Jia you!

I’m late as usual, but it’s better late than never.–Lisette

What a week! This is where I know Ether 12:6 is real and applicable to
my life: after last week’s trial of my faith, this week has seen so
many miracles. Elder Nelson spoke to us last week about the October
Ensign — Special Edition of the Book of Mormon. If you don’t have a
copy, pick one up and make it the subject of your personal study this
week. So many good nuggets of truth and strategies for making your
study of the scriptures more meaningful.

…. you know…. I had a plan when I sat down to write this email.
It’s still staring up at me from my planner, but instead I’m taking a
different track. Hang tight — this could be fun.

Personally, I’ve known three missionaries in my short time here that
have returned home. And I know there are several more who’ve seriously
contemplated it.The first one, I didn’t understand at all. The other
two are good friends of mine and as I think about them now I realize
the incredible challenge they face outside the MTC. Knowing this side
of why they chose to return home makes all the difference.

To those of you who returned early from your missionary service, I say
this: you are brave. Know that God loves you and He has a plan for
you. This plan does not and often will not fit the cookie-cutter mold
prescribed by “Mormon Culture.” Regardless of how long it’s been since
you’ve returned home, get on your knees tonight and ask God why that
happened. He will tell you. He loves you and knows these experiences
are for your good. Ask Him further what He would have you do with that
experience — who else needs to learn from you?

To those of you who’ve judged any person returning home early from
missionary service, I say this: repent. Immediately. Elder Stephen B.
Allen spoke to us on Sunday night (love that man!) and what stuck out
to me the most was his discussion of “privations” or things we’ve each
given up to be here. He had several missionaries stand up and tell the
whole group what things they’ve felt like they sacrificed. Some of
them we all understood. Some of them we all laughed at. I burst out in
tears when one Sister mentioned she’d be missing her little sister’s
high school graduation. After it was all said and done, Elder Allen
said, “Don’t judge other’s privations.”

The same is true for other’s sins, other’s reasons for returning home.
Only God knows truly their hearts and only Christ has the right to
judge them for it. Your ONLY job as a fellow human being is to love
them, to support them, and to build them up. As you do that, God will
give you insight into their life, their struggle and perhaps you can
(and probably need to) learn something from them.

For those of you still in the MTC, remember what Elder Allen said on
Sunday. You were called by a Prophet and assigned by an Apostle. If
you can’t trust anything else… just trust THAT and carry on. Know
that you are not yet as Job. Your friends and district members stand
by you. 😀

On a lighter note, here’s the latest truth from the MTC: the Sister’s
bathroom floor is a Sacred Grove. More tears wept, more prayers cried,
more hearts mended on that floor than anywhere else in the MTC mission
boundaries. We’re not sure why… but it’s truth. We don’t question
it, whe just use it.

Have a great week! Thank you all for the letters — I expect more Dear
Elders as you only have THREE weeks remaining until you have to start
using international postage. AAAH!!

I love you. God loves you. What more could you ask for?

Sister Oler


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