Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WEEK 5 – 04/04/13

Hola Familia y Mi Amigos!

Te amo from Argentina! It’s my last letter before I reach the mission field! Excitement doesn´t even reach the feelings I am feeling!

This past week has been a lot more challenging. My companions and I have been having a few difficulties. Yet through the Lords will I feel I am being tested to see if I will apply the things I have been learning and gleaning from the scriptures. 

Kindness begins with me. As Steven R. Covey would say--be proactive not reactive. We do the acting, we are not the ones being acted upon. Lately I have felt prideful and determined to not forgive and allow my wounds to be healed. My roommates have done things I do not fully approve of in a missionary setting & mind set. They are good and happy girls, yet I feel at times we are in different books (not even really on the same page in our feelings, emotions, backgrounds, missionary ideas). Both my companions are very much a like and it is hard to be the one on the outside looking in. A few days ago I could count no more than 10 times Herman West turned and talked to me. It has been a definite challenge to RISE above and to try and not let it hurt & to show kindness anyway. It is hard to always be getting to know someone and they in turn are not really seeking to understand you. Perhaps I am too deep of a person? 

True listening may come from desiring to know someone better. I don´t enjoy it when people make others feel stupid for sticking up for what they believe in—so that has been hard. Or being criticized behind their backs and then it somehow gets back to the person and it may hurt them. Gossip travels FAST –esp. in small places like the MTC. I have seen its affects many times here and I can honestly say, it is a great rule to follow of not letting not your mind, nor tongue speak any guile towards any man. 

I feel like all the habits I worked on and broke before my mission are coming back ten fold and I have a constant battle inside my head. In my prayers I constantly am seeking strength from my father in Heaven. He knows me and the desires of my heart (D&C 6:17 I believe). I lately have been encouraging myself to see people as they may become! To focus on their strengths and to let what may offend me roll off my back. It has been HARD!! Yet so worth it. "A soft word turneth away wrath". 

I say to myself, "Let go of the pain of being different and set aside the pride of self-righteousness. Let the pan of hurt and the pride of not forgiving go first. There is a pain of not being understood and a pride of not allowing them in or the pride of no one can understand the person I am, etc. I am ashamed to recall these feelings—for I have pain, I have pride. May the Lord God assist me in becoming more what he would have me be. I desire to have no place within me for the "enemy of my soul" (2 Nephi?).

By the time I leave the MTC It will be EXACTLY 40 days since I arrived. According to religious symbols and the number 40 it has a lot of meaning. It is the number representing a period of trial and testing too. I have a new found connection and meaning now with this number. I also have a deeper understanding of 40 days--the length, the amount of change that can occur, habits made and broken, etc. I also have a new found appreciation for the Savior fasting for 40 days. Also since Easter is occurring, the remembrance of His birth, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection is prominent in my mind! "This is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That He Lives! For we saw him on the right hand of God..." (D&C 76:22, 23).

Virtue, obedience, and diligence has been a main focus in my studies lately. "Seek learning even by study and also by faith." I have studied. I have prayed. Now it is time to have faith that the Lord will help me & all of us accomplish the things that He would have us accomplish. "If there is anything virtuous lovely of Good report or praise worthy we seek (Avidly act to find) after these things"!!! 

I had an epiphany…Your family understands who you are, what you like to do, etc. The new challenge and opportunity I give to you and to myself is to be yourself in a world of people who may not know who you are or what you are going through. Let your family in and give them a chance to understand and to be there for you. It is important to be yourself, to hold strong to what you know to be true, & to not to let others persuade you otherwise and to rise above the influence of the adversary. Be a light! Shake off the works of darkness and put on the armor of LIGHT (Romans 13)!

I love you all and would love to share with you this one last thing. I know God is the Eternal Father. He knows me, he loves me! He is in this work. He cares about each of us individually. In the tapestry of life, do not forget he sees the upper and I the underside. He has a purpose for me! I believe in him, I know that I cannot do this by myself, that I will always have him by my side as long as I am faithful. Sweet is the work--My God! My KING! My Aba!

I love this church. I love that God gives us weakness so that we may come unto Him, that he helps  us to be stronger. I know who I am! I know Gods plan. I will follow him in faith! I know my Savior, Jesus Christ, lives! And that he loves me! I know that he atoned for my sins, for my happiness, and for my opportunity to live with him again. I know this. I live this. I love this! May God be with you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sincerely all my love to you and the Lord!
Hermana Kaitlyn Hansen

P.S I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! :D it is going to be so awesome!

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