From the perspective of her friends the Strong's

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 8, 2013 - Hmm

For the best people in the world,
Thank you for all of your letters, packages, love, and LOVE. And prayers. I feel the prayers, they are not just being sent straight up, they are coming right back down..onto me. :)
So. Every day is so filled with good, I don't even know what to share! Well, the Elders told me that they had been talking, and were thinking about who was the funniest in the group...and they said they definitely chose me. So THAT was exciting. Especially because all the Elders think they're hAAAlarious, so I know this was a big sacrifice for them. Haha. Anyways. The MTC is pretty strange.  People get really weird here after a couple of weeks haha. In a good way. Things that couldn't be less humorous give us cramps of laughter. I feel huge now. All of us have gained weight, and we are going to fix this. Wendy, about your question haha, all of us are generally the same size, so we all shop in each others closets every day. I went two weeks without wearing my own clothes! I love it. I am a new person...I have had to figure out all new coping mechanisms. Whenever I was stressed or frustrated, or sad, I would take a nap, listen to th music that conveyed my emotion, or went shopping. Well. I can't do any of those things. Therefore, I have 1) turned to my Heavenly Father with my problems, and 2) developed better and healthier coping strategies. Luckily, I don't need them very often; the Lord takes care of me. However, I am obsessed with exercising now, because it is literally the only way I have to release stress, so it is now my sanctuary. And I am a BIG fan of the give away boxes in the residence areas. In order to keep my suitcases correct weight though, I am sure everything I take will end up in the give away box once again. Spanish is fine. I never stress about Spanish though. I wish I worried more, so that I could be motivated to be better at the language. But I'm almost convinced that your Spanish levels out at some point until you actual get into the mission field. OK so now that I have told you a lot of unmeaningful things...
I have had maybe one of the most important events in my life happen this week, but it's not something I want to share, so this e-mail might not be anything special.
Hermana Hawkins and Naylor have both left to their re-assignments in Florida and Arizona, and I am very sad about it. Not like debilitatingly sad, just miss her sad. Hermana Hawkins especially is someone that I admire and love with all of my heart. I sacrificed a little pretty scarf for us five to send back and forth to each other after every transfer.
I'm growing and I'm learning. I only have 17 months left. I got to usher for the devotional yesterday. Elder Gavarett of the 70 and his wife spoke. They are from Uruguay(?) and are amazing. His wife especially. She converted to the church as a little girl. She was Catholic, and loved the Bible stories and the miracles, and hearing about Jesus. When she would go to the priest with all of her questions and fascinations, he would tell her that she was young, or she didn't need to know. Basically that she didn't deserve that information. LDS missionaries were teaching her neighbors, and they noticed her interest, so they invited her, and told her that she could conduct all of the questions :) She told us how she felt when she heard them recite the words of the first vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith. She spoke of miracles. And how all we need is to believe. She shared her testimony in four languages. I was honored to be able to talk to her for a minute, and hug her. The words that touched me most were the first words that her husband spoke when he got to the pulpit.  He mentioned how he was very nervous about giving this talk, because of his English, but that he knew God would help us. Help him to speak, and convey the meassage that we need to hear, and help us to understand it. Okay so we hear that all the time as missionaries. But this is a Quorum of the  70 speaking. So that was humbling. That even he stuggles with the same thing we are struggling with. I'm sorry that this e-mail is less than great, but I don't have my notebook with me to remind me of all the impressions and thoughts I have had these past few days.
Let it suffice that I really love you all, and will never be able to convey how grateful I am for your love and thoughts.
Once again, I am amazed at how close Heaven is to us. We are all working together, on both sides, to help and lift and serve God and His children. Angels are working with the missionaries. One great thing Elder Gavarett said was that we have to have knowledge about the war that took place before we came here, in order to win this one.
Love you,
Hermana Patton

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