So.. yep.. It happened.. It's officially my last week in the MTC!! So surreal. This time next week I'll be in Albania. How freaking crazy is that?! I'm so excited.. A little nervous.. Or more than a little nervous, but so excited. I also made it through consecration week.. So go me.
|Packing to leave the MTC. I hate packing, but I still managed to smile|
Firstly, mom & dad! Here's some info for ya. I leave SLC at 10:00 on Tuesday morning (April 1st).. which by the way means I have to meet at the travel office at 4:35 AM.. It's basically a sick joke. But whatever, I'm just so excited that even waking up at that ridiculous hour is worth it. From SLC I fly to Chicago. So, I'm supposed to land in Chicago at around 2:15 PM. I have like a 2 hour layover there, and that's where I will most likely call you from. SO, do me a solid and send me a DearElder letting me know whether or not I should call your cell phone or if I have to call Caitlin instead or what not. I leave Chicago at 4:05 PM and then head on over to Vienna, Austria.. and we land there at 8:40 AM.. the following day. Might I remind you that I'm making this awfully long trip with a group of 14 elders. Oh my goodness.. I'm sure I'll have some absolutely ridiculous stories for you. Haha, give me so much strength.
So, I'll tell ya a cool story from this past week. So, on Thursday nights we do TRC.. and that's where volunteers who have served in Albania (there's also a girl that does it that's actually from Albania too) come in and let us teach them. It's pretty fun cause a lot of the volunteers know Kent and Joel. But, anyway this past week was our first week teaching a 40 minute lesson as opposed to two 20 minute lessons. And my teaching companion Elder Watson and I had prepared a lesson about receiving revelation through prayer. So, we're in there and stuff and I start the lesson and I say that we want to talk about revelation.. through the Book of Mormon. But, what was interesting about this.. Is that it wasn't until over halfway through the lesson that I was like.. oh my gosh.. oh my gosh.. We're teaching the wrong lesson. It's supposed to be on prayer! What!! I was freaking out, I was like.. I am the dumbest person ever. But, the volunteers were super involved and we were sharing so many scriptures and experiences and stuff. It was a really good lesson. But, when we got out I was basically like crying and I was like "Elder Watson, I'm so sorry!! I'm so sorry, I'm so dumb! Why didn't you stop and correct me when I said 'revelation through the Book of Mormon'?" Elder Watson being the kind person that he is was like, because I figured that the Spirit was guiding you to say that. At first it was really difficult for me to think that the Spirit guided me to teach the wrong lesson and I felt so upset about it. I prayed to Heavenly Father to understand if I was actually being guided, and I found this scripture in Mark 13. Verse 11 reads, ".. Take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak... but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost."
How cool is that? Elder Watson and I are just two missionaries that know very little Albanian. And yet, we were able to teach a 40 minute lesson that we were completely unprepared for. That's not a coincidence. That's not easy. We were thinking of and finding scriptures in Albanian. It was so cool, and it was something that I needed to understand so bad. The Spirit is the teacher. I'm not. Seriously guys, the gospel is so cool.
So, one of my goals for my mission are that I want to be able to look back as I get on the plane to come home and know that there was NOTHING else I could have done. That I did everything that I could have possibly done for the Albanian people and I worked my hardest everyday. As I've been in the MTC that has also been one of my goals. To be honest, it's hard because when you're in a classroom for like 10 hours a day it's hard to remain focused and there have definitely been times where I've not been as dedicated or focused as I ought to be. Especially because some of my elders are so dang funny. But, this Sunday I had my final interview with my branch president and he honestly boosted my confidence so much. He told me that he KNOWS that the MTC is a better place simply from me having been here. He told me that many missionaries in their weekly letters told him of how I had helped them or provided answers to their prayers. I cannot tell you how humbling it is to hear that you're making a difference when you're not even aware of it. I wish I could take the credit, but honestly.. It's not me at all. I just say whatever the Lord places in my mind. I feel so incredibly blessed that He feels that He can trust me to help His children here in the MTC.
I'm getting really sad to think about leaving all the people that I serve with right now :( But, I'm SO excited to have a female companion. Haha, it's gonna be so refreshing! AH! I'm so excited. I cannot even articulate to you all how much I already love the Albanian people. Amanda taught an Albanian family in Georgia and I found myself like being emotionally connected to what happened with them because I truly just am so excited to help them!
|This is the new Hungarian siter. She is from Hill Spring, AB!|
I love you all, I hope all is going well. By the way, Steph!! Congratulations for being the best thing to happen to Bert Church basketball since like.. Kari Gallup. That's awesome that they retired your jersey. You're a legend. Maybe they can frame the section of wall that I broke my hand on in that hallway.. Just to make it fair, ya know? Haha, but really. You're awesome.
I hope everything is going well for everyone at home. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord, I promise you that this Church is true and that the gospel of Jesus Christ IS the way to find true happiness. In 9 weeks I have come to understand without a shadow of a doubt that Heavenly Father has a perfect knowledge of all of His children. No matter where they are or what they're doing. There is never a time where we fall under the radar and cannot receive His love.
No big deal, the next time you get an e-mail from me.. I'll be in Europe. Wish me luck!