Funny things this week:
~We discovered the best kept secret at la CCM: NARNIA (AKA the pillow room)! It is a room entirely filled with pillows. Many know about it, but few can find it.
~Elder Imlay's catchphrase that has rubbed off on the rest of us: "You could get kicked out for crap like that." (usually following an accidental shoulder touch, singing words to a non-religious song, dancing, etc)
~PAGE 33: Whenever an Hermana talks to an Elder outside of our district or vice versa it's risky business...because our district will start throwing the white bible (Missionary Handbook) at that person (at rapid speed) and scream 'PAGE 33' (the page about flirting).
What is your favorite gym activity at the CCM?
1. Hermana-Futbol! We have a fun group of Hermanas who all play Futbol once a week (since we can't play with the Elders)!
No Hermanas allowed!!!
2. District Kickball!
3. Doing yoga handstands and headstands with Hermana Bunderson while Hermana Baker runs around the field.
(I've also played volleyball, which is fun...but always crowded. Foursquare (which gets super intense), stationary bike, lifting weights...etc. All in those creepy bubbles!)
Wow, where do I begin? I mean I'm freaking leaving FOR MEXICO TOMORROW. It's insane! It's true what they say, the days feel like weeks...but, the weeks feel like days.
And man! Time has FLOWN by!! I feel like I just got here, and yet I feel like I didn't live a life before the MTC. I feel like I've been dreaming or something. Then I woke up Thursday night. That's when it hit me that I was a missionary.
It was the night of the BYU game and I saw tons of BYU fans walking towards the game. As I heard the game begin, and listened to the sounds of the game...it hit me that all of my college friends were probably there. It didn't upset me.... it just made me realize that life was going on around me.
And if I wasn't on a mission I would be there with them. It was the weirdest feeling...not a feeling of longing or regret at all. I guess it's only a feeling a missionary would understand.
Hermanas Baker & Hansen, with their teacher Hermana Toleafoa,
Hermanas Bunderson & Steel
Hermanas Bunderson & Steel
It's the feeling you get when you realize that life is moving on around you...people you love are experiencing life...experiencing their own lives...while you are experiencing a life dedicated to the Lord.
They are doing normal things peeps my age do... like go to football games. And then it hits you that when you get back, your sister will be getting ready for junior prom...and everyone around you will have lived a life without you for 18 months.
But you don't feel homesick, or sad, or even scared that this is your last week in the country you love and know. The feeling is different., because you realize the life you are living is the opposite of normal.
Hermana Hansen with her BYU buddy Elder Lindstrom
Dedicating 18 months of your life to serve the Lord, preaching the gospel every single day...no breaks...is far from normal. But, you don't feel regret or disappointment. What's weird is you don't even feel like your missing out on something, because you're not.
What you feel weird about, is that everyone else...everyone you love...is missing out on THIS. Being a missionary. You realize how much you have changed in the short six weeks you've been here.
As you serve the Lord every single day, you become more and more the person he wants you to be... at an insanely rapid pace.
And your friends and family back home aren't experiencing this rapid change. This mad rush to learn exactly who you are to God so you can find his children in only 18 months. And you wonder how other people are going about living normal lives...as you experience all of this.
And it's at this moment, as I am about to leave for Mexico, that I realized I am actually a missionary. That I get to do this for 18 months, and the change has only begun. What a blessing it is to find myself as I help others find God! I'm so grateful to be a part of the hastening of this work.
Hermanas Baker & Hansen,with teacher Hermano Ashby, & Hermanas Steele & Bunderson
The temple today was amazing. Not only because they played my favorite video with my old seminary teacher in it. But because I felt the spirit the strongest I've ever felt in the temple before.
It was so special because Hermana Toleafoa and Hermano Ashby came with us. (It took the Hermanas a long time to convince Hermano Ashby to come...but we wouldn't give up on him. He said he can tell we are missionaries because of that. haha) That was so special.
(I also saw my old seminary teacher who I love, Sister Savage, in the same session as me! That was so awesome!)
But, the best part was, as we were sitting in the celestial room, Hermano Ashby invited us to check up with the Lord. To talk to Him about how we did at the MTC, while we were here.
So I did. I prayed to God while I was in the Celestial room...and for the first time in a while...I felt like I was having a conversation with Him. I said, "Heavenly Father, I know my time is up here at the MTC. I feel like I did my best, but I know I could have done better."
I looked up right at this moment to see a huge painting of Christ looking at me. It was huge and magnificent. It's the one of Christ looking at you in all of his glory with open arms.
I felt the Spirit so strong! God was inviting me to come into the arms of His son, Jesus Christ, who knows exactly how I feel. I felt like he was saying, "You did well."
I looked down and prayed some more, and as I looked up at the picture again, I saw it in a different light. He was still inviting me into His loving arms, but He was also inviting me to give even more in Mexico. To do even better. To give over 100%. He was inviting me to do it with Him. I know that with Him, I can do that.
My experience at the MTC has been nothing short of amazing. I've learned more about my divine potential, learned Spanish (kinda), and made friendships with missionaries, teachers, and investigators that I know will last a lifetime.
I'm so excited to go to Mexico! To think of all the Spanish I've learned (even though it sucks), in only six weeks is incredible. The gift of tongues is so real!! The only thing I wish I could have done better was HSI (habla su idioma=speak your language). I wish I would have worked harder on that.
But honestly, the experiences I have had here have changed my life forever. And I'm so excited to go to Mexico!!!
I love you all! Thank you for everything.
Con Amor (Ultimo tiempo en el US)