Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8, 2011 - 11 days!

Hola! Well I can hardly belive it! I've been in the MTC for 50 days! And I leave in about 11! Holy cow. We don't have our travel plans yet, but we got an e-mail from our mission telling us that our flight arrives in Santiago at 5:35am!!! (That means we leave SLC in the middle of the night:0) And then we take another flight to Concepcion. Today we are supposed to get more specifics. The anticipation is killing me! We are getting ready to go and trying to speak more Spanish everyday. The "investigators" we are teaching (our teachers pretending to be investigators) are getting closer to baptism and we are going to have a mock baptism for one of them next Friday. We'll have talks and a musical number and everything! I'm excited. We have been teaching a lot more as our time in the MTC draws to a close, which is good because that's all we'll be doing once we get to Chile: teaching! One day we taught 3 different investigators in the same day! That was new for us. We've been focusing a lot this week on teaching with the Spirit. And it has been really neat. The speaker for Sunday Devotional was one of the Administrative Directors here at the MTC. He had us watch that video where you count how many times people in white shirts pass a basketball between them (and at the same time there are people in black shirts doing the same).

After you watch the video he asked us how many times they passed the basketball. Then he asked if anything odd happened during the video. Half of the audience laughed and raised their hands and the other half of us (me included) was clueless. He showed the video again. And a GORILLA (well someone in a gorilla suit) walked right across the screen and I didn't even notice! Has anyone seen that video? It was crazy. He called it perceptual blindness or something - when you are so focused on something that you miss something huge and obvious. He related this to us as missionaries and how we need to teach with the Spirit and be aware of the conversion process occurring with the people we are teaching instead of being so focused on teaching lessons. He then told some of the most beautiful stories about missionary work that I have ever heard in my life! I cried during each one becaus they were so poignant. They were stories of people who sincerely sought truth and the joy Jesus Christ can bring into our lives and who were willing to change their lives to obtain it. Those stories helped me to feel more excited to leave the MTC. I've gotten quite comfortable here and am a little apprehensive about leaving; it will be a HUGE adjustment. But that's really why I'm here right? To prepare to go to Chile. I was never sent here (to the MTC) to stay.

The people in my district are so fun and amazing. Sometimes I think we have too much fun! One of our teachers was teaching us how to say rebuke in Spanish and then one of the elders in my district points at me and says "Rebuker!" Haha, what?! Oh man. And then one of our other teachers called me "la madre del districto" (the mother of the district). I'm not sure if that's just because I'm 4 years older than most of the elders, but I suspect it's a combo of that with my naturally motherly personality. I do not rebuke them, despite what they jokingly say, but sometimes I may give them guilt trips or chastizing looks...maybe:) I love the elders in our district and am so happy that almost all of them will be in my mission with me. I feel like we act a little bit like my family, we are so loud and if you want to get a word in, you just have to thow it out there. We do a lot of bantering and joking:0 We get along and have fun, but we also learn from each other. They never cease to amaze me with the depth of their testimony and ability to invite the Spirit.

This past Sunday was fast sunday and testimony meeting. I was so happy on this day. Partly because I was fasting to be filled with love, and I defintely was, and I was able to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ (in Spanish) during church. And me and Hermana Hansen played a duet in church. One of the most beautiful I think I have been a part of. It was a piano/flute duet (me on the piano of course). It was a medley "Jesus Once of Humble Birth/In Humility Our Savior" arranged by Todd McCabe and April Meservy. Every time we would practice this song I would feel the Spirit! I felt like I was bearing my testimony through the music, it was so beautiful. The two hymns that made up this medley each speak of Christ and how humble He was and how we must be humble and follow Him. On Sunday the MTC President's wife Sister Brown gave a nice analogy about following the Savior. She showed us a picture of sunflowers and told us to be like them. For sunflowers move so that their face is always toward the sun. She told us that we also need to turn our faces to whereever the Son is. I liked that:) Because the more and more that I am here at the MTC and immersed in reading about, learning about, speaking about, and teaching about the Gospel I am realizing more fully what I already knew before, that the center of this Gospel and this Church is Jesus Christ. And likewise the center of our lives should be Jesus Christ!

I love you all!! Thank you for your love!

p.s. they are moving the mail room here at the MTC so for Sept 12-14 we won't be getting any mail or packages unless they are sent through US mail, UPS, or Fedex. So I won't receive any dearelder letters or packages, or any letters or packages from local areas. I'll get them after that, but just so you know!


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