Tuesday, July 2, 2013

We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto

The last week at the MTC was a complete blur. Can I even call it a week? There was about 3 days after my last P-Day - so not even a week! Yet, the best part of the MTC happened during that short amount of time. The MTC shows old devotionals every Sunday and I had the chance to listen to Elder Bednar's Christmas Devotional titled, "The Character of Christ". If you can, look it up and read the talk. I promise it will change your life and the way you view the Savior. When I walked away, all I wanted was to "turn outwards when others turn inwards." Elder Bednar talked how whenever we are upset and struggling, the natural man inside of us wants to think about ourselves. We all do it - I know I do. Yet, Christ didn't. Instead, He turned to others.

When Christ suffered in the Garden, He asked His apostles to stay awake with Him for one hour. Just one hour. Yet, they fell asleep. When Christ came back, He woke them up and again asked them to stay awake while He suffered. Again, they drifted off. Three times this happened. Once Christ returned for the last time, Judas betrayed Him with a single kiss. When the soldiers came to take Jesus away to be crucified, a scuffle began and a soldier's eye got cut off. 

If I was in that situation, I wouldn't have cared about that ear. I would've just gone on my way. Yet, Christ didn't. He paused to heal the ear. Christ had just suffered the sins of the world - bled from every pore because the pain was so great. His friends just abandoned Him to sleep and a dear apostle just betrayed Him. He was about to be lead away to death. Yet. He stops and heals an ear. Christ could've turned inward - lamenting His life and brooding over the fact He was abandoned and betrayed. But He didn't! He healed His captor! 

After hearing this, I walked away different. All I wanted was to be able to turn outward instead of inward. I just wanted to learn how to assimilate the character of Christ into my life. That now is one of the greatest desires of my life. I'll never be the same after having seen that talk - therefore, I urge each and every one of you to track this devotional down and read it! It'll change your life just like it changed mine.

Once Sunday ended, Monday came much too quickly. Around 2 in the morning, after three mere hours of sleep, we had to report to the travel office and it took a good few hours to travel down to Salt Lake. I was so pleased to see the city again after being stuck in Provo for (what seemed to be) so long. Once we got to the airport, my district only had a few moments to spare before boarding. I won't even go into the airplane ride - it was so miserably cold. 

Our stay in the Atlanta airport was brief and sweet. I was given the opportunity to phone my parents there and finally hear their voices again after two weeks. Most wouldn't think that hearing your parents voice after such a short time would be so tender, yet it was for me. I knew that I wouldn't hear them again until Christmas and it was such a tender mercy to be able to listen to my dear family talk (excluding my younger brother sadly). 

Then, finally, after one final plane ride, we arrived in Mississippi!! I'm here! Everyone is so kind and friendly - I just cannot get over it. The mission president and his wife are the sweetest people I know and are so willing to work. We stayed the night in the mission home and were given the opportunity to just unwind after the long day of travel. The next morning, we went out and took tons of picture with the president. Afterward, we got our mission assignments! I am so so so excited for my transfer - I'll be going to Pass Christian, Mississippi. RIGHT ON THE COAST. It's my dream. I'm smack dab in hurricane country during hurricane season. So, it'll definitely be an adventure. And, my house is just BEAUTIFUL and it's on stilts!! I'll send pictures as soon as I can. I haven't met my new companion yet, but from what I heard, she is just amazing and will be a great trainer. 

I've loved it here so far and I'm so excited to share the gospel to the people of Pass Christian. It'll be just lovely. It's sad to have to bid my farewells to my district and my companions - who all quickly became some of my dearest friends, yet I know that we will see each other again. 

All my love,

Sister Sarah Michéle Durrant

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