Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5, 2011: Hermana Bowles

Hola familia!

Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you. Thanks so much for the packages! It's so exciting to get mail--especially packages. For packages that are too big for the box (which is basically everything) we have to take our pink slip to the mail desk and get it from the shelf. It's a field trip out of the classroom. Another week has absolutely flown by. It feels like I've been living here months already, but it's barely been two weeks. Strange. Some things here never change, though, no matter how many days you're here. First of all, it seems like all of the sisters have this automatic bond. We make eye contact and it's like "hi, friend. I'm here, too." I can't really explain it, but it's really weird. Relief Society is funny. It's a combined meeting with all of the sisters at the MTC and the bottom of the gym floor looks like it turns into a garden of floral prints, pleats, polk-a-dots, headbands, sweaters, curls, belts and ruffles. It's such a refreshing color relief from the rest of the penguins :)

Probably the biggest news of the week is that Hermana Bell and I received our flight plans/travel iteneraries and fly to the Lima MTC next Wednesday!! This is the beginning of my last week in Provo for awhile. Hopefully Herman Brown gets her plans soon, too. We think her visa is held up. That would really stink if she had to be a solo sister in our district for six weeks.

The other best news of the week is that the Sunday night fireside yesterday was Jenny Oaks Baker! Once we walked in the gym and I watched the screen to see who was going to be speaking, I wanted to scream I was so happy when her name popped up. She mixed performing and sharing gospel experiences from her life. She played: Amazing Grace, Believe Me if All Those Endearing Charms, I know that My Redeemer Lives. She also brought her husband and 3 of 4 kids, her three little girls. At the very end her girls played "I Am a Child of God" with one on the piano, violin, and cello. It was the cutest thing EVER!!!! She said she'd tried to make her little boy into a violinist to complete her dreams of a violin quartet, but he throw down his instrument and declared himself a pianist :) I could've sat there all night listening to her stories and her tunes. I just think it's such a TM that she happened to be the guest speaker one of the only three weeks that I'm here at this MTC the entire year. Really a blessing.

Oh and then last week I forgot to mention that it was the mission president training here which meant there were a gazillion apostles here at any given time. We Hermanas walked out of the cafeteria only our second day and ran into a crowd of Elders shaking hands with Elder Christofferson! We squeezed in on the side, got to shake his hand, and even had a mini conversation with him in Spanish! AAAAHHHH! Then Elder Bednar spoke at a fireside! IT was awesome to see him speaking with Elders Nelson, Oaks, Ballard, Scott, Holland, and others right behind him. The MTC is awesome.

We lost an Elder from our district because he tested up into an intermediate Spanish district. Now we have two trios and two double companionships in our district.

Last Wednesday we got two new roommates: Sister Fikes (from Maine) and Sister Helu (from New Zealand). Both of them are going to serve in Billings, Montana. That boosts the room total to five, although only three of us seem to understand the lights out rule at 10:30. They're getting better, though, and I'm getting better at falling to sleep with the lights on or not waiting for them to come in.

Just thought you should know that the theater cleaning curse has followed me to the MTC. Every Friday morning at 6:00 AM our district has service project time and somehow me and my companions always (well, the two weeks we've been here) get stuck with the bathrooms. The first week we rock-paper-scissored to see who had to clean the toilets and Hermana Bell lost. This last week it was my turn to do the toilets....and urinals...in all five of the fifth floor bathrooms. Gross. There the hermanas were at 6:00 in the morning scrubbing some Elder's urinal. It was dejavu to the Hale Theater all over again. Gross. Hopefully next week we'll break the curse.

Let me tell you--it was quite a fourth of july party here. Just kidding. It felt like the day before and the day after. normal. Friday and SAturday morning we could see the balloon launch and one crazy mess around driver came so low he was touching the tree tops with his balloon and saying he was going to land. The Security guards just sat and watched him and eventually he floated away. Saturday night the MTC put on a special patriotic program for all the missionaries. The beginning was a sing-along with this cute Latin chorister lady decked out in a blue polk-a-dot dress, red scarf, and red sweater. She led us in "Yankee Doodle", "Yankee Doodle Dandy", "You're a Grand Old Flag", and "God Bless America." I felt like I was in mom's kindergarten class on the rug. The end of the program was neat because some bagpipes came in followed by a procession of flags representing every country represented by the missionaries here right now. SO Cool to see all 20-ish of them lined up at the front! After the program we got to go outside and watch the fireworks at the back of the MTC while eating an ice cream bar. We even got to stay up past 10:30!! woo hoo!....but we still had to wake up at 6:30 the next morning.

Last night, us Hermanas broke open the glowsticks that mom and Hermana Bell's mom sent and made fireworks. We turned off the lights and threw them around the room while eating treats and yelling "Happy Fourth of July!" Oh and we hung those hanging star decoration things up in our classroom. The Elders walked in and immediately looked at us and said, "did you sisters do this?" Not hard to guess, huh. I think we'll leave them up until they fall down because it makes our classroom not so boring.

Love it here and love the gospel. I'm learning so much

Love always,

Hermana Bowles

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