Monday, November 26, 2012

Hello!! What a Thanksgiving Week!!

Hello!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

So for Thanksgiving Devotional Elder Holland and his family came!!! What a dream come true!!! I was ready to be spiritually beaten over the head and humbled to the depths of despair, but he was quite unlike himself. He was still very powerful, but very postitive, loving, and happy. He also had some of his grandchildren play music and bear their testimonies to us which was great. I love Elder Holland!!! He said talked about three things that he was particularly grateful for that day.  The first one was how blessed we are to live right now. He said to NOT TAKE FOR GRANTED that we are born in teh alst and greatest days of Earth. All the ancient prophets knew that their dispensation was going to fail---how depressing!!! So the Lord would show them our day, and the growth of the church, and the missionary work, to buoy their spirits. And holy smokes we have a responsibility to fill since we have the great blessing of living right now

Then we had Thanksgiving lunch which was alright. I would much rather make my own food since the MTC food just ain't that great. I think I've lost some weight because I look smaller and sometimes I don't eat meals because my stomache has no appetite for this food. Which reminds me---Thank you so much for the popcorn and the clementines and the avacado!!! I had the avacado in a salad for dinner and it was by far the BEST thing I've eaten here. The fruit is really bad quality, it gives a lot of people diarrhea, so I avoid it. So the clementines were wonderful!!! And I've thoroughly enjoyed my tin of popcorn. :) Most of the sisters get packages from their moms full of candy---I'm so lucky to be sent good popcorn and yummy clementines and a wonderful avacado. So much better than candy!!! Thank you mommy dearest!!!

In the day on Thanksgiving we compiled thousands of medical and school kits to be sent to Mali, Africa. It was pretty fun because they played music while we assembled them---I got to listen to music!!!! Music isn't allowed on MTC campus---not even the Tabernacle Choir or any Church music. It is so sad. I sing all the time. I always sing in the shower, usually songs from Phantom of the Opera, and other sisters will join in with me. Its jolly good fun. :)

Then in the evening we had a musical program which was fun, and then we watched 17 Miracles which I loved!!! I was sitting next to some elders and they were all sniffling and crying which I thought was so cute. Oh the Elders are so cute.

Speaking of Elders, my 5 Elders keep on teasing me because a lot of the Elders here know me and so I get a lot of "hello's" wherever I go. My Elders also notice how much all the sisters flirt with Elders, and are always watching and analyzing Sisters. How nerve wracking!!! I want them to just mind their own business and stop paying such close attention to the sisters!!! But I guess since there's so few of us sisters, we stand out. At the service project I met a couple of....nice....young Elders who now always go out of their way to say hello to me. They're nice..... But I think I'm going to try avoiding them.......

So this week I have no freaky stories about Bulgaria, but only some awesome stories of the wonderful members there and their miraculous conversion stories.

The man who became the first branch president in Bulgaria first heard of the Church when BYU's dance team performed in Bulgaria. He talked with one of the dancers after and they started mailing each other. The BYU student tried 3-4 times to mail him a Book of Mormon but each time it was confiscated since this was still during the communism under Russia. So finally, the boy sent the Bulgarian man the Book of Mormon 5 PAGES AT A TIME through the mail. Crazy huh!!! And the man later was baptized, and became the first branch president. So cool! I'm going to get to meet him!!!

Pretty much it sounds like all the converts there have crazy amounts of faith and miraculous conversion stories. My teacher said that a few people, when he knocked on their door, thought he literally was an angel. I want to be an angel!!! He also said that sometimes when he was teaching people and they could feel teh Spirit, they'd freak out and kick him out of their house because they thought he was using black magic on them. It's not magic, its the Holy Ghost people. Calm down. So, I'm going to be careful to explain to people how the Spirit works and to STAY CALM. Ha ha, I am so excited to meet the sweet Bulgarian people. I am already so in love with Bulgaria. Send me now!!! Also, my teacher said that a few years ago a Patriarch went to Bulgaria and gave about 100 patriarchal blessings in a week. Wow, that's a lot of work. And what's cool is that out of that 100, ALL twelve tribes of Israel were there. How crazy!!! So by serving in Bulgaria I am literally gathering the lost tribes of Israel. I'm pretty sure that's the coolest thing in the world. God loves His children in BUlgaria so much!!!

I feel so blessed and so grateful to be called to serve in BUlgaria. I slowly have been gaining a greater understanding of how hard it is going to be. Bulgaria is not walk in the park. But it is going to be wonderful!!! And Heavenly Father knows I can do it so I can!!! How amazing is that!!! I get to serve some of the sweetest people in the whole world and invite them to come unto Christ and partake of the glorious blessings of the Gospel. Holy smokes! I am so grateful Heavenly Father lets little girls like me help in the work of saving souls. It really is such a great blessing.

I have come to realize that coming on a mission is the BEST decision I've ever made in my life. Graduation was good, going to BYU was great, going to China was wonderful, living in HEather Cove was a dream come true, but my mission is the BEST thing I could ever have done. I cannot tell you how much I love it or how happy I am that I am here. I know this is where I need to be. I love learning how to teach, I love representing Jesus Christ and serving his people, and I just absolutely love the joyful news of the Gospel. I just feel so much joy and excitement inside my heart all the time that I constantly feel like I'm goign to burst!!! I'm afraid I might arrive in Bulgaria and start prancing, singing, and cart-wheeling in the streets while screaming--"GOD IS SO GREAT!!! HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH!!! COME LEARN ABOUT THE GOSPEL!!!" And then people are going to think I am crazy. And maybe I am, ha ha. But it just makes me so excited!!! I want everyone to have the joy and great blessings that God has waiting for them.

So just a warning, I am already head over heals in love with what I am doing, and its only getting worse, and I can't imagine how bad it'll get once I actually get to Bulgaria, so.....I might never come home. ha  ha. :)
Just kidding, I will for sure come home. Just expect me to be a bit crazy when I get back.

I love my mission! I love my Heavenly Father so much. His heaven wouldn't be happy unless He has us there with Him, and that's why I get to go bring His children to Him.

I love you all so much. I think of you lots, and miss you lots, but I am still so grateful and happy to be here.

Keep on smiling, stay healthy, and pray lots.

Sister Stenquist

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