So this past Tuesday, we got to hear from Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita of the Quorum of the Seventy. He and his wide spoke about being missionaries and how we can be better teachers. His wife said that our companion is our first investigator. I really liked that. Preach My Gospel (missionary training book) says that you can only convert someone as far as your own conversion. By working with our companions we can build and strengthen our testimonies. Usually when we have guests come to the MTC to talk to us, they get us to sing “Called to Serve”. I’m starting to feel that “Called To Serve” is our “trick” that we can do. You know, like when people will visit your house and you show them all the tricks your dog can do like play dead and shake? Well ours is belting out “Called To Serve”. It’s fun though!
One thing I really like about the MTC is when you are walking around outside you can usually hear the Haka being chanted by the Samoan and Tongan Elders. Sometimes they do the actions too! The cafeteria likes to serve fish. It is a bit disconcerting since there is no ocean nearby for miles. I do not trust their fish, but one night they made “fish ‘n chips” for dinner. I, of course, was quite excited, but like any Italian Scottish child would do, I asked if they had malt vinegar (for this is the ONLY way an Abamonte shall eat fish ‘n chops) and the people go, “We had red vinegar?” Hahahaha! One day they too shall learn the wonderfulness of malt vinegar, until then – they’ll just never know.
So Elder Anderson, an Elder in my district, is really big into marching band and I think plans on going into music when he finally goes to college. He and I were talking about music the other night and how difficult the Melophone, as relative to the French Horn, is. Then and Elder from our Zone piped up and said that the Flute was the hardest instrument. I have to say that I laughed. Elder Anderson and I explained to him that it wasn’t considered in the category of very difficult instruments like the French Horn, Bassoon, and Oboe. But he was insistent. It was very funny to me. That made me laugh for the rest of the night. Sorry guys, I know that may not be funny to you, but you should have seen how serious he got. :)
Sister Noyes and I auditioned to perform “Oh Holy Night” at the MTC in a meeting. They sent us a letter that said we were assigned to the Senior missionaries orientation today, but we had to turn it down because at the time, we thought Sister Noyes had a hernia. She has been having some abdominal pains so we spent 2 ½ hours on Friday at the doctors, and 2 ½ on Saturday there too. Saturday night she though, she almost passed out in class. So we headed to the front desk and got to go to the ER at Inter-mountain Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. We got there at 9:15pm, They gave her insulin, drew her blood, made her pee in a cup, and did an abdominal ultrasound, a CT scan. At 2:15am we were told that she had a little cyst on her ovary. They didn’t discharge her until 3:15am and we didn’t arrive back to our room until 3:30am. I got 3 ½ hours of sleep that Sunday morning. I have to say I’ve never been more exhausted in my LIFE!!! When you are worked all day and used to going to bed at 10:30pm, 11:30pm feels like an all-nighter! And there were some interesting people that come out of the wood-work in Utah to go to the ER that late at night! It was good though that we were able to figure out what was wrong with Sister Noyes and that she and I got to have a fun bonding experience. :)
On Wednesday we get 25 new Deutschers, only 5 new sisters. Right now in our Zone, we have more Sisters than Elders, pretty nifty! Today, Tuesday and Wednesday we are all only speaking German to one another. It helps us to practice trying to get things our when we can’t exactly say what we want. And it strengthens what we already know. We also need to be good examples to the new missionaries coming in for our German. We got to watch the Christmas Devotional last night and that was really fun. Although, because I hadn’t had much sleep, I heard President Eyring says that Christ gave us Light for Christmas and then slept through the rest of his talk. But Uchtdorf and President Monson and MOTAB (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) did a fabulous job. Yesterday was also Elder Hanson’s, an Elder in our district, birthday. All the sisters got together random things we had and gave him presents. Sister Stowell made a tie for a sheet she found in the giveaway box. Another Sister gave him glow sticks. Brent, I’m sorry, but I gave him the Dream eye-cover you gave me and he loved it most! So, well done on helping an Elder out on his birthday! We also managed to find a pin that said “Birthday Girl”. All the other Elders complained that they weren’t having their birthdays in the MTC, so I think we did a good job.
This morning, I got to do some temple work with Sister Noyes. I had two German ladies (one from 1615), a French lady, a Native American, and a good ‘ole Georgia Peach. I like all the different names we get to do. We are all being investigators for one another and I’m pretending to be Nana (Paul’s mother, Marie Bubnich). If anyone has information about her conversion, I’d love to have that so I can better be her. I was trying to channel her the other day pretending to be her. I figured she would believe just regular things that the Catholic Church teaches if anything, so hopefully that was right!
Last, to go out with a funny store, Elder Hemsley says, “Come on Elder.” Elder Hansom replies, “Where are we going?” Elder Hemsley responds, “To the bat cave son!” Yes, they were going to do more planning (in the toilet). They sure are silly, but they keep our time here full of laughter. Sister Stowell has been praying for focus, or so she though. She kept saying “ablenken”. Funny thing is – it really means distraction! She has now figured out why we she can’t focus :) haha! Well, I love you all, hope you’re doing well. Thanks for all your love and support!!! OH! And could Santa send me another hat? Its FREEZING here; just wait till I get to Deutschland!!