Hi family and friends! I hope you enjoy all the pictures. I just realized I'm pretty much wearing the same outfit in all of them... I promise I don't wear that everyday! I guess that I just wear it on the day I decide to take pictures! I'll try and send a few more next week.
So this week has been wonderful! Great things have happened! I'm glad my letter made it to you about Elder Holland. I'm still feeling the effects of his talk. It really hit me deep. Everyone here at the MTC are major enthusiasts of Elder Holland! I've been here for 5 weeks tomorrow. Can you believe that?? CRAZY. It feels as if I've been in this place my whole life. And that I've still got an eternity left! And it's alright, because I like it here. I've had some of the best experiences of my life these past few weeks. Missions truly are the greatest thing ever. I was the very first week of 19 year olds and now, there are sisters everywhere. We have relief society every week with ALL the sisters and we almost fill up the entire auditorium. It's great.
The MTC Presidency just changed. And our new president is awesome! I actually had a really neat experience with meeting him. So Elder Slavens and Elder Woodbury and I have been getting this musical number ready (Savior, Redeemer of My Soul) and it sounds really good. So I told you last week that Elder Woodbury somehow got it into his head that we should audition. Aaaaand we made it! we performed on Sunday. IT WAS SO STRESSFUL I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU. I'd rather have 5 piano recitals with Madalyn. Now you know how stressful it was. So the auditorium is set up like the conference center. There's the pulpit in the middle like normal, and then because the room is so big, there are two HUGE screens mounted on the walls that the speaker's face is projected up on so everyone can see. Well, they also do that with those performing the musical numbers. So I sit down and I start playing and good grief I've never prayed so hard in my entire life. It was the most trippy thing, while I was playing I could see one of the screens out of the corner of my eye and the cameras kept putting me up there!! Especially on my solo. AH it was so stressful. But so, so, so rewarding because we nailed it. Anyway, afterwards, I got to talk to the MTC president for a while. And we also had front row seats! Which was fun! The president's wife also did a special musical number and his played the piano and his 5 daughters played the most beautiful violin piece. All from memory! And then for the closing song they had the 5 daughters, plus 5 grandkids play a whole violin piece. From memory! It was so beautiful.
One of the Elders in our zone had to go home on Saturday. It was so incredibly sad. Apparently he didn't "clear stuff up" before he left. Yeah, don't you dare do that boys. Just thought I'd throw that in here...
I've made the decision to start speaking in all Spanish when I'm with my district and zone. It's been really difficult because I can't express everything. Ah it's SO frustrating! But my district is really bright and really motivated. We're about to finish our entire grammar book. So, we've just about learned all the Spanish we can here at the MTC. Now are we good at it? Eh, not so much. But we're very slowly yet surely coming along. We're going to have 4 weeks of review so hopefully we can somehow get this language into our heads. I went to write my Sacrament talk on Sunday and wrote a draft in English. And then translated it, and it was amazing! I only had to look up one conjugation! The Lord is really blessing me. I can feel His help so strongly in my life right now. I feel like everything I do I'm completely dependent upon His ayuda. And it's been a humbling thing. I can't speak without help, I can't teach, I can't deal with my companion, I can't learn, I seriously cannot do anything without the Lord. I feel really needy but I've never felt so strengthened before. Dad, I can see what you've been talking about the enabling power of the Atonement. I'm so grateful I'm learning what this feels like. I've never had to plead with more sincerity of help before. And it's changing who I am. I feel different on the inside. I've really been trying to internalize what Alma calls the "mighty change of heart." I love this gospel. My heart is so full right now! I love what Elder Holland said. So many people have this view that the missionary experience is two years (or 18 months) is an abnormal amount of time set apart and above from our normal lives and that when we return home we go back to "real life." No. This is THE life. It's the ONLY life. And it truly is the best possible life. I'm not going to ever stop some of the habits I've developed here. This time here in the MTC has already drastically changed my entire future and eternity. Christ told his apostles that no man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Well, I've put my hand to the plow and I don't intend to ever look back.
I love you all so much. Ellie, thanks SO much for your letter! Sabrina, I wrote you a letter this morning! So look out for those :) I LOVE hearing from you.
Jacob. Jackson. You're going to be in trouble if I don't hear from you soon!! Kins I also wrote you a letter!! And mom, you too! Dad, I'm about to go respond to your email! I'm so lucky to have such an awesome support group. And it's also a good thing that I love to write so much!! I look forward to writing you all. Shay and Hay, your letters are bomb. Seriously, I've been re-reading them and laughing my head off. Love you!! Melina, I haven't heard from you in a while!! Write me chica!