so sorry that my letters are super unorganized. we have a certain amount of time we're allowed to be on so i just kind.. go........
so first- Sunday for relief society we had a guest speaker. Ann M. Dibb. the prophets daughter. um. so cool! she basically just told us stories about her childhood and some lessons she'd learned and then she was like "so last night i was taking a drive with my parents..." all casual. so with the prophet. no big deal............ haha anyway she asked the prophet what advice she should share with us. she told us a bunch of stories. the one that stuck out to me, i had heard before, but she told the story about when president monson was a bishop and he had a prompting during a sacrement meeting to go visit one of the ward members in the hospital. but he didn't want to leave in the middle of the meeting. he got the prompting again and ignored it, telling himself he'd go right after sacrement. as soon as sacrement was over he rushed to the hospital where he found out that the guy he went to visit had just passed away and was asking to see him. moral of the story- never ignore a prompting. no matter how stupid you may feel. always, ALWAYS, follow promptings.
then in sacrement with our zone, i sang a musical number with another sister and an elder. we sang "i know that my redeemer lives" in italian. it was powerful and i wont lie... we sounded amazing ;]
at the sunday night devotional Steven B. Allen of the missionary department came and spoke. it was one of the most intense talks i have listened to. like.. ever.. he talked a lot about enduring hard things on your mission and pushing through the hard times because no matter what, it will be worth it. then he called us all to repentance. it was so intense. he is such a fantastic speaker.
on monday we had class with one of our teachers that doesn't normally teach but is over the italian department. Brother Bullouch. he is amazing. and for about an hour during class he pretty much bore his testimony about how SYL (speak your language) is amazing and helps missionaries so much and is what we all should be doing.
he sold it. the whole time he was talking i knew he was going to challenge our district to only speak italian. now this may not seem like a big deal but when you think abuot it.... it is...... i started crying.. out of fear of losing my personality and not being able to express what i really feel. i mean... its a scary thing! we decided as a district we were only going to speak italian from that point on. we set up two chaires in the room and one side of the room was english and the other was italian and you had to walk through the chairs and it was like leaving the english language behind and you say your last words in english. SO INTENSE!!
so............ i was the last one to go.. i said "right now, i am giving up fear for faith." and walked through the chairs. man... chairs have never scared me this much. so i have been struggling through the last few days, trying be best to speak italian..... messing up a lot but hey...... its actually been really good. i have been learning a lot faster and realizing the things i need to learn in order to be able to talk day to day.......... its crazy. it has also kept us more focused, cause lets face it, the only thing we really know how to talk about in italian is the gospel. so that's good too.
um...... lastly- on tuesday night, we had a devotional (we have them sunday and tuesday nights) and Russel M. Nelson came and spoke. 2 things from his talk:
"there is cleansing, healing, enabling power in the atonement."
"true testimony is irrefutable"
well anyway... i love you all and i miss you a lot. keep writing me!
how is everyone doing!? this last week at the mtc has been awesome! we got to hear from M. Russel Ballard on sunday and then Larry Gibbons of the 70 on tuesday! something that general authorities have been repeating (at least that i've picked up) lately is to go forward without fear and in faith. i am trying so hard to make this true for myself. i have a lot of fears right now about teaching people in a language i can hardly understand, but at the same time, doing the things i am doing right now is forcing me to put ALL my trust and faith in the lord. its all a big process and i know in the end, if we all can just increase our faith in Christ, our fear will be defeated.
so i know mom's wondering (no he's not going to italy) david archuletta.. wait.. elder archuletta was in the mtc with me. he entered on the same day but he left to chile on monday. he sang in the devotional on sunday and man....... that kid is SO shy and SO timid but i am telling you... he is powerful. he sang The Spirit of God and i know the entire congragation felt the spirit. he sang the second verse in spanish which was really cool. monday morning i saw him walking and complimented him. ah yeah ;]
after the devotional we watched The Testiments. i forgot how much i love that film.
okay so crazy experience-
well not really but read this anyway...
monday night the fire alarm went off in the girls building at 1:30am. i think we all about died. the sound was SO loud and we were all just so dazzed. it think we layed there for like 5 minutes (still half asleep. and hoping it would just go away...) and finally i was just like 'what IS THAT!?!?!" i was pretty mad haha......... then one of the sisters in my room went to the door and there were sisters just BOOKING it out of the building. she was like 'uhhhhh........ sisters?! i think we should go!" "WHAT?!" i said... yeah........ so we threw on hoodies and ran out the door. we got evacuated to the parking lot and were all freezing our butts off in the mtc parking lot so they opened the gym for us which is right next to our building and went in there. we waited for anyone to tell us what was going on for like 20 minutes, thinking of who would pull the firealarm and hoping that whoever did gets sent home for being a fool.... finally they let us back into our building. literally the second we got back into bed all cozy, the alarm started going off AGAIN. i think sorella christensent about died. haha.... and then off a minute later. but we were all so mad. it took us all about 2 hours to fall back asleep and we still had to wake up at 6:30.........
turns out of was some sort of an electrical malfunction. but man.......... that suuuuuuuucked.
haha anyway.. i'm running out of time. but i love you all. write me!!!!!
i hope everyone is doing well. this week has been jam packed with italian, gospel and all sorts of other crazy. we work hard everyday. everyone is exhausted by the end of each night. so i sleep well here. even though the beds aren't super great.
i think about you all every day. and all your wonderful spirits!
on easter sunday, we had a devotional and got to hear the words of Boyd K. Packer! it was amazing! also- easter night, the byu men's choir came and sang to the missionaries and i was crying by the end of it. music is such a blessing and brings the spirit so strong.
last night (tuesday) bishop mcmullin came and spoke with his wife. they talked a lot about replacing fear with faith. they gave beautiful talks. i got to say the closing prayer!!! that was really awesome. i really felt heavenly father helping me know what to say. it was weird too cause i haven't prayed in english in 2 weeks so i had to concentrate on that. =]
so i dont even know where to start. my first week at the mtc has been crazy. and i feel like i have been here for months. they days have all kind of just smashed into a whole bunch of days and if someone asked what i did on friday, i would just have no idea.
so i love my district. and everyone here. its really cool cause everyone says hi to everyone in their respective languages. so i say "ciao!" about 50 times a day. its awesome. and its not weird if you start up a conversation with a random person. in fact, its a little weird if you dont, because we are being trained to be some of the most social people on earth and always trying not to be shy or held back. its really cool. i have met so many new people and i just love it.
i had a really crazy experience this week. so my first day here i felt the spirit super strong and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of me chest! then for the next few days i didn't feel the spirit as strong and i even wrote in my journal about how i felt like the spirit has withdrawn from me in a way. but i prayed and something was brought to my remebrance that the spirit withdraws before emense spiritual growth or an important event in one's life. like when the atonement was taking place and Jesus said "why hast thou forsaken me".
anyway- we went to the TRC and got to speak and teach real italians from italy and it was really hard because my companion, sorella spicq ("speak") who is from france, and has studied italian for 6 years, and is amazing by the way.... she mostly talked and i honestly couldn't follow hardly anything they were saying and i just felt very small and it was just difficult to be in that situation. at the end of the lesson, the "investigator" prayed and he blessed me in his prayer and i understood everything he said. and i just started bawling because the spirit was just so strong and i just felt God's arms encircle me. it was amazing.
well i dont have much time, but i love and miss you all.