Thursday, March 3, 2016

"I Feel at Home" and other tender mercies

To quote from part of Colby's email this morning..."Well, I am safe an sound. I can understand words. And I can read. I had my first conversation with an Armenian on the flight to Armenia. She sat next to us. I feel so much more confident and I know that I will be ok. I understood her and she understood me. It was absolutely wonderful! The weather feels good here and warm....  I slept for a total of 3 hours during all my flights. But I got a good nights rest and a great breakfast. I feel at home. I love you so much!"

On Tuesday, we had the amazing opportunity to talk to Colby as he waited in three different airports on his trip to Armenia. He was excited and nervous and just wondering a lot about what exactly things would be like.  It was a tender mercy for us to hear his voice and for him to get to talk to each of us.  The boys stayed home from school and Jason stayed home from work that day.  It was awesome all around.  But it was clear that he was nervous. But an amazing tender mercy came about when Dale Brink, a man that Colby used to home teach, was working at the San Francisco airport when Colby flew in.  And he took him KFC!  How cool is that?  But the most tender of mercies ever was that in my prayers throughout that day, I prayed that Colby would feel at home in Armenia, that he would know it was where he was supposed to be at this time in his life.  So to have him say those exact words in his email, when I hadn't told him that was what I was specifically praying for, was pretty amazing and oh so comforting!

I know the Lord is in the details of our lives.  I know he cares about every question, doubt, concern, struggle that we have and I know that He loves us and cares for us way more than we give Him credit for. I know that missionary work is real and that it matters.  I couldn't watch Colby do this without knowing that.  Again today I saw some things online that were poking fun at this church and belittling the leaders and the Savior and it made me sad.  But I know the peace that this Gospel brings me, and I know that Jesus Christ is real and involved in this Gospel and I know the comfort that the Gospel has brought my son. Amazing things are going to happen in the next two years for this young man, especially now that he "can understand words."  haha!!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Called to Serve:Colbyisms

I know a lot of people already get Colby's emails, but I thought I would post my favorite parts from each one here for those who don't, or are scared of the length.  Colby went in the MTC on Dec 30th, but his first P-day wasn't until Jan 9, so we were very ready for that first email.  We had received an actual handwritten letter in between, but he types a lot faster and neater than he writes, so I sure love the emails.

Week one, Jan, 9--
Favorite Spiritual-
I'll start off with what I think the Miracle of the Week was. The Miracle was making it till Sunday. Sunday literally was one of the best days of my life. I can testify that the Lord has set apart that day for rest. Sunday literally changed my whole perspective on missionary work and why I am out here. I thought I knew why I was serving a mission before I came to the MTC, but now I know.  I thought I was coming out here to become better and help people be converted so they can be with their families forever; that is true, however, I now know that I am a servant to the Lord. That means I give up my wants and my life for Him. I literally need to forget myself and go to work. I have learned so much in the past week in a half on how I can be more converted to the Lord that if I were to come home right now my life would be totally different. My parents are probably going to be glad to know that I have become a ton more submissive and patient with others and myself. I have a testimony in missionary work and in the fact that God truly takes care of His missionaries. I have been looked out for and literally guarded by angels. Probably because of how often we pray here. Doctrine and Covenants 10:5 says that we should "Pray always, that [we] may come off conqueror." I literally pray like 20+ times a day. And the the Spirit has been with me. My prays have been so much more sincere too. Most likely because I am trying to say them in Armenian and I don't know to many words so I have to be sincere. 
Let me testify that the Gift of Tongues and the Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues is real! I know it! I have learned so much of Armenian. I can pray and bare testimony simply. I have taught about 6 lessons in Armenian already. They really throw you in the deep end with the language. But if you pray every day and just pray for the Spirit to be with you, the Lord will hear you. 
Favorite Funnies-
--Elder Stucki forgot his shampoo so he used his toothpaste. 
--So there are 4 people speaking Armenian and one speaking Georgian. The 5 of us have now been assigned to be in the German branch. (German!!??)
--If you don't know what Armenian sounds like, it's basically beat boxing that's been remixed to sound smoother.

Week two, Jan 16--
Favorite Spiritual-
I love the MTC. At first it seems hard and almost impossible. But I feel as if I am constantly protected by angels. All day long I have the Spirit with me and it is absolutely wonderful. In choir, the director talked to us about how the walk to the Sacred Grove must have been for Joseph Smith. He said that as he was walking to the grove, he bets that there were angels and devils having a war. Kind of like Narnia or Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.The choir director told us that we must sing, Joseph's First Prayer, as though we were telling the story. Teaching it as we would in the field. It was so powerful. When we sung it was absolutely amazing. The Spirit of God like a Fire is burning is so true. That is how I literally felt, and that was just choir practice. This week on Tuesday we had the devotional and it was literally the miracle of the week! Elder Andersen came and spoke to us about the doctrine of Christ and how important it is that we stay simple and remember that we are called to call people to repentance. There is definitely a presence that the members of the quorum of the twelve have with them. It is as tangible as feeling a temperature change. When Elder Andersen walked into the room everyone stood and we were singing, "I'll go where you want me to go".  Words can't really express how amazing that truly was. Then after the opening prayer we sung Joseph's First Prayer to Elder Andersen and I was testifying that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It was unbelievable how powerful the Spirit was.  Songs truly bring the Spirit in to a meeting or someone's life so quickly.
Favorite Funnies-
--I had the weirdest dream the other night, I dreamed that the alarm was going off an nobody was turning it off so I got out of bed, I'm on the top bunk, and I went over to the alarm and turned it off and then turned the light on and told everybody to get up. And then I woke up... I was actually standing up by the alarm with light on and the time was 4:15 a.m.  It was so crazy and all I have to say about that is that the MTC food does some weird stuff to you.
--Tips: Learn how to Master 4-square.

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