Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Picture of all my roommates and I at the MTC pointing to our missions! Sestra Meyers, going to Bulgaria, joined us a few weeks before the rest of us left.
Important things first:
Here is my travel itinerary:
I'll be leaving the MTC around 5:30, so I'll be at the SLC airport around 6:30
British Airways the whole way, these are all local times
Flight 5049 Depart SLC at 8:20 AM July 4th
Arrive at Dallas, TX 11:55 AM
Flight 1505 Depart Dallas at 4:50 PM
Arrive at London Heathrow at 7:50 AM July 5th
Flight 860 Depart Heathrow at 10:50 AM
Arrive in Prague 1:50 PM July 5th
So, I can call while I'm at the SLC airport early morning July 4th, maybe? Or I can call while I'm in Dallas for a long time. Those are probably the best options. However, I don't know what number to call and I don't know when to call. I don't know the time difference, and I don't know your schedule. Would you be able to Dear Elder me in the next few days so I can know what you're up to. If that doesn't work out, will you tell Abby so at least I know to call her instead? I'm still not sure if I can call both. And I can't remember Abby's number. Will you get that to me? I might be able to call you for 5 minutes sometime this week (if I've heard correctly), so that I can figure out a time with you. Only problem is that I don't have a number. Do I just call Dad's phone or something? Anyway, we'll figure it out, but that's all the information! Crazy, huh?
Here's my letter for the week:
We got our travel plans! We're scheduled to leave our wonderful country on it's day of Independence. This Saturday all the missionaries are going to get to watch the fireworks at night, which I'm super excited for, but then it's off to the Czech Republic on Monday! Also, it was an incredible week here at the MTC. This week all the mission presidents came in for their seminar - 128 new mission presidents! That meant that campus was crawling with incredible people, most of the 12, the First Presidency, and many other general authorities. Most of campus was completely blocked off, and so we only heard about things if people had chance sightings as Elder Holland pulled up in his car, or Elder Bednar was hanging out in a hallway. On Friday we had a special devotional in the afternoon where they called everyone out and had them congregate in the gym. We sat, waiting for the devotional to begin, and suddenly out walked 7 of the 12 - Elder Oaks, Elder Holland, Elder Ballard, Elder Bednar, Elder Nelson, Elder Scott, Elder Anderson, and their wives. It was quite shocking. We weren't expecting that. The speaker was Elder Bednar, and he gave his address on "How to Become a Preach My Gospel missionary." It was super wonderful. I learned a lot. We were also able to host new missionaries this last week, as we are now the "old" missionaries. It was a lot of fun to think back to that day (not too long ago) that I was dropped off on that curb. It's been a struggle to find some closure at the MTC. I've loved it here, and I'm so excited to go. But you know me - I worry that I didn't do my best, that I didn't learn all I needed to, that I'm not prepared to be a missionary just yet. However, I studied the Christlike attribute of Hope in PMG last week, and I've been praying for assurance from Heavenly Father. One of the greatest things is that I've found that prayers come so directly for me here. That week I had instance after instance, mostly in teaching Czech lessons, where Heavenly Father assured me that I've done something here, I've learned so much, I've come so far, and He's ready to take me by the hand and take me to the Czech Republic. I can hardly wait. Something else I learned this week is the incomprehensible power of attitude in all that we do. I have been given many tasks in my life that my abilities did not match. However, there were some that I approached stressed out, freaked out, and doubtful, and there were some I approached with a determination to be happy and optimistic. You can take the same situation, the same discrepancy between task and person, and the journey can be radically different. How does that work? I'm not sure, but it's wonderful. When we get to the Czech Republic, it will be incredibly overwhelming, I'm sure. But I'm so determined to be happy and optimistic, and to take off running!
I love you all!
Some notes I wanted to send through email, before I take off!
Michelle - I hope you're having the best time in Mexico! I'm not sure if you're there yet, but I hope your talk went well on Sunday adn taht the rest of your summer is incredible! At this point, I don't know how to contact you, so let me know when or if you ever settle down!
Diane Ellison - I wanted to thank you for your note! It actually really meant a lot to me and helped me in a lot of ways. I hope you see this - I don't know how to contact you either since you probably already moved back to Provo. Life is so transitory at this age! P.S. I hosted your old roommate Sis Bowles (sp?) on Wednesday!
Diana - Ah! I was so happy to hear about how things are going in Brazil! The thins you're learning - make sure you never forget them. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Write down what you learn from the people you meet there. They will impact the rest of your life, and help youy keep perspective in all that you do. I'm so excited for you! It was the best to hear from you! Write again when you have a permanent address!
The Francis Family - Thank you for your package! I was so confused when I got it - I wasn't expecting anything. But it was so much fun to hear from you and to share those cookies with everyone. They were all gone in about 24 hours, ha. Thanks, again! I hope you're all doing well!
Peter - Uganda! Uganda!! It must be wonderful. I can hardly keep track fo everyone - I think I have friends and family in every region of the world today. It was so great to get your Dear Elder. I can't wait to hear how the research plays out. Good luck, friend! I'll say "Hi " to Adam if I see him. Perhaps he'll come to Prague next Wednesday to train one of my elders! We'll see.
Lauren - I'm writing you somethign else, but basically your package was the best thing that happened to my companions. Sestra White and I hacky sack in the early hours of the morning and Sestra Bean said that 7-layer whatever it was bar from Sweetcakes was convincing enought o make her want to travel to AZ. Thanksss, pal! Also, I need your MTC/Mission addresses! And your email. And I would like to have a copy of your farewell talk, plz! I've already gotten reviews on it from my whole family. Can you Dear Elder me those things in the next couple days? If you don't want to make an account or don't have time, Abby, can you send me that stuff?
Rachel Brisson - I don't know if I'll have time to write today, but good luck, buddy! I hope all the summer adventures and milestones are going well. I forgot to tell you that 12 elders came and went in my branch here at the MTC, headed to the West Indies. It's crazy that you'll be serving with them. They seemed like a really good bunch. I love you, Rach! I'll try my best to send something off today - if not, it'll just have to come from the Czech Republic :)