December 17, 2010
Well, in case you've forgotten, I fly out on Monday! In less than 72 hours! And, yes, I am excited. This past week has been pretty bizarre since we've all been thinking about travel plans and other such things. Luckily we've been keeping busy enough that I haven't had time to go insane thinking about flying for 24 hours or trying to pack 18 months’ worth of stuff into less than 55 pounds.
But it's been a great week. Our progressive investigator was 'baptized' on Saturday! Woo-hoo! And then we met the real "Garrett" on Sunday. Turns out Garrett...is a girl! And, no, her name's not Garrett. But she's the friend of one of our teachers and we got to meet her and hear her tell her story and it was awesome. And she was actually baptized for real in September, so it was really exciting.
And that's what I was doing, Mom and Dad--waiting for her and Irmão to show up--when you happened to drive by the temple. :) I was really glad to see you and my district and I haven't been able to stop talking about it. I'm not sure if you were crying, Mom, because you were happy to see me, or if you were just upset to see how fat I've gotten! :) I wish I could have introduced everyone to you, too. That would have been great. It was pretty funny, though, and Elder Spurlock commented: "I can't believe it! She follows all the rules and she still gets to see her family!" We call it a tender mercy.
We were lucky enough to hear from Sister Christofferson (Elder Christofferson's wife) in Relief Society. She gave a wonderful talk about the Christmas story, but best of all, she played a little video of her four- and two-year-old grandsons reciting Luke 2. It was pretty amazing and adorable and really funny. It's very cute hearing a four-year-old use words like "espoused" and "multitudes"!
Our Sunday Fireside was so great! It was a musical fireside given by the BYU Men's Chorus. They sang lots of Christmas songs and I didn't have to take any notes! :)
We did a little mini TRC with another Portuguese speaking district and Sister Laimana and I got to teach Sister Brooks and Sister Fisher. You should send me the names of Grandpa Brooks' family members because I really think Sister Brooks and I could be related. Do we have cousins in Pleasant Grove? :) And they're awesome. It was so much fun to have another opportunity to teach in Portuguese. (Yes, I realize I'll have plenty opportunities in about five days.)
Our Tuesday Devotion was Paul B. Pieper and it was, of course, wonderful. As our last time in the choir, we sang a really nice arrangement of “Away in a Manger.” I'm really going to miss choir and devotionals and firesides and temple walks!
We got to go to the temple for our LAST TIME for 16 months! Crazy! It's really given us the perspective of all those around the world who don't have a temple in their backyard. We're so blessed. Our district is planning our reunion to the Lisbon Portugal Temple when it opens in a few years. Even though I'm not going to Portugal, I can't help but get choked up hearing about that temple. If you want, go find the last conference when President Monson announces the Portugal temple and listen to it in Portuguese. It will make you cry! The translator is so emotional and it really just testifies to me what a blessing it is to have the temple and all the ordinances performed within it.
Guess what! Our friend district (the district that came in the same day as us and is [supposed to be] going to Brazil) got their reassignments! Three of them are going to the Salt Lake City Mission and the rest to Nashville, Tennessee! I felt like I could connect with them since they'll be much closer to my little ones than I'll be. Both in Salt Lake and in Nashville! Crazy.
Oh, and we got to host again on Wednesday, for the last time! I saw another sister who I worked with at Aspen Grove and got to talk to her a bit and a really nice sister who gets to go to the MTC in Guatemala in three weeks.
Okay, subject line: I feel like I might have already told you this, but probably not. So for some reason our district likes to have our teacher guess whose handwriting is whose, so we all wrote a sentence on the board and had him guess. I wrote mine as high as I could reach and so when he identified it he named me but then added the condition: "standing on a chair." Apparently I'm very short. :)
I wish I could describe our district to you. In one word though: CRAZY. I haven't told you even a percent of the funny things that are said and done lest you think we're not focused on the work, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. Our elders are just all very quick-witted and hilarious and the sisters have fun too (though in a much more quiet and dignified manner, of course). Anyway, just know that we're awesome and I'm going to miss them SO much! At least I get to take Sister Laimana and Elder Cuestas with me.
I love you all! I love this work and I love my Savior and His gospel! Keep doing what is right and serve someone this Holiday Season! Be good!