Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another week down!

This week Linnea was a little sad because the Dear Elder mail room at the MTC moved locations.  With that move she did not receive anyone's Dear Elder letters.
She commented that each day is so similar while at the MTC that there is not a whole lot to write about that is new and different.  She was so excited to see CelestineYeung, who is from Vista, enter the MTC on Wednesday last week.  Celestine lives in Linnea's building so they will see each other frequently.
Here is a picture, from the many she sent, that made me smile.
The people in Linnea's district were writing "Symptoms you are ...."  and for Linnea they listed

  • resembles Pocohontas
  • have gnarly double jointed fingers
  • if you love cookies
  • if things are "sick", "gnarly", etc
I think that her fellow elders and sisters have learned quite a few things about her over the last few weeks.

Here is the highlight of the week:

 Another big event this week was that M.RUSSELL BALLARD spoke at our Tuesday devotional! Ya that's right...TWO apostles in THREE weeks. Rad right?! He spoke about keeping your teaching simple and basic. Don't over-complicate things and just bear sincere testimony when you teach... that will be the biggest help when teaching. It was interesting to compare Ballard with Holland. Holland is so powerful and stern while Ballard is so soft-spoken yet their messages are still the same. You feel the Spirit just the same. Its really cool. Who knows maybe in my last 3 weeks we will hear from the Prophet....we can only hope!

Here is the low of the week:
 Okay so here's a funny Harris luck story. Every non-fast Sunday every missionary in our district has to prepare a 3-5 minute talk on an assigned topic and then on Sunday the Branch president will announce which 2 missionaries will be giving their talks. You find out like 2 minutes before who is going to be speaking so you have to prepare a talk no matter what. This weeks topic was enduring to the end. I finished up my talk on Saturday and it was pretty solid...oh it has to be in spanish by the way. So Sunday before Sacrament meeting I rip my talk out of my notebook and put it in my Santa Biblia. I go to grab my Book of Mormon and my notebook for Relief Society and realize I have a lot of stuff. I think...oh my talk doesnt use any scriptures form the Bible so I dont need to take it so I put it back on my desk. We get to Sacrament and Pres Tyler announces who is going to be speaking....Guess who one of those people is?! Ya thats right...ME...the girl who left her talk in her Bible which is in the classroom....GREAT! Luckily, Hna Kerr let me use hers cuz she didnt have to speak...but it was a little crazy because I hadn't read her talk before that point so I literally just had to read it. It turned out alright, everyone said I did well so that's good.
Linnea with her companeras

Friday, September 9, 2011

Week 5 & 6 with PHOTOS!

Her name tag which was placed on the classroom door the first day.
I did not post last week because when Linnea wrote she told me she was mailing me her memory card and so I thought I would wait to add some photos.  It was so fun for me to see the pictures.  I hope you enjoy them too.
So here are some highlights from the last two weeks.

Perks of going stateside:
The Hnas and Elders Stuller y Haymore were talking at breakfast this morning about how its crazy to think that people that got here way after us are leaving in the next week. It makes us feel like veterans but at the same time we have gotten so close with our district we want more time with them and we feel like the remaining 4/5 weeks is not enough. Its interesting...a lot of people have had some trouble with visas. Elder Andersen in my district is still waiting on his to go to the Peru MTC as is my friend Hna Petherbridge. One of the advanced Hnas in a different branch is waiting for hers to Argentina and is temporarily being assigned to Texas while she waits. Oh and 2 other Hnas in my branch are also getting reassigned temporarily...they are waiting for their visas to Argentina. Im glad I dont have to worry about of the many perks of going stateside.

These are the elders and sisters in her front of the Provo Temple.

Favorite Devotional to Date:
Okay so remember how I wrote a couple weeks ago that the MTC President, President Brown, sat with us at lunch and told us to make sure to get to devotionals early because there could be a special speaker.....well at this Tuesday's devotional, guess who was our speaker.....JEFFREY R.HOLLAND!!! It was soooo awesome. Probably one of the best experiences of my life. The Spirit was so strong in there it was unbelievable. When he walked in every stood up and was silent. The feeling we got when he walked in was so intense and it didnt leave the rest of the night. Even after he had left and we went back to our classroom you could tell how that experienced changed everyone's life. Everyone was so reverent but pumped up at the same time. I wish you could have been there. Did I tell you that every night before we leave to go back to our residence halls our district does our altos and bajos of the day...highs and lows. Everyone goes around and says the alto and bajo of their day. Tuesday night we didn't do altos and bajos for the first time because everyone's alto was the devotional and nothing could compare to low was low enough to even mention. Elder Holland talked about how sacred the image of a missionary is and how we have no right to take away that image from people. He said we need to have the mission change the rest of our lives not just the 18 months of two years. His talk was so awesome.

A Midnight Fire Drill:
So the other night I'm just hanging out with Hna Petherbridge eating brownies and the fire alarm goes off. ITs like 945PM and we are like is this for real orr what? So we open the door of her room and everyone is running out so we walk out too. One of my companions was in the shower so she had to like hurry up and put on her clothes soaking wet and come out. That was funny. We sat outside for 30 MINUTES listening to the super loud alarm waiting for someone to come turn it off. Turns out someone tried to microwave a hashbrown in a paper bowl?! WEird but it was kinda funny. Minus the fact that it smelt like burnt plastic the rest of the night. Some Hnas who were leaving like the same week we arrived said the alarm went off Twice in the middle of the night while they were here. Like 2AM middle of the night. Im glad that wasn't the case for us.

Linnea and her pre-earth best friend...Heather Petherbridge

Seeing people from home:
 Okay so now for some people I've seen/ met at the MTC. I met an elder named Cody Myers(weird because that is my friend Cody's last name too) who knows Jenni Snyder and was roommates with the Hellbushs grandson at BYU-I. Small world. Also Sister Crews got here on Tuesday. I've seen here around quite a bit so thats cool. One of the teachers in my hall served her mission in VEntura and served in Simi english speaking...she served in the Santa Susanna 1st ward. Her name is Hermana Deleon. I wonder if that is Juli and Shane's ward.
I seriously CANT WAIT til Celestine gets here. I love seeing people from home. I seriously talk to Amy everyday....multiple times a day. We've gotten really close and I've gotten close with her companion too (Sora Zimmerman) Sora is Sister in Romanian. 

Speaking more Spanish:
 On Saturdays we go to the TRC(Teaching Resource Center). That is where volunteers come in and let us teach them. They used to pretned to be investigators but now they are just themselves...members. Its fun to teach lessons to members. It helps us with the lessons and with our spanish. We feel more comfortable around them. There is this one volunteer we have gotten really close with. She is our age and goes to BYU. She also works in the cafeteria at the MTC. We love her. She makes sure to come and volunteer when we are teaching just so we can teach her. She is planning on going on a mission herself and seriously we have the best discussions with her. She is so cool. This week our distrcit set a goal to speak more spanish. As a district we can only speak 600 words of English. This breaks down to 10 words/day/person. We can speak English in the cafeteria, in the residence halls and at gym, but other than that its all Spanish. Everytime you say an English word you get a tally and if the district goes over 600 words, the companionship with the most English words has to teach another district a grammar principle in Spanish as a "punishment" So far so good on my end.

Two more Devotionals:
Richard Heaton(Admin director for MTC) spoke at the fireside. We've heard him speak before...he's awesome. HE talked about not overlooking the bigger picture of missionary work which is inviting others to come unto Christ...its not about the superficial yes or no's to committments but about bettering peoples lives by helping them feel closer to the Savior. It was a good talk. Then for Tues Devotion Jay  E Jensen of the 70 spoke. He talked about submisiveness and harmony. We need to submit our will(home life and other worldly things) to missionary work and be in harmony with our companions as well as with the Lord. Also very good talk.

It is always so fun for me to read Linnea's letter.  She is now having a tough time with the cafeteria.  She is very OCD about somethings like smells, people touching her things and I think now it is starting to get to her but she is leaving the MTC soon so I think she will survive.

She always is so grateful to those who write her.  Please keep writing.  I know that hearing from home really lifts her spirits.  She loves to get photos.  

I will leave you with a few more photos.

The classroom...many hours spent here.

Flowers on the Provo Temple grounds

Hermana Harris by the Provo Temple fountain