Thanks to everyone for all the love and letters and packages it made this me feel not too far from home! It twas a very merry christmas!
This week was really good, especially Sunday for some reason was just amazing, but ill start from tuesday!
so tuesday i got megans fun little christmas package that had the Christmas video of the family in it (which scott accidentally already told me about haha sorry scott) but i put it in the computer and bc of all the restrictions on the computers here at the MTC i couldnt open it! so i was pretty upset about that, but then using all my wisdom and tricks i was able to figure out how to download the video to the computer (still couldn't open it) and then found a shortcut hotkey to open up the downloads, and then it miraculously worked. such a tender mercy<3 haha but really it was actually super cute and probably my favorite gift i loved seeing and hearing from you all!
so for Christmas eve we had a devotional which unfortunately i didnt write down who spoke or what it was about... haha... but i do remember my feelings and i felt good! so it was a good devotional! that night we watched a movie called "The Nativity" which was like a very real portrayal of Mary and Joseph as they were growing up and then all then there travels to Bethlehem and the actions of the wicked King Herod etc. and it was at first pretty wierd- i definitely didnt plan on seeing any births or circumsisions while i was on my mission but i was lucky enough to see both, so the movie was pretty wierd at times but overall it was actually super cool and eye opening to see all the struggles and persecution the Jews were going through and Mary and Joseph specifically what they had to deal with. anyways the movie made me even more grateful for everything the Christ did for us and how God has his hand in everything, even our trials. He loves us and he knows each of us, its so true!
Then Christmas Day! very highly anticipated and it was good, but i definitely was missing waking up with the family, the gift exchange, and all the fun traditions that we do each year for christmas. The MTC still took very good care of us though! We opened up all our presents under our fun little christmas tree in the morning (thank you everyone love you all<3 and my roomates all send their love and apprecation for you and say youre the best mom! i forgot to take a picture with all of us and our stockings, but i hope you still know and felel our love for you<3) I think the best part of christams was talking to the family, but it went so fast! 30 min felt like 5 haha and i guess we couldnt get to detailed in our discussion, but i did love hearing everyones voices! still cant remember the password dad, sorry ill keep thinkin. Second best part was having Elder Nelson one of our apostles come speak to us that night, and he talked about 9 of the doctrines of the gospel of jesus christ, from the godhead to prophets to tithing etc. one thing that really stuck out to me i thought was cool was he talked about how poverty is a generational cycle that is going to continue on forever unless somethign dramatic changes- and that change that will come is the blessings that come from tithing- so to not be shy or slow to mention tithing and the importance of it, even to places where money is such a big issue. Then that night we watched Ephraim's Rescue and it was super powerful, really solid choice. definitely a must see, and the ending was super powerful. It made me wonder if i would have enough faith to be able to trust the lord as much as Ephraim did in blessing and helping all those people in the Martin Handcart company. Along with that thought i watched "Joseph Smith- The Prophet of the Restoaration" movie and there were some similar experiences Joseph Smith had where he was able to give blessings to those who were sick or near death, and he was able to save them, but then his wife Emma said "Joseph how come you were able to help and save all those people and weren't able to save our child" right after their little child passed away- and joseph said something to the effect that "i can only do that which is God's Will" and i think thats super interesting and important to remember that we need to have faith in blessings and the power they have, but also faith and trust in God to know that he has a plan for every one of his children, and if this life was all there was that would seem pretty unfair, but its not, and God is a loving and just God, and so i guess just remember to trust in Him and His Will.
Friday was good and my classes were actually amazing. For some reason i had a super renewed desire to just learn thai 24/7 and so i made flashcards even though i hate flashcards and actually have been really enjoying using them wherever i am in my free time, and idk just been super pumped these last few days to learn and study hard. Saturday we taught some thai members in something called TRC which was a super success. it felt like it really was the first time i could communicate with them and teach without having to translate everything in my head, and it went super smooth, the spirit was strong.
But i think Sunday was the day that made the week SO GOOD and im not sure exactly why! Probably my favorite day in the MTC so far... Had a good priesthood meeting in the morning, and prepared a solid talk on faith for sacrament meeting which i didnt end up having to give which was nice, but i was actually kinda bummed about because it was so good haha (based off a little bit of Elder Hollands talk "Lord, I Believe" ) then had a nice temple walk in the snow which is fun but also has been making miss the beach, and then our devotional we got surprised with some guy name Richard Elliot (and at first im like alright whos this goofball) because David Archuleta was also there, and so needless to say all the Sisters and most of the Elders even were freaking out hahaha... So Richard Elliot started speaking and he is honestly one of the coolest most talented guys ever he is so legit! He plays organ for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is a convert to the church, and just had such a powerful testimony of the power of Music. He talked about how he was in a rockband when he was a teenager and how the music he played then helped people forget about their problems for a short time, but how at an early age he realized the power of music that he played at his christian denomenational church, becuase the music wouldnt help people forget about their problems, but actually face them and deal with them. He played a bunch of arrangements for us from some of his christmas specials he played in the MOTAB to hymns that he just made sound amazing and his feet were straight up going insane underneath that organ haha they put a camera down there so we could see him playing with his feet and it was legit. Then David Archuleta spoke for a little and he was surprisingly pretty nervous it seemed like for being such a famous performer. He talked about how he got off his mission of March this year from Chile and how near the end of his mission the Church asked him if he would record the "Glorious" song at the end of Meet the Mormons. His story was pretty cool but i feel like takes to long to write about, but he sang that song which was even better live, and he sang a bunch of other songs that were super powerful but i think the best one was when Richard Elliot played the organ and David sang to "Come, Come, Ye Saints" and ahhh it was SO crazy powerful. Like im not much of a cryer but i almost felt like Shelley Smith it was so good. ah at the end when he sang the last verse and the end "oh how we'll make this chorus swell" and of course he spiced it up a little bit and it was just so good. heres the lyrics to the whole song anyway but definitely try to find a version of David Archuleta singing it online it was so good.
Then on our way back to the residence there was this dope icey slide on the walkway right by the entrance to our residence so we had a good time sliding around on that, hopefully i didnt ruin my suit, but fortunately i wont really need it in thailand.
anyways i cant believe im off to thailand in 3 weeks now. its been a pretty crazy experience here but ive loved every minute of it! so stoked to meet president senior and to get to teach real people and help real people. Such an exciting work. sorry this letter is so long!- I know God lives and loves us, and that without his grace and mercy of sending his Son to atone for our sins we wouldnt be able to live with him again! Joseph Smith a prophet of God and i just wish everyone could know the truth of that! Life is so good! all hard things have an end and all of our joys and the things that bring us happiness, we can have for eternity! love you all have a great week! Happy new Years! 2015 yiewww!