The 4th of July started out like any other day here at the MTC, except for the fact that everyone was decked out in red, white, and blue. During the evening, we had a special devotional where the speaker talked to us about how lucky we are to be a part of a free nation. He also talked about how sacrifice has always been an important part of the freedom that we enjoy here. The first settlers gave up everything in hope of finding a new land where they could practice whatever religion they want. Today, men and women across the country sacrifice so much to join the armed services and help to protect the freedoms of other countries. As missionaries we may not give our life to help others, but we do "sacrifice" some things. We decided to stop school, work, relationships, for 18 months to 2 years in order to serve the Lord. We leave all personal things behind in order to go out to all the world and teach others about Jesus Christ and his gospel. To me I don't feel like my sacrifice is anything as significant as the sacrifices that our ancestors fought for and continue to fight for. However, I know that my service to others will have as great an impact on their lives and I know that their lives will improve as I can help people come unto Christ.
After the devotional, we got the opportunity to watch "17 Miracles" - which is a movie about the early pioneers and their treck across the U.S. It was such a great movie and if you haven't watched it I would encourage you to do so! Throughout the entire movie it tells about the many miracle that occured during their hard journey. In this movie it shows some pretty profound miracles, and although we don't see these kinds of miracles today, we still have miracles that happen all around us. If I can, I would invite you to pray to Heavenly Father (God) and ask him to help you to see all the many miracles and blessings that he has given you! The movie is definitely a tear jerker <-- and yes I cried at least 4 different times during the movie. I was just so impressed by the faith that these people had even through all their challenges including running out of food, crossing the plains in the middle of winter, always on the run from wild animals, as well as all the sickness and death that was present
during their journey. Anyway my point I guess is that it's a really really really really good (and humbling) movie and you should really watch it!!! :)
After the movie we got to go outside and watch the fireworks that were going off from the Stadium of Fire. The best part was is that we got to stay up until after 11 pm!! (We're suppose to go to bed at 10:30 pm). But it was definitely a challenge getting up the next moring at 6 am! I don't know how I ever survived in college on only 5-6 hours of sleep becuase now if I don't get at least 8 hours I just feel exhausted! But it's ok becuase why would I want to sleep when I could be reading my scriptures right? :)
Hope you are all doing well!
A little more about 17 Miracles: www.17miracles.com