To start off with, I will be writing Dera a letter that I hope she can type up and post on my blog so you can read it, it's about something we've been talking about this past week and I love it.As I write this I am looking at the provo canyon and the sky getting lighter; this is the best time of my life. I'm so grateful that I have this chance to think of others for a change. It's really not hard at all to focus on His work. In that aspect, I've been blessed. Many are struggling with distractions, and most can't wait to get out of the MTC. I'm soaking up the moment. How glad I am that I get to spent all 9 weeks here! Where else would I jump out of bed at 5:45 am to play bolleyball with Slla Pickett? Today was the first time we did our own thing- we usually go to 6:00 am kickboxing, which is super fun, but we've been playing vball with the Elders during gym and we are determined to master serving overhand. I'm pleased to say that it's going well, and I am quite the masterr :)
With the Brazilians recieving their visas, about 300 left and 100 from our branch left, leaving us the only sisters in the branch. This past Sudany, Sorella Pickett played the piano and I led, and when I stood up to lead the 1st hymn, I saw that the a whole row of Elders didn't have a single hymnbook, so I hurried up to the stand bc I spotted an extra one at the feet of someone in the Branch Presidency. Bc the intro was quickly drawing to an end, I was a little anxious, so I 1/2 knelt to get it and he was trying to figure out what I wanted...I pointed to the book w probably an exasperate look on my face. Long story short, I dove and made it to my spot just in time for the bymn, and it was a nice sacrament meeting until... "now we'd like to turn the time over to our MTC President, Pres, Smith." Lo and behold, even if I hadnt been sitting directly infront of the pulpit, he couldn't be mistaken (he looks like Kiki). Yes, there he was. The one you sit so far away from during firesides and devotionals that you have to watch the screen to see him, standing right infront of me. Now, dont' get me wrong. I was not overwhelmed with a good feeling of seeing him there among us, I was actually overwhlemed with nausea as I racked my brain, trying to figure out how I managed to not spot his face as I dug around his legs. To toot my own horn a bit louder, I leaned fwd and looked at the woman sitting 2 seats from me, Yes, his wife- the one I'd handed an extra hymnbook too. She looked over at my glance, I relaxed my grimace long enough for my expression to pass for a smile, leaned back into my chair, and looked up into the face of someone I no longer cared to see upclose. Looking at screens is just fine with me.
Slla P leaves on Monday- and 25 new italians will be arriving the 3rd. I am excited and hoping that there are some sisters- I love my district, but it's been nice having a sister around. I heard from my friend Mandy this past week- we met in our nursing class, and while we were tubing the river a few days before I left for Rome, we'd joked how awesome it would be to serve as companions. She's been called to the Catania Mission, which, as of July, will be my same mission!!!
There is just one disadvantage of having a female companion- she's too nice to tell me something that might possibly be embarassing. One day, I had a wrap with spinach and veggies, and then we stopped at the bookstore to order somet things...I stopped a few people to ask them some questions, and then I thanked and smiled at some Elders who'd held the door open for us. THEN class started and I said something to Flla Auna and he says "Slla Urban, you have something in your teeth" and points to his. I turn to S Pickett and ask her why she hadnt said anything, and she feebly says she hadnt noticed. Yeah right! I ask her where it is and ALL the Elders chirp in of the location of Freddy and the various tacts I could use to conquer his removal. We're too close as a district for me to be feeling any embarassment at this point (yes, this is coming from the same person who, on the 2nd date, asked him if there was anything stuck in her braces), BUT, after much trial and tribulation (and some gnashing of teeth from the Elders), I removed it with nothing other than a mechanical pencil, and guess what? It was NOT a Freddy. No, it wasn't something that she counldn't have seen- I could have made another salad wrap with the size of the spinach leaf! AGH!!! It was Dr. Fred!
Tommy, I thought'd youd be happy in knowing that...: Anz Knuteson needed to resew a button that was loose on his suit jacket, so I whipped out my sewing kit (thanks lennie) and we proceeded to figure out how to open it. W our 2 great brains combined, we couldn't open it. 3 torn nails and a few "che cavoli!" later, ...nothing. We abandoned the effort for a minute as he tried to take his button off, while exclaiming how nice it'd be to have scissors. I pulled out my gerber and nearly knocked him over with schock. He recovered quickly, cut his button off, and spent 1/2 hours and 2 Elders to get the blade to close. Meanwhile, I'd been working on opening the kid. It had a simple snap clasp, but even banging it against the pulpit didn't help. I think it was the Spirit that prompted me to ask AnZ Anderson for help- he looked it over for a second, and then pointed to 2 long, BUT, in our defense, TRANSPARENT strips to tape sealing the case shut.
Sorella Pickett's teacher pulls me from class whenever he is here, and although I don't necessarily enjoy it at the time, the awkwardness we go through is fun to look back on. We roleplay several hours a day, and he had us practice door approaches. Our goal was to get into his house. Several slammed doors later, I knocked and he peeped the door open...I stuck my hand in to shake his and he didn't accept it, but something happened and we said something that caught his interest. Before he or I knew what happened, I was kneeling in his living room. "What, you mean NOW?" I replied, "Yes, you said it'd be cool to know. Right now is when you can know" so he knelt down and prayed! I'm becoming more and more comfortable with being bold, and not hesitating to follow the promptings of the Spirit.
Some of the Elders in my district weren't too happy with eachother the other night; one couldn't focus and was being a distraction to the other. They called me in, hoping I'd listen to their separate sides of the story and bring justice or something. The only thing that came to my mind was an image of us kneeling together, so I stood there for a moment and then knelt. One Elder cheered and the other groaned (I wonder which of them had a guilty conscience Ü), and I prayed. It really did help us refocus to what we should be doing. Never have I relied more on the Spirit and its promptings that I am now. I do my best to be 100% obedient so that I don't have a guilty consicence when I pray and ask for its blessings. I can expect it from the Lord- He keeps His promises, but I must keep mine.
Time is almost out- I hope you'll take the time to read what I'll be sending Debora. I have so many things on my mind- how grateful I am for the preexistence, and for the knowledge that we have of it. I've never really pondered too much on everything that happened in our preeathly life- so much did!
I am absolutely loving it here. Thank you for your letters. Gma Spalding sent me a package of chips and salsa, and our district had a little fiesta. We're bonding and really having a good time. Sometimes we get a little down on ourselves, too worried about the language and the daunting task ahead, but we shouldn't worry. The Lord's called us to Italy, knowing that we are capable, and that's all we need to know. How well He knows us. Why fear when all we need to do is put our trust in Him? After all, He's the creator of it all- who better to turn to for guidance and help?
I am grateful for all of you. Thank you for your support and prayers. I am more than half way thru my MTC stay- where does the time go? I love you all. Keep up the good and funny letters; they entertain others besides me :) If anyone wants to write an Elder Go- he hasn't recieved a letter from his family yet. He's going to Brazil-
ok, need to run. Ciao tutti! Sorella Urban