Monday, September 22, 2014

Two Weeks from Tomorrow is Take-off!

Hey guys,

We're on week 7 already? How crazy is that! In two weeks from tomorrow we'll be taking off! 

This week has been a good one. Let's start with MondayMonday night we had the opportunity to do a Skype lesson with a member in Cambodia. It was a bit hectic at first, because they only had a couple volunteers lined up. We ended up being a tri-panionship, and Sister S. and I adopted Sister H. We each had our own computer screen with headphones and a microphone. I'd tell you the name of the man we Skyped, but I couldn't understand him. We didn't understand much of what he said. And it didn't help that we couldn't hear him very well either. And he was working in the mission home, so he kept getting up to help other missionaries, but we couldn't understand him at first, so we thought he just kept getting up and leaving us in the middle of our lesson. Overall, I'd say it did not go well, but that's okay. He was very nice. And we met the mission president! Halfway through the lesson he stuck his head in the screen, and talked to us in English! It was only for a second, but he seemed very nice and said he was excited to meet us very soon! We have another Skype session tonight. Hopefully we can only improve. 

Tuesday night we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Scott! It was pretty exciting. Have I told you about choir here yet? Normally I am not a choir person. At all. But the director here tells great stories and is really funny, and when you can't really get any music any other way, I take what I can get. But everyone here wants to sing in the choir, so you have to line up really early. And when there's a general authority coming, you have to line up exxtrraa early. We ate dinner in about 5 minutes. There have been a lot of moments here when I ask myself, "who am I"? And racing to get into choir was one of them. But the devotional was great. He talked about prayer. And it was a very simple message, but encouraging and something I needed to hear. It was broadcast to the other MTCs around the world. And the rumor is we have another apostle coming tomorrow night, so stay tuned. 

Speaking of choir though, I have unfortunate news. We will not be singing at conference. The Elders however will be singing at Priesthood session. But since it is frowned upon for women to attend, we will probably not be there. Though plans for sneaking in have been discussed. Just the field trip to Salt Lake is all I'm asking for. I feel like after seven weeks in this establishment, they owe us that much. 

Another epidemic is working its way through the MTC. As I sit here, people are taking turns hacking away. At the devotional on Tuesday it was hard to hear Elder Scott over 5,000 coughers. I unfortunately have caught it. It was inevitable though, because the elder and sister that sit on either side of me and Sis S. in class were both deathly ill. So it was only a matter of time. I could literally feel myself inhale the warm air that the elder had just coughed. Sorry, that's really gross. The classroom is just really small. I came down with it on Saturday, but I didn't get it too bad. It's going away already.

For service this week we had the fun job of tearing up all the plants at the entrance of the MTC. For some reason I've never understood, the church feels  the need to completely re-do their flowers every season. (They do this at BYU too.) So we got to rip everything up, and it was actually pretty satisfying, though spiders flew everywhere. 

The language is coming along as well as can be expected. Some days I feel like I just have more than other days though. Sis S. and I did give a really great lesson on Saturday talking about repentance. We used the story of Alma the Younger, and stopped and explained verses as he went along. He asked us how he would know when he had faith in Christ. We understood the question and tagged teamed our response like pros. It's really exciting when we can carry on a natural conversation and we're able to really address their concerns. 

Another cool experience this week came from a lesson with an investigator about Joseph Smith. It was the same night as the Skype lesson, and our first lesson after the weekend, and I guess I was feeling particularly flustered, so I was stuttering all over the place. But then I began to recite the First Vision and the stuttering went away. I didn't get through the whole thing (still not completely memorized, I read the ending), but I felt the spirit strongly. Whether that came from the words I was saying, or the fact that I was no longer stuttering, I'm not sure. But either way I felt the power of those words. And I realized why it was important for us to memorize it. I almost have the whole thing down now.

Hmm. What else... Oh, here's a fun thing. The other night we were in our classroom studying, like usual, and somebody noticed fireworks going off outside. So we turned off, the lights, closed the door, stood on the desks and watched the show. I have no idea where they were coming from, but they were big! And they lasted a while. It  was a good show. Also, it was like a Wednesday night... Mason, any ideas? 

Yesterday we had the chance to watch the re-dedication of the Ogden Temple. That was pretty cool. I've been to quite a few of those now. Did Mason and Lauren go too? I remember when they dedicated the Brigham City temple, they canceled all the Provo wards, and we watched that. I'm not gonna lie though, I was in a sleepy, cold-medicine induced phase. So I don't remember a ton of it.

Anyways, that's the news from the MTC. Wish me luck in my next two weeks here. At this rate, I think I'll be lucky to make it out of here alive. Any Khmer I learn in the process will just be a bonus.

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