This actually isn't necessarily true because some of y'all might know people in Provo or something but STILL THE POINT IS THAT AS OF 4:00 TOMORROW I WILL BE ON MY WAY TO P O R T U G A LLLLLLLLL WHAT WHATTTTTTTTTTTTT DSIOIEGHO:WHGWOEIHASKDFSHULGHELIUTH I AM SO PUMPED. SO VERY MUITO PUMPED.
But first, all of the things news from this week that was crazy crazy crazy! So every Tuesday we have a devotional, and every week we've been disappointed by all the people who come who are not apostles. BUT ALAS. The Lord has indeed smiled upon the missionaries of Portugal Lisbon! We got to hear from QUENTIN L COOK on Tuesday and it was AMAZING. Either the other missionaries didn't know or they're just mega apostate because we got there a solid 20 minutes before and we were on the 3rd or 4th row. I swear to goodness I was in the direct line of vision of this great man too because he kept staring into my soul and I thought for sure he was going to send me home or something in a few hot seconds.... But I'm still here fam. We still good.
Seriously though, his talk was amazing. He spent a lot of time discussing how mission calls are assigned, and how every single one of them goes through the prophet, then to the apostles who actually decide in what he called "the most revelatory (not sure this is a word but I swear he said it) experience the apostles have". He said he either gets a feel for a language, people, or mission president each missionary would thrive under and they go from there. Pretty amazing, eh? He also talked about how pleased the Lord is with our service and how, if we have more faith, we will have more success. Love love love!!
On Wednesday we got to be hosts for the new missionaries and it was a blast. I kept thinking about how much my host had helped me when I was a poor, lost soul 6 weeks ago, and hopefully I got to be that for some other girls as well!! Probably not because I'm horribly awkward but I gave it my best effort!!! It wasn't my favorite to tear these noobs away from their sobbing families or anything, but I met some super cute sisters (one from Quito Ecuador!) so it ended up being mega fun!! 10/10 would recommend!!!
Thursday was literally the bane of my entire existence. In-field orientation. What is in-field orientation, you may ask?? Let me tell you, kind friends. Prepare yourself for something really horrible. It's literally 9 1/2 (NINE. NINE AND A HALF.) hours of workshops and discussions of how to do missionary work. Which honestly wouldn't be that bad except all of the topics are things like "planning" and we spent a whole hour and a half talking about the best way to use our planners. Oh, and who could forget the full-length play about working with members??? It was a literal nightmare.
Still, there were some cool experiences. One in particular: we were practicing giving a lesson to a member and then inviting them to share with someone they know. I found a random sister who was going to Paris and shared 2 Nephi 4 (this scripture is my LIFE right now) about how we can rely on Christ to be our support through our sins, afflictions, and trials, and then asked if there was anyone who could use this message, and she said her mom was less-active and would benefit from all of this, and she'd share it with her as she called from the airport on Tuesday. Afterwords, when we discussed as a group, the guy leading the discussion asked her if she was going to follow up on the commitment and she started to cry, saying that she'd been praying to know how she could help her mom rely more on the Lord and this scripture and message was exactly what she had wanted and she was so excited to share it. Holy cow, here I'd just shared it because I think it's beautiful! But it was an amazing experience and a good reminder that the Lord works through us to answer other people's prayers.
Friday was our last experience with TRC and it was EVERYTHING. We got to skype a WHOLE FAMILY from Sao Paulo, Brazil; a mom, her teenage daughter and son, a daughter about 12 and a little boy. The minute this family came on the screen and started in on their beautiful (and impossible to understand) Portuguese, I thought my heart would absolutely burst. I can't even believe how much love I could have for these people I'd never met before! We actually shared 2 Nephi 4 again (I'm telling ya, this chapter is pure gold) and talked about how Christ can help us through our trials. Turns out, the mom's father had just passed away and she really had to learn how to trust in God through all of it. They were all crying and opening up to us and it was beautiful. I was able to testify that I knew God loved this family, because I could feel His love for them so insanely strongly, Sister Selk and I were absolutely weeping through it all. If that's just a taste of how I'll feel towards members and investigators, I am so, insanely, unbelievably excited to experience it all!!
Oh, on Thursday reassignments came. Elder Mills, who was supposed to head to Angola today, will serve in Redlands California, Elder Tobler in Billings Montana, Elder Peterson in Chicago, Illinois, and Sister Selk in........ wait for it...................... PROVO UTAHHHHHH (the jokes have literally not stopped for a full week about this). I wish they were coming with us tomorrow, but they'll all do amazing things for however long they're in the US. Fact.
Unfortunately this meant Elder Peterson left early early early this morning, so we all had to say goodbye last night. I gotta say, I literally never expected to love the MTC or the people here or anything, but I've had a harder time saying goodbye to the fam here than I did even coming to the MTC in the first place. Elder Peterson bore his testimony last night and was absolutely weeping, which of course meant the 4 sisters in our district were literally using a billion and a half tissues to try and contain all the tears. This hasn't stopped for at least 24 hours now, as we've had to say goodbye to our 2 fabulous teachers today. Irma Wilson and Irmao Belchoir are both spiritual GIANTS and have made such a difference in my life in such a short time I can hardly believe it. Yep, weeping. Always.
- a couple of missionaries from our district were singing in the new missionary devotional on Wednesday and Sister Selk and I really wanted to go... So we put our orange dots on (it means you're a noob) and tried to sneak in... What we didn't realize was that there were ushers, who politely showed us to our seats, in the middle of a row. So what was supposed to be a couple minute bathroom break from class ended up being an hour or two since we were stuck in a devotional. Whoops.
- crazy beautiful wonderful amazing incredible shoutout to THE. MAKAILA NEVIL. Who this week sent the best package of my life plus some BEAUTIFUL T-SHIRTS (pictures to come) DEMONSTRATING THE G LYFE. SERIOUSLY YOU ARE THE BEST. We've had wayyyyyy too much fun wearing those shirts around and of course, living the g lyfe.
- we decided as a district that instead of perfecting our Portuguese, we'd perfect our Mexican accents and just speak English. Full proof plan, right? Either way, it's been a blast.
- for service the elders and us clean toilets, so to make it fun we've started giving inspiration speeches, then kicking the doors of the stall and spraying everything down. As an extra element of fun, the elders decided Elder Tollefson was "Tollef Bin Laden" and the reason for our service was to take him and his forces down. Yep, we pretty much have too much fun here.
Quotes of the week (there's nothing good but here goes):
- Tollef Bin Laden had a box of Peeps that he brought to class and was apparently staring intently at them during study time, so Elder Hinkey asked what he was doing and he said "I'm staring at my peeps." So Elder Hinkey moved them behind a box and all he said was "I can still see them." Trust me, if you knew Tollefson this would be hilarious. It's probably not right now though.
- "BE A MAN DJ" - Elder Hinkey every time Sister Selk cries (which is a lot).
- Tollefson didn't mean to tell a joke, but apparently he did so the Elders were trying to spice up his words and he was like "I didn't even say that" and Elder Hinkey just shouts "DON'T RUIN YOUR ONLY JOKE TOLLEFSON". Dying.
Anyways, I love y'all lots and lots and lots and lots. The MTC has been a blast, and as you can guess by all the tears I'm going to miss the people here a whole ton. But, it's time to get to Portugal and do some real missionary work and I couldn't be more excited. GOODBYE USA!!