This past week, the President of Kenya came and toured the 4th floor of the gym building- our floor. We were asked to make sure our rooms were clean, and to not go out hunting for a glimpse of her. At 2, I stayed in the classroom but the Elders sat on the couches in the middle section of the building in hopes of seeing her. I'm taking it they did, because a few minutes later, they stumbled thru the classroom door and were punching eachother for freezing up and acting like deer in a headlight. I'm sure you're wondering if I'll mention why the pres of Kenya came to the MTC....not to stress that she came to the 4th floor particularly. Well, it's bc she wanted to see if she'd want to open Kenya up to missionaries. Isn't that the best news?! Apparently, she met with the missionaries going to Cambodia, bc there's a similarity in the language...? I don't know if she came to a decision or how the visit went, but when does a meeting concerning the church ever go badly?
Never till now have I paid close attention to the illustrations in Book of Mormon stories. Slla Pickett and I have found a new passion for identifying 'its'- which is basically impossible, bc the individual has been identified as an 'it'. But it adds fun to reading and practicing pronounciation in Italian. It's what keeps us reading on- the exciting possibility of coming across another puzzling illustration. (Waters of Mormon story in particular Ü)
Slla Pickett and I spent all morning yesterday preparing for a lesson we taught at the TRC, and we were studying the Fall and I was testing her on phrases that she was memorizing, and w/ one she said "Adam and Eve were squished in the garden"... I looked at the phrase and it said "Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden". I guess scacciati and sciacciati are pretty close :) We got a good laugh out of that.
She's also come up with a song to help her learn the imperfect subjunctive...that goes to the pink panther theme song.
I eat an orange almost every meal, and within a few days, the other Sorelle were hooked. The Elders mocked our obsession with oranges, and then one asked for a piece during class, and from that moment on, they've all been more addicted that we have ever been. On Sunday night devotionals, they don't allow us to bring in bags, cameras, or food. There's always a church movie following the devotional, so S Pickett decided to carry in an orange for the movie. Since bags aren't allowed and she didnt have any pockets, she got Anz Deursch to stick it in his suit jacket pocket. We were lucky enough to find seats up close and personal to the speaker, right behind all the senior missonaries and branch presidents and their wives. Anz D caught my attention and handed me something, and me, being Sorella Urban, didn't get a good grip on what was in his hand so it dropped to the floor and rolled its way to the bast of the pulpit. To my absolute horror, combined with the horror of Slla pickett and the Anziani who were all seated beside me with a frozen expression of terror, it was the orange. Small as it was, it was still an orange. Food.
So much for concealing it till the movie. It was making its slow but sure way thru the aisle, rolling and bumping off the feet of senior missionaries. I was embarassed bc everyone watching the commotion thought it was MY orange, and that I'd thought that I could get away with sneaking in food. To help the flase presumption, Anz Anderson, who was the only one brave enough to retrieve the runaway orange, handed it back to ME. That's what I get for sharing the joy an orange can bring into someone's life. It's my fault Slla Pickett thought she dcouldn't get thru a movie without one.
Thank you for your letters, and for the packages. It really adds to the beauty of each day ;) Anz Anderson got a package from his mom, opened it up all excited, just to find a bag in it labeled for ME. Ah! I felt so bad, but it was so nice of her. A 2 pound bag of chocoloate covered pomegranate. I made the mistake of sharing with the class and the Elders were starting to have great fun throwing them thru the air and aiming at eachothers mouths, until I wrapped my finger around the neck of the bag and stowed it away back into my purse. I really do feel like a mom ;) And it makes me wonder what the Elders are writing home about me......bc Anz Gammel asked me if I've recieved a package from his mom yet. Oh dear.
Tommy. Tommy. Tommy. Yesterday we went and did the TRC, and afterwards we all got together to talk about how we thought our lessons went, and Anz Stoker and Deursch came in grumbling and complaining that one of the investigators they'd taught had been 'a punk'. After some description and after seeing a short, blond guy exiting the building, I connected the dots and realized it was Fife they were talking about. Ah! Did you really enjoy having him as a companion? He turns down every invite and even reading the scriptures- the only thing that came out of my mouth when I turned the corner and saw him standing there checking out was a low groan and a quick getaway for the door. But the best part is that Slla pickett groaned at the same time I did- Fife is becoming infamous in our district.
We thought we were getting 2 new sorelle last week, and as excitement mounted and as we happily made their beds and were carefully choosing out exactly which snacks we'd get from the vending machines to stick on their pillows....2 FRENCH sisters walked in! ay ay ay! And they weren't even new! They both have been here for 6 weeks and just needed to change rooms- so in the barged and complained about the bed arrangement. Slla Pickett and I, at the moment of intrusion, were seated on the floor having a chex mix party (thank you Lenora) and with the wave of tension that walked in, we just turned back to our chex mix party and tuned everyone else out. I loved our reaction- it's wonderful to just be able to close something off like that. So we are happily sharing rooms with 3 french speaking sisters, and sorella Pickett is leaving 2 weeks from yesterday, and then I'll be getting a new Italian district, but no companion. It's been very nice getting the chance to grow closer to S Pickett, esp now with sorelle Lloyd and Naslund gone. We've become expert scavengers of the cafeteria, and notice missionaries eyeing our trays in wonder as we walk past them. I'm sure they wonder how we find all the good food...
A few weeks ago, I can't remember if I told you, but Pres Uchtdorf paid an unexpected call to the MTC president, Pres Smith. He said he had to speak with an Elder Newell, so they pulled up info and found 2 Elder Newells here at the MTC, so P Uchtdorf said that the Elder Newell he had to speak with was learning Portoguese. So they tracked him down and he spoke with him- turns out, Elder Newell wasn't sure if he should be here; he'd struggled with choosing whether to go on a mission or into the navy, and so Pres Uchtdorf came to tell him he'd made the right decision. It was really neat.
We have 2 new elders- one's 6 '8 and one's 6 '4. All the Elders complain of how short they feel now.
Anita, i live in 17 M. My service assignments are taking out the trash- THE MOST FUN I'VE EVER HAD. And the compactors are so wonderful- ajhhhh If only I had time to describe the fun it is to take the trash out. Maybe a later email. My time is almost out. Please tell me how you're all doing- do dearelder - it's the best thing!
I love this time I have here at the MTC. I'm so glad I'm staying all 9 weeks. Some elders left after being here for 16 weeks for Brazil- they really are amazing. I know that the life I'm living now is the closest thing to the life I lived before this life. It's so wonderful feeing the spirit every moment of every day. I'm so grateful for you all, and most of all, I'm grateful for the things I'm understanding at a much deeper level. God really does have a specific plan for each of his children. Oh, so much to say. Next email I'll start with it so I dont find myself in this situation.
I love you all. Thank you for your prayers and support.