Saturday, October 27, 2012


Dear family,
I just got back from the temple! (I love that we get to go to the temple every p-day.) We did initiatories today, and it was just what I needed to remember how much Heavenly Father loves me.
Last night I had a small moment of feeling a bit down where I just want to cry for no apparent reason, and I just wasn't feeling super capable. It didn't last long, those moments have really been so much less discouraging in the MTC than they have in other parts of my life in the past. But nonetheless, Heavenly Father still remembered that I was a bit down and my time in initiatories was enough to complete reverse the effects of those feelings. Along with re-reading the last half of D&C 1 starting with the verses I read in my farewell talk about the Lord teaching the nations and accomplishing His work with the small and weak things of the world.
Katy/ Sora Macdonald left for Romania this week. On Monday actually. I miss seeing her face from time to time, but I am sooooo excited to hear what Romania is like and for her to be able to get out there and actually teach the people there! In her place (sort of but not really) my companion's friend from Wales arrived! Her accent is so great, as is her Welsh flag. It filled me with joy when I saw it in her room. I am unable to communicate to her how much I love Wales (not whales), having no real reason for it, and so I end up just not really being able to talk to her at all since all I can think about when I'm talking to her is the thousand random facts and things that I love about Wales.
Request! I know you're busy, but I would really love to have a copy of my father's blessing from this year. 
I really love you guys writing me! It makes me happy to be able to see a little bit of what's going on in your lives.

The timer on this thing is really not nice. I logged out to make a list of all the things that I was thinking of to say, and even though I closed out of the program, it kept counting!!!
Anyways, pictures. I have some, we just have yet to figure out how to get them onto a computer and with the extremely limited computer time its been difficult to be able to find any time to figure it out. We figure we will go ask a tech-y person in 2M later. So sorry about that. Also, if you wanted to... you could send me a picture of the fam. I didn't even think about it when I left, but I would like to be able to show my companions what y'all look like.
Hannah- I totally know what you mean about fairytales and the plan of salvation. I think I had the same sort of revelation about man's innate desire to tell stories that mirror the structure of the Plan of Salvation. And I would use that everytime people tried to tell me how tragedies are so much more realistic than comedies. I will probably write you more about it later, but I got really excited that you had the same sort of experience with that as I did.
Most of all, I just wanted to tell each of you, Mom, Dad, Jeremy, Hannah, Paul, and Tom, and Will---cause I think about this with each of you individually-- that I am so so so grateful for the assurance that Heavenly Father has given me time and time again (in my heart as well as in my setting apart and my father's blessing) that He is watching out for you guys, especially while I'm away. And I thank Him every night that I know that He knows you and loves you better than I do and I do my very best to trust that He will bless you while I'm away. So look for it! Cause I know with everything that I have and am that He is and that He really really really loves all of us. And I am so grateful for that.
Can you believe that I have almost been here for a month? I can't. Every day feels like 5, but the weeks are flying by! It's crazy all those things people said were actually true! haha. And the time will go even faster for all the new missionaries arriving in January, because they are shortening the time that everyone stays here.
Well, time's up. I love you all so much and can't wait to from you!
Sister Lofgreen!

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm so excited to write you guys this week about all of the things that  have been going on here, but when I sit down I don't know where to start. Next week, I should really think about it beforehand.
Before I forget. I have Jeremy's address address. I was hoping for his email address, so I could email him. Sorry for the confusion there. Thanks for all the letters this week. Its really like Christmas when your district leader pulls our a letter for you to go read at the end of the day. We get all giddy to go here about the outside world. As much as we love it here, there's no place like home. :) Also. Dad accidentally sent his letter three times, so it was like extra awesome Christmas that night. Hannah. Keep the details coming. I love feeling like I'm not missing out too much on your life even though I'm not there with you all the time.
Yes Tom. I have been sucked into playing volleyball. We play almost every gym time actually. And its been fine up until this week. I may or may not have basically punched one of the elders in the face during a game this week. Let's just say, no one is unfamiliar with my lack of coordination and tendency narrate that lack with sound effects... But it's fun anyways!
This week we had a really good devotional that talked a lot about planning. Immediately after which me and Sister Warburton proceeded to not apply and have our first really terrible lesson. It was really amazing how bad at Portuguese and at working together we are when we don't have the Spirit to help us because we simply haven't put in our part in planning and preparing. But it was ok, because Sister Warburton is really great and showing me the good in every situation that we have. So good lesson or bad, as we talk and work for the next one I feel like we are really good at helping each other learn a lot.
In Sacrament meeting last week one of the counselors in our Branch Presidency was released and so the counselor and his wife both bore their testimonies; and I don't know why I'm really sharing that detail other than that was the occasion when I had this thought. While Sister Keck was bearing her testimony I was just overwhelmed with how grateful I am that we all are given such different gifts and strengths and that we have the opportunity to help each other and learn from each other through them. And I was so grateful in particular for Hannah and how different she is from me and what different and amazing strengths she has from me and that I get to have her as my sister. I love you! I was so grateful in particular that you (ignore the changing voice) are so good at owning/using the gifts that you have and that because of that I have learned to really appreciate other people's gifts and through that understand better that my gifts really come from Heavenly Father and are not something for me to be proud of or to keep to myself. They are His to use the way He wants to and the biggest thing I am learning how to do is how to let Him and how to best build them and improve them so that He can use me even more. So thanks Hannah for being my sister and helping me to learn that amazingly important principle just by being yourself and different from me.
The other thing that I have really been learning this week in conjunction with that is how simple and straightforward the gospel of Jesus Christ is and should be when we talk about it. And that Heavenly Father has really given us all the tools that we need to learn about it if we work to utilize them. I don't know if I can really explain that thought much more at the moment, so hopefully it means something to you anyways.
Also, I asked a couple of weeks ago in a handwritten letter, but my writing was really bad... but could you maybe send me some normal socks to wear during gym time. I've been borrowing my companion's and she would probably like for me to stop. And if not this week, I'll just buy some big ones in the shop, but if you could I would very much appreciate it.
Well, time is running out. sorry for the randomness. I will try to organize my thoughts for next week and actually reply to the letters you sent me. Maybe even try to remember a funny story or two. (Like earlier this week when I accidently told my teacher she was awful... in english... the statement was "You're awful." and I didn't notice until she started laughing a little bit... yeah, the embarrassing moments haven't stopped since I got here. Or like the other day when someone asked me how I was and I replied with "agua." Por que? nao sei. Or like how I have a laughing fit in every class that we have covering the hours of 8:30-9:30. Oh and my district has taken to trying to imitate my laugh....)
Well, farewell.
Sister Lofgreen

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saying Goodbye!

It´s hard to believe that I´ve only been gone for a little over a week. It feels like so much longer than that. Every day is so full of working and learning and experiencing that every day feels like it has to be at least three. Just by the difference between what I know at the beginning of the day compared to what I know at the end of the day.
I always think of so many things that I want to tell you guys about when I´m at breakfast or while I´m waiting on a computer and then by the time I get up to the lab I completely forget. So I guess I´ll just go for it and what ever comes out does, and whatever doesn´t waits til next week.
On Tuesday, for my first Tuesday devotional in the MTC, Elder Bednar came to speak to us! and it was so amazing. With it being just after general conference and the new announcement about missionary work I think every one was just super pumped. One thing that he talked about at the very beginning of his talk was the new announcement; he knew what we were all thinking about. He joked that one of  his favorite things is listening to everyone talk and guess and speculate as to the reasons for the age difference, saying it's because of this and that and making guesses about what was going on in the council, when he had actually been in the council.... it was funny when he said it.... I guess you had to be there. But then he said this "The Lord can do His own work and He will hasten His work in His time." And that is it. That is the reason why they changed the age limit. He also said that the Lord hastens his work through us. That we are the key instruments that the Lord can and will use to hasten His work, and we just have to trust that He will give us the skills and abilities and opportunities that we need to do His work as He needs us to have them, if we are doing our part. And that gave me a lot of comfort, that the Lord can make me as capable as He needs me to be if I am giving Him my all, which seems so much easier to do here in the MTC than it ever has before. So Hannah. You wrote me that awesome letter, that I really really really loved. Thanks, btw. You don't have to stress about not having as much time to prepare for a mission as you thought. Heavenly Father already knew how much time you were going to have and has had that in mind all along, with all of the experiences you have been having. So when you go, if you feel like you should go, you can trust that Heavenly Father knew what He was doing. An Apostle said so. :) Also, I'm still waiting for that awesome handwritten letter.
Paul. I'm not forgetting to eat. It's virtually impossible to do that here. We get stuffed with food. So no worries! I love you!
Also I appreciated the Will comments and Will's letter. I think the only people I haven't heard from are Dad and Jeremy! What's up with that!?
also there are tons of people here who love dr. who. they come out of the woodwork more often because of my british comp. So, Tom, you should just convince everyone to love it.
Will, I love you! You are awesome! Send me a dragon picture!
Can I get Jeremy's email please?
Also, I just realized yesterday that I forgot to pay tithing on my last 2 paychecks that I got.... That's really bad I know. but mom would you mind taking like 50 bucks out of my account for tithing? I know I left you with a bunch of stuff to do, but that would be really great.
Sorry this is kind of short, but 30 min is really short and guess I just don't type fast enough!
I love you all!
Oh also, mom, could you look up Hillary Bowler's address for me. It's in my email and it will be in an email from her mom-Penny Bowler.
I hope that's everything that I needed to remember.
Much love from the MTC.
Sister  Stephanie Lofgreen!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

2012.10.6 "My First E-Mail Home!"

Ola minha familia!!
I have been super cheesy and labeling all of my first everythings, like this first email home.
Holy Conference Batman! Reduced age for missionary service?! The whole room was pretty excited to hear that. I saw some fist pumps through out the audience and the excited whispering was only almost matched  when Pres. Eyring announced that Pres. Uchtdorf would be the next speaker. The MTC as a whole was pretty outspoken about their excitement about certain things. We actually already have a few Elders in our district who are 18. They are from England (as is my companion) and the age limit there has been 18 for a while.
I really feel like I am having the best start to my mission that I could possible have hoped for. And speaking of my companion, she is great. I really feel like I have been so lucky to have a wonderful district and companion of hard-working genuine missionaries who really have strong testimonies and live them.  It seems like each of them is giving it their all, whatever that might be and it really makes the Spirit so strong in our lessons and study time. We have some goals to work on as a district and we have just had a lot of fun all together so far. It really makes things great when we are working too.
We had to give our first lesson in Portuguese yesterday. It's so crazy! I did not expect that we would be giving a lesson to an "investigator" on our 3rd day in the MTC, but we did! and I am here to tell you that the gift of tongues is real! Not like me or my companion all of a sudden started spouting off all kinds of Portuguese without noticing, but we were able to communicate what we were trying to communicate and we were able to feel the Spirit. I also gained the beginning of a testimony of how powerful a companionship working together can be. My companion's name is Sister Warburton and we have gotten along really well from the first day. And by the time we went into that lesson I feel like we had both had a chance to listen to each other, to plan together and to just be friends in a way that allowed us to really work together to communicate what we were trying to. So I am looking forward to learning more and getting better at working with her. Another thing that we have really been learning in the last few days is how important it is to really live worthy of having the Spirit with you and really trusting that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing with you and that He's got your back. That He really is guiding you to the things you need to learn and study and do whether you realize it or not. And that as we follow those promptings, that is when we really can be successful in doing His work and becoming the people He wants us to be.  Do I sound like a cheesy missionary yet? Cause I sure as heck feel like one. And I don't even mind it 99.9% of the time. :)
AH! I don't type fast enough.
Also. Conference! What a way to start off your time in the MTC. I especially loved Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. Mom always says a mission is like a little mini life. And so it seemed like that talk was instructions on how to avoid the biggest regrets I would have at the end of my mission. 1. putting people before tasks and accomplishments. 2. not living up to your potential/ not becoming the person/missionary that God wanted you to be. 3. Not enjoying the happiness right in the middle of it. I feel like that session of conference (that we just had) was like a mini conference all about missionary work.  
I also really loved Elder Nelson's. Cause we are trying to learn how to simply and truthfully teach the gospel and testify of it. Well, what better example of a perfect simple lesson than Elder Nelson's teaching and testimony from the pulpit. Apostle's are pretty good at teaching. :) I also loved the long list that he gave of things to go ask the missionaries about. We realized as we were sitting there that those are the questions that we need to learn how to answer in Portuguese. 
Well that's all for now. My timer is ticking down.
For future reference, my p-day is Friday and I don't think that missionaries do sessions with everyone else.
Also, I need Jeremy's email. And probably everybody else's just in case.
Much love from the MTC,
Sister Lofgreen
P.S. I love that Will has been reading his scriptures! You are so awesome Will! I am so proud of you!
Also, everyone better write me about what they've been up to! Dearelders are so great! we get them every day! *ahem* hannah *ahem*
k bye for reals.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

And so it begins...

I'm going on a mission! and if you want to hear about it this is the place to be. Rather than have my mom try to keep track of who wants to hear about me and try to forward letter out to people, she will just put them up here! where you can peruse them at your leisure. Have a good year and a half!

Also, here are some addresses if you get a moment to share some thoughts with me!


Sister Stephanie Lyn Lofgreen
Portugal Lisbon Mission
Provo MTC
2005 N 900 E
Provo UT 84604

Sister Stephanie Lyn Lofgreen
MTC Mailbox # 157
POR-LIS 1205
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793