Greetings from the MTC! For (almost) the last time! As of tomorrow I will officially have one week left in this place. For the first time, the English speaking missionaries who arrived on Wednesday won't take off before us.
It's all starting to feel more real. We got our official flight plans on Friday. I'm flying American Airlines from Salt Lake to LAX taking off at 6:50 PM. And then Cathay Pacific Airlines from LAX to Hong Kong taking off at 11:55 PM LA time and landing 5:45 AM Hong Kong time (AKA 14 hours later). And then flying Dragonair from Hong Kong at 8:45 and landing in Phnom Penh at 10:25 AM! Pretty exciting! We are meeting to leave the MTC at 1:30, even though the flight doesn't take off until 7! I'm sure they have learned to just be extra cautious about time with all the missionaries they ship out weekly.
Actually, right now I'm not really thinking too far ahead. I'm mostly just trying to get myself pumped about the fact that in a little over a week I'll finally be in Cambodia! And then we will be picked up by the mission president, and we will spend the night there, I think. We'll get a little orientation. But after that, who knows! An elder in my district thinks that generally they send the sister missionaries out to the country and the elders stay in Phnom Penh. I don't know why he thinks that, but I wouldn't mind that. When I try to picture myself in Cambodia, I usually picture a village like Paklang in Thailand. It would certainly make my bike riding experiences less terrifying. All in all, it's just pretty hard to picture in general.
Becuase general conference is next weekend, yesterday was our last Sunday in our branch, so we had a special meeting with the branch presidency and exit interviews. So it's all starting to seem like we're leaving soon! It's going to be hard to keep up the motivation this week. It'll be an interesting week too, because on Friday we have In-Field orientation which is held by the MTC and lasts all day. And then we won't have class on Saturday either because of General Conference!
So everything is getting wrapped up this week. We have our last few lessons with our investigators. And we had it timed just perfectly to fit in all the lessons and get interviewed for baptism, but we did not account for General conference. But thankfully they are not real. Our investigator Lookpuu Roath (AKA Lokruu Michelsen) wrote us a note this week. It was all in script, so it took a little while to translate becuase of his handwriting. But in it he thanked us for teaching him about the gospel and the Atonement and how much happiness it brought to him and his family. It was nice even if it wasn't real.
It was a good week language-wise. Sister S. and I have done a good job SYL-ing. On Saturday we tried an "English Fast" with our whole district. We definitely did not make it the whole day, but we had a party anyways. I brought the rest of my gummy bears and we played games for the last hour of the day. It's been really fun getting to know these kids. It's going to be a little sad when we're all split up! Most of us are headed to Cambodia together, but Sister H. is headed to Tacoma(!) and two Elders in our district are headed to Long Beach, CA.
Also this week the bookstore got in Cambodian versions of the illustrated Book of Mormon. I bought a copy (even though I do not need the extra weight!). And it's been fun reading it! I know most of the words, so it's good practice reading. And the pictures make it a lot less intimidating than the actual Book of Mormon. It'll be a cool thing to keep and show people when I come home too.
Hmmm. What else. We got to hear from Elder Ballard this week. So we had to do another eat dinner in 5 minutes and rush to choir thing again. We sang "Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning." And I'm still a little bitter about not singing in conference. Elder Ballard gave a good talk. It was cool because he didn't really prepare anything, but just talked with us about what things he learned on his missions and advice for us.
That's about all from this week. This next week will be prepping to go and cramming in all the Cambodian I can! Wish me luck!