Hi my wonderful Family!
First off I want to express my gratitude for you all. Every night when I kneel down to pray I end up staying there for quite a while thanking my Heavenly Father for each one of you and asking God to bless each one of you with the things you need. Even little Layna (britt’s baby coming in May) gets prayed for every single morning and night. I love you guys so much! Thank you for all of the letters and the packages of goodies (and flip flops and Oreos, and goodies) I am amazing each day at the love you all show me. So thank you, thank you!!
I have so many things to say today so hopefully I can get through all of them. Also some funny stories as well.
It seems as though I have a theme song every week. This week I had two. “How Great Thou Art” and ” I Stand all Amazed.” Both beautiful and uplifting songs! I have been singing, humming, and whistling them constantly this week. I stand all amazed at the love my Savior offers me each day. It’s truly incredible. I have a couple of experiences that I want to share with you.
The first happened last weekend. The whole day was wonderful. I was laughing and smiling and just so happy all day. And then during class after dinner I started to feel discouraged. Elder Bergeson and I started planning our lesson for our investigator named Janis. I couldn’t think of anything to say and the things I did want to teach him, I knew I didn’t know how to say in Latvian.
Nothing was coming together for me and I felt so weak. I couldn’t snap out of it and I struggled as we tried to plan a lesson for a man who doesn’t want to read the Book of Mormon and doesn’t think that there should be anything other than the Bible.
Sure there are ways to “Prove” to him why he needs the Book of Mormon, but I wanted to really testify of the importance and how this amazing, incredible book has changed my life. I was so discouraged and went to bed knowing that tomorrow’s lesson to Janis was not going to go well. Well I was right. The lesson was rough. I couldn’t think of anything to say and my Latvian seemed to have worsened somehow. When the lesson was over I apologized to Elder Bergeson and felt like a failure. (This may seem dramatic, but it was hard…)
What was even harder was that I was going to have to teach a lesson that evening to my other Investigator named Kristine by myself, and without Elder Bergeson’s amazing ability to speak Latvian. I was so nervous and didn’t know what to do. I realized that there was just no possible way that I was going to do this on my own. I spent every waking moment learning new words, planning out, and organizing my lesson for Kristine. When the time came I was so nervous, but just tried to have faith that I COULD do this.
I started the lesson and all the sudden it just started flowing. Kristine asked me questions about the Book of Mormon and things it says about the tree of life, and a bunch of other things. I somehow explained everything to her and taught a lesson with questions and scriptures that I hadn’t even prepared to give her. We talked all about the atonement, baptism by immersion, peace, God, His love for us, His plan for us, and lots of other things. Our conversation went so smoothly. All of the sudden I realized it had been an hour. (Our lessons are supposed to be 30-45 min. oops)
We finished up and ended the lesson. My teacher (who plays Kristine who is a real person that my teacher taught when she was in Latvia) told me that she was amazed at how much my language had improved from last week. I was in awe. I knew that I had not said half of the things I had taught. Words I didn’t know I knew came to my remembrance. Somehow I taught that lesson by myself in a language I barely understand. It was amazing and I KNEW that Christ was helping me along that whole lesson in guiding me what to say and how to say it. It was so wonderful to see His hands in the things I was doing and am doing every day.
So that started my “I stand all amazed week”.
This Sunday I woke up thinking about my Savior and how much I needed and wanted to express my gratitude and love for my Savior. We had Mission Conference, which is when we have a 2-hour meeting instead of Relief Society and Priesthood. The MTC Mission Presidency spoke to us. It was so wonderful! At the end, the MTC President Gordon Brown, got up to speak to us about the Atonement and Christ. He stood up and said, “I was going to ask a certain Sister to come up here and bear her testimony before I start my talk but, unfortunately we have gone over time. But just so she knows who she is, would sister Madison Gallacher please stand so that we can see you.” I stared in amazement not realizing what to do. An Elder in my district said, “masa! Stand up!” (They call my Masa since I’m the only Latvian sister) I stood up and 2,000 missionaries stared at me. President Brown said, that he was sorry they ran out of time and that they couldn’t hear from me but maybe another time. I sat down.
I have talked to President Brown a number of times but I didn’t know that he knew me. He talks to hundreds of missionaries a day! I was honored that he had thought to ask me, and slightly disappointed that I couldn’t bear my testimony. That would have been an amazing experience. I got to bear my testimony of Christ later in Sacrament meeting so it all worked out. I went up and talked to President Brown later and thanked him for the opportunity. He is such an incredible man!
2 of the sisters in my room left this week for Indiana. I miss them lots and it seems so quiet around here without them. We don’t get new sisters this week but hopefully next week! It’s crazy how fast English missionaries come in and out of here…
Alex Boye gave our fireside this week and it was AMAZING! (That’s for you Lauren! :)) He gave a similar talk that he gave at BYU to my Stake a couple months ago but with a missionary twist. We were all so fired up after his talk. He is so funny but SO profound with his words that it touched our very souls. He said that we become what we think about most. So we are all striving to think about being the very best we can possibly be. He also taught me a very valuable lesson. He said when we say, “I can’t do this” or “I will never understand this” We are being selfish. I. I. I. We need to turn outward as Christ would and know that when we say those things we are denying the power of God, because with His help we can do all things. I have come to realize that this is true, With God on our side what can we NOT do? Nothing. God is our all powerful Father in Heaven and with His strength we can do this!
So funny story real fast. Apparently I sleep walk now. I woke up in the shower last week. I didn’t know how I got there, but I assumed that my alarm had gone off. So after I went in my room, and neglected to notice that everyone was still sleeping. I got dressed and started to blow dry my hair when I realized that the bathroom was completely empty. I was so confused so I went in the room and looked at the clock. It was 1:30 am. Hahaha
Don’t know how that happened, but I told the Sisters in my room the next day, and we all laughed so hard.
Another great thing I learned this week is that I want to look back at the end of each day, and be able to say that I do not regret, nor neglect a chance to give or receive a blessing. What a wonderful Goal!
“Oh love effulgent, Love divine,
What debt of gratitude is mine?
That in His offering I take part,
And hold a place within His heart”
-God So loved the world, that he sent His Son hymn
I love that verse so much! I am so thankful that I hold a place in His heart.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!
How great Thou Art
I stand all amazed:
President Gordon D. Brown and His Wife Patricia Brown
Click on the link below to read more about the MTC and read a message from President Brown: