Monday, November 4, 2013



This computer decided to wage war with me today, so I haven´t read any of your letters yet. Sorry. I will try to respond to everyone next week! I love you all, and thank you for not forgetting me this week! I am excited to go home and read your letters for my Pday activity. I am also on cooking duty today, everyone is dreading it, including myself. I am making fudge and homemade flour tortillas. The plus side to living with a Mexican is that she teaches me how to cook. The problem is, she then expects me to use those skills and feed her in return. So. There is the Pday plan!
Can anyone send me President Laycock's email? Some missionaries have asked me for it so they can get letters of recommendation...haha. Please and thank you!
Well, I am officially 1/4 of the way done with my mission! Woot. I have some YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MISSIONARY WHEN moments from this week.
(clear throat, ehem.)

When you don`t count sheep in order to sleep, you count days, weeks, or months left.

When you look through the Ensign and other church magazines and pretend you are shopping on Pday.
When you have to start a conversation jar with your companion because you have been together for 84 days straight.
When you watch the district and think `I am so excited for my mission!` then you are on your mission.
When you lose 3 lbs in sweat.
When one spouse loves you and wants you to come back, and you come back. The other spouse hates you and tells you to never come back.
When you realize you will be dressed up as a missionary for the next 2 years for Halloween. How original.

When `sleeping in` means `not having to wake up earlier than the assigned time for a meeting`.

There you have it. I will try to be funnier this next week. Everything is funny at 4 pm in the blazing sun with a 50 pound bag on your back....wait, I meant to say, `nothing is funny`.

I am pretty sure we have heat stroke everyday...and it is GREAT because I hear that this isn`t even as hot as it gets! Whoopee! I love being a missionary and having a positive attitude about life and everything that it contains! Isn´t the sun so beautiful as it scorches our skin? Doesn´t the smell of hot dog poop make you SO happy?
This week my companion and I celebrated Halloween by dressing up like each other and passing out pass along cards with candy taped to them. Then, a bird decided that we were not having enough fun, and it spiced up the day by pooping all over my companion...who was wearing my clothes. I LOVE the mission! Isn´t the work so great?

So, today is transfers. I am DONE BEING TRAINED! Yippee. I am still with my companion though, and that makes me happy. I could handle another 2 transfers with her. And that is saying something. I don't like large amounts of time with people, but we really have the BEST time together. (that wasn't sarcastic, promise!).

President Holland comes on the 12th! We are all really excited. We have a paper chain up in the apartment and everything!

I have come to realize in the mission that our whole message, or, better said, the message of The Gospel of Jesus Christ, is purely a message of hope. The greatest part of this life is the atonement of Jesus Christ. I used to hear the word `atonement`and think `oh, that is for the really bad people`- completely disregarding the greatest gift I have ever been given!

The atonement is the ONLY way we can become better people. The word `Repentance` isn't always relating to JUST sin. It means that we have a fresh view about God, ourselves, and the world. My mission is the greatest time of repentance I have ever experienced. I am changing my thoughts about God as I realize he is our LOVING Heavenly Father. He WANTS us to become like him. He does EVERYTHING he can to help us, but we need to accept his help. I am changing my thoughts about myself as I learn to accept my mistakes and rely on the atonement to help me better myself. I resolve everyday to do something just a little a little more, talk to one more person, etc. I am changing my thoughts about the world as I realize that everything in this world either can bring us CLOSER to God, or take us FARTHER away. I realize that God has provided a way for us to overcome the world, to overcome our self doubts, our weaknesses, our temptations, and our saddness. The way is through his son, Jesus Christ.

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is for each one of us, INDIVIDUALLY. I used to think too literally of his sacrifice, trying to divide the blood spilt and the pain borne between all the people and the sins of the world. But it doesn't work like that, it wasn´t `pre-divided`. 3 drops of blood didn't go to the person who told a lie while 5 went to the person who committed adultery. It was ALL for each ONE of our sins and weaknesses. If we don`t accept it and try to live better, we aren't accepting the greatest gift ever.

Right now, think of something you feel guilty about. Now, ask yourself, `How is this stopping me from doing what God wants me to do?` Guilt comes from Satan, the accuser. Feelings of guilt literally damn our progression.

For example, this week I felt guilty for saying something wrong in a lesson. But, if I had let that guilt get to me and take away my confidence, I would have stopped speaking. Say there are 5 more people that needed to hear that exact message that day. What am I going to do? Am I not going to try to help them because of my own guilt?

The point is that I realize I made a mistake, then learn how to say it right, so that THEN I can bless more lives.
Satan can`t participate in the atonement. He wants us to think that we aren`t worthy to have access to it. He wants us to doubt ourselves so that we wont serve or help others, or so that we wont progress.

I testify of the atonement. I testify that people can change, and not only can they change, they can become an instrument in the hands of God in helping others to change. Helping others to feel of the love Heavenly Father has for them.
It is never too late to change. Don`t hold your guilt, because the longer you do, the less you will be able to accomplish in this life.

The gospel is a message of hope. It is a message of how us imperfect people can follow the example of our Savior and become better, just a little bit better, every day.

I love you all! Remember all of the times you have felt The Holy Ghost in your life, and remember that God is always willing to help us feel The Holy Ghost if we ask for it.

Love you,

Hermana VanCott

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