Thursday, December 24, 2015

MTC - Provo, UT - The time has come! Christmas Eve in the MTC

Travel plans are in our hands!

We were soooooo excited!
I think the whole MTC knew we finally had our plans!

Happy!  Happy!  Happy!

Commercial MTC pose!  
But really we are that happy and more!

This made it official!  We're leaving!

They always have to pose instead of just smile!

 We reinacted their poses!
Big eyes!
Last temple walk selfie of Siostra Kamp and me!

New Polish District entered on Dec. 16 - Six Elders!
Our Starszy, Elder Dooley, Elder Musgrave, Elder Freeman, 

Elder Fetter, Elder Burdwell, (front) Elder Kriser

Sunday Temple walk selfie with the new Poles!

Temple walk selfie with my companions!

Tender Mercy:  If this flower can make it in the snow,
I can make it in Poland!

Our district with Brat Kimball! He is amazing!

Farewell to Brat Kimball!  Dziękuję!

Our district with Siostra Cheney!  She is amazing!
Farewell to Siostra Cheney! Dziękuję!

Sampson shirt!
Peace out!

Christmas Eve bonding in the laundry room!

Cześć Family and Friends!!!! 

Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia!!!!! 

Merry Christmas!!!

The time has come!  I am leaving for Poland from the MTC at 4:30 in the morning on Monday!!! Ahhh I can't believe it where has the time gone!!? We received our travel plans last Friday!! We fly from Salt Lake to Houston, from Houston to Germany, and from Germany to.....POLAND!!!! 

I will officially step foot on Polish soil at 12:25 on Tuesday, December 29!! I am so excited but TERRIFIED all at the same time!! We were all screaming and jumping around and showing everyone that would listen our travel plans!! 

This week has been crazy!! We are trying to get in as much stuff as possible!! I have been packing all day but it is so much fun because we know that means we are going!! It has also been bittersweet because we have had to say a lot of goodbyes!!

We taught our last lessons to our investigators!! Here is the final update on all of them! Karina will be baptized in three weeks!! We set her baptismal date for January 9!! We asked her last time if she has a testimony of everything we have taught her and she said "yes I do!!" I was so incredibly happy!! We taught Sławek about faith and we ended our lesson by asking him again to be baptized! He paused and I was literally saying out loud quietly to myself "please, please, please!" Finally he looks up and says “Tak.” (yes) and we all were like "Tak?!" We all just couldn't contain our excitement!! I almost broke a missionary rule and I about hugged him!! We also taught our final lesson with Leszek! Even though we only taught him for a short time it was incredible to see how differently he viewed the Gospel and that God truly does love him and knows he is there!! I cannot wait to go to Poland and be able to teach people what I know about the Gospel and how it can bless their lives!!

One of the saddest parts this week was we have said goodbye to two of our teachers! We say goodbye to the last one on Saturday! 

We first said goodbye to Siostra Cheney! She gave us three points of advice: 1. look for miracles, 2. declare the word with unwearyiness, and 3. remember the power of your calling!! She then talked about her love for Poland and she became emotional! We all teared up because we already feel that love for Poland too!! 

We then said goodbye to Brat Kimball!! We all sat and bore our testimonies in Polish! It was incredible to see how far we had come with the language and how we were able to say what we believe!! I just sat there looking at all of the missionaries in my district and couldn't help but get emotional! Each missionary in my district is incredible and they have someone in Poland that needs their testimony! They are all going to be incredible missionaries and I can't help but feel so incredibly blessed to have been in the MTC with them for nine weeks!! Brat Kimball bore his testimony and left us with his advice: 1. God has a plan for us, 2. The Holy Ghost is the most important tool, and 3. the enabling power of the atonement is real!! 

I am so incredibly grateful for all the teachers I have had here at the MTC and every piece of advice or testimonies they bore!! 

Our teachers have also taught us everything about Polish they could while we have been here in the MTC! It is now time for us to go out and just open our mouths and speak! I definitely am nervous but I honestly love this language so much and all of its weird quirks! I cannot wait to go to Poland and become completely immersed in the language!! I am so excited to learn more and more and to continue learning and improving!! 

To end my final email in the U.S. (ahhhhh) I wanted to share some things I have learned here ate the MTC!

1. It is ok to not be ok all the time! I know I have shared this before but I honestly have come to really know that God doesn't expect us to be perfect all the time!! I really am so happy being a missionary but that doesn't mean it isn't hard as well! There have been days here where I haven't been 100% and I have been frustrated and sad, however every time I feel this I feel God's love for me and I feel that I am enough even as imperfect as I am!

2. Miracles or tender mercies happen every day! One thing my Mom challenged me to do when I left was to look for the mini miracles every day! Every night I write in my journal at least 3 tender mercies from that day!! They are sometimes incredibly small like something someone said to me in passing or I cased something correctly in polish without thinking but these mini miracles have become huge to me!! 

3. God knows I am here and that you are here too! I can't tell you how many times I have felt the love of God or His presence during my mission already! I know that we are not alone here and that everything happens for a reason!! 

4. Forget yourself and go to work! I have learned to get outside of myself and to turn to serving others instead!! I am constantly reminded of who I am representing! One thing Brat Kimball always says is remember the two names on your name tag, your name and Christ's!! I have come to love wearing the tag everyday and constantly being reminded that I need to forget myself and go to work!

5. Patience!! I am still working on this one to be honest but I am starting to learn how to stop and breathe and just take a step back! I often become frustrated with myself and this principle is helping me to stop and just refocus again on my purpose! 

6. THIS GOSPEL IS TRUE!! I can't tell you how much my testimony has grown while I have been here!! I have never felt so strongly about anything before in my entire life!! I can't wait to go to Poland and help people come closer to Christ and to help them learn how the gospel can bless their life!

Tomorrow is Christmas and this will be the last Christmas for me in the U.S. for a while! I am so excited to spend it in the MTC! We get to hear from an Apostle, which I am so pumped for! I also get to perform tonight in a choir with 12 other missionaries for the MTC!! We have been running around and singing Christmas songs all day today and just feeling so incredibly happy and blessed!! 

I just want to end with a quote from the Grinch, " Maybe Christmas he thought doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!" 

I am so incredibly grateful for the true reason we celebrate this season, Christ! I know that He lives and is our Savior!! I know that the power of the atonement is real and I can't wait for the day when I can hug him and say thank you!! 

I love you all and I wish you a Very Merry Christmas!!!

Kocham Was!!

Siostra DeMordaunt

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