Okay, so we actually don’t have black Friday sales here. In fact, all the shops are actually closed, so during the holidays we’re even more cut off from everything than usual.
Let’s start from the beginning.
After I emailed you last Saturday, I had the opportunity to do initiatories at the temple with my zone. I’m not going to lie to you, last week was really rough. It’s a hard transition to go from being completely independent to being with a thousand people 24/7. I was having a hard time feeling the spirit and being happy like I wanted to. So Friday night, I said some prayers to my Heavenly Father that I might feel a little better.
Within 5 seconds of walking into the temple, I see my friend Kevin Kemp from my last single’s ward! He’s the one that set up all my mission interviews for my stake president. then after I got dressed, I saw my best ever ex-roommate Arie standing there folding her clothes. I almost cried. She’s one of the sweetest people it was so great to feel like I was part of the real world again. THEN I saw my best sister friend Sydni Carr! She even said she decided to go to the temple out of the blue. (I think we all know why she was prompted to go….(: ) THEN (if you can even believe it) I saw my pageant friend Ashley Robinson there working!! What the heck! I was at the temple for about 3 hours and saw four people that I know & that mean so much to me. Not only was going to the temple the biggest blessing, but being able to see my cute friends again before I left for Florida was the best thing in the whole world. I felt so loved that day.
Sunday was a good day, but I was very tired. My branch President asked me to sing a solo in sacrament on the last Sunday we have here. (I decided yesterday on the solo version of The Olive Tree. It is perfect for saying farewell & good luck to my branch, I think.)
We also got to watch the music & the spoken word & oh my gosh! There was the MOST BEAUTIFUL version of Come Thou Fount that MoTab sang. If you can find it anywhere, i suggest you listen to it. It blew my face off. It had the full bell choir & everything. So pretty.
Monday, I woke up CRAZY sick. I couldn’t keep my eyes open, I thought my throat was on fire, and my sinuses were off the charts. So I got to sleep the whole day. That was nice, but it was not nice being sick. Especially since I had been practicing a song to audition with for the Thanksgiving program. My accompanist had been working so hard on it, so when Tuesday came, even though I felt like death, I still wanted to audition just so she felt like it wasn’t wasted. We auditioned for the MTC President’s wife & I couldn’t even hit any of the notes & I was so embarrassed & I walked out of there as soon as I was done so I wouldn’t have to think about it anymore.
On Tuesday Elder Oaks & his cute wife came & spoke to us. He spoke mostly about how important it is that we live up to our missionary title. He said that by wearing this black tag, I am representing myself, my family’s name, the church, and Jesus Christ. These are all people that I do not want to disrespect! I want to make these people proud! I also got to sing Nearer My God To Thee in the choir for that. It was so beautiful.
Then I found out that I was 1 of 2 people in the MTC that was chosen to sing for the Thanksgiving program. I was terrified. I was still so sick. I don’t like performing unless I can do it perfectly.
Anyway. Thanksgiving lunch was really gross and disappointing…. then we did a giant service project where we made over 35,000 meals for hungry urban children! It was fun and we got to listen to that awesome primary song voicemail album the whole time. i love my acapella.
We then had a devotional by Elder Bednar that was off the hook. He basically did a question and answer session the whole time. People asked some pretty cool questions but my favorite thing he said, was when he promised, “If you feast upon your scriptures daily and pray morning and night, you can never fall away from the true light of Christ. I promise that.” What an amazing promise from a prophet of God. How blessed I was to hear personally from two in one week.
I then had to sing. I hadn’t hit any high notes in the song I was singing (A higher than usual arrangement of Maybe This Time) all week, so I said the biggest prayer of my life that I would somehow miraculously be able to do it.
I have performed that song a million times in my life & it has never been better than it was that night. I was riffing all over the place and sliding and hitting notes that are way out of my range even on normal good days. It was crazy. I had faith that I would be helped in order to provide some actual entertainment for these missionaries, and the Lord came through for me.
Yesterday was average & today is today. I have reached my halfway mark in the MTC! 10 days and I’ll be out of here.
I’ve LOVED the dearelders I’ve been getting & would also love any hand written letters. Also, I want you to send me pictures! I have very few, & I want some from that family shoot that Haley did right before I left. Also, friends, send me your favourite picture of us!
That my life here at the empty sea (MTC)
I’m keepin on & the Lord is blessing me, just like I hope he is blessing you!
I get to hang out with the coolest cats ever all day er day, so i couldn’t be luckier.