I have no idea how long I've been here. I seriously just had to think a little too long on that one...
Ok! So Week 3! Week 3 was a week of lots of little miracles--tender mercies :)
The biggest change since last time I got the chance to write you is that I have a new assignment! I am now a Sister Training Leader, which is a new calling that was made with this big influx of Sisters. (They said there were over 1200 of us in Relief Society on Sunday!) Basically, me and one other Sister (her name's Sister Travis) are over all of the girls in our zone, and we just visit them every night and help out where needed. It's mostly just being there when a Sister needs someone to talk to and helping with random questions, but we also are in charge of orientations and tours for all of the new Sisters in our zone that come to the MTC, and getting them all moved in and situated. It's kind of daunting, but it's such a great opportunity to serve, and I love it already. I mentioned in a letter a while back that we got to see a talk Elder Bednar gave at the MTC called "Character of Christ". It was so incredible, and the main message of it was that the character of Christ is that whenever the natural man would turn in, He would turn out in service toward others. My favorite example was in Matthew chapter 4, after Jesus fasted for 40 days. He talked about Satan tempting him, and that the real temptation was to yield to the desires of the natural man. He talked about how physically exhausted he would have been at the end, and emotionally as well. Then he shared verse 11. It says, "Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him." My first thought was of how wonderful it was that He could find relief from the ministering of angels. But then Elder Bednar went on to read from the Joseph Smith translation. It says, "and now Jesus knew that John was cast into prison, and he sent angels, and behold they came and ministered unto him." And I was filled with awe at this example of complete love! Surely, Christ felt weak. But he heard about John's needs, and in the moment of His own trials, sent angels to serve him instead. And so at that moment, I decided that was what I wanted to work on the most. I don't want to only be thinking about myself, I want to follow the example of my Savior by looking to serve others first, and always. So although sometimes it's hard, I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn to serve others more freely.
A huge tender mercy from this week was getting to run into Sister Larson on Sunday! We hadn't had the chance to say goodbye yet, but our schedules didn't really overlap at all before she would leave. So we had both (I found out later) been praying for the opportunity to run into eachother! I had been pretty sick over the weekend with a stomach bug, and had barely been moving at all, but I decided to go on a temple walk with my companion anyway....and sure enough, she was there! That was pretty fun for both of us. She's such a great friend, and it's been so nice to be at the MTC together.
So on Sunday, Bonnie Oscarson (the new General Young Women's President) spoke at Relief Society and it was SO GOOD! It was all about having faith in the Lord. All He asks of us is to have faith and do our best, and He will make up the difference. And as we read in the Bible, "Is anything impossible for the Lord?" I know that the Lord wants me to be on a mission right now. That is shown to me in so many ways each day! She promised that the Lord will lead, guide, and comfort us. He will magnify and qualify us for the work He has called us to do. She talked a lot about the alegory in Jacob 5 and our part in it. She said that the Lord will labor with us, and as we are worthy we will be able to go forth armed with His power! (D&C 109). Afterwards, you can go stand in line and shake their hands really quick if you want to, so we did. Sister McConkie (spelling? can you check?) asked where I was from, and when I said St. Louis she got excited and passed me onto Sister Marriott who was SO EXCITED! It was so fun! She called over to Sister Oscarson, "Bonnie! This is Shirlene Bunnell's granddaughter!" Sister Oscarson looked up and got excited too and it was soooo fun to see people that knew my family! So we got hugs all around, and it was so nice. They both said to say hello to Mom and Grandma!
The other weird family moment was at the Tuesday Night Devotional! It was about family history in relation to missionary work, and at the end he said he was going to show a short video about someone's conversion story. And up on the big screen pops up Uncle Glenn's face! I guess he was Bishop when she was baptized? Her name was Georgia, but all I got out of it was "Wait! No that is him! What's going on, I don't get it! What?! That's my uncle! Wait, there's my Aunt with her too! What?! AAH He's talking again!!" It was embarrassing. My mind just couldn't process what was happening...I was really tired. Haha.
Other cool spiritual moments--I've been singing Primary songs or hymns in some of our lessons with our "investigators" in Portuguese, and it's the neatest thing ever. I get so excited about it, and the Spirit just comes right away, and then the lesson rocks! I love it! Also, it's been so neat to be in class and practice testifying of the Book of Mormon or explainging the Atonement, and feeling the Spirit burning in your heart saying yes, this is true. I love being a missionary, even if I still haven't quite figured out what I'm doing! I also finished the Book of Mormon again this week (our Branch President asked us to start over) and I love it more than ever! My favorite quote from Preach My Gospel about the Book of Mormon says, "The prophets in the Book of Mormon knew about the mission of the Savior and taught His gospel." And it's as simple as that! I just love it!
A district from our zone got all of the reassignments this week, and two of them are going to Rochester, New York! And since Palmyra's in that mission, they said they might get to do part of it at a Church History site!!!! So yes, my district is fully exposed to what a Church Histroy nerd I am now. I get antsy even thinking about it now...I'm just so excited that's an actual possibility!!
Ok, so funny moments! Missionary humor is so funny, because we all think we're hilarious, and I'm sure none of it actually is!
Someone wrote "eternal" over the label on the life cereal, and when I came back to the table and told everyone about it Sister Garner looked at my bowl and said, "You chose Raisen Bran over Eternal Life?" HAHAHAHAHA
There are fire hoses in the walls in the Residence Halls, and they're labeled "hose". Someone put an accent on the e and wrote Smith, so it said Hose (with accent) Smith!!
On of the Elders was trying to convince Sister Brimley to drink some nasty concotion he made at lunch (this may be a good time to mention almost all the Elders are 18) and used the question, "Do you want to live forever?" to which she automatically replied, "In my SINS?!"
This one can probably stand alone. "Shaving: isn't it about....time?"
Two Elders were talking about where they were in the BOM. One was in 3 Nephi, and the other was in 2nd. "Well see, I'm only one Nephi behind you!" (for those that don't know, there are 8 other books between 2 and 3 Nephi)
So yeah, we think we're funny. It's a good time.
I was fully intending on talking a little about my district, but I'm out of time! I love you all so much, and love hearing from you! It means so much that you stay in touch! Oh, also shout out to Tyra--LOVED your letter, but I don't have an address to write you back! You're the best!
Bye for now! Have a great week!
P.S. Tell Grandma thank you SOOOOO SOOO MUCH for the package!!! It was the BEST thing ever! My whole district (and all the girls I visit, actually!) very much appreciated it as well. We're still working on the fudge!