Can you believe another week has flown by? I am starting my 7th week here. That’s nuts to me! We all try not to talk about leaving because although we (Latvians, Lithuanian, and Armenians) are SO excited to go to our countries, we are all nervous because we know we won’t be able to understand the language for the first couple of months. But nonetheless I’m so excited to finally be in Latvia! For Latvia!
The MTC really is like Heaven though. It’s just like you said, mom. I love it here so much! The spirit is always so strong; we study the gospel or our languages all day. And when we’re not studying we’re teaching, listening to an amazing speaker, singing, eating, or sleeping. I am always smiling and always happy. I have the best district and zone and we have so much fun together. We laugh together and have the best time. What a great life! I will miss the MTC when I leave.
NOW…. Guess who I saw at the temple today?? CAILEY! I walked in to change and there she was sitting there! I ran over to her and we hugged and cried. My companions laughed that I finally ran into her because I joke every time we go to the temple how I want to see family I know. It was SO great to see her, I’m afraid I talked her ears off (sorry Caye) But It was so good to see her and to hear how the family is doing and talk about the MTC in real life and not just in letters. We did sealings together and it was wonderful. I love you Caye! So glad I got to see you! She recorded me bearing my testimony in Latvian… So you can hear my messed up Latvian as I struggled through it. haha. I love it though. It was a great morning!
OK, now on to my song for the week!
Well this week I have thought a lot of about the Prophet Joseph Smith and all that he did. I have constantly been overwhelmed with gratitude for his strength and testimony. He was absolutely amazing! It’s wonderful to read in the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price about the prophesies of Joseph smith. Which brings me to my song. It is “Praise To The Man”. We are singing an amazing arrangement of it for conference (shh 🙂 ) Every time we sing it, I get choked up and can hardly sing because of my love and gratitude for Joseph Smith. He was truly inspired by God and because of him we have the Book of Mormon. I have pondered on Joseph Smith a lot and I want to try my hardest to have as much faith, strength, and love for everyone around me. I KNOW he is a prophet called of God. I know that through the power of God he translated the Book of Mormon and restored the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is not a single doubt in my entire being that the gospel is true. I am SO thankful to be sharing the gospel and partake in helping people receive salvation. We are ALL missionaries and all will be because we know the truth and we are all called to the work whether we’re on a full time mission or not. How amazing that I get to TEACH the Doctrine of Christ to the people of Latvia! I can’t even comprehend this amazing blessing God has given me. A mission truly is one of the greatest gifts God can give us on this earth. I have already had so many experiences that have changed my life forever.
“There is a power in the Book of Mormon which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of it. You will find a greater power to resist temptation. You will find power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the straight and narrow path” -President Benson
I love that quote. It is so true. The time I have spent studying the Book of Mormon here has completely changed my life and given me that power to do all of those things stated in that quote. Keep reading along with me family! I’m in 3rd Nephi now when Christ visited the Americas. It is AMAZING! I just read chapter 11 last night. I loved to read words that Christ himself spoke. He teaches us so clearly what we need to do and the blessings that come from doing it. Because when we keep a commandment we are immediately blessed. So, this week (if you have some time) read the chapters in 3rd Nephi where Christ is speaking to His children and study what He says. It is amazing.
On a funny note, I walked in my sleep again. I woke up jumped out of bed in total darkness got all my stuff and ran to the bathroom as if it were life and death to get ready. I started brushing my teeth when sense got knocked into me. I thought, “There is NO one in this bathroom. Something is wrong.” I went to the room and sure enough it was 1:00 am. You think I would learn. I guess I’m just too excited to start my day. hahah
One thing I have really come to learn here is how much the Book of Mormon can change someone’s life. It has changed mine. I taught a lesson to my district on Sunday on how the Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul. It answers questions that people have about God, families, the purpose of life, how we can return to God, how to strengthen family/friend relationships, happiness, and so much more. We wrote down some questions on the board and then I gave them time to search in the Book of Mormon to find answers to those questions. It was AMAZING what they came up with in only just 3-4 minutes.
Answers to every question can be found all throughout the Book of Mormon. I hope we all study and really search the Book of Mormon because I promise it brings so much joy, happiness, and peace. I can’t get enough Book of Mormon reading time everyday!
Truly, my mission means everything to me and it’s only been 6 weeks! I am changed forever and I can’t wait for 17 and a half more months to continue to be changed and molded into the woman Heavenly father wants me to be.
The speaker at our devotional said, “If missionary work isn’t fun, then you’re doing it wrong” I have come to realize this is true. We have SO much fun everyday, smiling and laughing at our language mistakes makes everything a little easier. Missions really are the “funnest”.
Briggs, I absolutely cannot wait for you to go on your mission! It is going to be the best thing ever for you! You are going to have so much fun and I KNOW you are going to make everyone laugh and lighten their burdens with your hilarious sense of humor. You are so funny and sometimes I think about how much you make me laugh and how you’ll have such a good time here. Also how much you will grow and learn here. It’s amazing, Briggs! I am so excited for you. It’s not too far away either! Just a couple more years so keep preparing! You are going to be so awesome!!
I love you all So much and I am SO excited to maybe get a glance of you at Conference! I can’t wait for Conference! It’s going to be so amazing! Just think the prophet of the Lord is going to speak to us!!! How exciting! We have some great songs prepared so keep on the look out for me! 🙂 We’re all hoping we don’t get picked to be shown up real close with the cameras. haha embarrassing… I don’t know if we will get to walk around the temple or anything after. They say we are kept pretty guarded for protection and stuff. So I may or may not actually see you but I will know you are there and just that will be wonderful! And singing ‘Called to Serve’ with you all, will be the BEST! With all of you! Grandparents, family, friends, and all!
I LOVE YOU ALL!
p.s. I know you are driving to Utah right now, so I hope and pray you drive safe and all is well and you make it here safe and sound!! I’ll be thinking of you and our family trips to the stake center to watch Conference and our in between sessions of picnics, blanket sliding, games, and candy! I have such fond memories of Conference. I can’t wait to hear it this weekend! Hurray!
Praise to the Man: Tribute to Joseph Smith
Maddie bearing her testimony in Latvian:
Here are a few pictures by (Cailey) at the temple!
A few notes from Cailey:
Seeing Sister (MY SISTER yay!) Gallacher in the temple was amazing. Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks when I saw her, but were quickly replaced with happy smiles because Maddie had such an infectious attitude of happiness. She glowed. I can’t explain it, but picture sunshine and that should give you an idea. We spent time talking while waiting to go and do a few sealings. I let her talk and tell me all she wanted about her experience the last few weeks.
I was so happy to hear that she was having the time of her life and had such good experiences thus far. She said, ” Cailey, the MTC has been the BEST time of my life”. And that made me so very happy for her. She has had a few hard times but she has turned them all into positive experiences. She even sang a duet in Sacrament meeting with an Elder Davies. Madison has never looked nor seemed happier and more beautiful.
This experience has truly changed her, and I hope in the video of her you can see she is all smiles. Saying Good bye to her as I walked her and her fellow sister companions to the corner of the MTC was not hard. It was a happy occasion because I knew she was having such a great time. We hugged each other and smiled. Said our ” I love yous” and I watched her walk into the MTC with a skip in her step. She is a happy, happy girl. I will always be grateful for the chance I got to see my sister during this incredible journey of hers. FOR LATVIA!