Saying "I've been out over a year" is weird... because it did not seem like it.
Looking back, and seeing the missionaries who've been here in 2 weeks gave me a flashback of the previous year when I was new in the mission. Now, I am considered to be an "experienced" missionary. I'd rather not use the mission terms "dying" or "old" as I have made a promise to myself to watch my language as a servant of the Lord. I am still working on it.
One thing that Sister Hulme surely taught me before I left my outbound mission in Georgia was to keep myself sanctified. This past week, I have thought of how I can remain consecrated being back in Temple Square. Surprisingly, it seemed harder here than it was in Georgia. Even if this is the center of the Church, it is also a place with so many temptations. I have thought of it over and over last week (including my last email update) and I have received an answer during Zone Conference last Thursday. It was such a complete reminder of the last Zone Conference that I had in Georgia. This transfer, I made sure that I would be applying the things that I've learned by setting goals and applying the 8 Habits of Highly Effective Missionaries. Sadly, I don't have a copy of it now, but I might be typing it someday...
This morning, I had the opportunity to go back inside the Salt Lake Temple and I have pondered a lot lately, most specifically about the covenants I have made during my own endowment. It was nice to always have that reminder of the promises I have made with God and I also reevaluated how I am doing with those covenants.
This week has definitely been spiritual. A lot of pondering, a lot of thinking, a lot of evaluating, a lot of looking inward than out. I think in a way because I know that my time is becoming shorter in the mission and that I have to set a good example for those who just came and are learning about what the Temple Square Mission is like. It is definitely not like any other mission. I love both my mission experiences.
So, as to missionary work, MICHAEL CHANDLER GOT BAPTIZED! I am so happy and Sister Hulme was sweet enough to send me pictures. I miss her a lot. I miss all my outbound companions so much and the things that they have shared with me. They truly contributed my progress and growth in missionary work. In fact, in a few weeks, I will be seeing one of them. I am so excited! We also have 2 more on date for this transfer and Sister Lau and I are praying the they will push through. We were also able to find new people to teach as well and we are hoping and praying that they will progress. Heavenly Father has truly answered our prayers, especially when we are sincere, specific and diligent to achieve/gain those that we have asked for. I testify that prayer is definitely powerful especially equaled with fasting!
This past week, we also had our Christmas dinner! It was so much fun. We had a dinner with a family whose kids' mom is Filipina. Sadly, She and her husband are divorced and it was her ex-husband that fed us last Friday. It was the first time that I've ever eaten a medium-rare steak. I'm still not yet quite used to it though. At the end of the meal, he gave us each Toblerones, the perfect time when I decided to cut down on my sweet tooth because I am SO ADDICTED to CHOCOLATE (I've even thought of joining the addiction recovery program. Gladly, I was able to train my mind to take chocolate in small amounts and I get sick when I eat too much). Our less-active member, Dennis, also gave us some cookies. :)
Well, this week is Christmas. I am so excited to call home (probably, my last phone call home in the mission). I am still adjusting back to Temple Square Missionary schedule. I am easily tired now but good thing we are given a break on Christmas Morning to celebrate with our crazy (in a good way) roommates.
so.... Merry Christmas Everyone! 聖誕節快樂！
Sister Kristel Marie Cruz Ngo (吳姐妹)Utah Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission/