Monday, November 17, 2014

MTC pictures - November 17, 2014

"I knew it and I knew that God knew it and I could not deny it."


Crazy week! I wish I had time to tell you everything that happened because SO much happened. We hosted for the first time on Wednesday though! Which is when we go pick up new missionaries from the curb and "assist" them away from their families. haha. It's actually kind of depressing, but for the most part the missionaries are just excited! I hosted 3 new sisters in total. Two were English speaking and the other was Japanese speaking! They were so cool. This coming Wednesday we are hosting again and guess what?!?! We get new Thai's!! I can hardly believe that it's already time for Nong Thai's to come in. We are getting 9 new Elders, and only 1 new Sister! The sister is moving into our room so that should be fun. Sister Remington and I got released as STL's on Sunday and now Sister Belnap and Sister Johanson are the new STL's. They will do great. 

The language is coming! Sister Remington and I don't have to make scripts for lessons anymore, and we hardly even bring anything but our scriptures and planner into lessons. TRC also went really well too! It just keeps getting better and better each week. I think it is exactly 3 weeks now until we leave for Thailand! So crazy! I feel like I am going to miss aspects of the MTC. It is honestly an incredible place. I had a great experience at the temple this morning. We did a session and just after it finished, we realized there was a khon Thai sister in the session! I went up to her after and started speaking Thai. She hardly spoke any English so I was really nervous, but I understood everything she said and I was actually able to have a conversation with her!! She has lived in Orem for 4 years, and before that she lived in Udon. She is so excited for me to go to Thailand and was asking where I would be serving. I told her I didn't know yet but that I hope I go Issan! It was such an amazing experience. She said she has gone to the Thai/Laos ward a couple times in Salt Lake and knows Bishop Walker a little, but other than we didn't have any mutual friends. I am just so amazed that I am actually learning this language to be honest with all of you. I feel so blessed to be called to serve in Thailand! 

On Wednesday during personal study I was having a really hard time focusing. I was sick almost this whole week and that made everything especially difficult. I was trying to capitalize on my time to read the Book of Mormon because I really want to finish it before I leave the MTC but my head would not stop aching. I felt dizzy and just exhausted. I took a break from reading and just sat in my desk. I stared at my study journal and then just starting writing about what I was feeling. Here's what I wrote: "I feel so sick right now. My body is failing me. I feel like every muscle and even my bones are weak. It's piercing me to the very soul." After I wrote that I just stared at it, I felt like I was collapsing within myself. Not only did studying seem impossible in that moment, but so did a mission. So did everything in life. As those thoughts entered my head, I realized how irrational they all were, but they wouldn't stop polluting my mind. I took the next line of my journal to simply write these four words. "Heavenly Father. Help me." What happened next astonished me. No I wasn't visited from an angel, no I wasn't instantly healed from my sickness. In fact, nothing in the worlds definition of astonishing happened at all. Instead, I just felt a warm feeling rush through my entire body. It started in my heart and flowed to the tip of my fingers and toes. All of a sudden I wasn't tired anymore, my head stopped hurting and I experienced ACTUAL physical and mental strength fill my body in that very instant. Something happened within me, that I couldn't make happen on my own. Now you could say something smart about how the physical nature of the human body caused that to happen spontaneously, but I know that is not true. There's no evidence to prove that God strengthened me in that moment, but I know He did. I share with Jospeh Smith's conviction after people tried to make him deny he had the First Vision. "I knew it and I knew that God knew it and I could not deny it." (JSH 1:25) Now my experience might seem insignificant to a lot of you in comparison to what Jospeh Smith claimed, but it doesn't detract from the principle being taught. I was very humbled this week. I realized human beings cannot physically fulfill the demands of a missionary lifestyle without help. The long hours, the mentally taxing work. You might be able to struggle for the first week or so trying to do it on your own, but after a while you will realize that 18 months of the exact same schedule with no days off is impossible to face alone. After the experience I had on Wednesday I came across this scripture in Alma 5:27-28 that stated it beautifully:

"27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? 
28 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if you are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life." 

I realized that it is ONLY through Christ and His enabling power of the Atonement that can cause us to have experiences like the one I had. And because it is ONLY through Christ, I have to strip myself of the pride in my heart that anything I do on this mission is because of me. Every good lesson, every clever thought. They have all been promptings from the Holy Ghost. I can claim nothing as my own, and so like Ammon (Alma 26:12) "I will not boast of myself but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things..." It is a privilege for me to be here at this MTC at this time in my life. Never has my purpose in life been so clear to me, and never has life been so fulfilling. Kradtai rak phraphuuchuayhairccd khccng kradtai. 

My challenge this week is to:
       - Read Helaman 8:14-15
       - Take the challenge given to "look upon the Son of God" and live.
       - Then, actually study to figure out what it means to do that.

If you want to e-mail me at: with your insights on what it means to "look upon the Son of God and live", I would LOVE LOVE LOVE that! I love you all so much and pray for you everyday! 


Sister Burbank 

P.S. We are skyping Thailand tonight for TRC!! I am so excited!