I'm glad everything is going well in the MTC and that you are enjoying learning Spanish! I especially liked what you said about exact obedience. I was at a Relief Society fireside this week and one of the members of my stake presidency said that too often we want to obey the Lord, but we want to do it our way. I know I'm guilty of this, but that's not really obedience is it? Obedience is much more about humility and putting aside what we want for what God knows is better for us. And that's the truly great thing about it, what God says is best for us truly is because He loves us and knows more than us. That makes Him brilliant at giving guidance and direction.
One thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is how the world views women versus how the church views women. So much of the world right now is pushing women to be seen for only their beauty and how they can please men, or is on the other side of the spectrum saying that the only way to have equality is for women to be exactly like men. Either way, the world places a woman's worth in what men think of her. Currently, my biggest issue with it is how women are portrayed in the media. Even in books with a female protagonist, so many play out the same story line. A young women feels worthless even though there is something special about her (such as magic powers, super strength, having cancer, or having blood that smells really good to vampires). Then a boy comes along that falls in love with her - specifically because of a physical feature, which one varies between books - and throughout their journey teaches her to love herself. And him. The writing style varies, the genre varies, the other themes explored varies, but this doesn't. I'm sick of these girls having to wait around for a man to tell her that she has worth.
That's not how it is in the church. The other day I had a bit of an epiphany. The world tells us we are only worth something when we are with a man, but the church tells us that we can be exalted with one. Nowhere in church doctrine are women belittled or put below men. Everywhere we are valued, loved, and respected. We are children of God, just as much as men are. We are given leadership roles in the church and encouraged to teach, expound, and serve. You right now are serving as a representative for the church and of Jesus Christ and will be doing His work in bringing others to the truth. Women are beloved daughters of God and important members of the church. Even if we don't hold offices in the priesthood, we are still blessed by its power just as much as men, and act under with its authority when we serve in callings. (For more information about the priesthood see this talk from General Conference). More than that, God allows men and women to progress further together when sealed in eternal marriage in the temple. Though men and women are different, God gives both an equal opportunity to progress together.
So there's some thoughts that have been bouncing around my head for a while. I've been wanting to talk to someone about it. What do you think about this?
Love you! Have a great week!