How many times have I driven, ran or walked past the Provo MTC but not once actually made it inside... Well, I finally made it inside the gates and... speechless.I have never been so overcome with emotion. Everything from love, excitement, anxiety, nervousness... it's all found here inside the black gates. Everything around me screams, "Isolation!". Yet, I have never felt so comforted, strengthened and loved. This is a dedicated building, calling and work and I have the privilege of worrying about nothing else for the next 18 months.. Sorry suckers.
Every night as I write in my journal, it starts off with some variation of, "Best Day EVER!" I feel like such a dweeb whenever I write it out, but there really is no other explanation. I have never been so incredibly happy in my life. I have also never been so worn down mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.. But that just adds to the happiness. What better joy can we find then in turning to our Savior for His strength? I was never asked to do this alone. In fact, Christ has literally yoked Himself with me and I won't ever have to do this alone. Whenever I feel in the least bit down, I immediately turn to Him and find strength beyond measure. Jacob 5:72 states that the Lord has promised us that He will labor with us. He didn't just send out his workers and stand by as they did all that He asked. No. He went out with them and I can truly testify of that truth. He has been beside me day in and day out... along with so many angels surrounding me. I have felt your prayers, love and faith and couldn't possible quit. Thank you so very much for all your support and love... it's funny how big of an impact one little note, letter or package has come to have. Your love motivates me more and more to put in my best efforts and I couldn't thank you enough!!! I especially loved the chips and salsa.. The MTC food is indescribable... I literally could not come up with words to convey my thoughts on its greasy, nasty.... you get the picture. Anyways, as much as I know you care to hear about the MTC food...
My companion's name is Sister Merri Lee Stancliffe from the Toppenish reservation in Washington. She's 21 and has attended BYU-I since graduating. She also studied Korean there and has been obsessed with KPOP and Korean Soap Operas for the last couple of years. I knew I should have gotten more into Lovers in Paris! She's practically fluent and then there's me, the half Korean. hahahahahhahaha. Ahh, it's been so great to have someone to motivate me to try my hardest and put my best efforts forward. I may not be up to speed yet, but I know that through the gift of tongues, I will get there. That's one thing I especially loved hearing in my blessing!!! By the way.... feel free to send it anytime ;) She is by far the happiest person I have ever met, it's slightly stressful, but the greatest blessing. She has such an honest deserve to serve, especially the people of Korea. I love it. I am in District 28, also known in the MTC as the Celestial Branch. I'm in District E and I LOVE THEM. I love seeing these younger generations going forth to serve our Heavenly Father. Even with the limited experience they have, they have put their full faith and trust in God and it is a privilege to serve with them. The work hasn't gotten easier, but I know that as we turn to the Lord, as I've seen all of these young elders do, the work becomes more effective.
Once again, the Gospel has changed me, I am a being who seeks for endless growth... I am now the most obnoxiously punctual person known to man. I absolutely cannot stand being late as opposed to my more.... casual companion. Hahhaha. I have never been tried in patience so much. Patience in waiting to get to class, to start companionship study, to learn Korean and then to actually be in Korea. THIS IS A PUBLIC APOLOGY FOR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE EVER HAD TO WAIT FOR ME. Trust me when I say I am paying for it now. hahha. I love knowing that every day when I wake up there is so much more to learn as well as things to change. Good thing I have 9 more weeks here!! I am like this huge purple sponge, always absorbing and learning and... I LOVE IT. It's taxing, but why would I ever want to be the same person I was? Isn't that the purpose of the atonement? To change everyday? To become more like our Savior Jesus Christ? Satan cannot change the simple truth that we have a divine destiny to reach. I can assure you that we will not reach that destiny without valiant effort.We cannot give Him our birthright, no matter how tempting it may sound. I have covenanted with my Heavenly Father that I would live up to all that He asks of me, and in return He will give me everything. I have made my decision, I hope you will as well.
Wow... The clock is tick tick tick tick tickkkkkkkinggg. If only the days felt like that... I swear the days are 434907523905-237592017-5 hours long until it gets to and then next thing I know it's again. I told myself that I wouldn't have one single regret on my mission. So far I have lived up to my word and have been blessed because of it. Nothing has given me greater joy than fully immersing myself in the Gospel and knowing that I am doing as I should. Not only has my heart been opened up to all those around me, but I am getting more comfortable being myself at all times. The Lord didn't just call a missionary to serve in Seoul, Korea. He called Sister Jamie Willcox, long hair, weird sneeze and all. We may all be from the same Loving Heavenly Father but we are all each our own individuals with each of our own strengths and weaknesses. This doesn't inhibit us from becoming all that we can, but should motivate us. I love looking at all the elders and sisters around me and knowing that I have been endowed and empowered by the same Heavenly being. I can become all that He hath created me to be, regardless of however long the path may take. My weaknesses have never been so apparent, but neither have my strengths. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be refined by Him. Don't wait like I did.. Decide that you want to change now. Alma 34:32.
I love this Gospel. It is true and I will bear solemn witness of that if it is the last thing I do. There is nothing as sweet as being able to pray in Korean... not because it's a different language, but because I KNOW that it is to the same Heavenly Father that I've always prayed to.