Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sixth MTC Letter 10/18/2013

The MTC creates the perfect balance to make me feel wonderful and happy while also pushing me out of my comfort zone and making me aware of what I need to change so that I can become better. 

It's pretty crazy to think that the hastening of the work compares to the first vision. But I guess there's no point in having the first vision if no one knows about it. 

I've never been so tired but I've never been so motivated to keep working. 

Elder Oaks spoke at our Tuesday devotional. It was broadcasted to all of the other MTCs. His wife spoke too. It was really good. He challenged us to change, achieve, and become. He said this is the only true and living church because it has the fullness of the gospel, the power of the priesthood (including ordinances and the Holy Ghost), and a unique testimony of Jesus Christ (His role in the atonement and Plan of Salvation).

I can't believe that I ever thought a mission wasn't for me. It is exactly what I need. And it's a privilege to serve a mission. I get to understand Christ's role by doing things for others that they can't do for themselves. I get to testify of Christ in a world that desperately needs to know Him. I'm helping god fulfill His work and His glory. (I may even be helping intelligences by helping their future parents receive exaltation). I get to carry God's love and happy news. I get to make people happy. I can sacrifice a little bit so that I can bring happiness to others. I get to spend my time proclaiming the good news that I know is true. By small and simple means are great things brought to pass, and I am small and simple. But If I do all that my simple self can do, I will become my best. My offering will be enough. I am no better than any of God's other children - in fact I am lower because I have His fullness. They who don't have it are truly great. I can't imagine pushing forward with out the Light. And so I must serve them and work for them. By my hands can God work a marvelous work among the children of men that they may come unto the kingdom of our Father. I get to do that. God can work through my hands. What a privilege. I didn't know the reason as to why God chose me and called me to a mission but I'm glad He did and I'm glad He was patient with me. I hope that I can make someone's life a little better. Even if it is only my life, I can then use my gift of a better self to better serve Him and His children. As Christ came into the world to do God's will, what other purpose do I have in this world? And what greater privilege could I have than to do God's will? I get to be like Jesus by preaching His word. God always provides means for us to accomplish what He commands us to do. And God provides for me to accomplish what He asked of me.  As I look back and I can see all of the things He did to put put me in the position I needed to be to prepare for a mission. All of the reasons why I didn't want to serve a mission were pushed aside and God took care of them for me. 

We have 110 Korean-speakers in the MTC right now, including natives!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fifth MTC Letter 10/11/2013

(I've added clarifications in italics ~ Julie)

This week wasn't very eventful. It was just a regular week. 
We got a new shipment of Korean-speaking missionaries last Wednesday. I think there are 22~24 of them. I helped to host that day. I hosted a sister going to Georgia, a sister going to Manchester English speaking, and a sister going to Manchester Mandarin speaking. I see the Mandarin speaking sister a lot because her classroom is on the same floor as mine. My building has Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese. We got 590 new missionaries on the day. I finally found Brian Stout (a friend and distant relative from our English speaking ward in Tokyo). He's on the West campus so I can only see him when he comes to main campus for Conference and devotionals. We normally get shipments of Korean-speakers every three weeks but we're getting a new batch this week - a week early! So we'll have more districts than normal. We'll have 110 missionaries in our zone/branch. I figured out why I had to wait so long (she waited 5 month and 1 day from her call to enter the MTC). The last batch of missionaries going to Seoul South left a couple of weeks after I got here, meaning they entered the MTC on July 24thor something - before my availability date. The districts above us and below us our going to Deajeon. Some missionaries below us are going to Busan, California, and New Jersey. New missionaries two batches before us went to Canada and Australia along with Seoul and Seoul South. We're going to get our batch of native Koreans in three weeks and then we'll fly out with them after two weeks!

Sister Perrington told me that she talked to Dad. Brother Perrington mostly said that they're(Koreans compared to Japanese) more aggressive. They're not as reserved. And this I have observed with the natives that have come in. They're very loud. The sisters sleep next door to me and they keep us up all night with their giggles and chatter. But we forgive them because they're so cute. (The Perringtons were in our English Stake in Tokyo, and also lived in Korea. They are now in Natasha's District Presidency in the MTC

We watched (General) conference in the gym. My district was asked to usher for all four sessions, plus for the Vocal Point devotional on Sunday night. I liked ushering. It was nice to do something for someone other than myself. And it was fun to people watch. 

Life is so simple. It's interesting to see how simple my life can be and I can still be content.

I used to wake up at 6:25 (we need to be out of bed at 6:30). But I started waking up at 5:50(some other girls in my district wake up early too so I'm not breaking any rules) to get some more study time. It's made a HUGE difference. I was concerned about the lack of sleep because I was exhausted as it is but I think I've been less tired. It's very interesting. And I've been improving in the language. But there still aren't enough hours in the day to everything that I need to do. With my half-way mark drawing near, I made some goals of where I want to be in the language when I leave the MTC. But every hour is scheduled out and there really isn't that much time for personal study unless I want to take more time away from sleeping or exercising or something. 

Do you have questions about Korean? One of the teachers who teaches another district came in to help us last week. She's a linguistics major and so she could tell us about the mouth-movements and why things are the way they are. It was the best day of my life. And I can ask hanguk-saram-dul questions about Korea. 

This email isn't very spiritual but it was kind of a blah week. 

Love you!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


 Natasha & her companion, Sister Carter
 Natasha with Sister Wright & Sister Goines
 Studying and writing letters at the MTC

Fourth MTC Letter 10/4/2013

If you would like, you can email Natasha at:
(Missionaries only get 1 hour a week to read and reply to email, so she may not be able to give a long reply through email, but she would be happy to hear from you)

You can also send a letter to her at the MTC:
Sister Natasha Lydia Stout
2005 N 900 E Unit 193
Provo UT 84602

Singing at the Relief Society broadcast was such a good experience. At first I wanted to go just so that I could get off of campus and be on TV and stuff but it was more spiritually strengthening than I could have expected. The whole day was just perfect. All of the songs were perfect. I'm grateful that I was able to start off my mission by singing praises to God, telling Him that I'll go where He wants me to go, be who He wants me to be, asking for more holiness, gratitude, purity, faith, tears for His sorrows, pain at His grief, and asking to be more used. I love the song that Sally DeFord wrote for us. "As Sisters we'll tell the world the gospel is restored." We'll tell the world the joy of families. There were just so many parts of the song that touched me. I ended up having to whisper a lot because my voice kept cracking from the tears. I really want to be more used. And throughout the day I became less concerned with why I wanted to go and more with what my purpose was there. I was there to preach His gospel and spread the spirit of missionary work. It's not about me. It's not about who I am and what I have to bring to the table. It's about who God wants me to be. What more could I want? What could be better? Could I be anything better than exactly who God needs me to be? I'll be a better servant if I do what God wants me to do. I don't know what's best.

It's interesting to see how the things that I learned this summer have prepared me for my mission and prepared me for things that I needed to learn here. For example, one of my learning themes this summer was trusting in God. I need to forget what I want and what I think I need because I don't actually know. But God know exactly what I need. So I can trust that He'll guide me, help me, and give me the trials that I need for the refinement that I need so that I can be my best self. I think I know what's best for me but I really don't. So I need to trust in God that whatever He gives me is what I need (no matter how bad it may seem) so that I can become the best person that I can become. Does this make sense? So pretty much: we shouldn't complain about our trials because they're what we need. They're really gifts to us. Who are we to think that we know better than God? So just trust and give thanks.
And my goal for my mission is to be what is needed. I need to trust in God that He'll give me what I need so that I can be what is needed for Him. So I'm really not giving Him anything. Rather, He's giving me what I need to give to Him.