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!
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!