Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Going Strong!

Hello! so i just send another email... i am not sure if it send last week or not... but this is the one from this week! its february 22nd! so HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL!!! what is it? 26 now? or is it 27?? you are old!! haha i hope you got the card i sent!!! well a few things to start off with
JESSICA!!! ahhhhh you had him! i dont even know his name yet! i want pictures!! i am sooo happy for you! 4 boys now.. wow... how are the kids doing hows rock doing with the new baby? thats so awesome i am so happy for you! i told everyone when mom send me an email! and he has hair like rock! ahhh i want to see a picture so hurry!
  Cause... guess what!!!!! I THINK I GET TO LEAVE SOON!!!!! i had my doctors appointment last wednesday and he cleared me to go but me and the physical therapist decided on another week just to make sure... so i meet with them tomorrow and if everything is a go ahead, i meet with the district president and he gives me the go ahead and i get my flight plans asap!! yay! i am soooo excited!! so seriously... phones are on you guys this week for sure cause i get to call you! and yes... i do travel alone... but thats ok! i will make it i promise..Well.. I heard about the baby and i heard about grandpa asking about his obligations after baptism this week... wow... i was shocked honestly... i am so happy! and grandma and grandpa.. be by the phone too cause i will call you too!!
  then i can hear all about it! Thanks grandma for always sending me dear elders too! i love to hear from you and the events that have happened in the week! you would love it out here on a mission too... it really is amazing...and i always tell people about my amazing grandma!! Well... a few things that have happened... so everyone left... like all of my fellow missionaries here that came in with me so its been super crazy...
  i have a new companion now and her name is sister little... shes awesome its just been weird because she is used to being in a three some companionship and i felt bad taking her away from her other companions when she will just join them again... but its ok... we have worked it out and its gotten better over these past few days... shes awesome and we have gotten a lot done being companions... I am also in a new district so its kinda funny.... they are  just the missionaries who came in 6 week behind me so its fun to review everything we have done and to make new friends. Their district is hilarious  so its kept me busy and not so MTC trunky... even though i am going stir crazy being here! but its ok....
  Other than that its just been an adjustment being here and changing schedules and teachers and everything, but its been really good... I feel like i have grown a lot and it wasnt that bad staying here... Hmm... other than that i dont know much that has happened.... Oh! i gave a talk in church... we call it the russian roulette because they dont tell you you have to speak, they just call you up and you have to give your talk in russian... (this is just in our branch so like 4 districts) so yes.... because i was the older missionary i gave a talk.. it was awesome though because the last part was my testimony and i didnt have it planned I just bore my testimony in russian... (not like im am good at the language by any means at all... ) but i know that the lord will help you out the second you need it... It made me really excited to go to russia... even though i wont know the language, i know the lord will help me out and bless me when i need  to preach to his children. I dont have much to say but i will tell you all this.... This is such an amazing work... We had a fireside on sunday and it was a musical kinda fireside and at the end, one of the MTC Counselors and his wife had us sing Called to serve... but we pretended to be the 2000 stripling warriors (i know sounds really missionary esk..) but seriously... we started off really quiet as if we were marching from far away and it just got louder and louder and i know i am not describing this very well at  all... but picture yourself in an room, with 2500 missionaries, all anxious and excited... all ready to be instruments in the hands of the lord... all singing called to serve... each of us in the room was called to serve at a certain time, to a certain place by god... We are all needed somewhere and i know, whether they all admit it or not, every person felt amazing that night... It was amazing to feel so humbled at the very moment.. to realize the greatness of my calling, and realize what i have so readily at my fingertips right now. I am a servant of my heavenly father, and if i am willing, and worthy, i can perfom his work... Its honestly hard for me to fathom... i know this is funny that it has hit me this strong just now... but really... i could be in no better palce right now then i am. I only have 15 months left and its sad to say but i am scared to have it end... This time in my life will only come once... i can only go on this specific mission one time in my life... and its right now. Its when the lord needs me... and i know that better than ever... So i want you to know how much i am grateful for the support you have shown me... every single one of you. I know that its different trials right now for you than it is for me... and i hope its now hard having me gone, because you should know that i couldnt be in better hands than i am right now... The Lord is looking out for me and i  know it.. . I feel it every single minute every second that i am out here... and i know he is doing the same for you... I love this church and i love this gospel... I love my savior and the fact that i can call on him anytime, any where... i love every second of what i am doing... the hard times and the good times.. and i know that the hard times always turn out the be the best... so i love you all soooo much! and be ready.. hopefully i will be  calling you all sooooo soooon!!! i love you and i will try to send one last  letter!!

I love you alll soooo much! i will see you in 15 months! be good and i want announcements if any come about!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I made it to Russia....NOT

Hello, from the MTC!
  Yes, i am still here... everything was fine and dandy and my branch president said i could go but then, i had a doctors appointment last wednesday and he said NO WAY!.. he said at the least 2 more weeks... so here
  i am.. just trudging along. Its ok though, to be honest i kinda had a bit of a spiritual moment when I was so frustrated that i couldnt go that I cried and i just felt like I couldnt go on and that there was no reason so keep me here but then, a thought clear as day that said "i need you 100%", not 90, not 80, but100%... and after that its been ok that i have to stay here... i mean, whats 14 weeks in the MTC right? haha and who can say that theyve had an MTC experience like mine... i mean, i got a good little weekend get away i got to see some of my family and friends and go shopping and cafe rio... so i feel the lord is letting me make up that time right now haha... So in other words, i am good...And when i do get to leave they will get my travel plans and have me on a plane 2 days after that so i am not sure if you would find out but ALWAYS have your phones on you for the next 2 weeks! cause i do get to call you all!

  Well.. other than that... EVERYBODY left me today and yesterday. My companion and 3 other girls in my room left on monday morning so they are probably out freezing their little tushes off... and so it was me and sister francom here yesterday... We actually got cafe rio... (shhhhh).... but you know, i have the connections here. And mom, dont worry about the money on my card  for cafe rio i got that back from my elders and sister francom... But yesterday was a crazy day as will today be a crazy day. We just have been trying to finish errands for the other sisters and then clean up our rooms... i have to move to another building with the other sisters and my companion for a couple weeks will be sister little... I am excited and also a little sad because i miss my district... we got to be such good friends because we spent like ALL day together everyday for 11 weeks... and i saw these amazing missionaries grow into completely different people. I know
  that these will be friends i have forever. We were meant to be together i can feel gods hand in placing us all together. Its amazing the friendships  ive made with them and the growth i have seen in each of them. Its been
  quite the experience here... So it was really sad this morning to say  goodbye to EVERYONE. all of my elders left this morning and I was crying and  they were on the verge of tears... they all said "thanks mom for everything" (because basically i told them what to do because i am that rude i know) but i know that they will be good missionaries and it was hard to see them leave... so ya... thats about it... I am still here and just waiting to get to russia... i have another companion today, sister carmack and she leaves tomorrow so we will just be running and doing some more errands today...I havent slept in 2 days because of getting missionaries out and cause i am sick so its going to be an interesting week... changes changes changes, but my teacher told me a good piece of advice.. "no matter how hard things seem,  the best is yet to come" and thats will all life! its so true and i am excited to see whats in store for me next.

  Well.. the knee update.. Its still the biggest thing i have every seen and thats what my physical therapist said.,.. that he just wants to swelling to go down and i have to be able to walk and go up tons of stairs. My mission president actually called and said he didnt want me until I could walk 5 miles and walk up 5 flights of stairs so i am working on it. Actually i walk with just a tiny bit of a limp, half the time you cant notice it and i am walking up and down stairs all the time. SO i am surprised how well i am progressing... i actually meet with my surgoen tomorrow and the physical therapist at the same time so they will see whats up. I would be shocked and super excited if i could leave next week cause even my therapist says i am mproving better then he thought i would so pray for me! if not i am guessing just ONE more week.. and i can do that i know i can!! So all in all... i am really grateful for this experience i have had. Its a blessing to have one normal knee now and its a blessing i got this surgery done... My little thought is that i can see the lords hand in this work today. Even when it seems hard he is there every step guiding what we do. And if i can even take a little bit of christs attitude "not my will but thine will be done" (i think thats matt 26:39) than i can become the person i am supposed to become. I have such an amazing calling right now that i get to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord 24/7... is it a terrifying thing... yes... do i feel completely inadaquate.. yes.... but its an amazing feeling
  that he trusts me that much with his sons and daughters that he called me to work as his hands... How excited i am to be a missionary right now. Its an amazing calling and i owe him my life for letting me do this. I am so  excited to bring his sons and daughters, my brothers and sisters unto  christ... Its hard to even put it into words... Just know that i love this church and gospel. I know that its true... all of it. Every single piece of it. So dont ever EVER take it for granted...I love you and I am so grateful for your support. PLEASE send me letters or Dear elders this week,... i am so lonely without my friends! love you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Im kinda making it.... haha

 Hello family! kinda weird that i was seding you a message now.. since I basically talked to you yesterday! I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped me... and sorry if i was being weird over the weekend... it was just hard being home and knowing that i was going to have to say goodbye all over again.. i promise i am not that weird... its just wasnt the best having to leave again... Other than that thanks to everyone who came and visited me... it was really fun to see everyone and know that I still have friends! haha
 Mom, thanks again for coming... sorry if it wasnt the trip you were looking for but i really was appreciative that you came. It helped a lot having you ther. By the way, my package came yesterday! so i was super excited. thanks again for sending it i am happy i feel like i have everything.
 Jess, thanks for being there too... it was great to be there with your family.. I know the weekend was crazy but it was great to have your help too. I really couldnt imagine being at the MTC during that... Im glad I got a little break

 Well.. yesterday i had my physical therapy and the doctor is going to try to get me to leave on monday. President Harrison kept my travel plans so as of now i do get to leave monday, but its all up to My surgeon and the other doctor here... Im going to talk to My surgeon tomorrow and see what he says.... And if he gives me the go ahead then i will be ok to go... But im not sure he will... we will see... Honestly, as much as i want to get out of   here, i know if my knee isnt feeling better than it is now then i wont let myself leave on monday... THe lord wouldnt want me out there when i am not back to normal. So pray that my knee feels better by monday. A lot of whats hurting is beacuse its still swolen and because its just really sore... My quad hurts a lot so we will see how much better it will get...I think i will be able to keep you guys in the know though... It will be obvious when i dont call on monday that i havent left... So the plan is we leave salt lake at 830... and then we fly to new york... I wont be able to call from new york cause we dont have a long delay... we are literally running from one flight to the other...
 Then we fly from new york to moscow and in moscow we have a 12 hour delay... 12 hours! can you believe that!! i dont know if i will be able to call you from moscow either we will see... Then from Moscow we fly to Novosibirsk,...So all in all ... we have 3 days traveling.. and depending on where we are serving in novosibirsk.. we could have another 3 days! kinda crazy i know...

 So if i dont call you then that means that i didnt leave monday and be expecting an email tuesday i guess.....

 Well... the past two days have been pretty hard though.. its a lot of slow walking and i have been really tired.... I think my body gets really exhausted so i hope that stops soon... I had to take a nap yesterday and its pday so i wil probably sleep today too... Hmm.. other than that not much new has happened since you saw or talked to me haha

 Oh! Brooke! i am going to send a box of all my extra stuff to you and i will put jessicas number in the box! if you can call her when you get it thatwould be great!!! then she can come get it oooor... i know sometimes kylie goes up there so she can come get it from you when she goes to do their hair! and ps... thanks for doing my boots for me i really appreciate it!oh! and ps... to all my wonderful friends! thanks so much for coming to see me... Happy birthday again Kristin! i couldnt remember if i had told you but i hope i did! so happy Birthday! i hope your 21st was great!!! and ash.. i realized that i didnt write your name in my last email but i did realize right after and i am soooo sorry!! i love you sooo much! thanks for coming by!

 And all my other friends! i love yousooo much! so great talking to you or seeing you!!!!!! You guys are so great! and if i was boring i am sorry i wasstill a missionary it was weird hahaha

 Family... great to talk to you too..now i will be able to see you in just 15 months! kinda crazy huh! doesnt seem long at all!
 Ok well to everyone! you can still send me dear elders to Russia i think it is free! and you can all send me emails!! My email address is kaitlin.west@myldsmail.net i might not be able to email you back but i will try the best i can!!! and mail... just know it takes like 21437895438932 days to get to russia and i only get mail every 2 months! but if you send mail just know i would love it!!!!

 Other than that i dont think i have anything else to say! Just know how much i love my mission and how much i know that god has a hand in everything... I trust the lord with all my heart right now and i know that if i do his will, i will be granted success... I love this church and what it stands for...Sometimes things get hard and we get down on ourselves.. i know that today i have been really frustrated cause i cant really walk  but honestly, i know that the lord has a plan and i just need to trust him cause he knows what hes doing better than i know what im doing....I know i am supposed to be out here and thats all that matters... if i get to russia a week or two later thats ok... its just all part of the big plan. In the scheme of this, this life is just like a blink of an eye anyway... theres so much more to this life than our mortal lives... so in the big pictures... 2 extra weeks is nothing! i will still go serve an honorable mission and teach the people of russia i need to teach... I lovethis work and i am so grateful that i am a missionary... I have a lot to work on but i know as i strive to do my best that i can be the person i am meant to be. I will still make mistakes but thats what the atonement is for right? Christ suffered for each one of us so that we could make mistakes and so we could correct them... I am so happy to be a part of this church...

 I love you all so much and thanks again for helping me out this weekend! i really needed it and i appreciate it... and again, sorry if i was weird... it was just a different experience for me... I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!!!

 llove- cectpa bect

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Lord is the best teacher there is!

  Mom and jess.. it was so great to talk to you yesterday... weird though and  not exactly what i wanted to be calling you about but its ok... everything will be ok! i will fill everyone in on this email so they know kinda whats going on..
  It was like 2 weeks ago that my knee started to really hurt but i didnt think anything about it right? cause i have retarded knees anyway.... and dumb me, for like the first week i continued to run and play volleyball on
  it for like a week, then like i said last email i decided to go to the docter... and he was (i think) thinking i was a baby and just was complaining so he set up am MRI just in case but then was going to send me to phyiscal therapy.... well the results came back and yes.. My meniscus was  torn... i was honestly soooo sad... but To make a long story short... i saw the surgeon yesterday and he asked me how my knee felt... and i was like
  "well it hurts here" and he was like "really? cause you tore your meniscus on the other side?" so now they are worried about my dumb knee problem and  that i cant hack it in russia... so thats why they had me call you mom.. i think they thought you would advise me to not go.. but thats not the case...
  I told the doctor that we are doing surgery and i AM going to russia... so thats the plan as of now... Surgery Thursday and then i will go to  jessicas... By the way mom are you coming???? I would love if you did, then
  poor 9 month pregnant Jess wont have to be taking care of some missionary...And then yes... i am stuck at the MTC for another 4 WEEKS!!  ahhh haha i know my life is crazy.. its ok though cause i have come to a few  najor conclusions... being a missionary each and every experience you have whether good or bad can be turned into the best thing for you.... When i found out i had to get surgery... i was really dissappointed
  actually.. to be honest i am SO ready to leave the MTC... 10 weeks here is enough... But as i was sitting moping over this dumb thing, we were reading in Alma 26,When ammon was saying how great the Lord is and how amazing it is to be instruments in the hands of the Lord (alma 26 vs. 12- i do not boast
  of my own strength) And it kinda hit me that god is everything, and i knowthat these sons of mosiah went through wayyyy more than i have ever gone through.. it says in alma (the chapter isnt coming to mind right now) that they were spit on and hit and everything you can imagine... and in 17, they
  had to go preach to the lamanites who were as it says a Ferocious people... so honnestly they're missions were crazy and it kinda put mine into perspective to me... but then we read alma 26:27... and it says "Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back" now... when I found out i had to get surgery and then stay here and then when the doctor  tells me to go home... you can imagine how i am feeling.. of course it would  be easy to come home... i have an easy out right? but now.. i kept reading
  and it said "the Lord comforted us and said ... Bear thine afflictions with patience"... bear thine afflictions with patience... so right then i had this overwhelming feeling that yes.. i can do this.. i am nothing compared
  to the sons of mosiah and they made it through.. The the last part of the verse "I will give unto you success"... Even though hard times come and even though i have days where i just want to go.. i know that if i have patience  and rely on the lord for EVERYTHING.. he will grant unto me success... i will have a good mission... I know I am supposed to be out here.. even though with everything that has happened.. i feel like there has been sooo many little things that keep coming up either before i came or here in the
  MTC that have tried to stop me from going... but i am supposed to be here... I have a calling from God signed by the prophet... i can do this... Its kinda funny though how great of a teacher christ and our heavenly father  are..  i mean, how great of a blessing it is to get this surgery for free right?? but the lord is teaching me a very vaulable lesson with that blessing... Thats why he is the best teacher there is...
  I hope that made sense... its crazy being on a mission...I make this out to be a big deal but at least i dont have cancer and at least i can still go on a mission.. people have WAY bigger problems then just a dumb knee.. and i will get to russia i just know it!Well family... thank  you so much for all your letters! i love getting
  letters from my family... grandma and grandpa are getting letters soon and did we get that letter to grandma west?
  And mom.. let me know if you can come ASAP! i would love that... and ps... i  didnt get that package yet? maybe check to see if it got lost i know its been 2 weeks since you have sent it? i really hope it didnt get lost...
> and i was wondering.. i know we have some of grandpas old ties... i dont know if dad wants to keep them but i thought it would be cool to give someto some of the elders here... they LOVE old ties and how awesome would it be to have his ties on missions? if dad doesnt want to then thats ok but if so
  you can just bring them if you come to utah soon! RACHEL! I am so happy you are moving out! that sounds like a good plan and at least its still close. I bet you will still be at the house a ton and
  that way you can just drop gainer off with dad! Jess! baby soon? sooo crazy! i will still be in utah when you have it! haha
 Well.... Friends... By the way Ali and madison! i got your Dear ELders... you send them to RUSSIA! hah so i got a letter from my mission pres. and he sent them with me so thank you!! and i hope maddy gets emails? amy if she
  does can you send them to her? and ali!!! I LOVED THE PACKAGE! you are the best!!! oh! and what building does jordan and greg work in?? what floor and  room number i want to see them!!!
  Courtney and chan! i got your package i loved it!! the candy is all gone cause i am a fat piece of lard... haha did you get my package court? haha ps  i send that before i got the package from you guys!
  Amy brooke kristin leyla telicia everyone! thanks so much for writing me! if  i havent sent you a letter back you should be getting one!!! I  am sorry this is so random... I just want everyone to know that i love you guys so much! and i feel like i want you guys to know how much i love this church and i love this work..
  there is no greater thing we can do in this life then do the work our father in heaven wants us to do and to strive to become like christ in every aspect. I promise, as you strive to emulate him in every where, your life
  will be exactly where it should be. The Lord knows the way for us and if we are worthy to recieve the revelation from him to do the things he needs and wants us to do... how great will be our lives?? honestly.. being on a mission puts life into perspective in sooo many ways... i love being here
  and i love everything i have learned here! THe mission is great!!!!!
  Know i love you all and i love where i am! i hope this email finds everyone
  in good health! if not let me know.... the lord is on my side haha! i love
  you and look forward to hearing from you (or seeing you soon in jess and
moms case)> Love you and i will write next week!!