Monday, November 28, 2011

Surprise Email!

So i just found out we're allowed to email today, since it's essentially our p-day cuz we do our laundry and pack today. I leave the mtc tomorrow at 4 am, catch a flight at 7:30, and have a layover i believe from 1-2 but i'm not sure what time zone. Anyways, that's probably when i'll call, just fyi.
Thanksgiving in the MTC is AMAZING!! I mean, it didn't actually feel like Thanksgiving at all, but it was really awesome. We made 8,000 first aid kits for South Suddan, got hear hear Russell M. Nelson and his wife give incredible talks, and got to watch A MOVIE! 17 Miracles, surprisingly fantastic, about the Martin Handcart Company, I highly recommend it. There was a super cheesy musical program which I spent about half of laughing through, they made us sing To Grandmother's House We Go with lyrics changed to be about Thanksgiving. We kept reassuring Elder Elford, who's from Canada, that Thanksgiving was NOT this dumb, but it was still pretty fun. And having 2 apostles speak in 1 week was pretty amazing!
The last few days in the MTC has been crazy, 2 of the elders from our district left this morning. It still doesn't feel totally real, but they've done alot to help switch our mindframe from MTC to field work. We had in field orientation ALL DAY on Friday, whichI thought was going to be horrible but was surprisingly not boring. It probably helped that most of the teachers were in the district, the training videos for the MTC, so we were all a little starstruck and that kept us awake. Elder Kenning at one point shook one of their hands and then turned to me and said "I FEEL SO ALIVE!" But we learned alot about goal setting, planning, contacting, references, and other stuff that should have been horrible to sit through but actually got me totally pumped. And they gave us pass along cards to use at the airport, which I do NOT want to do but I'm trying to work up the nerve to if I get the chance. We also had a departure devotional this Sunday, where they basically just gave us their last minute advice for the field. My hand was burning from trying to take notes, and I spent my whole 2 hours of personal study time today (we don't usually get that much, it was really exciting) going through the scriptures they gave us and studying different missionaries in the Book of Mormon like President Brown suggested we do. It's cool to see how they use so many of the same teaching principles we're being taught here in the MTC! One of the teachers in in-field orientation told us that if we were to throw away our planners and preach my gospel and start missionary work from scratch, and spend the rest of our lives doing missionary work, our methods and notes by the end would be essentially a poor version of Preach My Gospel, because that's what it is. It's a combilation of the most efficient information and methods that's been found through the course of the work of hundreds of years of missionary work. It's exactly the same advice Ammon, Aaron, and Nephi and Lehi, and all other great missionaries would give us. Everything we could be taught so far is in that book. I'm getting the absolute best missionary training training ever given in history, which is a little reassuring to know. The work will still be hard, but I'm as prepared as I can be.
Mom I got your box, thank you so much!! I can't wait to read my letters tomorrow, and Sister Beasley and I are PUMPED about the goodie bags! And my new skirt is coveted by all, even after only 3 weeks the idea of having something new to wear is thrilling. I'm going to try to start attaching pictures to my emails next week, especially since I didn't send a cd with the pictures I've mailed so far. And thank you to everyone who wrote me right before Thanksgiving, I got like 8 letters, it was fantastic. And a delicious pumpkin pie for pie night?? Best mail everrrrrr!
I've got to go start packing, but I love you all so much! Can't wait to hear your lovely voices tomorrow, I expect everyone to skip work and school and just sit home waiting for my call. I have no idea of when my p-day will be from now on, but i'll write again soon!
P.S. Erin, I can't remember if I told you this yet or not, but I say "Cool story Elder" like 5 times a day and I now feel your pain of no one thinking it's funny. But it cracks me up everytime!

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