Monday, November 30, 2015

Last Days at the Missionary Training Center

The card reader she has been using accidentally got packed before they could email this week, so unfortunately no pictures. But here is the exciting conclusion to her stay at the MTC:

Hi friends and family! 

I seriously cannot believe I am leaving the MTC tomorrow. I will finally be going to Yakima! I am so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so excited. I thought I would be more nervous, but I'm really not! I'm mostly just excited. I didn't go on a mission for the MTC, I went for Washington. 

So first off this week I got a package from my ma with a couple shirts and things I asked for from home and it was so funny because I opened it and they all smelled like home! My roommates were making fun of me, because I just kept sitting there on my bed smelling my sweatshirt. I didn't even want to take them out of the box because I wanted to keep the home smell on them. Ha ha! I guess I'm just weird. But I just loved it.

Random funny this week- my teacher Hermana McBride randomly started talking in a stitch voice in class a couple of days ago. It was so weird and out of character but so funny. We were all having a hard time paying attention but that snapped us right back into focus!

Wednesday we had in-field orientation, which was surprisingly not as bad as everyone told me it was going to be. It was nine hours, so we were all really exhausted afterwards, but they did a good job of keeping us entertained. They even did a "play" for us. It was an insult to the theater and Hannah would definitely not approve, but it was so funny and I really loved it.

So Thanksgiving was pretty weird. Really good but really weird, too. We had so many devotionals! I guess that’s all they could think of to entertain us. In the morning we had a devotional with Elder Dallin H. Oaks. His address was good, but my favorite part was when a bunch of his grandkids all got up and played the most beautiful version of "Love is Spoken Here". There was a pianist who looked about 11, three violinists, probably all teenagers and older, two cellists, probably 8 or 9 and 13 or 14, and a guitarist who was probably 8! It was impressive, beautiful and totally my family goals! It really helped me feel the Spirit so strongly. They also played two other songs.

After the devotional with Elder Oaks, we had some study time, and then we went to lunch. We packed sack dinners (PB & J) and lunch was our Thanksgiving meal, so the cafeteria employees could go home and be with their families for the holiday. It was actually really delicious. Real turkey, real corn, real pie, even real cranberry sauce! I am told the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and rolls were good too. It wasn't like home, but it was a ton better than I was expecting, so that was good. After our feast we went back to the classroom and had a district meeting to talk about what we were thankful for. It was really special, and also kind of hilarious because everyone was in a food coma.  I wish I could have taken a video.

So then after that we had another devotional to talk about our service project. The opening song was "Over the River and Through the Woods” and it was SO WEIRD. Everyone was like....uh, please, no. Ha ha! But we had fun with it and then we learned about our service project with "Feeding Children Everywhere". They basically taught us about the organization, shared some great Thanksgiving thoughts, and then we went to the cafeteria to do the service project. We got into teams of about 8-10 people and made bags of dehydrated meals. Each bag has spices, rice, veggies, and lentils and feeds six people! By the end of the day we made 367,900 meals!! I felt so awesome afterwards. I love doing service.

For a news story on this service project, click here or here.

Then after the service project we watched a film "17 Miracles" which I actually hated because it just made me cry the whole time... It's like, "All these people die in the end--what kind of movie is that?!” I'm just kidding, it's actually really inspirational but sad, and I don't like crying. 

After the movie we had... you guessed it... another devotional. This one was kind of just a series of Mormon messages, Thanksgiving scriptures, and special musical acts from all over the MTC. It was really fun, because it was way different than other devotionals at the MTC. There was a girl who yodeled! A girl who made duck noises?! A couple of elders who did improve blues piano! (I obviously loved that one) Then we went outside after the devotional, and the presidency surprised us with Christmas lights all over campus! It's so beautiful! A bunch of us broke out in Christmas carols and stood out in the cold singing for about a half hour. It was so fun and really got me in the Christmas mood.

Friday and Saturday one of the Hermanas in my zone was sick so we all took turns sitting in class with her companion, since they are the only girls in their district. It was so weird to be in class and remember what it was like at the very beginning of my MTC stay. That district has only been here a week and a half. I feel like people grow up so much here.

Saturday we had our last class all together with our whole district (Elders Rogers and Farley left this morning), and a zone meeting to say goodbye to my district since we are leaving this week. We all got up and bore our testimonies, and I even sang a song I wrote about being on a mission. 

Yesterday was our last Sunday here and was kind of sad. We did a musical number, which was fun. But it was also weird because we have our new branch president. I really like him though. Then we all went home and packed like crazy!

This morning at 3 am we took Elder Farley to the travel office to go to Ecuador, it was so sad, so cold, and so tiring, and I almost slipped on ice three times. But it was really good. We said one last district prayer together and even got some hot chocolate from the cafeteria in the middle of the night! Then at 6 am we took Elder Rogers to the office and he's going to Ecuador too, just the opposite side. It was really sad too, but I don't remember much of anything because I was so tired from waking up two times! I'm so tired today but it's worth it to support my friends. 

Today has been pretty good besides being tired and a little in denial! But I am seriously so stoked for tomorrow. And seriously looking forward to grocery shopping. Anyway I have to go eat dinner now and finish packing, but I love you all so much! Talk to my family tomorrow morning! 

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