first of all, buddy i'm so proud of you! it sounds like your farewell was awesome! wish i could have been there...but wait that's a lie...i wanted to be gone for it hahaha. but send me your talk! you will do great! can't wait to hear from you when you're in me-hee-coo.
anways. ukraine is great. it's cold...yet bearable. i'm so happy to have all my clothes, boots, and tights. oh my gosh. i went to church on sunday and one of the elders said..."so like did you go shopping in america or something?" because everyone here knows my outfits. i literally was like psshhhh DID i go shopping?! you just wait.
i actually feel somewhat cuter than how i felt before, so that's a plus. and everyone loves my hair. so give it a month and then you can send me a new wardrobe again, right? ;)
anyways. it feels just like i never left, yet not. it's a weird feeling, but i already felt it once, so i can feel it again. hahaha. i guess heavenly father just wants me to learn lots of lessons, and i'm learning them. everyone is like, "heavenly father is giving you all of this because he knows you're the only person strong enough to handle all of it." buuuuuut i'm really not. i'm not strong at all. but christ is, and He's my strength...so i guess i'm just being taught how to rely on that more than ever.
i have lots of gems from my personal studies the last couple days. it just really was like screaming: this is for you! so maybe it will mean something to you, too?
i was studying about character, seeing as how this whole experience is surely building my character. and richard g. scott said something i'm in love with:
"righteous character is what you are becoming..it enables you in times of trial and testing to make difficult, extremely important decisions correctly, even when they seem overpowering."
and i think that is so true. i'm developing and becoming a person with righteous character. it's a process! but i'd say that the last few weeks have been incredibly trying and testing...and i had to make some decisions. and the decisions seemed overpowering, but i was enabled with power that was beyond my own. and that's really neat to me.
Elder Nelson said, "the scriptures promise 34 times that people will 'prosper in the land only if they keep the commandments of God'....Lehi and his faithful family members kept the commandments, but they still suffered many afflictions." i was like....hey, yeah! i'm keeping the commandments, but i'm over here suffering many afflictions! yeah! i can relate! and then i read what Joseph Smith had to say about it:
"The man who stays with the kingdom of God, the man who is true to his people, the man who keeps himself unspotted from the world, is the man that God will accept, the man that God will uphold, that He will sustain, and that will PROSPER IN THE LAND, whether he be in the enjoyment of his liberty, or be confined in prison cells, it makes no difference where he is ...he will come out all right."
so, yeah! yeah! yeah! i'll come out all right.
as president monson once said, "decisions determine destiny."
i've realized that life is all about making decisions. every day. some are big, some are small...but they all determine our destiny. i'm glad i made the decision to come back, and that i was able to. i know that Heavenly Father will always uphold me, and you.
i love you all. i'm so grateful i got to see you all, and go to the temple. i love you soooo much.