California Here I come!

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Hi my favorite people!

Welp, this is the last e-mail you’ll get from me in Provo, UT because next time you get an e-mail I’ll be in LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA. AHHHH. 

We got our travel plans and we leave at 3 AM on Tuesday morning and so yeah, the whole district is kind of freaking out. It will be so hard to leave these wonderful sisters and elders that I have come to love so much. I will most likely use up a whole box of tissues, because yes, I cry a lot. We’ve been through a lot together and we’ve supported each other when we’ve felt like we shouldn’t be here or we’ve had a disappointing lesson or we’re just overwhelemed with the job God has asked us to carry. I love them and I will seriously miss them when I leave on Tuesday. The Elders are heading out to Baltimore, Maryland and the sisters to Long Beach, CA. It will be a rough night on Monday. 

Anyways…

This week was CRAZY BUSY, as usual. I always flop into bed exhausted spiritually and mentally and physically because that’s what the MTC does to you. I feel a renewed sense of purpose each day. Wake up @ 6, class starts @ 8, lunch  @ 12,  class again @ 1, exercise @ 7, personal study/companion study throughout the day and that is the most simple way to explain the MTC. Spiritually envigorating and ridicuolously exhausting. Needless to say, I LOVE IT. 

I was really touched by the devotional that we had on Tuesday night. Elder Craig Zwick came and spoke with his wife, Jan. Here are some of my favorite thoughts:

“INSTANT is not the way of eternity.”

“I may not be perfect, but I am enough.”

“If not always fast, the Lord’s blessings are CERTAIN.”

“YOU are CHRIST’S KINGDOM-BUILDERS.”

So, i was really feeling down about myself, thinking that I shouldn’t be a missionary because it’s really hard and I thought God had made a mistake and that I wasn’t strong enough or good enough but this devotional was an answer to my prayers! I sang in the choir, “Savior, Redeemer of My Soul” and I just felt this overwhelming sense of love from my Father in Heaven and when Elder Zwick began speaking about how God doesn’t make mistakes, and that He knows that each of us are ADEQUETE enough to be here as HIS missionaries and just knew that God knew me and He was proud of me for doing something so hard. I love my Father in Heaven, and I know that He loves each and every one of you. EACH of us are good enough for what He has called us to do. 

I’ve been studying humility in class and in personal study and i wanted to share my favorite scripture so far:

ALMA 26:11-12 

“I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is ful, yea my heart is brim with joy, and i will rejoice in my God. 

Yea, I know that i am NOTHING; as to my strength I am weak;therefore I will not boast of myself, but i will boast of my God, for in his strength i can do all things, yea behold many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.” 

I’ve learned that I do nothing with my own strength for MY strength is GOD’S strength. I do everything in Him. I love Him for giving me the strength to wake up everyday, to love openly everyday and to endure joyfully the hardships missionaries go through. 

Before I go I’ll share with you a miracle this week! Of course i decided to do sprints one night for exercise and that night I got this HUGE blood blister on my feet. Usually i can pop my blisters and I’m fine but these blisters were bad because they were UNDERNEATH the huge callouses that I had accumulated throughout my life from running. So I was in a lot of pain, and as a missionary we walk around a lot so that put me in that much more pain. I think of myself as a pretty strong person, but every step I took I wanted to cry. That night I had the Elders give me a blessing and it is truly a miracle. I woke up the next day and my blisters had pretty much vanished. My feet were still tender but I could walk, and I no longer felt the need to cry every step I took. God is great! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week, I’ll keep you in my prayers. Thank you for all the e-mails and all the love. Here’s the pics of the week! 

Much love,

Sister Lydia Foster

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Week 2-Charity Never Faileth

 

DSC00081Lesson of the week: “Charity Never Faileth”

How is everybody doing out there in the real world? 

Wow, what a week! I’ll probably say that for the rest of my mission so just get used to it! I promised a better email so hopefully i don’t disappoint!

We began the week by listening to a LIFE-CHANGING TALK given by Elder David A. Bednar, one the the 12 Apostles, titled “The Character of Christ”. He began this journey of studying Christ’s character after hearing this from another apostle, Elder Neil A. Maxwell. 

“There would have been no atoning sacrifice without the character of Christ.” 

Long story short, while we as natural men and woman would TURN IN throughout times of trial and difficulty, Christ would TURN OUT. He gave many examples and challenged us to do the same while reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon. (this same challenge is extended to all of you Brothers and Sisters.) My favorite example is in Matthew 4. This is the story of Satan tempting Jesus Christ to eat/drink after his 40 day fast. Most know this story and would usually say that the first temptation is for Christ to eat, right? BUT the first temptation is actually when Satan says, in verse 3, “IF THOU BE THE SON OF GOD.” Satan was tempting Christ to DENY WHO HE WAS. is anybody else amazed? Because I was. The Spirit was so strong throughout the whole talk, but wait, it gets better! So, after he resists the temptation of Satan, Christ is weak after a 40 day fast and has just defeated the temptations of the devil so most of us would think it would be okay to get some help for ourselves, right? Well, if you read in verse 11 it says “And now Jesus knew that John was cast into prison and he sent angels, and behold they came and ministered unto him.” HE SENT ANGELS TO JOHN, instead of helping Himself He thought of John and the pain he was going through. 

lesson? NEVER forget who you are. We are each sons and daughters of God, He loves each of us individually and wants us to succeed and come unto Him. 

I had a truly humbling experience with an investigator named Sydney Young this week. To keep it short, Sydney was one of the most frustrating people I have taught so far because A) she would interrupt my companion and I while we were talking B) she would then tell us what we were doing wrong. AND for some reason I just wasn’t loving her as I should. So, I’m FURIOUS as I come out of that lesson and I continue to explain my frustration while being quite rude about Sydney and her character. A little later i was study in Moroni 7;45-48 and it was talking about charity (I don’t think this was a coincidence.) PLEASE read these verses. It felt like i was hit with a train. that was how hard the guilt hurt. It says, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind and envieth not, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil..Wherefore, pray unto the Father WITH ALL THE ENERGY OF HEART, that ye may be filled this love.” This is just a synopsis. I invite you to all read these verses and pray for this type of love, of the pure  love of Christ which is charity. 

Anyways, after reading this my companion and i both knelt in prayer to ask for forgiveness for how we had acted. And we prayed to have charity for Sydney and guess what IT WORKED. AHHHHHH. Our next lesson was AMAZING. God truly answers prayers. YAY! 

Here is a rundown of the highlights of the week:

1. We committed our favorite investigator LEILA to baptism, her heart is so sweet and her testimony of Christ has grown so much since we’ve met with her!

2. The temple is THE BEST PLACE TO BE. I’m so grateful for the peace it brings me. 

3. I need to be more like Christ and TURN OUT in times of trial. 

4. Elder Allred & Elder Pollard have THE funniest laughs of all time.

5. Sister Bibs and I take dance breaks in the bathroom because 18 hr days are hard.

6. WE LEAVE IN 10 DAYS. SO SCARED. 

FINALLY,

God is real. He loves His children and I am so grateful to wear Christ’s name across my heart and represent Him. Love you all, praying for you all. 

Sister Lydia Foster 

ps My mom will put pics up on the BLOG!

The first 4 days

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Hi ya’ll!

I honestly don’t even know where to begin. My life is amazing, God is good and that’s about it. See ya.

Just kidding, but I will tell you that I seriously love the MTC (Missionary Training Center). Probably the best thing that ever could have happened to me is to be here. One thing to know is that the days kind of mesh together here. I’m in class 98.65% of the time but it’s weird because it feels like each class is about 30 minutes long when in all actuality we’re in the same classroom in 4 hr segments. WOW. And boy have I grown. I’ve only been here for 4 days and yet I have stretched my spirit and my soul farther than I ever thought possible. I LOVE IT! What I am trying to say is that it will be impossible for me to explain what I’ve been doing because we have the most detailed schedule in the history of the world and so every minute of every day is filled with something. 

Let’s just say I’ve never slept so well. And that’s saying something because i recommend bringing your own mattress and pillow because I’ve been sleeping on ROCKS.

Here’s the quick rundown of my week:

WEDNESDAY:

Dropped off at the curb and was whisked off by the sweetest sister going to the Philippines, Sister Phipp. We went to different stations where I FINALLY got my official name tag, dropped my luggage off in Room 311 and headed to DISTRICT A. (aka the CELESTIAL DISTRICT because it is the best district in the MTC) For those of you who don’t know, a district is just a small group of elders and sisters. Here’s our district:

Sister Foster & Sister Biberston

Sister Jensen & Sister Dennet 

Elder Allred & Elder Kearney

Elder Pollard & Elder Kershaw 

The Elders will be serving in Balitmore, Maryland and the Sisters are serving in Long Beach, CA. I love my companion, we are always laughing and I feel as if I’ve know her my whole stinking life. Much love for Sister Biberston coming your way! These are the people I am with the majority of my time. We have all the same classes, eating scheudles, etc. together. 

So met our district and we immediately began class. We talked about the Missionary Purpose which we memorized DAY 1. Then we went to the Welcome to all new Missionaries. Oh, and we all had little orange stickers on our name tags so we wouldn’t get lost. That means everybody we saw would say, “WELCOME TO THE MTC!!” With lots of smiles and love and I probably heard it 12.7 million times in less than one day. For the sake of my sanity, I took the sticker off on Thursday. 

There are about 1,200 missionaries in the MTC right now, and 200 entered the day I came. So we sang CALLED TO SERVE together and it was the most powerful feeling in the world. Serioulsy. I was crying by the end of the song because it is truly a powerful song. These 18-20 yr old young adults taking on the world to make others happy. It’s amazing. I am grateful to be here each and every day. 

THURSDAY: 

Woke up at 6 AM, headed to breakfast, had a planning session, and started teaching our investigators on DAY 2! I thought i knew what i had gotten myself into, but I never expected to be teaching an investigator (or someone interested in the Church) on day 2 of my stay at the MTC. It was LESS THAN 24 HRS. AH. Our investigators name is Miranda and she is struggling with her relationship with God. She thinks that she’s abandoned her and that prayer is not the answer. Bottom line: It is super hard to teach her. But as a missionary you are blessed with the ability to love everyone for their potential/, for what they can become through Jesus Christ. So my love for Miranda was real and genuine after the first lesson. We met our zone Thursday night which is essentially a bigger district, so we just multiplied our district by 2. 

Sister Howard & Sister Allen. 

     Basically my FAVORITE HUMANS EVER. Sister Allen is from the UK so make sure you say here name with an accent…She thinks the biscuits are weird and says rubbish a lot. Sister Howard is from Alaska and she is probably A) the most beautiful sister in the world and B) probably the sweetest ever ever ever. She gives the best hugs ever. 

Sister Peterson & Sister Woodhall

      Sister Peterson is a hippie with lots of love and an incredible testimony of Christ. She loves making raps up about the MTC so we’ll see if we can video one before she leaves us on Monday to the Jackson, Missouri mission!! Sister Woodhall has been in quarantine (for the flu) for a couple days which apparently is the worst place to be because you are alone all day. So i technically haven’t actually met her yet.

The Elders in our zone are really funny and I beat Elder Beltram in a race last night so I’m basically a superstar. The test of them our awesome but their names escape me at this exact moment in time, sorry. 

FRIDAY:

The day Sister Biberston and I went to the bathroom 14 different times throughout the day because of how much water we were drinking. Yep. Tip for future missionaries: To stay awake drink lots of water. It truly helps.

Disclaimer about the above comment…I love class, I’ve learned a lot but when you are in the same room for 4 hrs straight you’ve got to find a way to stay awake somehow. 

I wish i could just let you all see my life right now because it is the absolute best. The MTC is filled with people who have a genuine love for Christ and for this gospel. The Spirit and the peace and the love you constantly feel here is overwhelming to the point of tears at times. It’s also the place where I have already grown so much. I have been humbled greatly. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so completely exhausted in my life. It is spiritually taxing and physically taxing. I am continually searching for answers through my prayers with my companion, my district and my zone. I have never felt more the grace and divine strength the Christ has blessed me with because I have never needed it more. I’ve felt so powerful yet so incredibly weak. I guess the message is this scripture:

2 Nephi 31:20

 20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

So, I hope that you all can have ‘a perfect brightness of hope” this week. I love you all. I’m sorry if this e-mail is a bit spastic and super long, I promise that next week it will be better!

With love,

Sister Lydia Foster

PS Below are some pictures, but they are also going up on my blog! 

PSS You can all email me whenever throughout the week and I can look at them, but i can only respond on Saturdays. 

PSSS If ya’ll want to be old-fashioned send me a letter to THIS address:)

Sister Lydia Grace Foster

MAR28  CA-LB

2005 N 900 E Unit 101

Provo UT 84602

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