Time here at the CCM is a crazy thing. Some days are SOOO long and then BAM it's pday again. It's so weird. This week has been SO GREAT. SO much better than last week. I am refocused and utilizing all my study time to prepare for Argentina.
-I'm finishing up my EIGHTH week here at the CCM and my departure date is 4/2... next Monday. But I'm pretty sure we'll be staying here longer. We haven't got our travel plans yet either... they were supposed to come yesterday. The group before us hasn't gotten their visas and they'll be starting their 12th week here next week. That's as long as the Mandarin and Russian missionaries! Ah! We are all pretty sure that we'll be here longer. Sad. The mexico missionaries are being reassigned to wait for their visas, but the Argentina ones are waiting at the MTC still. There's a group of 30 missionaries ALONE going to Bahia Blanca on 4/2... so we'll see who gets their visas. I actually wouldn't mind getting an extra week... only one though :). It would be nice to review Spanish and work harder.
- The Bahia Blanca mission is expanding... by June there will be 270 missionaries... our President wrote and said they were trying to get a temple... you better believe I'm going to work hard to get more people baptized so they can get a temple!
- Ok so EXCITING NEWS!!!! I'm going to be on TV again! But this time... you all get to look for me! Yup! I'll be singing in the MTC choir AT GENERAL CONFERENCE on Saturday afternoon!!! What the! This girl, who's not so much of a singer, will be singing for the prophet, apostles, and THE WHOLE WORLD on Saturday! So set your DVRS and look for the girl in peach (the sisters will be wearing pastels... so we'll look like a big bouquet of flowers... that's what Sister Brown said... so look for me in all my pastel glory. PS who wears pastels anymore? Anyone??? No offense people! This is a ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity and I am just so humbled to be a part of it. We've been working hard to memorize our parts so we won't let you down!
- On Tuesday, we got to hear from Elder and Sister Oaks! So great! I loved Sister Oaks talk. She told us that we came to the MTC to learn about Christ and how to love as he did... not to learn our language. She told us we need to be BOLD because we can teach others how to achieve SALVATION!!! A few weeks ago we had a talk from someone of the 70. He told us that if we had gold to pass out to everyone, we wouldn't say, "Hey um... I've got this gold here... do you, uh, want some?" NO! The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is our gold! We should be like, "HEY EVERYONE!!! I've got GOLD HERE!!!" The gospel is much more precious than gold and we should NOT be timid in sharing it. Elder Oaks talked about the importance of preparing ourselves for taking the sacrament and how through that we are promised to have the Spirit with us always. And a missionary ALWAYS wants the Spirit with them! It is the main teaching tool! We have such a small part in the conversion of investigators. The Spirit does 95% of the teaching, so it is VITAL for us to teach by the spirit.
- Every Tuesday, we get the opportunity to go to TRC. We teach a lesson to members and it really is one of my favorite times of the week. So this week, we walked into the room and shook hands with this young guy. I recognized him! We were like "HEY! I KNOW YOU!" And what do you know, it was Blake Lewis, recently returned from serving in Ecuador. We graduated from high school together and it was so nice to be able to chat with someone I know! TRC really is so great!
- Brother and Sister Malan were released on Sunday. They'll be going to China for a year to serve with the BYU Kennedy center. It was SO SAD! I love them both so much. Sister Malan served in Bahia Blanca too! We all cried when they left. We got a new couple put in, Brother and Sister Tedrow. They are from Highland and are so sweet! Also, Sister and Brother Nally, who are in the MTC presidency are from Highland too! I always like seeing people from my home town. The Nally's know President Bangerter and Bishop Millar too! We got a new district this week... 8 going to Mexico, 2 going to Peru! It's always fun to have a new district. Ours is now the oldest in the zone! So crazy!
- So on Sundays and other times during the week during meals, President Brown (the MTC president) trolls around and finds a district to sit with. Sometimes it can be bad news because then he makes you get up during firesides and bear your testimony or something! So we usually try to avoid eye contact, haha. So on Sunday we saw him walking with his tray and I said to Hna Hinze, "watch out, Brown on the prowl!", and what does Elder Robertson do? He says, "President Brown! Come sit with us!" I was dying! It actually was really great and he didn't make us go up during the fireside. We were quizzed on the Doctrine of Christ and I have to say, I was sweating a little!! He is such an inspired man and I LOVED listening and learning from him.
- This week we have been learning about teaching PEOPLE not lessons. That is one of the hardest things! To go into a lesson with a plan that is subject to change according to the needs of your investigators. We practiced teaching our teacher as himself, not as an investigator, and we were literally inspired to talk about aligning our will to the Lord's. He told us it was exactly what he needed. I hope all my lessons can be like that. About that subject... sometimes we think that WE know how we can be happy and WE know the ways we can get there. But we must remember that we have a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan for us and knows how we can have the most happiness. Sometimes it's hard to realize that and give up what you think should be your plan for God's plan. But it is a DIVINE plan and He knows our potential. Don't forget that... especially when you feel like you are being stretched to your limits.
- Sergio and Ruben get baptized tomorrow! The whole process has been so great and I'm so HAPPY to see the hard work and studying we've done pay off. Sergio has made a 180 and I am just so impressed. I can't wait to see what that's like in the field. After their baptisms, our teachers are bringing in pictures and telling us stories of the REAL Sergio and Ruben! So exciting!
- This Sunday marks the 9 year anniversary of my brother starting his mission on the other side. I have never felt closer to him than I do now. We are united in purpose and I know he is proud of me. I know that there are TWO missionaries from my family out in the field, bringing the gospel to those who need it. We miss him every day, but he is on the Lord's errand, as am I.
- Shout-outs: Aunt Lori- thanks for the email... BOUT TIME! I love you all and say hi to everyone for me! Aunt Jeni, thanks for the dearelder! Glad you can put the rumors to rest about David Archuleta (he's not here people). Taylor- thanks for the dearelder... you, Paige and Kris are ultimate creeper stalkers... YOU KNOW WHY! Haha but I LOVE you and congrats on the decision to go to DC! I'm jealous! Susan, thank you for the dearelder and spiritual thought. Loved it. Ashton, your Spanish is great! Sorta... thanks for the dearelder! WOOBIE!!! Adrienne- I'm going to send you some hand sanitizer soon! Don't you worry! And I'm sure your YW lessons are amazing :). Squire grandparents: Love you! Thank you for the email. Sis. Wirig- Thanks for the email! I love hearing from you and I wish I could have Laurel lunch at your house still. I miss that! Venice- I could understand your letter! THANKS for writing... ESPECIALLY in Spanish! I miss you! I got so much love from everyone this via dear elder and letters. THANK YOU! You are ALL an inspiration to me. I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Besos y abrazos,