(Upside down exclamation point)Buenos días! Thank you Randalls for your sweet notes from the reunion, and a special thank you to Aunt Suzanne for your letters! I'm so grateful for my amazing family!
What a great past 2 weeks it has been! I'm feeling more ready to enter the field in less than 2 weeks, and we get to go on splits tomorrow with missionaries who are already out in the field, so that'll be awesome preparation:) I've heard some crazy stories from the older missionaries in the MTC, so I'm expecting to have a bit of an adventure:)
I'm the senior companion now, and I got called to be the music chairman for the MTC!!! I'm so excited, it's more work than you'd think haha we actually do a lot with music in the MTC:) Our district has the opportunity to sing this coming Sunday, so that'll be great! We're doing an arrangement of "How Great Thou Art" that I put together; different districts get to sing each week when the choir doesn't sing.
On Friday, we got to go to the university in Santo Domingo again, and it was totally different from our first visit. Instead of talking to several people for a short period of time, we talked to only a few people for a long time! Actually, the first man we met had a Book of Mormon keychain haha and was definitely Mormon:) The next person, though, was totally different--he asked to sit down and have a discussion with us, but he bashed on religion the whole time. He had read The Bible twice, but he denied the existence of God. He told Hermana Flake and I that we were being deceived, someone was becoming rich from the money we spent to be here, we're living in a land of butterflies, and we're wasting our youth, time, and energy. Strangely, I was very calm throughout his ranting, but my companion wasn't. I knew he simply wasn't ready for the Gospel yet, and so I tried to simply be his friend and congratulate him on the good things he was doing in his life. It was great practice, to say the least:) After that, we met an AWESOME guy named Mahesh who was super great and very willing to talk with us. He had great questions and helped us out a bit with our Spanish. He was interested in the Word of Wisdom and the prophet, and before we got a chance to invite him to read the Book of Mormon or anything, he asked where our church was and what time services were held!!!!!!!! Hermana Flake and I were SO happy, we couldn't believe how interested and willing he was! We gave him the number of the Santo Domingo missionaries, and we had them get in contact with Mahesh. I hope to find out what happens!!!
The MTC is so not Provo haha our chapel is 3 small classrooms put together by pushing back those sliding/accordian doors they have in churches. We have around 60 missionaries in the MTC, and the actual MTC is the 4th floor of the visitors' center--the offices, bedrooms, and chapel are on one teeny floor, and there are a couple of rooms on other floors we use. So yeah, it's miniscule. Sacrament meeting consists of 4 speakers that President Romney calls up on the spot, a musical number, and a talk by a member of the MTC Presidency or one of their wives (so we all write talks on an assigned topic, but we don't know who is speaking until sacrament meeting). The topic last Sunday was the Atonement; that was great. After that on Sundays, we have Sunday School with our district, and one companionship teaches the rest of us; Hermana Flake and I taught two Sundays ago about humility. Then we have Relief Society, lunch, doctrinal class taught by President Romney, a movie (this week we watched "Legacy," which I grew up watching:D), dinner, video of a Provo MTC devotional where an apostle speaks, discussion with district about the devotional, ice cream, and then a walk around the temple with everybody:) Sundays are the absolute best day of the week!!
For most other days, we have personal study after waking up by 6:30 am, companionship study, class, lunch, class, dinner, class, teach investigator, plan family prayer. Our investigators are teachers that dress up and act like investigators that they had on their missions. They are tough--they try to give us really hard situations and aren't very nice so that we'll be prepared:) When we learn Spanish, we learn grammar, and we do that basically all day long. We have to learn vocab on our own time, but it's coming along:)
Hermana Flake and I have struggled a little bit this week, but whenever we have a problem, we clear it up right away. We've never had a fight or anything like that, and we're really great friends, it's just that we're not used to spending 24/7 with one person for 4 weeks straight haha:) Our district is fabulous, and we're having so much fun together! We've made a goal to only speak in Spanish during class time, and that's been helping our focus grow stronger.
All the missionaries who arrived before me left this week, and that was really hard, but the newbies who came in are great!! One of them is from Viewmont and was in my AP Calc class haha his name is Kyle Higgins. We have 6 new Hermanas, and one of them is Latina, so she'll be here for 2 weeks and will head to the Santo Domingo East mission on the 25th with us; she's in a trio now with H. Flake and I, but she's in a different district, so hopefully we get to spend more time with her! (Hermana Carpio from Honduras)
In the words of Elder David A. Bednar: "Nobody who feasts upon the word of Christ consistently and prays faithfully unto God will NEVER wander off the path into forbidden areas." I know that to be true, and I've learned for myself that feasting upon the words of Christ/the scriptures brings true happiness. This week, I learned to appreciate the words of the hymn "More Holiness Give Me"--go look the words up, they are amazing:) I only have 40 minutes to email, so gotta go, but thank you all for your love and support!!