February 25, 2014: MTC Provo, Utah

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Dear Family and Friends!

I am doing so good! Everything here at the MTC is wonderful and I can’t believe how much I am growing! We got a new district last week, and all of the Elders in our zone are pretty awesome! One of them aspires to be rich just so he can become a Disney platinum VIP member and get into all of the parks around the world for free lol, we sing Disney often and have wonderful conversation. I have to thank you all for the letters and packages! It is seriously such a spirit lifter to see a letter with your name on it 🙂 . Mom, I got everything and it is wonderful!

Portuguese is coming along well, we teach lessons without any notes (I might have already told you that) and it is a super big accomplishment for us! I’m sure we still sound funny, slow and make mistakes, but we are so much more confident in our speaking abilities.

Not only is the language coming along wonderfully, but there have been so many spiritual epiphanies and growths. In order to be a missionary, I need to exhaust all my resources to growth and a desire to teach. Recently I realized, that here is the place to polish new habits and behaviors before I get out into the field. In a recent devotional, we were reminded of a list of Christ-like attributes and told to really reflect on our lives and the Christ-like attributes we do and do not use.

I took this assignment very seriously and decided to look at a list of attributes and pray intently to have one attribute pop into my head and even more importantly, I was planning to take on a simple task like, ‘be on time’ , ‘give 10 compliments a day’ etc… but that was not what the Lord had in mind for me! This next part is funny. As I was praying, I was putting too much dependence in the miraculous enlightenment that comes with being a missionary, and I thought of a random scripture and decided that it must be divine inspiration and all my answers would be in that scripture! The scripture was Amor 1:3-5. lol. A lot about fire and brimestone. I read the verse about 5 times over to make sure that there was not something directly applicable to my quest for christlike attributes.

I continued my scripture study and came to a pretty wonderful conclusion.  If I were to produce one task (like giving a certain amount of compliments), I would be building Christlike attributes, but being the prideful person that I am, I know that I would take some of the glory because I want others to see me as more perfect, and that is a bad foundation to build Christ-like attributes on! I have such a strong testimony of prayer and that our Heavenly Father knows our needs better than our own, and when we turn to do His will, we are happier. This may not be medicine for everyone else, but I came to the perfect solution to bettering myself without taking pride in myself. I need to study out the source. Rather than focus on the “WHAT” I can do to be better, I need to study out the “WHY” I become better.

This next year and a half is going to be a time in which I conduct a study of the Savior’s life. I have such a great love for His sacrifice and I know I have an un-prideful desire to be like Him because it is all He asks in return. I am going to forget the Preach My Gospel list of attributes that can make me better, and I am going to study the actions of Christ out and implement similar behavior into my life. I hope this makes sense to everyone! I know this makes perfect sense in my head and I can become a better person by doing so. Just like we don’t want to just teach our investigators ‘what’ to do (stop drinking coffee, go to church etc.) They need to know ‘why’ they should do it.

When we convert ourselves upon the doctrine, the ‘why’ we do something, I know it will touch our souls and impact our life far more than if we were only focused on the ‘what’ we need to do. Again I hope that all makes sense!!! I love this Gospel so much and have a sincere desire to be better. I testify that God wants desperately for us to become better and if we turn to Him with a sincere desire to grow and we are willing to act, then He WILL aid us.

I’m healthy, working, learning and happy! Don’t worry!

Love,

Sister Dean

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