What a crazy week it's been! There really is no better word to describe this experience than "roller coaster;" so many highs and lows, but they're all adding up to being a memorable adventure:)
First off, I started a choir for the MTC!! We didn't have one, so I asked if I could put together a choir to sing in sacrament meeting, and they let me! I wrote an arrangement of "Come, Come, Ye Saints," and 9 or 10 Elders have been coming to each rehearsal! I know that osunds super small, but it's 1/6 of the missionaries in the whole MTC haha so I call that a success:) The missionary who is in charge of music is the accompanist, I'm the conductor, and the Elders are going to sounds awesome on Sunday! Can't wait!
There's an Elder from Centerville here!! His name is Darek Rojas, and he'll be serving the Santiago mission.l It's so fun having a "piece of home" here:) There is an Elder from Davis in my district and they are 3 Elders from Syracuse, so that's comforting! So much has happened with different people this week--one of our teachers got married, so we got to view her photography session outside of the temple and take pictures with her:) One of the Elders from my district suddenly got called out to the field yesterday!! He's been in Spanish Immersion for 9 years, so he knows his stuff, but it seriously came out of the blue for him to leave after only 2 weeks here. Basically, anything can happen:) 12 new missionaries moved in yesterday, and one of them was an Hermana, wahoo!! They're all Latinos, so we'll get to practice only speaking Spanish (with them) a lot! We got to leave the MTC/temple grounds for the first time this week, halelujah! We got permission to go running in the huge park that's across the street, and we got to go to a store that was like Walmart--it was my first experience being around the Dominicans, and they were awesome! We got to watch "Meet the Mormons"--it was totally different watching it as a missionary, but that made it even better!
I've had a cold for most of the week, and several missionaries are getting sick as well, but since I've been working on sacrifice and service, I went running with my companion on my worst day--I know that sounds dumb, but she runs literally 50 miles at a time, so she NEEDS to run every day. I've learned that exercising with her is a way I can show my love to/for her, and it's really helped to strengthen our companionship:) Hermana Flake is AWESOME, I love her!! We have a blast together and help each other through everything, spiritually and physically. We can tell each other anything, and we've never had an argument, so everything's great on that front! It's a big blessing:)
To be honest, this has been a hard, emotional week. Long story short, I've been oddly bipolar; I'll be the energizer bunny one minute and sad the next.The past few days have definitely gone by faster, but we haven't been learning as much Spanish as any of us would like, so I've been focusing on learning the doctrine and reading the Book of Mormon. Since I don't have my best friend, Laura, or dance or chocolate or anything regular like that to help me through this, I've been completely relying on Heavenly Father and reading the BOM to give me joy. Never have I enjoyed reading the scriptures so much as I have this week. 2 Nephi was especially fantastic--I've never loved it so much!! So much doctrine and awesomeness--I told Hermana Flake that I could simply read 2 Nephi and be like BAM the Church is true. Well, I can't only rely on that, there's still a lot more to know besides that...but point is, the scriptures are the most wonderful source of knowledge and joy that I know. I wish I could sit and read them all day, no joke. This experience has really made me turn to the Gospel as my #1 source of happiness:)
I broke down last night and had a good, long talk with Hermana Flake. I decided to ask for a blessing from my district leader this morning, and it was amazing--all of the Elders in my district participated, and it was a very unifying, spiritual experience. My testimony of the priesthood was strengthened, and I knew that I was going to be okay. Right after that, we got to do sealings in the temple as a district, so we've been having a very Spirit-filled day. I love getting to be in the temple so often, it's been a total blessing. I'm going to miss looking at it every day so much.
Through all of this, I haven't doubted the Lord or His presence in my life at all. I know that He's lifting me up, and as my district leader said in my blessing today, if I simply have faith and continue to diligently study the scriptures, I'll be alright. I know the Savior can help all of through the trials in our lives and in all we do. I've learned that if we give ourselves up completely to Him, we will be blessed continuously. I know with all my heart that Christ lives, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on the Earth today. Thank you all for your love and support, until next week!