Sunday, April 18, 2010

Last email from the MTC!!

I have a few important things to say and then hopefully I'll have time for some other things.

First of all, we got our travel plans on Friday! It was a glorious moment in our lives and unfortunately it was right before this meeting and we were all so nutty (a word that Elder DeVictoria often uses that I find hilarious) that it was so hard to concentrate. But! I'm leaving the MTC at 6 am on Monday morning. Meaning, last chance for mail is Friday. Well, for Dear Elders. Friday by noon is the deadline for me to get them here. If someone wants to risk sending a letter in the mail that would get here by Saturday, it's possible, but it is risky. After that, all letters should be sent to Chile! I sent Kelsey an email with all that information. I'll forward it to you, Dad. But, about the phone call. I can call between 7 and 9 am on Monday morning, roughly, and then I have a layover in LA and I might be able to call between 12:30 and 1:30 Utah time then. This all depends on how long it takes to check in and everything. But, I don't really know who to call/what to do about that. I think Dad said he's going to be out of town, so every single person in our family will be in a different location. I don't know how much time I'll have to make calls, but I'm pretty sure I remember everyone's phone numbers, so unless someone e-mails me with a better solution I'll probably just try to call as many people as I can. Mom, do you want me to call the home phone to talk to you and Tagg? I'll call you first so Tagg can miss as little school as possible (that is, if Tagg is going to be there). Anyway, there's the heads up about that.

Okay, the other huge thing is THANK YOU MOM for the Easter package! My roommates loved it, we had our Easter egg hunt on Thursday night (perfect timing, because Thursday night is party night), I loved the shirt and belt and got lots of comments on my Easter outfit, and thank you for all the other things in there that I needed too. Thank you soooo much, we all really appreciated it. You are the best :)

And thanks everyone for the letters this week! I heard from everyone except Chase and Annie, including Tagg for the first time. Tagg, for some reason I didn't get your other Dear Elders but I think you can check on the website letters you've sent so you should see if they're there. But seriously, I love you guys all sooooo much and I really missed you this week. Especially during General Conference, when I swear EVERY TALK was about the importance of families. It was amazing, I felt sooo spiritually uplifted by Conference, but honestly, I really missed you all during it. I hope you all watched and took notes and if you haven't you still can! There was not a single talk that ended without me being in awe at all the things I learned. And I was so grateful for everything you guys have all done for me and how much love is in our family. I MISS YOU. I really do. But Sunday during District Meeting we were doing the Ring of Fire again (where we say nice things about each other) and Elder Spencer, the current District Leader said that he can tell that I really miss my family, but that I heard the call of the Lord to come on a mission and I answered it, and he respected that. Totally true. Not in a bragging, I'm really awesome because I'm on a mission way, but in a "I really miss my family but I know missionary work is important" way. I love you, but I also love what I'm doing.

And what I'm about to be doing in one week, aka doing ACTUAL missionary work in CHILE. Sometimes I can't wait to bust out of here, but sometimes I'm pretty nervous. As stuffy and not-real as the MTC is, it's comfortable, I know people here, and I can always revert back to English. Whenever I leave myself to my own fears and start thinking about what I'm going to be doing and compare that to be my own ability, I start to get way freaked out, but I only let that happen for about one second before I realize that I'm doing the Lord's work and I'll be doing it with His ability, not my own. It's amazing how quickly my fears flee when I remember my faith. That was another common theme I noticed in Conference: trusting in the Lord is the ONLY way to go through this life happily. Our faith will always carry us. How wonderful!

Two more brief things. First, our teachers have decided that our Spanish efforts are just not enough and so they've instituted a game for the last week in the MTC called "El Nativo." Basically, every day someone in the district is chosen as "the native" and they are supposed to act like a native spanish speaker, aka, not speak or even understand ANY English. At the end of the day, we all vote on who we think it was. Whoever has the most points at the end of the week gets a prize, so basically all the time we're supposed to be pretending to be natives to convince everyone that it's us. It was pretty fun at the beginning (we started last weekend), but it's gotten a little contentious (like everything always does in this district) and some people have kind of stopped trying. But, it has helped us speak Spanish A LOT more, though not all the time. My day has yet to come, but I'm going alllllll out. And honestly, every time we do this ONLY speak in Spanish thing, it gets easier. I'm not toooooo worried.

My travel group to my mission has 7 people in it, and by a miracle the other day I was walking through the gym before Conference started and met the 5 Elders coming to Antofagasta with me. There is one other sister who I've met before. No one was as excited as I was to meet them, proabbly because they're all already really good friends and have always known they'd be traveling together to the mission. But now at least I can recognize the people that I'll be spending about two days with. By the way, my travel plans end in Santiago at 5:30 am next Tuesday. Basically, I have no idea how I'm getting to Antofagasta but I'm assuming it involves a bus and a really long second day of traveling while wearing the same clothes. I am so excited to just GET there.

Okay, I love you all, and besides these phone calls that hopefully go down, the next time I'll write will be FROM CHILE. :)

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