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!