Week 13 in the Utah Provo Mission

Gift from the Utah Provo Mission President and his wife to all the missionaries.

Gift from the Utah Provo Mission President and his wife to all the missionaries.

December 29, 2014

Thanks so much for the missionary calendar with the pictures of Christ painted by Greg Olsen — you know how much I love his pictures. (Who’s the other painter I really like? I can’t think of his name right now.) I am so excited to use this calendar throughout my mission. I’ve started filling out certain dates starting with April 1st when I submitted my papers, to April 17th when I received my call, to May 2nd when I received my endowment in the temple, to June when I started serving in the temple, to August 19th when I was set apart and August 20th when I reported to the CCM (Mexico City MTC), and October 1 when I entered the mission field. I figure I can add more dates after my mission as I go back through my journal until now, and so I’m so excited to continue filling out the calendar. I love the idea of having a calendar of the whole process of my mission starting from when I submitted my papers to when I get released.

This is my new missionary calendar with Simon Dewey pictures of Christ each month.

This is my new missionary calendar with Greg Olsen pictures of Christ each month.

(And it’s a 24 month calendar so I have a little room around my 18 months of service). I love how it has pictures of Jesus Christ every month, especially since my mission has helped me draw closer to Him and help others draw closer and Him as well. I look forward to these coming months learning more about Him and continuing to help others do the same. Thank you! 🙂

Yes, I do record spiritual impressions during my studies in the morning, experiences, and miracles I saw throughout our day of service. One thing I have been learning is the importance of writing in my journal every single night. It’s hard when I get home at 9:30pm and we don’t finish planning until 10:00 and I have to be in bed by 10:30pm. But then again, it’s hard to write three days’ worth of miracles three days later — I don’t remember the details as well. One thing I have started to do is to pray before I write in my journal, asking the Lord to help me remember experiences, lessons, and miracles to record and put into words the things to write and messages to convey for the benefit of my future family. These 18 months on my mission will be amazing! And I can only live them once, so I want to live them the best I can and show the Lord that He can trust me now and forever, and that He can have confidence in me as He gives me more challenges and callings to fulfill later on in my life.

This was our Christmas gift from President and Sister McCune. They asked Simon Dewy to make this painting especially for our mission.

This was our Christmas gift from President and Sister McCune. They asked Simon Dewey to make this painting especially for our mission.

Are those New Testament videos that you’ll share with your primary children the same Bible videos that the church is put together? I really love the Bible videos — they are so powerful! I love how they just speak the Scriptures and the spirit bears witness of their truth to your heart.

I received dairy free chocolate bars for Christmas! Yeah!

I received dairy free chocolate bars for Christmas! Yeah!

Mom, I know that the next few weeks are going to be really tough with Elizabeth leaving for college and with me on my mission, but know that you can always write me whenever you’d like. I can’t respond except for Mondays, but I can read the emails and you can know that I’m always here for you. I pray for you and I know that the Lord will strengthen you throughout this time. 🙂 One quote that I really love is from Elder Uchtdorf where he answers the question why we as children of God don’t like endings — it’s because we’re made out of eternal stuff. This time that Elizabeth and I are away won’t be for eternity, but thanks to the Temple we can be together for eternity. And that is one reason why I’m here on my mission — I’m away from you and Dad for a little while so I can help other families be together for eternity.

The last few days we’ve seen so many miracles. It humbles me. This morning I was pondering how gracious the Lord is. There are so many miracles and blessings from the Lord every day. As I pondered these miracles, my mind has reflected on the words of King Benjamin in Mosiah 2 about how we are unprofitable servants yet the Lord continues blessing us.

In my personal study in the morning I have been reading the first 12 chapters of 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and focusing on what our investigators can learn from those chapters. My mind has just been blown with so many applications from the Book of Mormon to the lives of those we are serving that can help them continue coming to Christ. After I finish these chapters, I want to read the Book of Mormon with this focus in mind: Who is Jesus Christ? The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ, and I want to find HIM in its pages. I want to help those here to find Him there and develop a closer relationship with Him as a result of reading and studying the Book of Mormon every day. That’s the purpose of the Book of Mormon in the first place. 🙂

I have to go, but I love you! ❤

Hermana Billings

We met some newly returned sister missionaries while we were shopping at Wal-Mart.

We met some newly returned sister missionaries while we were shopping at Wal-Mart.

This is my new temple recommend holder, customized for our mission! :)

This is my new temple recommend holder, customized for our mission! 🙂

Lots of snow here in Provo, Utah!

Lots of snow here in Provo, Utah!

It's snowing on me and we're not even close to being finished for the day!

It’s snowing on me and we’re not even close to being finished for the day!

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