Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hello from the MTC! I hope everything's going well at home!

The MTC has been amazing; I'm so relieved to finally be out working! After all that waiting and trying to find something to keep myself busy (except for when I was suddenly slammed with getting ready in the last two weeks), it's been fantastic to be here and to be actively engaged in something every minute of the day. I go to sleep exhausted, and I wake up exhausted, but at the same time, I'm thrilled to be on the Lord's errand.
I have the most amazing companion; I love Syster Stewart! I don't know why everyone seem so concerned I'd annoy my companion to death. Okay, that's a lie, I do know, but for all of you who were concerned, things couldn't have turned out better! She's a music geek like me; she has a ridiculous knowledge of musicals, Disney movies, and hymns. She actually brought a binder of vocal pieces with her, and later we're going to try through one with a violin obligato, for which I am immensely excited. She also has the most amazing testimony and concern for others, which is a trait I should probably work to develop more in myself.
It is hard work here. We're up every morning by 6:30, and it's a crunch to make it to bed by 10:30. Every minute is spent either learning the language, or preparing for our next lesson with our investigator.
Oh, I suppose I should mention that we've already had two discussions with our investigator. His name is Johan. We first met him on Friday, which was absolutely terrifying. We'd only been studying the language for two days, and we were lucky to be able to understand what he was saying to us! Yesterday's lesson went better; we weren't as freaked out going in, and we (technically, Aldste Allen) had the brilliant idea to take a white board in with us so when we came to a word we didn't know, Johan could write it down so we could understand him. There was a moment as I was talking that I could feel the spirit so strongly- it was awesome, and exactly what I needed at the moment. I hope that my Swedish continues to improve so that we can have even better discussions.
I have an amazing district and zone; besides Syster Stewart and myself, we have three elders in our district, and our zone includes the Norwegians and our lone Dutchman. I think it's awesome; the Norwegians have a British elder, Eldste Edwards. It is the best thing to hear him talk. So far, we've heard such novelties as "no malarky back there," "good golly," and my favorite, "don't throw your teddy out of the pram." Syster Stewarts usually gets in trouble for imitating his accent, usually without her realizing that she's done it.
And the Norwegian sisters are amazing! I love Sister Buhler! We have very deep and moving discussions about Disney movies (usually after Syster Stewart or I make a Disney reference. Cuz that's what we do. A lot.) and other geekly things. She's also taught me a new way to Donald Duck.
It's insane, actually; it's the MTC, and you can always feel the spirit here, but I laugh so much, because the people are so amazingly funny and nice. My first morning here, as I was walking to breakfast, Syster Stewart and I heard some elders imitating wookies-something which has actually been repeated upon several occasions.

General Conference was amazing from the MTC. It seemed like a lot of the talks focused on missionaries and members helping us out, as well as on being accepted for whatever level of faith you have and family history work. I was kind of surprised by Elder Hollands talk; it didn't seem to have all of his usual fire, and it was an interesting (but still amazing) topic for him, and I LOVED President Uchtdorf's talk on Saturday morning.
Something amazing from this week, I'm not sure if anyone from home remembers, but as we were eating lunch at Zupa's before dropping me off last wednesday, there was another sister eating there who we recongnized as a diabetic. I honestly didn't think I would run into her again, but as it turns out, she is four doors down the hall from me. I had forgetten about her until Friday night, when I ran into her brushing her teeth in the bathroom. I saw her tubing hanging out of her shirt, and I decided to strike up a conversation-weird for me, but I'm glad I did.
Apparently, she was only diagnosed back in July. She was supposed to have come to the MTC back then, but they pushed her date back so that she could have some time to learn to deal with the disease. She's already on a pump (actually, I'm a little jealous, because she has a t-slim- something to look into when I get home), but she's still trying to emotionally come to terms with her diagnosis. She had been feeling angry and alone here at the MTC, and struggling to understand why God would give her this trial at this time when she was already sacrificing so much for Him.
She seemed so relieved to know there was someone else there who understood what was going on, and to know that although it's hard to come to terms with the fact your life will never be the same, that doesn't mean it has to be terrible. I've seen her a few times since then, and she always says hello with a smile on her face. I hope that she's able to continue to control her diabetes so well, because she makes my blood-sugars look awful, and Doctor Lindsay was always ready to serenade me as his best patient for my hA1C.
And there's my week! I hope everything's still going well for everyone back home! Love and miss you tons!
Love, Em

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