Monday, May 19, 2014
Okay, I'm not really sure what's going on, but we did get another 2 apostles come and talk to us...Elder Perry and Elder Bednar! Craaazyyy! The Second Coming must be soon! ;) I don't know why we're getting so many general authorities, but it's such a blessing. Maybe it's because the Lord knows that this group of missionaries is going to need as much encouragement as we can get.
Here are some more exciting, fun news. Two weeks ago, the Director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco came to visit our class. Basically, if the Church ever has VISA problems, he's the guy to go to. So hopefully we impressed him enough that our VISAs will come in a timely manner and we can leave the MTC when we're supposed to so we can get to Taiwan already :) Also, this Wednesday NPR (National Public Radio) is coming to our class. We will be aired on the "All Things Considered" segment. Apparently they're coming mainly to interview us sisters and the fact that there are so many sister missionaries now. Hopefully we don't mess this up...kidding! Actually, it's a really big deal we had to practice some questions with Bro. Christensen, who's in charge of Operations at the MTC. And also the Air Force's Lead Chaplain is coming later on Wednesday. So our district is pretty blessed but we carry a lot of weight on our shoulders. Haha. It's exciting though :) This is surely an MTC experience that I'll never forget and is so different than any other missionary's experience.
So spiritual experiences this week? Why yes, of course! With Elder Perry and Elder Bednar visiting and talking to the missionaries, I was so spiritually uplifted.
-Sister Perry reminded us that we have no choice whether we go and see our Father in Heaven or not. That is a gift we've been given because of our Savior's Resurrection. But we do have a choice on where we get to live. As a missionary, I'm giving others this chance to know that they have a choice as well.
-Elder Perry shared something so special with: "Learning to deal with living with a companion is the very element that will ensure me a successful mission." I thought about this and wondered why. I've concluded that as we learn to be more Christ-like, we learn to love everyone around us. And I've heard that at the end of my mission, the one question that I'll be asked is, "How have I come unto Christ?" If I can answer that I have learned to love my companion, then I'll be happy. There is power in companions and it is essential. It is the Lord's way to take the gospel to His people.
Before I talk about Elder Bednar, who came yesterday, I'll share a funny story first. So Sunday dinner President Roach, a counselor in the MTC Presidency, and his wife sat and ate dinner with us. As we were talking, he almost mentioned who was coming to our Sunday Devotional. Then he says, "I'll tell you, but then I'd have to kill you." And my reply was, "Okay, it must be good! Are you excited?!" All he said was that he was thrilled. As we entered the gym and sat down. President Roach made eye contact with me from the stands and just gave me a smile and a thumbs up. We then proceeded with our devotional. President Nally announced that we would be watching a devotional broadcast entitled the "Character of Christ" which was given by Elder Bednar a few years ago at a Christmas Devotional. At the end of that address, guess who walks in the auditorium?! Elder Bednar and Sister Bednar!!! I just about fainted...Haha. But anyway, he did a Question and Answer with us missionaries.
Because it was a Q&A, I'd like to share some things from it among the many that I've learned.
-We receive spiritual gifts because God trusts us to be at a specific place at the right time and because through us, God can bless others. There are so many spiritual gifts that He gives us. To name a few, there's Christ-like love and patience. I know that being on a mission allows me to earn those special gifts the Lord wants to give me in order to bless His other children.
-Because I'm learning a language...specifically Mandarin, I've been compelled to be humbled. I've been compelled to fall to my knees and pray for the Gift of Tongues so that others can be blessed to me. Trust me, I have never prayed so hard in my life. It's tough. And that's what's so great about it. It knocks me down and requires that I be more humble and rely more on my God.
Love you all! I'm so grateful for your prayers!
Monday, May 12, 2014
We had another privilege of hearing from another Apostle of the Lord, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland! He loves his mission so much. He has thought about his mission every single day for 5 decades now. His mission has impacted every significant decision he's ever made. Every good thing that has happened to him came from those 24 months. I want to love my mission the way he loves his!
If Elder Holland's words had to be the last words that I would ever hear, I would be so incredibly happy. I felt as though he was talking directly to me and that no one else was at that devotional. Everything that he said was what the Lord needed me to hear. Never will I ever question being on my mission. I know for a fact that I am here because the Lord wants and needs me to be here to learn and grow in ways that I would not have if I hadn't chosen to serve.
There were specific things that Elder Holland said and I knew that it was the Lord talking to me through Elder Holland. One of the things I loved and will lean on for the rest of my mission and life is the fact that my mission is supposed to be hard. Why is it so hard? It's because it's God's truth. It was always hard for the Son of the Living God as he taught gospel truths and was rejected for every single good thing he did. Every second of it was so hard for Him. He endured it for 33 years, knowing that He had to go through with the Atonement because of His love for the Father and for us. Sometimes I'm so prideful and think that this should be so easy because I'm so easy going and how I usually have a positive attitude towards things. But that's exactly why the Lord humbles me! He wants me to grow. I know that I would not grow in these specific ways without being here.
I never really talked about my MTC experience, aside from the Spiritual aspect of everything. But here is pretty much how 5 out of 7 days goes: -Arise at 6:30 am -Breakfast at 7 am -Gym at 7:35 am. -Be in class at 8:55 am. -Personal Study, Companionship Study, and Language study until 11:30 am. -Lunch at 11:30 am. -Back in the classroom at 12:40 pm -Class until 4:30 pm -Dinner at 4:30 pm until 5:15 pm -Back in the Classroom until 9 pm -Daily planning until 9:30 pm -Be in bed at 10:30 pm
Once a week we have service so that changes our schedule a little. As you can see, I'm in class a lot! Learning Chinese, how to teach the lessons in Chinese, and how to be an effective missionary. I'm in the classroom more than I'm in the residence hall. I like the food here. Others complain about it but I'm grateful for anything that I have.
It's hard being at the MTC for so long and watching other missionaries who are only here for 2 weeks come and go. But it's also amazing to see that I've already been here for almost a month! We make a month in 4 days! This week, my district gets to start hosting new missionaries on Wednesday. We get to be at the drop-off and welcome them to the MTC. We're pretty much their first interaction when they get here so I'm so excited to share my excitement about the MTC with them! :)
Love you all! Endure to the end! Love, Sister Sagisi
Friday, May 9, 2014
Sister Sagisi and her companion Sister Jackson.
Sister Sagisi's MTC District
This is our new district. Two Elders are going to Ireland Mandarin Speaking. The other three are going to Taiwan Taichung Mandarin Speaking.
This is my zone with our branch presidency, President Woodfield. The older district is leaving for Taiwan Taipei tomorrow!
The sisters in our district and the district that will be leaving :( Sister Phelps and Sister Branch!
Monday, May 5, 2014
We had the privilege of having Elder D. Todd Christofferson and his wife, Sister Christofferson speak to us at our Tuesday Devotional this past week! What a marvelous experience. Their words were exactly what I needed to hear at this time.
-He reminded us that in almost every temple session in every temple of the world, they pray for the missionaries and the leaders of the church. And I know this is true because when we went to the temple these past two weeks, I heard these prayers myself. I can feel the strength of these prayers all the time and I'm so grateful for them. I eyes were just full of tears and I just know that we have the love of so many people.
-"It is greater to be trusted than to be loved." -President David O. McKay
Sometimes, we are loved even when we don't deserve it. We know that our Heavenly Father's love is infinite, but how many people can He trust? He trusts us with our call: the apostolic mission and authority to preach to all the world. It's the same calling Jesus Christ gave his apostles. What a trust He has placed in me!
-I am indebted to Him before I came on my mission and I'll be even more indebted to Him because of all the blessings he's poured upon me and my family while I'm on the mission. Serving my mission, I realize, is not a sacrifice. Every minute of it is a blessing.
-Remember the tragic story of David in the Old Testament. He who slayed Goliath and was a man of God. He was so faithful, but then lost his exaltation. The Lord did trust him, but sadly, He could not trust him to the very end.
-We must all be the sons and daughters that God can trust all our life. We want to live in a trustworthy way so that when the time comes, the Holy Ghost can testify in our name and we can receive the "Holy Spirit of Promise." The Holy Spirit can then say that we've kept our covenants and the Lord is bound to let us into His Kingdom.
-D&C 19:18-19. There was no other way. Christ plead 3x to take away the bitter cup. But how did He do it. Glory be to the Father. Christ was so intent on pleasing and doing the Father's will, that's what gave Him the strength to do it, to drink the bitter cup.
I have grown so spiritually this week, especially in our classroom. I just absolutely love our teacher and she inspires me every class period. Here are some of the insights that I've gained:
--God's purpose is found in Moses 1:39. "My purpose as a missionary is the Doctrine of Christ 24/7. When will I ever get the opportunity to have this as a purpose again? When I'm not on my mission, I'll have so many other things in my life that I will never be able to focus on Christ's doctrine the same ever again. So I must cherish it and make the most of this privilege now.
-Why do we invite our investigator's on the very first lesson? It's just that important. Although it may seem intimidating at first, baptism is everything. It is the first step in getting into the Kingdom of God. It can help with everything in the investigator's life: families, happiness, trials, everything. Fear no man and invite all to be baptized and come unto Christ.
-Why is the Doctrine of Christ so important to me? I had the privilege of taking the missionary lessons when I was 9 years old. It was just me, my mom (who at the time was in the process of reactivation), and the missionaries, Elder Butler and Elder Redd. I remember how the missionaries taught me with so much love. As I look back on this experience, I can see how easy it might have been for them to just think of me as insignificant and think that I would not be able to understand the Doctrine of Christ. But no, they taught me in such a way that I might be able to understand it. Doctrine is simple truth. When they asked me to read Moroni 10:3-5 and commit to Moroni's promise, they had complete faith in me that I would do it. As a young girl, I followed the counsel of Moroni and prayed for myself. I knelt down on my bed and offered a prayer as I would if I were 21 years old. While praying, I had such a wonderful feeling come over me and tears streamed down my face and I just knew that what these missionaries had taught me was true. Now, I am in their shoes. I want to be able to teach the Doctrine of Christ to anyone. It doesn't matter if they are 8 years old or 50 years old. I need to invite them to come unto Christ and teach His simple and true doctrine to them. They are all learning the same thing and need to start with this foundation before anything else.
-It's easy to think, "Why am I putting myself through this? Why am I going through all of this stress trying to learn Chinese?" I know why. It's because the Lord told me to and knows that I can. Remember the story of Nephi when he was tied on the ship and prayed to break the rope. The Lord instead made the rope loose so that he may escape. The Lord answered Nephi's prayer but in a different way. I know that the Lord has a wonderful plan for me.
-Sometimes in class I think about how much I don't know about Mandarin. Then I think about how much I do know. It's amazing that I can understand more than I could 9 days ago. I could understand more than I did 5 days ago. I guess I just want to see immediate results but the results are there!
-We had Sister Carol McConkie, First Counselor Young Women General Presidency talk to us in Relief Society. She showed us a bible video about Christ's Atonement and Resurrection. When we consider what the Lord has done for us, what will we not do for Him?
-Stephen B. Allen, Managing Director of the Missionary Department here and Area Seventy, spoke to us for our Sunday Devotional. He shared so many insightful things. My call comes from one who is a prophet, seer, and revelator. We don't know the Lord's reason for assigning me to Taiwan Taipei. It may be because He wants me to learn Mandarin, be in a specific area, or under a specific mission president, or even be with a certain companion. The prophet lowered the age of missionary service to strengthen us and prepare us for the future and the way that the world is headed. This does not make Satan happy. He will do everything he can to stop me and everyone who is going out. He knows how many people I'm going to teach and bring into this gospel. He knows how much good I'm going to do. How does Satan work? Maybe he gets me to think about home and how much my family needs me home instead of out doing the work. But nope. I am here. And I am going to stay here. I can and I must do this. My entire future and the future of others is dependent on this call to serve that I have chosen to do.
I love you! Stay strong and I know the Lord is with you!