I know you are probably all surprised that I'm posting about something besides my adventures in Israel, but I decided that I wanted to write more about how I am feeling while I am here rather than just what I am doing.
The first thing that comes to my mind is my family. I have been surprised at how well I have done with being gone from my family for over six weeks now. It was very hard at first, combined with being in a completely foreign country with a completely foreign culture, trying to make friends, and figuring out what it is I am supposed to do here. The longest that I had ever been away from my family before was 21 days while I was in China, and you bet your buttons that after I had been here 22 days I had a secret party inside my head for making it past that point. Haha. I was so used to calling my mom multiple times a day, seeing my family at least once a week, if not two or three times, being at work with my sister, and just always being with the family. It's been hard being gone for special family events like our Mother's Day dinner at The Roof and my brother's birthday just because those are some of the times that I remember most.
The second thing I have "feelings" about are my friends. Like I said, the first couple of days here were hard, just it would be in any situation like this. Everyone is trying to feel their way around and see who they connect with. The first couple of days I spent with a lot of different people just testing the waters and making connections with everyone. After a while, groups started forming, and I hadn't really established myself with any of them. I was kinda worried about this, thinking that I might not have a good groups of friends! However, I have definitely made some best friends now! One of my very bestest friend is my roommate Jane. Jane and I pretty much do everything together - study, go out, run, study more, sleep, etc. We are so similar in pretty much everything we do, and yet we don't rub each other the wrong way or ever get sick of each other. It's amazing how close we are and how we can still get closer. I am so lucky to have her as my roommate and best friend here!
Thirdly is how my feelings about the gospel have grown. While I've been here, I have come to understand more fully what it means to have Heavenly Father apart of everything I do. When I get up in the morning, I pray to Him to ask for His guidance and care throughout the day (especially while I'm running). When I am on my run, I pray all the time that I can just make it up the next hill and survive. Haha. In my classes everything we learn about pertains to the scriptures and the gospel. Every forum or speaker that comes makes some connection to the gospel. I always have a prayer in my heart that God's Spirit can be with me always. I have time to just sit and read the Conference talks and apply what the Prophets have counseled us to do. And I end my days with expressing heartfelt gratitude to my Heavenly Father for all that I have been given and the ways that He has blessed me that day.
I seriously don't think that I have ever felt closer to the Spirit and to my Heavenly Father than I do here, and I think it's mostly due to the fact that I am always thinking about Him and His Son and His Son's sacrifice. It's so easy to do that here because everything that I talk about or see has some direct connection to the gospel. I am so glad that I've learned how much I need my Heavenly Father and how I truly can always have His spirit to be with me.
The fourth thing that I've felt here pertains to a mission. Before I left I wrote a post about sister missionaries and how I felt pressured into going and trying to figure out right then and there whether or not I was going on a mission. As I have been here, I have honestly felt no desire or prompting to serve a mission. There are some girls who are going to get their calls while they are here and others who are starting their papers while they are here. I am so so so excited for them and can't wait for them to serve the Lord, but none of these feelings of happiness for them has prompted me to start my papers or anything like that. I honestly don't think that it is the right time for me to serve a mission, and maybe it will be later, but I think I've figured out that a mission isn't in my near future. It's nice to have that kinda figured out and not weighing on my mind anymore.If I ever did go on a mission, I don't think I'd want it to be at Temple Square. Just FYI.
So there ya have it folks - my feelings about many different things for everyone to see. Feel free to comment. And don't worry, next post will be about what I've been doing this past week. :)