HAPPY (one day belated) FATHER'S DAY!!!! I love you over the moon and back, Dad! Check the mail today :) :) :)
I am convinced that not only was I blessed to be called to the best mission on earth, with the best people on earth, speaking the most lovely languages on earth, but at THE BEST TIME! What a blessing it is to spend these 12 weeks at the MTC during the summer months! I am grateful that our Sunday walks are full of sunshine and birds singing, there are flowers all around campus, watermelon and strawberries at meals, beautiful fragrant pink roses peppering the temple grounds, and the communal rise in spirit that mirrors the climb in temperature :) Does that sound overly-enthusiastic? Like I am in Oz? Or Never Never Land? I am, and I am!! I am so happy here! We have exactly four weeks from today left in the MTC -- then off to Tahiti! I am thrilled beyond measure to be able to make my way down to the mission field, but am also sad to be leaving this glorious place. The MTC and Provo Temple grounds have come to hold such a special meaning in my heart. What growth has occurred in these halls! How many strengthening, humbling, and enlightening experiences have happened in this little 1/2 mile campus! :) The friends I have made here will surely be dear to me for many, many years and the lessons I've learned I am certain will never be forgotten. If you do the MTC right -- that is, work your tail off, open up your heart to God, and serve those around you with an inexhaustible love -- the MTC will absolutely change your life. And if this is true -- which I promise that it is, because I am experiencing it -- I cannot wait to see what the mission field has in store :)
Something miraculous has happened to me while at the MTC -- I appreciate every tricky situation. Every trial. I realize that they are stepping stones... opportunities for me to improve myself. Though this sounds ridiculous... I like them! Bring on the challenge! By trusting in God, studying, praying, listening, and acting, I am filled with the peace and content that I KNOW only comes from God. And it is lasting peace. When we have this peace in our lives, it is much easier to see ourselves and our own circumstances or situations very clearly. This has been a theme in my letters, for sure, but I will say it again! When we DO what is necessary to keep the spirit with us, we are able to find joy in our work and peace amidst the choppy waters of mortality.
I am actually not quite sure what to say in this letter -- the week just flew by! I started a new planner --- ohhhhhhh ... what bliss! An empty planner that is now already filled with goals, to-do's, and the schedules for the coming weeks. Soeur Taylor and I set a number of companion goals in relation to Tahitian and I have COMMITTED myself to completing them each day, which I have been doing over the last few days, which is SURELY the reason why I feel so great!!! (Guys -- goals! Set them!) 1. Pray 3x/day in Tahitian 2. Contact someone in Tahitian 2x/day 3. Learn and use 10 new Tahitian words daily 4. Master 1 grammar principle daily. + whatever specific daily goals we have. Later tonight we should be teaching our FIRST LESSON IN TAHITIAN! Wooooo!!! I am soaking Tahitian up and certainly more amused and entertained with the language than any child could ever be on Christmas morning with sparkling new toys. Sometimes when missionaries in our district say prayers in zone meetings, they do it in Tahitian... and use French words for the Tahitian words they don't know... and use English for the French words they don't know. Let's call it ... Franglaytian. What is marvelous is that none of us seem to register the change between three languages during the prayer. We just... understand. My lovely family and friends -- prayer is powerful. There would be no other way that we would be able to acquire language abilities so quickly otherwise. Yes, our language is far from perfect, but the more we speak, the better it gets, so none of us are hesitant about PVLing (parler-votre-lange-ing) most of the day long. The Elders find it quite amusing, and generally use French when they are being insightful or kind and Tahitian when they are being firm, direct, or shouting (playfully, in gym) at each other... haha....
Also, I have stopped speaking English (outside of trainings, interviews, zone meetings, planning, etc) and as a result, French is coming much more fluidly. The other night during companion prayer I was completely stumped... for a good 30 seconds... on how to say "interpretation" in English. I kept saying Tra--- trad---tr---(traduction:)). Soeur Taylor giggled into her hands while I racked my English vocabulary for the answer.
Next Sunday, June 23rd, is the Missionary Broadcast at 4pm MT/6pm ET -- everyone watch! I, along with my district, will be singing in the choir! (And if you REALLY want to find me, look for a cobalt blue blazer ;)) http://www.lds.org/church/events/the-work-of-salvation-missionary-broadcast?lang=eng
Our French district is leaving in a week! They are the first group that we'll send out after training them personally the entire six weeks! The "Tahitians" are famous around here and our 12-week-stay indulgence is generally met with awe, shock, wonder, and sometimes terror. Don't ask me why, though! I love it here! :)
Soeur Taylor and I will feel ridiculous telling you this... but we were literally crying out of happiness the other day. Why? Because Manuarrii is finally "ready" to be baptized! We had the most touching, powerful lesson/discussion on Christ that taught me more about loving and teaching people than all of our "formal lessons" combined. Yes yes yes, I know he is just practice, but it's all so real! I cannot wait to teach investigators! Oh, dear! I just love these guys so much --- is that how it always is? Because if I end up loving all of our investigators (amis) as much as Soeur Taylor and I love Manuarrii and yes, even the notorious Tereva, then we may have a problem! How in the world do you contain all that love?!? :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0TWtjdlbCg
I have started to read "Jesus the Christ" and am indulging in every sentence. What powerful truths, and what an amazing writer! If you have not read Jesus the Christ, whether you're Mormon or otherwise, I encourage you to do so! Read it when and where you have time to really soak up the words and ponder their significance. Free eBook
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22542 Audio Version https://www.lds.org/media-library/audio-interim/jesus-the-christ?lang=eng Text http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22542/22542-h/22542-h.htm
Oh! :) The only strange thing that happened this week was... a trip to Urgent Care! I'm not sure what exactly it is here (if I am allergic to something... either red dye or the detergent the MTC uses to launder their pillow cases) but I woke up in the morning with a BIG puffy red blotch on my cheek! Ahhh!!!!! Okay okay, it wasn't that dramatic, and I am grateful that my skin is normal and pretty again :), but it was fun to have a mini adventure out into the real world for a few hours ;)
Well, time to sign off!
I love you all and miss you dearly, though there is no place in the world I would rather be right now (pause and think about that for a moment ;)) than on a mission.
GIRLS --- Pray about going on a mission. It will be a turning point in your life from which you will never return. All things considered, everyday just keeps getting better :)