets loves as she stands on the computer and there is no dread-lock picking. Speaking of which, I am sorry to here of the plights of her majesty -- it is hard to be small and furry. She has to look cute, sleep, eat, and get fed, ALL DAY. Life IS difficult indeed. Please send her my condolences. I love you Dear Elders. Please continue them. They give me a much needed boost of encouragement at the end of the day. I love your little tidbits of gossip, as they remind me of the world outside, yet at the same time remind me of how in this place, life is different and I need to be working my hardest. And I am! I am trying to at least! Haha. Anyways please continue to send them. I love them. It is funny to me that you always mention the cat -- your oldest daughter, Mrs. Peterson, does so as well! I love to hear of the arduous lives of the forgotten felines. Alas, will we ever understand their inner torment? Nay. How could we; we are merely humans. 

My clothes. They are lovely. but for some reason I feel so frumpy! My companion is very petite and looks fabulous in everything that she owns. Seeing some of the sisters here made me wish I had taken a bit more liberty with my fashion; they are all so trendy. I don't need NEW clothes -- I am happy with the ones I have it just will take a me a moment to adjust to them and to arrange them so they are fashionable. I am feeling rather large too -- I don't know why. Perhaps it is just all the sweaters and flowy skirts that make me look so. I don't know. Anyways. I am only telling you this because you asked me in your last letter what the lowest point was. I would say my dress. BUT it really is NOT that big of a deal. Most of the day I am lost in studying and learning so I don't even notice it or care very much about it. I did the first day, but now I don't. That is not to say I don't take pride in my appearance -- I do my best to look cute (and yes I am wearing makeup. After all we are, and I quote, "encouraged" to wear makeup.) but I realize that looking more trendy than other sisters is not my highest priority. Does that make sense?? (I would say that phrase in Russian since I know how, but I can't figure out how to change the keyboard...) 

That being said, that is the only thing that is really be somewhat of a downer. Other than that, I have been completely content and happy. It is hard to wake up, and sometimes I find myself dozing off a bit, but I just drink some water and voila! I am back awake and alert! It is nice to get up early - I actually like it. The day is not wasted that way. SOmetimes it is hard to fall asleep but I am adjusting so it is not a problem. Really I am SO happy here. I love the learning, the people, and the spirit. There is so much satisfaction in what we are doing. I know that is selfish of me to say because I should be focusing on the people I am serving, but it is satisfactory. I love it. The Lord is teaching me so much. He knew me so well to send me here. 

I want to hear more about you! I miss you so much. I can't express, but at the same time I know that I need to be here and I am SO happy to be here. Please continue to inform me as to how you are doing and what you have been up to.

Now I will say something at the risk of making you angry but for me it was a spiritual experience. I have truly been attempting to lose myself in the work; to study Russian, preach my gospel, the scriptures and to serve my fellow missionaries as much as I could. Please believe me when I say that I have not thought of Andreas at all. But then, one night as I was laying in bed, I suddenly woke up and knew what to do for the problem of "the sanctuary goal" that I told you about (and if you don't remember that is fine I am not offended)! It was a little blessing for me. Then I went to bed and feel asleep right away. I felt like it was almost an assurance form the Lord to remind me that He has not forgotten about my dreams and will help me when I get back. I am SO grateful for that. It reminded me that I had to have hope. 
Speaking of hope,I wrote to you in my letter about how I have been studying hope. I hope.... (haha) that you get it soon and can read it. But just as a brief summary I realized that hope is the optimistic extension of faith. You need hope. As a district, we each decided to pick one of the attributes of Christ mentioned in Preach my Gospel and work on it. I selected hope - I am learning amazing things. It was really interesting, but all of us picked different attributes to work on. I knew that I was so select hope because almost as soon upon as I had entered the MTC there had been a motif of hope in the talks, testimonies, and scriptures I had been reading. So, when I saw that it was one of the attributes of Christ, I realized that I needed to work on it. Hope is mostly associated with optimism - I often think of what was said in my blessing when I was set apart - that I need to be positive of myself. Then I also think of how it mentions in my patriarchal blessing that I have been blessed with optimism and need to share it and others will delight in that and wish to be optimistic too ( that's not word for word but that is the gist of it.) So, I have been attempting to exercise hope and be optimistic about my mission, my learning, and life in general. One of the most beautiful things I have learned from hope is that hope is only possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If we were not able to use the Atonement, there would be no hope because we would all be damned. Without it, no matter what we did, we could never hope because we could not progress. Hope is part of progression, if you do not hope for things, you will not strive for things; and because of the Atonement we are able to progress, therefore, hope is only possible through the wonderful Atonement. What a glorious gift Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father gave us through the atonement! Not only are we allowed to repent through it, not only do they understand our pain through it, not only are we saved by it, but we are also allowed hope through it. It is a beautiful thing. I now hope to center my life more around hope, as it is a beautiful gift for us that was purchased with many drops of blood in the atonement. So, in conclusion, hope is the optimistic extension of faith, and hope is the propellant (? am I using that right -- the fuel??) for progression and change.

Well, now I REALLY am out of time and probably went a little bit over. Anyways. I just wanted to say I love you and I miss you and I am thinking of you. Please get better, I am so sad that you are sick. I am sorry I wasn't able to write but hopefully these emails make up for it. Again, I will always keep you in my prayers and in my heart. LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU! Miss you!!! COntinue to serve the Lord and thank Him for the myraid of blessings He continually bestows upon us and our family - the Atonement included.

Love you!

I hope that you are well. I hope to hear from you soon.

Love Lolo 


I MISS YOU!!!! But I am so happy to be here. I sent you a very lengthy letter yesterday that should be coming to you and I should be sending another one today. I got your dear elder saying that the missionaries were given an hour to email their parents their first night - I was not afforded such a luxury. I was immediately stuck into a classroom where a man speaking only Russian began to energetically teach us about Russian introductions and the gospel. It was great. Really, I love the MTC. I am very grateful that the Lord knows me enough (and was patient with me enough) to continually prod (don't know if that is a proper word to use with the Lord, but you know what I mean) me to go on a mission because truly I know this is where I am supposed to be and I am so happy.

Some of this email may be a repeat of what I wrote to you in my letter but to be honest I cannot entirely remember what I wrote. I feel like my memory has both expanded and decreased. For example, I find I cannot recall the words to songs (hip songs that is, musicals and Disney songs remain unaffected) yet I am able to remember things in Russian, like the different conjugations of verbs are based off of the gender of the noun. I had such a hard time with that in Latin and I studied all the time! But with Russian, though it is still very hard, it is easier. I know this is because the Lord is helping with the language. There is no way I could be learning it the way I am without the help of my glorious Heavenly Father. I am so honored that He is allowing me to learn a new language because I know that language is a tool that we use to improve not only the lives around us, but my own personal life. I was reading in Mosiah (I think, perhaps it was Words of Mormon) that in order to read the Brass Plates, Lehi had to know Egyptian. I realized that then in order to be the keeper of the plates you had to be extremely educated, and that learning the language was part of that. The keeper of the plates was probably the most intelligent and well earned Nephite of them all. This made me realize even more that scripture study should be not only a spiritual pursuit, but an intellectual pursuit - we need to be actively engaged in searching the word of the Lord; if we do so, He will bless us immensely. I know that He has already blessed me while I have been here. More so than I deserve. I am truly humbled by all the knowledge He is giving me. I just have to be diligent in my study. I have been trying to do so.

I love my companion. Truly she is great. Usually i find it easy to use ,y words to describe people and things but I can't really with her -- she is just that great. I really really really like her. She is diligent and obedient. She is very fun too. One night we just started walking home and we started speaking giberish to each other like it was nothing. We laughed and then talked about how cool it would be when we would be able to do that in Russian! Haha!! She is very fun, smart, and has amazing spiritual insight. It seems like she has a deep desire to learn -- she wants to understand the gospel completely. This is something I really admire, she really does attempt to obtain the word before she declares it. I am inspired by her desire to understand so that she can teach to her best ability. I am truly blessed to have such a companion.

The rest of my district is pretty great. I am currently in the process of writing you a letter that describes all of the 5 members of my district. There are four elders and Sister Haynie (my companion) and myself. I would say that we get along very well as a district, I am quite fond of them all. My companion is my favourite however. We get along very well. Everyone has such unique talents that they bring to the district; I think we get along well; perhaps sometimes too well as we spend sometimes maybe a little bit too much time talking and not studying. My companion and I are very different; I look up to her in many ways. I wish I could be a better companion to her! Sometimes I feel that I don't always know how to serve her in my best way. I try, but I feel like I am still not good enough! Haha not to be negative; I am trying and that is what counts I think. But still, I will work harder to be a better companion. 

I whistle all the time and it makes me think of you, Mom. I whistle because I am happy. It makes me think how lucky I am that God blessed me with such a wonderful mother who taught me so much about the gospel; you taught me to really study the scriptures, you told me the story, you taught me the order, you taught me the history, I am so happy and so lucky and so blessed that you are my mom. Heavenly Father really did bless me with such a wonderful family. It is perhaps by greatest blessing of all. Mom. you are such an example to me. I think of how well you know the gospel and I always want to be like that. You also taught me how to listen to others and how to engage them in conversation -- I am trying to do this with my fellow missionaries as a way to serve them. I think everyone wants to talk about home, but it is hard to talk about when you are with the same 20 people and you have already told them everything -- so I try to listen and engage them -- YOU TAUGHT ME THIS! It is a great service to listen to others - I learned that from you and form you example of listening to me. So thank you. 

Give Dad a special hello! Tell him I love him and that I am thinking of him and praying of him. I often think of his quiet humility and spirituality. I want to be more like him in that aspect; I want to have humble spirituality like him. I realize (from the example of others (this is not a very nice thing of me to say) that when you say sacred experience out loud to much, or try to be gaudy in your spirituality, it loses some of it's worth. Dad was never like that, he was always so humble. Dad showed his love for the gospel through his quiet, complete obedience and his diligent work to the Lord. I am grateful for that example. Please tell him so. 

My zone is amazing. Everyone is so smart! Truly. Everyone has small beautiful handwriting -- mine is small, but resembles something like chicken scratch. Hahaha. I am sure I could fall in love with their hand writing alone had I not closed off my heart. Everyone in my zone is incredible. For example, there is one young lady who is 21 and was at Harvard studying German Literature; she is incredibly smart and already speaks three languages I think. She is somewhat intimidating but I like her a great deal. Then there is Sister Deiner, who lives in my room. She goes to MIT is and on the rowing team there! I told her my Dad was a rower and pretty much the most incredible man I know. That woman is SO smart. Sister Alvaraz is also in my room -- I have never met such a happy perky girl before! She has such a bright energy and is always optimistic. I thought that would be my role in the MTC but she does it so much better than me. I don't really know what my role is in my district and in my zone, but I am  just being myself and doing what I can and I know that that is enough and the Lord will have me fill whatever role he needs me to fill so long as I am worthy of the influence of the Spirit. My companion is still my favourite though; she is special. She is so special that I cannot even really put her down in words! I really REALLY hope that we stay close after the mission. I want to serve her but I just don't know how! Haha. Oh well, I will continue t try. I don't know the other missionaries in my district very well. There are two other sisters that I have not mentioned and then a plethora of elders -- all with very neat, small, beautiful handwriting. What is it about pens and handwriting? I am a mad woman!! 

Life here is great. I am so happy. I want to write more  but I have to get my laundry. I have about 20 more minutes on the computer and then I have to stop. Thanks!

Love you more than I can say! Sending you all the love I can spare from the Lord and His mission he gave me!

Love Lolo