I"M GOING TO CHILE IN 6 DAYS!!!!!!! I'm only STOKED OUT OF MY MIND!! Ah, sorry that was kind of spastic, but I cannot wait to go. Anyways, Hi! How's it going? I LOVED the bday backage. The pictures were definitely the best part. It was so weird to see the pics of me on my first day here. That seems like years, and years, and years ago. I feel like a completely different person. All of you look great! I loved the Valentine's day package as well. I don't know if I already told you that or not, but those little valentines made my whole week! That was really sweet. I'm so glad that I have such a supportive family. It would be hard to be here in the MTC without any family support. I can't believe we're going to have a family of Chinese speakers. Haha that's great! I absolutely love hearing from all of you. Seriously, nothing is greater than a letter from my family! (Shay and Mina, you fit in that category!)
So let me explain why I am excited to leave the MTC. Yo he amado el MTC, pero estoy muy, muy lista salir!! Because I want to share this gospel. Knowing that there are people that don't know about the gospel makes me want to get out of here and bring them to a knowledge of God. I love the way Ammon puts it, "bring others to sing the song of redeeming love." I have felt that within myself and want to help as many people as possible feel that. My only desire right now is to do that. I feel like I'm about to jump in head first into this work. I'm on the brink of familiarity and ready to push off into the unknown. I was reading the story of the people of the Brother of Jared the other day and realized that I really can relate to them right now. They left their land in their barges by "commending themselves unto the Lord their God." That's how I feel. I'm leaving the MTC, I don't know what is going to happen to me, I have no idea what I'm jumping into, but I know that the Lord will guide me just like he has the people in the scriptures.
I was reading in Alma 26 about Ammon praising the Lord. He talks about how the Lord took care of them, "wanderers in a strange land." I'm about to become exactly that. And I look at the miracles and great things that happened among the Lamanites during Ammon's mission, and I know that if I have faith in the Lord, I will see miracles. In Ether 12 Moroni talks about how it was because of the faith of Ammon and his brethren that caused such great miracles to happen among the Lamanites. That has caused me to think deeply about my own faith. God never changes and perhaps according to my own faith, I can see similar miracles among the Chilean people. President Packer talks about having the type of faith that causes things to happen. I want to have that type of faith as I head out into this adventure. I can feel that my entire life is about to change yet again. And I am so excited. But at the same time, I've never felt more completely and utterly reliant on the Lord.
Ever sunday all the missionaries in my branch are supposed to prepare a talk, and then the branch pres picks two people randomly. So I was picked last Sunday! I was so glad I'd actually prepared a decent talk! It was actually a really neat experience. I felt the spirit helping me and I had the words that I needed, and I actually felt like the words I was saying were from my heart. Afterward the Branch Pres told me what I great job I'd done and said, "it's incredlble, you don't have speech problem at all when you speak spanish." ....uh, thanks?! Haha so yeah, there you go! My "speech problem" isn't evident in Spanish!
OKAY, I have travel plans. I got them last week and literally just about died of happiness. 10 weeks here is just way too long. Let me give you the Low Down.
--I report to the MTC travel office at 4 am (fun. Seriously though, it's fun. Because it means I'm OUTTA here!!!!)
--My flight leaves SLC at 7:00
--I arrive in Los Angeles (LAX) at 7:55 (i'm assuming that's local time?)
--I leave LAX at 12:30 pm (Feb 25th)
--I arrive in Santiago, Chile at 7:00 am (Feb 26. Yeah, that's a super long flight)
--I leave for Concepcion at 12:45 pm
--I arrive at Concepcion at 1:50 pm.
SO!! Loooong flights. But it doesn't matter! I just hope I sit next to somebody that needs the gospel! The best time to talk will be in LAX. I have a few hours to call there. I have no idea how long it will take to get to the terminal, find phones, and all that.... I'm assuming I should be able to call at approximately 9 or 9:30 cali time. So, 10 or 10:30 for you. What do you think?? Will that work? Dad, I know you have work. A conference call would be good. I can do whatever! I can call mom first, and then dad, and then kinsey. Or... yeah. I'm just so incredibly excited to talk to all of you. I should be on the computer for the next little while, because I have to do some stuff for travelling. So if you email me back I will see it!!
I love you all so much. CRAZY that this time next week I'll be preaching the gospel! Or at least... trying to butcher my way through in broken Spanish!