|Emily and her friend Hermana Heather Higgs|
|Hermana Pearson and Hermana Howard just got their books!|
|Going to Salta Argentina!|
|Our District will serve all over|
|Hermana Higgs and Hermana Pearson|
What an amazing week it has been! On Sunday, the atmosphere here was incredible. Rumors buzzed around the whole morning. So to be honest, even though we all LOVED the broadcast, a lot of missionaries felt like it was anti-climatic since the announcement really wasn't ground breaking or anything. I hope the members take this seriously and put all the full-time missionaries straight to work! The Elders in my district were recommended to prepare and pass the sacrament in the new mission presidents meeting. Sadly two of them had to decline because they were sick. But Elder Hodson said one of the prayers and Elder Muñoz passed the sacrament to like 5 or 6 apostles. We had a combined sacrament meeting with everyone in the choir so it was at least 1300 plus some extra leaders and such. There were 5 tables of bread and water and like 50 Elders passing. Definitely the largest sacrament I've ever attended!
After the meeting everyone quickly got lunch so they could get in line to leave the MTC. We passed Elder Christofferson and his wife on our way to the gate. When the gate opened, all the missionaries flooded out and literally started running. When we got to the Marriott, all the doors were locked but one and we were only allowed to enter one at a time (well two at a time because we had to have our companion with us). Hermana Howard and I ended up being near the front of the line so I sat on the edge of the third row and Hermana Howard was right in front of me. When all the mission presidents walked in, I scanned for the Swensens. I found them and kept staring at them, hoping they'd look over. When choir practice was over, I went to the very front and stood there for at least 15 minutes for one of them to look over. They finally saw me and it made me so happy to wave at them. They're so sweet. I'm glad they sent you the picture. Speaking of seeing me at the Marriott if you go to the Work of Salvation broadcast at 1:53:30-36 the camera is focusing on the organ but if you look past them to the choir, you can see me on the edge of the third row on the left side of the aisle, wearing light purple. You can barely tell it's me-but it is.
It was so cool sitting so close to the front. The apostles kept turning around to look at us and would give us a thumbs-up or wink. They seemed just as excited to see us missionaries as we were to see them. We could read the teleprompter the whole time so we saw all the announcements and everything before they said them. And the jokes too but we had to awkwardly wait to laugh with the rest of the congregation after they actually said the words. It was kind of entertaining when they would say something not exactly the way the teleprompter had it and then have to get themselves back on track. I was so close to 11 of the 12 apostles that I could see their wrinkles and their bald heads! The Spirit overwhelmingly testified to me that these men were called of God to be prophets, seers and revelators. How lucky we are to have living prophets whom God directs.
It really was such a neat, once in a lifetime type of opportunity. And as if the week couldn't get any better, guess who gave our Tuesday night devotional? Janice Kapp Perry and her husband. They did such a good job and they were both so funny. Sister Perry told the story of how they met. They were in some music classes together at BYU and as she was warming up on her clarinet to take a test he leaned over to her and the first words he ever spoke to her were "Those lips look like they could be used for a far better purpose than playing that clarinet." As she's telling the story her husband gets up (as quickly as an old man can), comes up to the pulpit, grabs her and gives here a huge kiss. Then he fist pumped in the air. The missionaries all started laughing and clapping and some of the Elders even gave a standing ovation. I guess it's already been a little too long for some of these missionaries to be without romance. Sister Perry led us in singing a couple medleys of her songs. Then at the end she and her husband put together an arrangement of The Army of Helaman with her new missionary version of As Sisters in Zion but it's called The Sisters of Zion. When it came to the Elder's part to sing, they instantly started to stand up. A wave of standing missionaries spread through the Marriott. It was amazing to see. As they stood it was so powerful to see how they are taking their calls and responsibilities as a serious and sacred blessing. As the sisters stood up too it was amazing to look up and see so many of us.
Another sister from another district, Hermana Pullen, broke her pinky 3 weeks ago playing kickball. She had to get surgery so now the rest of her district went into the field and she got put into our district while she is healing. So one of the companionships is a trio now.
Because of all the mission presidents and general authorities that have been here, we've been kicked out of the main building and have had to eat in the gym and so then we can't use the gym for sports and what not but they're gone now so things are back to normal.
I went to the doctor after 10 days but he said that even though some doctor's policy is 10 days, he prefers to wait a whole 2 weeks before prescribing antibiotics. Soooo after waiting the extra days, I FINALLY was able to go back and he called in a prescription for me. HALLELUJAH! And the best part is that Hermana Howard and I got to escape the MTC gates all by ourselves to walk over to the BYU Health Center for the meds. It actually was a great adventure even if it only was less than a block away. Even though I like the MTC, there's something about it that just makes you want to flee!
Yesterday, Hermana Howard's sister entered the MTC so we went and waited for them on the curb and she was able to see her whole family except for her little brother.
Even though I sometimes miss the "real-world" a little bit, there's no place else I'd rather be. I'm already learning so much and growing so fast and I just can't wait to bring the gospel to people. Although I'm kind of dying, wanting to know where I'll be reassigned so I can know where those people will be, but I won't know for another 2 and 1/2 weeks still. I just want to get to Argentina already! I've got to be a typical missionary and get me a soccer jersey from my country!
Les quiero mucho,
P.S. Sorry if my spelling is horrific, something about learning this Spanish is making it hard for me to remember how to spell in English. The other day I wrote prophet as profet and couldn't figure out for the longest time why it looked so funny!