March 21st 2013 6:33 AM
Querida Familia (dear family),
BuenosMadraganas! It is early morning (wee hours of the night = madraganas) in the laundry. This is how we spend our P-day mornings so we can have the rest of the day to rest, and today there happens to be free computers :) Laundry here is like a race to the carnival. Lots of droopy eyes but wide smiles!
Thank you so much for your St.Patty's day package, family! Lots of green cheer spilling out that package. The sisters and I went early to our classroom on Sunday (while the Elders were at Priesthood) and hid the little gold candies you sent all over our classroom. We thought they would for sure be fooled and begin believing in Leprachauns again, but, alas . . . they found us out when there were no gold candies in the sisters desks or on our side of the classroom. I found some pretty creative places to hide those rolos and werthers originals--a power socket, on top of the light fixtures, inbetween books on the book cases, etc. All were found and deliciously enjoyed.
My district is envious that I seem to get just as many packages as I do letters. I am truly loved (and spoiled rotten!). Aunt Kristen sent me a delightful package chock full of Snack Packs Tapioca pudding. She must have read my first letter home :) Skittles from Danielle Mecate (who received her mission call to SEATTLE WASHINGTON!!!!!! :) I am so excited for your, my dear dear friend!), Cookies from the Vernons and from the Stotts, "The Stuff" from Grandma Reesa, cinnamon rolls from Noelle, A pluthera of delights from my immediate family, . . .there might be more, I apologize if I missed anyone. But thank you all, kindly. And to Mallory, Moises, Davey, Jessica, Sara, Rachelle, Danielle, Abbey, Family, and all others who have written to me--I am doing my best to speedily reply. Thank you so much for your love and support.
Mostly, I feel your prayers. Thank you MOST for those. This past week has been the toughest yet for me at the MTC. I had denied myself of missing anything at all for the past 2 weeks, but when this week hit, I started to remember things. I remembered Guitar and basketball Saturdays and homemade bread and going on drives and Cafe Rio. I remembered studies at the Y (its hard to forget those looking at the Y on the mountain every day) and nights laughing til my sides hurt with my friends. I remembered laughter of kids and crayon drawings and my puppy dog's mischevious eyes and great big bear hugs from my brothers. I remembered full weekends with my dear cousins! I remembered talks with Dad and Walks with Mom and Sunday afternoons at Grandparents' houses. I remembered all these things--all these beautiful blessings I have taken comfort and joy in in my life--and I felt so apart from them for a moment, and my heart was filled with sorrow! I wondered a moment, who am I? Who is Hermana Boren? Is she Mikayla anymore? This past Tuesday night we had a devotional offered by a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, and he talked about this dilemma I was in. He explained how we left all of our comforts and familiarities behind us when we stepped onto the curbside of the MTC. Everything we might have turned to previously for comfort and solace--family, friends, food, fun--are no longer an option in the Mission Field. We are yanked from our natural sources of comfort, and instead must seek for our Father in Heaven to be there for us. To Seek the power of the spirit to bring us light and connection to Heaven for confidence, strength, and perserverance. This is exactly what I have found to be true. There are moments my heart is filled with anguish, a longing for the life I knew just three weeks ago, a pang for the people dearest to me. Moments where I look at the task ahead and feel overcome with doubts of what I deem to be the impossible! I have had these short moments overwhelmed by grief. And almost immediately I turn my thoughts to scripture or offer a prayer, and peace enters my heart. I remember that my life right now, these 18 months, are not meant for me. There will be the whole rest of my life to sleep in or horsebackride or go on family vacations. I will have the pleasure of being with my family forever through the great sealing power found in Holy Temples. So while I weep for human longing, I also weep with a joy so full it is beyond my capacity to hold. These 18 months are a privilege and a gift to turn my entire efforts--all that I am, and all that I do--over to the Lord. Gratitude and Joy fills my heart to know that I can bring others of God's children to a knowledge of this beautiful Gospel! The Good news of Jesus Christ, the master teacher, redeemer of my soul, mi Redentor y Salvador! I know he lives, that he loves us, and through him all sorrows can be made aright (Alma 7:11-13). Who is Hermana Boren? She is a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.Una Misionera de la Iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias. She loves the Lord. She is imperfect and needs a great deal of humbling! But God giveth unto man weakness that he may become strong (Ether 12:27).
I tell you the above NOT so that you'll miss me. I don't want you to miss me at all! I just wanted to tell you so that those of you preparing for a mission will know that there are hard days, and I don't want you to feel alone in that. Thought it is hard, the joys that come are indescribable. And I'm not even in Argentina yet :) I'm still in Provo.
My time is already up--I can't believe it! I'm sorry this has been such a brief email. There is truly so much to tell you in so little time. Spanish is still coming--little by little, day by day. My favorite thing is to teach, of course. One of our teachers, Hermano Ballard, has been acting as an 8-year old investigator, Ernesto, for us. It is my favorite to teach him because we have to prepare lessons as thought teaching an elementary school aged person. We make matching games and I even had an idea and lesson with a treasure hunt this week :) the eled teacher in me is certainly coming out. I'm always a little disappointed to see its a grown man instead of a child, but he does an incredible job of still being like an 8 year old, and it makes me smile to be able to teach again. It forces me to use Spanish in simple terms, the basics of the Gospel.
There is so much more I wish I could express. Know that I love you, my dear family, with all my heart. Boys, GREAT WORK IN BASKETBALL! I am so proud of you and am your #1 fan. So glad you ended the season with a winning streak, you deserved it.
I love you all, and think of you often. Know that I glory in my God and in this Gospel, and my heart is full with gratitude and the opportunity I have to serve him. Find ways to seek him in your life (remember my scripture from Jeremiah), find ways to share his word, and great light will come to you! The Lord is my light!
Hermana Mikayla Boren