Thanks, Mom, for your update on everything yesterday! I can't believe how crazy this summer is for you all. The Brimhalls will be covering a lot of ground this summer! The trek, the motorcycle trip, London, southeast Asia, Washington D.C., Colorado, St. Louis, and the Czech Republic! Full speed ahead, I guess, ha. Can I get an update on Danny's whereabouts? His grades will be coming out soon! I want a letter, Danny! Ah, as for my departure date - as far as I know, we're scheduled to leave on July 4th still. We don't actually get our flight plans until 2 weeks before, so I don't have any other information for you. If I end up leaving on the 5th and you're flying back from London on the same day, I'm sure they'll let me work something out where I can call you while I'm still in the MTC. Don't worry about it, Mom. I'll be sure to let you know ASAP if I hear anything change.
Well, this week was a fantastic one. Our "investigators" are progressing, our Czech is slowly plugging along, our tripanionship is getting closer, and our district is truly transforming. I'm learning so much. There's so much to missionary work that I didn't realize before. My study of Preach My Gospel could have been loads better before my mission, for sure, but there's something different about studying with a face an a situation or question in mind. I hope I can keep this much purpose in my gospel study for the rest of my life. Michael, start studying Preach My Gospel now! It's incredible, and I wish I had spent the time in it before. There's so little time here that you need to know those doctrines in and out so you can focus on learning how to be a missionary and a teacher here.
A couple Sundays ago, my companions and I watched a previous devotional given at the MTC by Elder Holland (called "Missions are Forever" or something like that) and it was really quite unbelievable. I learned so much from his words, and gained so much insight avbout my mission and how I am to approach it. He said to do everything you can to make this mission part of your soul and to let it sink into the marrow of your bones. He said that this isn't just 18 months or 2 years that you give "away from life," and then "come back to life." No. Your mission IS life. He said not to come back without "gettting it," and to keep the fire and beauty of your mission with you forever. Ah, so good. He also said to get ready right now to push to the end - to go out where miracles happen, where water becomes steam, where missionaries become disciples of the Lord. Something I really appreciated was how he said that we MUST go to the edge. We must go out there, not look back or think about things at home or what I'm going to do when I get home. Now is my chance to go to the edge of the cliff and let Him help me fly. Now is the chance to be as bold as Abinadi and to let the Atonement of the Savior take me higher than I could ever go myself. I feel like "Now is the time..." applies to every time of our lives. Now is always "the time." Another part of his talk answered a question I remember asking you a week or two before I left, Mom. He said he had often asked, "Why is this so hard?" Why aren't people flocking to baptism, receiving and accepting the truth as the glorious truth it is? In short, he said the reason it's hard is because salvation is not a cheap experience. Why should it be easy if it was so hard for him? "The road to salvation goes through Gethsemane." Similarly, how can we say we are disciples of Jesus Christ, and not go through some of what he did? No, there will be sorrow and pain and suffering. It cannot be easy. Salvation never was easy, and it was not easy for our brother and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love that. He's right. Life is meant to be hard, and we are meant to be stretched. What else are we here for but to grow and learn? Especially to learn to love, I think.
Abby, Mom told me about the interpreter you found in Colorado! Can you believe how the Lord has watched over you? He's right there time and time again! It was the perfect piece of news to end my week - I've been thinking a lot over the last couple weeks about Mom's talk she gave so many years ago at Stake Conference about tender mercies. I've talked to my companions a lot about what a blessing it's been for our family and for my testimony to see the Lord carry Abby through her life. Miracles happen, and they happen so very often in our family. On Sunday for all our meetings we also had a volunteer interpreter whose signing was the most beautiful interpreting I've ever seen! It made me really, really happy for some reason, ha. I want to hear all about the internship, Ab!
Well, I really really love you all. Thank you for your letters! I understand now the love of mail you so quickly develop on a mission. I'm loving my time here. It's definitely getting to the point where I wish I could stop focusing on me and my preparation, and start looking outwardly full time. However, that time will come (in 3 weeks and 6 days). My time here at the MTC has been so valuable, and I know that the people I've met and the things I've learned will stay with me forever. I think about you often/mostly wonder where in the US you are now, and love you! You're in my prayers!
Sestra Lucy Brimhall