August 23, 2014
I bear testimony that the Lord's hands are in our lives.
This week was a harder week than previous ones, kind of like hitting the 18 mile wall during a marathon.
Through this week I was able to know that Heavenly Father is aware of us in our struggles and wrestlings with overcoming the natural man. While this week was challenging, it was also filled with so many tender mercies.
Sister Stastny and I were able to teach a "gold tag" investigator, which is a recent convert or actual investigator that comes to the MTC for missionaries to practice teaching. We were walking around trying to find missionaries to practice our "mini lessons" with when we came upon Isaac sitting on a bench and started talking to him. He came to BYU to play rugby and was a bit interested in our church so his friends told him to come to the MTC to talk to the missionaries. Sister Stastny and I asked for a question that he had that perhaps we could answer... He asked our feelings about women and the priesthood...
...We were not expecting that. Haha.
It is amazing the way the Spirit communicates through you to bear testimony to others. We didn't talk about the details of the big to-do, but we were able to bear our testimonies of how having priesthood holders in the form of fathers and brothers and friends has granted us much peace and comfort when we had sickness or heartache. It was a harder question but we were grateful for the experience because we were able to break out of role play and really share the message of the gospel with someone searching for truth.
Another tender mercy came through an activity our teachers had us do where each companion prayed about questions to ask the other companion. the purpose of this activity was to practice meeting the needs of a person by only asking them questions. The Spirit works miracles! Sister Stastny asked me questions that pricked my heart and helped me to know how aware Heavenly Father was of my concerns this week and her questions also helped me to know how to overcome the trials.
I'd like to ask you these same questions now and truly have you think answer them perhaps in your journal or someplace else.
Do you believe God knows you?
How do you know this?
Do you trust God?
How will you show Him you do?
Je suis très reconnaissante pour mon adversité cette semaine. The hardest of times have a way of turning into the sweetest and most sacred of times as we give way and turn our hearts to be healed by the Savior and His Atonement. I am grateful to be on a mission and to be learning about God and His love. I hope each of you are able to see God in your lives and believe that He knows you. And I pray that you will trust Him and let Him love you.
Keep the Faith. Bonne Courage.
August 14, 2014
Bonjour Tout le Monde! It's hard to believe that it's almost been a month. Days pass by slow, but the weeks pass by very fast. The native French speaking district joined our zone and it is a blast to have them around... There are two sisters from New Caledonia who basically laugh at every French word we say (but it's really because they love us so much).
Sister Liz Watkins joined our district and is in a trio with Soeur Kiwa and Soeur Cromar, so we now have 5 roommates in our little bedroom. Together, she and Sister Cromar are little bundles of crazy and it makes the long days in the classroom pass by more quickly.
So one of my favorite things about the MTC are the Relief Society, Sunday Night, and Tuesday Nights devotionals. Every speaker gets you really motivated about being a good person and being a good missionary. It's also cool because Sacrament Meeting talks and District Meeting talks usually correlate with the devotional subjects. From the devotional this past Sunday about pioneers something really stood out to me so that's kind of what I want to write this email about today.
"I Believe in Miracles"
I want to testify that miracles truly do happen. It seems surreal to hear the stories of the pioneers where food would appear on the trail or souls who had frozen in the night would come back to life the next morning or feet frozen with frostbite that would be completely healed instead of amputated. Sometimes it's hard to believe in miracles, but that doesn't mean they don't still happen.
I want to tell of miracles here in the MTC...There are missionaries in my district who didn't know any French when they came, now it's the fourth week and they are teaching full lessons in the language. They learning grammar concepts that in school, you don't learn until you are a fifth or sixth year student... And they are learning them in one three hour lesson. Not only that, but next week, they are preparing to learn a second language. The MTC is a miracle.
This week we were asked by our district leader to write in our journals from where we draw strength and I want to share that today. And perhaps you too can think of where you draw strength from.
"I draw strength from my parents, from their testimonies of the gospel, of eternal marriage, and the importance of families. I draw strength from their examples of long-suffering endurance and love.
I also draw strength from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I learned today about the Atonement. When you give a gift to someone, you desire for them to love it and to use it. Christ's Atonement is a gift. He wants us to use it. It's not here to sit in the closet and gather dust, but to be used every single day. I draw strength from the Atonement and from the example of Jesus Christ. He did every hard thing known to every man, with His help, I can do hard things too. During companion study, Sister Stastny shared this and I love it... Jesus Christ already suffered for my sins, He already felt my sadness and pain and guilt. He already sorrowed... It is now time for me to bring Him joy. It brings Him joy when we repent, when we turn our hearts to Him, when we use the gift He gave His life for. It makes Him happy when we use His Atonement."
I know we need Jesus Christ in our lives, I know it. And I hope all of us will choose to invite Him in and let Him take away our sorrow because it makes Him so happy when we do.
XOXO Soeur Spackman
Dear Sister Spackman,
We have received the good news that you have been called to serve as a full-time missionary here in the Tahiti Papeete Mission. We congratulate you on being worthy of this important calling and look forward to having you serve with us.
We are confident that you will learn to love this great mission. The country is beautiful, the people are gracious, and the Church is well known. There are approximately 22,500 members in eight stakes which include the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora, Huahine and Maupiti. There are also branches of the Church located on many islands throughout the Australes, Tuamotus, and Marquises.
You are one of a select few called to accept the challenge of learning two languages, both French and Tahitian. French Polynesia is an Overseas Territory of France, and as such all Tahitians are French citizens. French is the language of the government and the schools and all young people speak French. Tahitian, however, is the language of the natives and is used a great deal in the outer islands. Through your faith and diligence you will be blessed and will be able to learn both French and Tahitian so that you will be able to fulfill this special calling.
Ours is an obedient and hard working mission. Come prepared to put in a full missionary day and to strictly follow all mission rules found in the Missionary Handbook. Please study it very carefully. Hard working and obedient missionaries qualify to have the Spirit as their constant companion. Please prepare also by reading the missionary guidebook, Preach My Gospel, cover to cover.
We are excited for your arrival. If you have any questions please feel free to correspond with us. We hope the information you received from the Missionary Department with your call will help you prepare. Come prepared to forget yourself as you serve others by finding, teaching, and baptizing.
May Heavenly Father bless you for accepting the Lord’s call to serve.
Benjamin T. Sinjoux