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Friday, July 31, 2015

​Christmas in July with my old roomies. Love them.
Hermana Brun's (far right) birthday on Sunday
Hola familia!
I am so excited to be leaving for Minnesota next week. I have to be at the travel office at 3:35 am on Wednesday (8/5) morning. So here's the deal. We are allowed to call home while we're at the airport. Nothing huge just like five minutes (almost literally) to say I'm alive and well and on my way. Do you have girl's camp next week? Who should I call? Do you even want me to call? It will be between 6-7 am your time because my flight leaves at 8:30am. Send me a Dear Elder and just tell me what to do, because I don't know what your plans are. But for real, I'm so excited. I'M SO EXCITED. I'm going to keep saying it. Because for real. 

It's crazy that there are so many babies in the ward now! I love the name Kimber. That's adorable. and I saw Kaylee's baby two days before I left. He was brand brand new. I love hearing about the family adventures. Send me pictures! I can't believe Sheralyn's engaged! When you go to their open house you are required to send me pictures! And tell Ryan I'm super proud of him and I brag all the time. So he'd better back me up with some more wins. 

I saw Josh Farish on Sunday, twice actually. He is doing great. And of course we're on the same plane. That will be so fun. Tell Jenny I'll take care of him:) 

Has Josh Lee emailed you lately? I got an email today and apparently a couple of weeks ago he got a mosquito disease. This is what he said "Two weeks ago I got chikungunya, a nifty brand new mosquito transmitted illness! Then the following week we were given mosquito nets and repellent....#justintime  Luckily, It didn't hit me too hard and after three days I was good to go :) " Isn't that just like him? Sheesh. 
I'm sort of sorry that this email is so scattered but at the same time, this week was not exciting at all. Except for Minnesota. That's exciting.

Our trio is hanging in there. I'm really not complaining because my companions are teaching me a lot about how teaching should work, how to be patient, being humble. I'm learning. Even just yesterday, I was put into my place (more like shoved forcefully back into my place, kicked in the face, and then left there to think about it for a second) after one of our lessons. Our Spanish is getting a lot better, which is cool except that now it's hard to teach simply because we can actually explain ourselves. I especially am working on this. And our teacher was more than happy to point it out. After mentioning that I said "um" about a million times. So that made me mad. But I'm learning. Being humble is hard, but being humbled is just painful. And annoying. So just be humble. Ugh I'm still cringing. Good thing I have 6 days to iron out any kinks. HA. A good dose of reality will be good for me. If you can't tell I'm still fuming a lot. Not complaining, just learning. Could be worse. I could have chikungunya. 
I am really appreciative of my teachers and branch presidency. They have been really complimentary of me this last week, and I hope I can live up to their expectations. 

I'm sorry this is so short, really nothing exciting happened this week. I am sooo looking forward to Minnesota. I'm also praying for a good trainer. PRAYING. 

I love you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The 3 Yrekans

Max Bakes, Tyler Larsen and Emily...The 3 Yrekans!

Hola everybody!

The biggest new of this week is that Hermana Wynne was officially sent home. Her leukemia is back, and she is home and has already started chemo. She sent me a couple pictures and an email/DearElder, and she seems really upbeat. She is amazing, and I am so lucky to have had her as my companion for the last 3 weeks. I am absolutely convinced that we were called to serve together in the MTC. I learned a lot from her, especially about being patient through trials. Seriously her attitude through all this has been incredible. 
However, this does mean that I'm in a trio for realsies now. Yaaaay... It's really not that bad, it just feels like I'm always waiting for someone, or like we have an entire parade when one of us has to pee. It's been a growing experience for me because I have to have more patience than I have ever had before, in everything! Especially when we teach I find myself getting frustrated because it's hard to keep three Hermanas learning Spanish and an investigator on track. I have always been blessed with an ability to teach (sooooo thankful for that!) and the longer I'm here and especially in a trio the more I realize that it's a relatively unique gift... I love it. I love Spanish. This week has been a turning point for our district. All of a sudden it's really clicking. We are trying to "speak our language" or "HSI" more and more. Only one more P-day in the CCM! As of this week we are the oldest district in our zone. Crazy.

Our teachers are awesome as always. Hermana Tuft and us Hermanas had a discussion this week on how extravagant living and focus on material things is poison for the soul. It's especially a thing here in Utah. She is an incredible role model to me. 

Hermano Draut gave us an excellent lesson last night on asking questions; it's kind of been the theme for the week. But he brought up a fascinating point. He said, "why do you think Joseph Smith was the one chosen to see God and Christ? Don't you think someone else asked the same question?" He continued to explain that during apostasy, people choose to not look for the truth, some tried to reform it, but did anyone really ask which church really was true? His theory, backed by some authorities, is that Joseph received the First Vision simply because he was the first to sincerely ask. When he did ask, God answered his only question by saying "none of them." Joseph didn't receive further instruction until 3 years later when he asked for it. Moroni answered immediately. Isn't that a crazy thought?! What blessings does God have for us that we just need to ask for? When we study we need to have questions in mind, and that takes a lot of humility. I thought that that might be an answer to your Sunday observance question Momma, maybe have a family focus or question for the day and see who can find an answer. Just an idea.

To wrap up I just want to talk for a second about how people influence our lives. There are so many things that I have learned from the people around me at the MTC. Hermana Wynne's courage and faith, Elder Jeffrey's (seriously he reminds me of a taller, blonder, more talkative Ryan) humility and diligence, Elder Price's patience, President Monson's service, Hermana Tuft's wisdom and testimony, Hermano Draut's energy and passion, seriously there is something from every person I've met. Even negative attitudes have helped me learn. Never pass up the opportunity to talk to someone because you will always learn something if you have the right attitude. 
Have so much fun at the reunion, send me pictures!
Con mucho amor,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bon Jovi - "We're half way there!"

Study, study, study!

Half way through my stay at the MTC! So first things first, Hermana Wynne has been sick the last week and a half, so she had blood work done on Friday. Yesterday they got the results and immediately sent her via ambulance to the Salt Lake hospital. She had severe anemia and probably will need blood transfusions. Scary. Even scarier is that she had leukemia when she was thirteen, so we are reaaaalllyy hoping and praying it's not leukemia part two. Our whole zone is fasting and praying for her today so hopefully that will help. Something that was really cool is that H. Wynne was able to get a blessing just before she left and she has been promised multiple times that she will be healthy. So we'll see if she comes back soon or not. I really hope so.

Right now I am in trio with the other two Hermanas in my district, and I...I don't even know. I don't like it very much. With Hermana Wynne the last few weeks I've felt like I've had all the patience in the world, but in the last 24 hours with the other 2 Hermanas it has all disappeared. They are great and they try hard but their natural pace of life is about 10000000000000000 times slower than mine. I'm trying hard to be patient and not complain, but we'll see how long I can keep my cool. They also struggle with Spanish and teaching. I've basically been told by my teacher that my primary job in this trio is to support and not take over. Soooo hard for me, but I will do it. I need to practice. That's the biggest thing right now. It's kind of throwing off my groove. But it's ok. It will all work out. I'm just happy it's not me in the hospital.

I LOVE getting DearElders! (Note: is a website where you can send an email and they will print it and deliver it same day to the MTC otherwise Emily can only check emails once a week, on Thursdays. Check it out!).

I am so excited for Josh to be here! (Note#2: Josh is Emily's cousin who was called to the same mission.) Next week will be great. We get our travel itineraries (whoop whoop!). It's exciting.

Our devotional on Sunday night was the importance of the converting power that the Book of Mormon has. I have always been told the Book of Mormon is proof that our entire church is true, but I never really could figure out why. So this week I studied it. I've kind of always thought that the point of missionary work was to tell people that the Gospel has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith which is partially true, but the main point of missionary work is to tell people that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth again, and it just happens to have been restored through Joseph Smith. Because it has been restored, we have access to all the covenants and blessings that Christ has always given to His people. It might sound the same, and I wish I could get into the nuances of what I mean, but I hope that kind of makes sense. 

In answer to your question about feeling the Spirit in our home and as a family, I think our family did well. I think the times I felt the Spirit most is when you (Dad) would play the Primary songs and we would sing and also just reading the scriptures together. One time I felt the Spirit the most was that one time we were at the cabin with all your family and we had a family testimony meeting. I still remember how strongly I felt that families are eternal, because there was no way we could deny that when we were all together.

I have had a bad cold the last two days, small sore throat and super stuffy. I feel a little better today though. Not bad considering half our district was puking their guts out last week. We've been a pretty sad bunch the last few days. 

I love seeing Tyler and Max around the MTC. We are trying to plan a rendezvous to get a picture before Tyler leaves. Hopefully that happens.

Well, I think that's all I have for today. I love you all, sad I'm missing the reunion but I'm also really happy to be here. Love you!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Week #1 (a little late because Mom was in Alaska)

Sorry I haven't been able to email until now, our p-days are Thursdays and we didn't get ours last Thursday. So I'm alive! I have so much I want to tell you! My companion is Hermana Wynne from New Jersey. She spent last year at BYU also, and we have a few mutual friends. She is amazing and I have already learned a lot from her. She had leukemia when she was 13, but made it through and is here now. She always has good insights, and our personalities are actually pretty similar. The only bummer is that she is not a huge fan of exercise. She will go to the gym and stuff, but doesn't do much more than ride the bike. I love being able to exercise every day though. It helps me feel better after sitting all day every day. Literally all day. 
Our district is fantastico. There are six elderes and four hermanas including us. The four of us are the only hermanas in our zone of 30 people. We were assigned as the sister training leaders, which isn't too hard with four of us. They are all younger than 19, so that makes focus hard for the elders sometimes, but they are all amazing people. I'll try to attach a couple pictures. Some of the computers here are weird though. My favorite thing to do here is study. I love the time that is set aside for personal study especialmente. I LOVE love LOVE Spanish, and I'm really good at it. Not nearly as good as I need to be, but good. We taught seven lessons in Spanish this week. One of our investigators is an adorable Guatemalan lady named Hely. She is less than five feet tall. Our Spanish teachers are so awesome. Hermano Draut y Hermana Tuft teach us so much about Spanish and about teaching. They have made this experience a thousand times better. They help us to not be discouraged and lift us up when we crash and burn. I don't struggle with Spanish too badly, I can usually get across what I'm trying to say, but my district has a little bit of a hard time. It's really neat to watch everyone improve so rapidly. Like I said, most of us spoke zero Spanish when we arrived lst week, and we've already taught 7 lessons in Spanish. 
When we got here last week they were having the annual mission president conference, so everything was a little off. We weren't eating in the cafeteria, the schedule was weird, etc. But we're back to normal now. We were living in building 17M the first day, and then the second day, all of the sisters had to move because of bats! Luckily we didn't see any. The only downside is that we moved to an older building and there are six of us sharing a four person bedroom that has an extra bunk shoved in. Makes for some good bonding time. The Hmnas that we live with are so funny, and we really enjoy them. It still surprises how many sisters arent in bed by 1030 and are up making noise and stuff. Whatever, I am always so tired it doesnt even matter. Ah I'm running out of time so fast!
My first two days here I ran into probably twenty people that I knew, and there are probably more now. Running into Elder Larsen was a highlight. He has three weeks left, and Russian is still hard apparently. Go figure. 
Our devotionals this week were given by Elder Allen who runs the missionary committee, and Elder Sitati of the first quorum of the 70. both were uplifting and motivated me to be better. THe hardest part of being here for me is learning to have faith that I am doing God's work, and He's not going to leave me behind. Because a couple of days I have felt a little ditched, but for the most part, I love the MTC. We watched Elder Bednar's talk on Sunday called THE Character of Christ. Look it up, you might have to dig a little, it is a fantastic talk about looking outside ourselves.  It's just pure truth all the time, and it's hard to beat that. I can't wait to be fluent in Spanish! I'm so excited. 

I love you, I miss you already, but I also love being here. This week went by really fast, and I hear it only gets faster. 
Love, Emily