Thursday, November 29, 2012

Week 4

Hola Familia y Amigos! 

AHHHHHHHH What did I get myself into?!  Oh yeah the best decision I have ever made!  Ok look at me - 4 weeks and now officially an "upper classman"  at the MTC.  Oh yeah!

Ok so sad to report that Elder Holland does not have any grandsons up for grabs. His oldest grandchild is a granddaughter and she is going to Italy on her mission in March I think.  I want to say the oldest grandson was only 14 or 15, so I'll have to find another apostle and see if they have any grandsons at an acceptable age.  :)

Typing this has made me remember just how old I really am in the MTC.  I am surprised they haven't given me a special pass to the elevator or have a cushy seat in devotionals like the Senior couples because I am so old!  One funny thing that the Elders got a kick out of was the fact that I graduated from high school when they were in 8th grade...just let that sink in.  Hahaha it's all good!  I may be a whomping 22 almost 23, but I can apparently pass for a middle schooler so it all balances itself out in the end.

So news for this week.  On Friday I woke up sick.  That was not a fun couple of days.  On Saturday it felt like someone had said "Hulk, smash!" into my brain!  So I don't really recall anything too exciting from those days.  I did manage to pull through and am all back to normal.

So on Sunday I told you how we sit there and after sacrament the Branch presidency gets up and tells which one of us is going to be talking.  Well I had this little suspicion all morning that I was going to get called and sure enough my name was first on the list.  The subject was on the Holy Ghost and it went really well.  I felt prepared and my spanish felt pretty good, but hey if it was bad there is no one that really speaks spanish that well yet, so nobody could call me out on it!  The hermanas also sang I know that my redeemer lives in spanish.  From what I could tell it sounded nice.  It was the first time I have sang in church minus choir since I was 12 years old and sang child's prayer with Amanda Hallenbeck and completely butchered the last note.  Oh the things that haunt you 10 years later.  Well we must have sounded good because the 1st counselor stood up and looked at the Elders and said "that sounded like angels"  I love singing hymns in Spanish.

We also had our temple walk again and it's always nice to get off the MTC grounds for a little while.  We like to joke that Provo is the bubble.  Well, I'm here to tell you that the MTC is the steel bubble!  :)  It's all worth it though because the spirit that is here can't be found anywhere else...I mean wow!  Sunday we also watched the Joseph Smith movie and I didn't know that you can access them right on the LDS website, so if you haven't seen it, watching it could be a great family home evening activity.  It's about an hour long.  Then we had a fireside and the speaker showed us all these old Latter-day saint commercials (like the family. isn't it about time)  some of them were kinda cheesy, but we had fun watching them and then discussing the messages behind these commercials.
I've told you on Tuesdays at 6:25 we have service.  It makes me laugh that every night in a monotone voice a person will come and tell us that 10:15 is quiet time and lights are to be off and all missionaries are to be in bed by 10:30.  I have no doubt this can be a helpful reminder to some, but luckily my room is very good about being to bed on time.  However, I do find it humorous that the MTC is so strict with bedtime, but they have no problem having us get up before the day's official start at 6:30.  I just tell myself it's building character!  Anyway so this week we took out the garbage in the building we clean.  Which funny enough is the building where Brandon Pickett teaches at the MTC.  After we pick up all the garbage we take it out back to this huge compressor and I was thoroughly entertained throwing in the garbage bags and having them squished.  I will admit I had a star wars flash back!  Oh the nerd in me.  The other funny thing while serving was we were cleaning bathroom sinks and mirrors and we were in a men's restroom.  We were about half way done when an elder walked in and the look on his face was comical.  I think he thought he had walked into a girls restroom and it looked like he was going to panic.  We told him we were almost done, but funny enough he decided not to wait to use our bathroom and I didn't see him again.
For those that are interested I want to let you know that Nemo lives on.  I am never disappointed that buscar Nemo works for every single spanish tense we have learned so far!  Our teacher probably thinks my companion and I are a little nuts but that's ok.  I'm use to people thinking I'm a little odd.  So in spanish study sometimes we can get a little distracted after hours of studying and sometimes the Elders will go off on some tanget and it reminds me of the movie Up.  So I decided to look up the spanish word for squirrel.  Now sometimes we will randomly stop what we are saying and say ardilla!  Oh spanish!  I continue to be amazed about how much I am learning.  I think I have officially learned more in a month here then I did in 3 years in high school.  I can't believe what I can already say!  I know I have a long way to go, but I am so excited with my progress.  I can't wait to get to the field and put my spanish to work.  Tomorrow's lesson I am actually giving my first analogy in spanish so wish me luck! 

So for our tuesday devotional guess who was the speaker?!  Elder Gavarret of the 70.  It was so neat to have him come and speak to us since he was the General authority that came to my home stake and spoke the Sunday before I entered the MTC.  I felt the spirit so strongly at Stake conference and was excited to listen to him again feel that same spirit.

Another great thing at the MTC is how you walk around and more often then not someone is humming or singing softly a church hymn.  9 times out of 10 someone around them will start humming the same song.  My companion and I have decided to name this Song bombing.  We now have great fun humming church songs and now Christmas songs trying to get those around us to start singing the same song.  We have song bombed the Elders mutliple times and it is a lot of fun and uplifting because who doesn't want to be humming hark the herald angels sing?! 

So the crowning achievement of this week happened yesterday.  First some background.  During class time this week our teacher said vaya vaya vaya to one of the Elders and the elder thought he said bye-ya!  We had a good chuckle at that.  Also I have been working on mastering the finger slap for the last month.  Yesterday the sisters were in the room and we were talking when the teacher walked in and we paused.  I think he thought we were talking about something important, but not really and he said he was just grabbing a pen, which we joked and said was fine.  As he was rushing out I called out vaya vaya vaya and then did the finger slap and it was so loud and perfect!  All of the hermanas have been trying, but I nailed it!  It was just too perfect.  We all busted up laughing because we were so surprised it worked!  I don't know if actual spanish speakers snap their fingers but it seems to be a right of passage for a missionary speaking spanish.  Basically I felt like a native!

Ok well my time almost up.  One last thing.  We had a workshop on studying the language.  While we were sitting there I had this overwhelming desire to just get out and serve!  I am so ready to go and help and serve the people of New Mexico!  It is going to be an amazing experience.  It already has been amazing and I have been here for a month!  What a wonderful time to dedicate myself to the Lord.  I will be teaching lessons or practicing teaching and the spirits hits you so strongly about how this is his work.  I know that my Father in Heaven is pleased with me for serving a mission, but more importantly I know that I am his daughter and that he loves me!  I am special in his eyes just like all of you!  I am so excited to be spending the holidays in the MTC feasting upon the gospel!  I hope everyone has a great week!  Love you bunches and bunches! 

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Klaus

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 2012


            Ok, so I decided I couldn’t wait till next week's email to tell you about Thanksgiving.  I already told you how I was up at 5:30 AM to do laundry.  It was pretty crazy and I was so happy we didn’t have to wait for hours to finish.  Then first on the agenda was the morning devotional.  Guess Who???  That’s right…….ELDER HOLLAND!!!!
            It was the best devotional.  He brought his family and his grandkids, they sang and gave short testimonies.  Then Elder and Sister Holland stood up holding hands at the microphone (sooooo cute!) and told us they loved us and that we have no agency in the matter and are now all their adopted children for the day.  They said it multiple times and I know the missionaries felt special.  They told us we were the beginning of something wonderful.  What a great time to be a missionary, ushering in a new era of church history!  A few of the things that stood out to me in Elder Holland’s talk:  He asked us to ponder the question, “What does it mean to have what I have?”  He also told us never to say, ”When I get back to the real world…..”  He boldly (and I mean Elder Holland BOLDLY) said that, “THIS is ‘REAL Life’ ”.  “It doesn’t get anymore real than this!”  He closed by testifying to each of us that God loves us and knows us by name!  I am so grateful that I know that I am a child of God.  I know the Lord loves me.  I have felt his arms encircle me with that love. To everyone reading this, I know you are a child of God, He knows you by name and He loves you.  The spirit and power present in that devotional was incredible.  During one part of the devotional, the Hymn “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go Dear Lord”  began to run through my mind.  The answer of, “I will, Lord” burned within me.  I love this Gospel.  What a blessing it was to listen to an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ on this beautiful Thanksgiving Day.  When Elder Holland left, all the missionaries stood and we just basked in the spirit of the moment. 
            After devotional we had Thanksgiving dinner.  It was good.  Not like home cooked good and the rolls had nothing on you mom, but it was good.  After dinner we went and packed a sack dinner.  Then we had a humanitarian service presentation.  They showed a wonderful message about helping and serving others.  They talked about how one of the ways members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worship is through giving service to our fellowman.  They showed us the “Helping Hands” video again.  If you haven’t watched it, DO!  I think you can find it on YouTube –mormonhelpinghandsnyc.  I am inspired to find people to serve every day on my mission. 
            After that presentation we went to the cafeteria to make over 4,000 educational bags and 4,000 hygiene kits for the people of Mali.  It was so fun working together knowing how important these simple items will be to the recipients.  We finished a little early and the table behind us found a roll of tape and they were blowing this roll of tape up and down the 30-40 foot table cheering if they made it without falling off.  He,he – oh, missionaries, we are so easily entertained!  Then we ate dinner in our residencies which basically was cookies and candies because the sandwiches were kinda warm and soggy.  Hermana Pearson and I made our turkey decorations mom sent.  They are so cute! 
            Then we went to a special musical program.  There were some great instrumental pieces and singers, but the best part was when the entire audience sang “Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go…”  Who knew there were three verses! Ok, seriously, who knew there was more beyond the first line. :)  We also enjoyed a Thanksgiving skit.  The characters when their part/name was called would have to say a little line.  For example, the turkey’s gobbled, the pilgrim women said, “Mercy me”.  The best one was the preacher who said, “ Hallellujah!” The first time the preacher went no one said anything, but the last time he shouted, the audience shouted back, “Amen!”  It was such a fun program.
            The final surprise of the night (which I had my suspicions about from mid-day because of the time frame) …a Movie!  The best part was President Brown saying we have popcorn for you.  Then they gave each missionary a decent sized bag of delicious kettle corn.  We’re talkin’ the real stuff.  The movie we watched was, “17 Miracles”.  Church history, the MTC spirit and me = basically cried the whole movie.  Even Elders were tearing up.  Every time I watch that movie I am so touched by the sacrifice and faith of those early saints.  It really hit me hard because I have a better understanding of what it means to sacrifice almost everything for the gospel.  I am giving up 18 months of my life to serve the people of New Mexico.  The last line in the movie says it all, “It will all be worth it.”  I know that these 18 months serving the Lord will be the best months of my life.
            So that was my Thanksgiving.  Even though I was away from my family and friends I had a great experience.  It was a spiritually enriching day and a day I will never forget.  Ok, well, I love everyone lots. I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with gratitude as we remember the great things the Lord has done for us. 

                                                                                                            Mucho Amor,
                                                                                                            Hermana Klaus

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Week 3

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone has a great day!  I am looking forward to spending my day here in the good ole MTC.  I doing great.  I am still loving missionary life and apart from being tired most of the time, I am in very good spirits!  Yesterday in class I had a good laugh because we had a substitute teacher and when I looked around, all of the elders except one were either asleep or in the process of falling asleep.  We sometimes complain because our Spanish building has these tiny hard desks and the English speakers have these nice comfy leather seated chairs, but I am thankful because if I had a nice comfy chair I would be joining the elders in what they have dubbed praying! :)  It is really funny when an Elder has fallen asleep and when he wakes up he says "I wasn't asleep I was simply praying very deeply."  They even schedule in 4 hour prayer times on P-day in their planners.  They are trying to become like Enos.  The elders make me laugh!  The other great thing the Elders have been doing this week was taught to them by one of the teachers here.  The word for repentance in Spanish is arrepentimiento and they were having a hard time remembering all the syllables.  however, this word exactly fits to the tune of ice ice baby.  So it is very common to hear anyone in the district heading to meals laundry or in between class break out into song/rap of "arrepentimiento cha"  It is very catching and has been stuck in my head for the last week.  I know I will never forgot how to say repentance in Spanish, but I might not remember how to say it without rapping!

So in other news we got a new elder in our district.  He is going to the New Jersey Morristown Mission - the same as my companion.  We are sad to say goodbye to Elder Essig and Elder Bennett as they are going to the Dominican Republic MTC to finish their training there.  The rest of us are normal and still pressing forward with Spanish.

The Spanish update.  I am doing well.  I think that the MTC basically has taught me what I learned in Spanish 1-3 in high school!  I know I am learning tons, but right now my brain is on overload trying to work on the different tenses, so it is harder to speak than when I was just focusing on the present tense.  I also believe that I am not going to be able to read and write in English any time soon because my brain is one big mixed up mess!  In addition, I probably will no longer to spell in English but lets face it, I couldn't spell in English to begin with... :)  I am happy to be learning the Spanish language and can't wait to be able to preach the gospel in New Mexico!

This week I also went to the MTC health clinic for the first time.  My companion hasn't been feeling very good, so she went to have a check-up.  When we got to  the waiting room there were these little toys that spin around when you move them back and forth (bunnies, kitties and cute animals).  My companion wondered what they were for because there are no kids that come to the MTC.  I said it was to keep the elders occupied.  So she went back and I was still sitting in the waiting room with about 3 other sisters and we all were reading different study materials when this companionship of elders walked in.  The one companion went back to see the doctor and the other companion made a beeline towards the bunny toy!  I nearly busted a gut trying not to laugh.  It was too perfect.  However, in the elder's defense when we went back later that day one of the bunny toys was sitting next to me and I couldn't resist trying it out and I will admit it is very fun.  Now we must keep this in context that we are all missionaries that study for 14 hours a day, so it makes sense when we come a across any sort of toy that we would be entertained regardless of how mundane.

Hmm what else...  Oh my teachers are great.  They have the perfect balance of spiritual time and fun time.  They are good explaining Spanish concepts, but my favorite are their sayings.  One teacher always asks us if we are pumped and the other one after we had finished studying Spanish and were about to study the gospel told us we were about to have "a chin wag"  Only the sister from Brigham City had ever heard of a chin wag, but the best part was watching everyone in the class start wagging their chin as they contemplated the phrase chin wag instead of saying "discussion".  Yes the MTC is a special place!

Kara this one is for you.  After relief society on Sunday the sisters had a health and wellness meeting.  During that meeting the sister speaking taught us about deep breathing to help relieve stress.  So all the sisters began deep belly breathing and I thought about you having to deep breath in English and I smiled.  So now whenever you are deep breathing remember your sister is deep breathing and thinking about you.    That night at the devotional, the speaker actually had everyone doing it, including the elders, so we don't succumb to the stress of missionary life.

I have 3 great videos that have been shown in devotionals or in firesides if anyone is interested.  One of them is called "Sanctify yourselves" it's a mormon message.  The other one was a short video on the life of a man named John Tanner who really understood the law of consecration.  Finally the last one was about all the LDS ward members and missionaries in New York helping out those that had been effected by hurricane Sandy.   It was neat to hear people's reaction and my favorite line was you don't even need to wear those yellow vests because people know who you are and they want your help.  It makes me feel so blessed to belong to a Church that does so much to help those that are in need all over the world.

I will give more details about thanksgiving next week, but what I do know is that a good portion of our day has been scheduled for humanitarian service!  What a huge blessing to be able to give on this special holiday.  Oh and I am pretty sure that an apostle of the Lord will be giving this morning's devotional, so that is also very exciting!  I love love love this gospel!   What a joy it is to have in my life.  I know that by living the commandments of the Lord we will blessed.  I know that the Lord loves each and everyone of us and he wants us to return and live with him again.  Again I love all of you so so much!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and may the blessing of the Lord rest on each of us this day!

Mucho amor,
Hermana Klaus

PS: I forgot to mention that because thanksgiving is on Thursday, I don't have p-day this week!  Kind of a bummer, but the craziest part was that I was up at 5:30 this morning - not to bake a turkey or whip up a batch of rolls - but instead to fight the masses in the laundry room.  Woohoo nothing like laundry at 5:30 in the morning!  The Lord gave my companion and I a tender mercy this morning because we were there literally two minutes before a huge rush came.  It was a blessing because I couldn't have gone another week without laundry!  My companion and I were able to look on the bright side and give a sigh of relief that Christmas is on Tuesday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Week 2 Pictures

Week 2

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Ok so another week at the great MTC!  To start off i am going to answer questions that have been posed to me.  First off the welcome bag was more a like a welcome envelope.  It contains your placa, your schedule and some little welcome information.  Don't worry mom, I am plenty warm with my blankets and even gave Hermana Pearson the slightly sad blanket the MTC provides because she was freezing at night.  You can take off the dork dot after the first day, which is a relief because when you have it on everyone grins at you and welcomes you to the MTC, which is nice, but if you didn't know they truly meant it, it could be a little unnerving!  My companion hermana Pearson is going to Morristown, New Jersey.  Finally celestial breakfast is when we eat in the temple cafeteria after doing a session!  Ok so now on to the letter.

On Thursday it snowed like crazy and we still have some of the leftover snow almost a week later.  The worst part about cold weather here is that we are outside for maybe 5 minutes at a time walking between class and if you don't have your coat you are freezing, but the classrooms are super warm.  Anyway it is a constant daily battle to decide whether or not I bring my coat.  I basically have the same schedule Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Which includes gym, personal study, breakfast, additional study, companion study, class, lunch, additional study, class, dinner, language study, additional study, TALL which is language study on the computer, daily planning and then we have about an hour at night to write in our journals and prepare for bed.  The other days have slight variations of the order but it is basically all the same stuff.  Mainly I study for 12+ hours a day!  It is awesome!  I love learning about the gospel and I love learning Spanish.  I am amazed at how much my Spanish keeps improving and that I am understanding what the teachers are saying to me.

Sundays are a little bit different from the rest of the week.  We have a lot of personal study time.  The sisters all go to music and the spoken word on Sundays followed by relief society.  This week Sister Esplin of the General Primary Presidency came and spoke to us and did a great job!  Then we have sacrament.  Each week we have to have a 5 minute talk prepared in Spanish on a topic they have assigned, such as baptism and then right after sacrament the Branch president stands up and tells us which two or three of us will be speaking today!  It is slightly nerve racking, but at least I will have 9 talks prepared before I hit the mission field.  Sunday devotionals are great.  We finally sang Called to Serve and it was fantastic!  The only problem is that it drives me crazy that we sit when we sing that song.  I felt like we need to stand up like we did in primary and sing our joy straight to heaven. 

In the devotionals and firesides they all speak about missionary work...of course!  One of the general authorities told us that there are 5 times the normal number of applications from sisters in right now than there are sisters in the field.  Then he basically told us to be ready because we are going to be the trainers.  They tell us that we will be trained and then we will train.  It's a little nerve racking, but I am so excited the Lord had me wait to serve at this time when missionary work is booming.  They also talk about the inspiration that goes into a mission call and it makes you really feel that the Lord knows us and he knows where we can do the most good.  To illustrate the growing missionary week there were 270 missionaries (about 40 or so sisters mom), but yesterday over 700 missionaries arrived!  It's insane right!  I hope that there are enough washing machines to go around!

So for some fun news for the week.  In Spanish class they often ask us to create sentences about what we have learned.  We were learning tener que which means to have to do something.  We were going around the classroom giving our answers when the perfect sentence came into my head.  Tenemos que buscar a Nemo!  The whole district was laughing and now finding Nemo is a go-to answer when we need to make creative sentences.  Basically crazy things happen to your brain when you study a foreign language for hours and hours a day!  Along with Disney, the elders have a strange attraction to pokemon.  We have these 3 different Spanish books and they are small medium and large.  The elders have affectionately named them Charmander, Chamealon, and Charzard.  Whenever we are told to get one of our books the elders will pipe in Charzard!  Sadly even us sisters sometimes forget and call the books by their pokemon names.  The Katie story of the week happened in Spanish class.  I was feeling really tired and I'm not sure why...? :)  Anyway one of the hermanas had dark chocolate so she gave me a mini piece and I unwrapped it and put it into my mouth.  The teacher was on a little story and wasn't asking us anything so I felt safe eating it.  Just when the chocolate was in the perfect half solid half melted phase in my mouth the teacher turned and asked me a question and about a split second before he did I knew he was going to ask me a question.  The sisters all knew what was happening so they all started laughing and I quickly had to duck my head to ensure no chocolate drool would escape my mouth.  The teacher taking pity on me called on an elder instead, but I have learned to be more sneaky in my chocolate consumption and to eat smaller pieces.

Another fun note one of my teachers Hermano Clarke went to the same mission as Brandon Pickett and they know each other.  So it's a small mission world.

On Tuesdays we have service in the mornings and when I say mornings I mean we are there at 6:20 sharp to begin vacuuming, cleaning toilets and my personal favorite mopping.  Hermana Pearson and I have both named the vacuums harry and speedy gonzales.  The best part was mopping the floors.  We created the song mop-maker to the tune of match-maker and had a grand time mopping the floor.  Then we turned mopping into an olympic sport and had commentary on our great mopping technique.  Thus a testament that even service at the MTC can be fun when you have the right attitude! 

Even though lots of fun happens at the MTC the spirit is incredible here.  Everyday I am almost overwhelmed at the love  I feel from my Heavenly Father and my Savior.  It is most powerful when we are teaching our lessons.  Even though it is hard to teach in a foreign language I can still feel the power of the spirit behind the words I am speaking.  Yesterday Hermana Pearson and I were getting very frustrated trying to figure out what to teach when one of the tutors started talking to us and reminded us about the power of listening and loving.  So for that lesson we went in and just asked our investigator how he was doing and listened as he talked about his family.  I felt the love the Savior had for him and at the very end we were able to bear simple testimonies about God's love for us and the fact that families can be together forever.  I felt such joy when I was testifying of these things.  Families are central to God's creation and plan for us and what a comfort it is to know that I can be with my family forever.  I love my Savior, so much and each day I am humbled and honored that he has called and entrusted me to this great work!  I love you all and I am praying for you daily!

Mucho Amor,

Hermana Klaus

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 1


Hello everyone!  I hope everyone is doing well and you should know that I miss all of you.  I have had an excellent week, which I am going to tell you all about.  First off on Wednesday it was hard to say good-bye but what a blessing it has been!  When we get out of the car, they take us to a main room where they have a whole bunch of little tables set up.  Then they give you your welcome bag and then you move to another line and they put your nametag on you.  What a cool experience having that placa placed on your left shoulder.  The only downside is yes they still have the dork dots!  Beautiful bright beacons of insecurity.  It really made it official!  Then it was off to another table to take a picture for your life card at the MTC and of course my picture is pretty much like stepping-back-into-the-7th-grade bad.  Then you drop of the bags that nearly kill you trying to get up the stairs in the room and then off to get not 12 but 30 pounds of books! :)  You are taken to a classroom, which at that point you don't know, but will pretty much your life for the next 9 weeks and have a cute little orientation movie on the MTC and gym time.  Then you meet the companion!  My companion is awesome!  Her name is Hermana Pearson and she is from Colorado.  Your companion enters the MTC the same day you do so we both had dork dots making us twice as noticiable.  We are getting along great.  We have had some comical moments even in the short week we've been companions.  The rest of the day comprises classes, orientation from the MTC presidency, dinner and then you start right into a teaching simulation, which was neat.  I was able to bear my testimony about forever families to one gentlemen (in english of course).  Then it's off to bed right?  Wrong, because if you're me you know you haven't been welcomed to the MTC until something goes wrong.  That something was my placa.  The story of the missing placa goes as follows.  We were taken back to our room by a nice coordinating sister who was telling us everything will be fine and you'll love it here, and all of us are thinking what did I just get myself into.  Then we get back to the room and as I am taking off my coat, my green magnet falls out but not my placa and I am thinking oh no!  Yep I start looking everywhere and my placa is not in the room, so finally I tell the coordinating sister my placa's gone so she says no problem lets retrace our steps and look for it.  We start walking and no placa.  We are all kinda giggling at this point because we are trying to find a missing placa, and they are saying if we don't find it I'll have to go the office lost and found, when all of the sudden it hits me!  My placa not only has my name letting the world know who lost it, but it also has a bright orange dot!  In horror I realize that anyone who finds my placa is going to have the laugh of their life as they have this placa belonging to a new missionary.  We went all the way back to the classroom and no placa and we decided it must have been picked up.  My companion decided that it must be back at the room because while we were looking for it two elders needed to bear their testimonies so we were suppose to be out and about so they could find someone to bear it to.  Sure enough when I got back to the room and started to finish unpacking there under a book and a scarf was my missing placa.  I don't even remember opening that bag, but just goes to show the tender mercies of the Lord in sparing me the humiliation of picking up my dork dotted placa!  All in all it was a great way to break the ice at the MTC.  The other two girls in my room are Hermana Thompson going to San Diego and Hermana Farnsworth going to Argentina.  Both are great and it's been fun getting to know them.

The rest of week was basically filled with studying spanish, studying the gospel, a little sleeping, and eating.  Sometimes it feels all we do is study and eat study and eat, so don't ever believe any elder who says they are starving at the MTC because it is a lie!  On Thursday I was also made to feel really old when the teacher (talking about when he served his mission) asked who was born before 1991 and my lone hand entered the air.  He thanked me for keeping him young and I thanked him for marking me as old.

Spanish is going really well so far.  It is hard and sometimes my brain hurts from trying to think and speak in spanish, but wow the results are amazing.  I can now pray and bear my testimony in decent spanish.  This truly is the Lord's work and the gift of tongues is manifest all around. Sunday was fast sunday and it went well.  We had a missionary conference where the MTC president and others speak to us.  Then we went to sacrament meeting and I decided to be brave and try bearing my testimony in spanish.  I stood up and I said Yo tengo butterflies.  The congregation chuckled and the branch president supplied me with the word mariposas.  I thanked him and continued on without any other english incidents.  Later on sunday we had a fireside and there is nothing quite like 2000 missionaries singing together.  It gave me goose bumps.

You cannot be shy to be a missionary because you are teaching in spanish on the third day.  The "investigator" we have was named Julio.  We taught him and it was going great, but on the lesson about baptism right before I bore my testimony the spirit hit me like a freight train.  I know that my savior lives and that he loves me.  I knew that even though my spanish was simple the spirit was strong. 

The rest of my district and zone are good.  We have 3 sets of elders and they are definitely 19 year old boys.  For example, one day in the lunch room they decided to have a half gallon chocolate milk challenge with not so great results.  I mean really, these boys are going to teach the gospel?!  Then they stand and bear their testimonies and you know why the Lord is sending them out.  Powerful testimonies of Christ. 

For all of you wanting my spanish humor to manifest, I have officially told my first joke in spanish.  It is, que dice un libro de matimatica a otro libro de matimatica?  Yo tengo problemas!  ja ja ja ja :)

Today has been a great pday.  Went to the temple this morning and what a beautiful spirit that is felt inside the temple walls.  Then the hermanas in my district and I had what is dubbed celestial breakfeast in the MTC. 

I love being a missionary already.  This is the best feeling in the world.  I get to wear the name of Christ at all times and my entire purpose is to invite them to come unto him!  I have already memorized my purpose, the first vision and the baptism inviation all in spanish!

Ok well that's all I have time for so love you lots!  Please Dear Elder me letters!  Even short notes are good because the elders and their girlfriends are creaming us sisters in letters received.  I love you guys so much! 

Mucho Amor
Hermana Klaus