Thursday, April 18, 2013

The (Last) One with the Apostle -- April 17, 2013

Hola Familia y Amigos!

This is the last email you will receive from me as a missionary in the MTC. Whoa.  Can anyone even believe that I have been gone for more than five weeks and now they apparently trust me to teach real people, in Texas, in Spanish!?  AHHHHHHHHHHHH! I CAN’T WAIT!  I am also SOOOOO EXCITED.  I have loved all my time at the MTC, but I am very much looking forward to the world outside the gates.  I will probably regret saying that once I'm out there. However, making my own food/eating real food sounds so spot-on right now.  Don't get me wrong, the MTC food is not that bad, but they cycle through the same meals every two weeks; so, now that I have been here for nearly 6 weeks I have eaten everything a couple thousand times.  But, at least I get to eat right?  I'm grateful for that!

I am officially one of the oldest people here at the MTC.  There really is a hierarchy. I hate to admit it, but it is true.  I have finally made it to the top.  It is fun to see the kids who have been here for their first week get all excited when the brand new kids come on Wednesday.  These one-weekers are so excited and feeling all old. The rest of us are over here like: "Yeah, that will pass; wait ‘til you have been here for 6 weeks."  By the time you reach week 4 you stop being inviting and start enjoying just scaring the kids.  My first day in the MTC, I was walking to my classroom and this entire district ran out, surrounded me, talked to me in Spanish – all at the same time—while they all tried to shake my hand/stood there and shook my hands for 3 minutes. I was in the middle of the circle like:  "What is going on right now!?"  NOW I realize that they got a kick out of it because we totally do that stuff, haha. We have gotten into the habit of talking to the new kids only using the first vision and lines from songs, but pretending like we are asking questions. "Directamente arriba de su cabeza? Si?"  They are so confused; it is great. Also, some of the Elders have gotten into the habit of walking up to kids and saying, in whispered tones, either "Get out while you can" or “Welcome to Azkaban" (Harry Potter anyone?).   Those are kind of mean, but it is pretty funny to watch the poor new, 100% overwhelmed kids just get this look – “I’m going to die here..." – in their eyes. It's great.

But, like most of my emails, I will now talk about what the MTC is REALLY about aka the spiritual side of things. This week we had the COOLEST opportunity to have Elder Richard G. Scott speak to us! (MOM, YOUR FAVORITE.)   He was phenomenal!!   It was so cool to have an apostle of the Lord speaking directly to us.  He talked about having confidence in ourselves as well as the power of prayer.  Some things he said that I really loved were:  "The greater your faith, the stronger your character" and “He will fit your ability to the task ahead of you."  One thing that I took away from his talk, as a new goal, is: Never have a bad day on my mission. Look at each thing that happens positively.  I believe so strongly that a person’s attitude completely determines the outcome of everything they do.  If I can have a positive attitude, then I will have a fabulous mission. The mission is the best. There really isn’t a happier place I could be, right now, than right where I am.

Natasha: The kid who tried to escape and run away already had really severe anxiety. He was going to New Zealand and was supposed to leave the next day and just had a mental break down. Apparently, he had been reading the Old Testament recently and that is why he tore his clothes off.  It was crazy. As far as I have heard, he is good now, thankfully. :)

Jace:  I am glad to hear the surgery went well. I pray for you every day. I know that with God all things are possible. I know that He loves you and cares about your family.  AND I love you!

Luke:  I think of you every time I hear someone say – “We conduct ourselves with quiet dignity here at the MTC" – and then laugh to myself.

Dad, Sis. Johnson, Michelle: Thank you for your letters about conversion. I appreciated them each so much. Every single one of them was totally different!  Isn’t it amazing how personally the Lord works? Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I love you all! Muuuah!


Hermana Burnham

P.S:  For anyone preparing for a mission. Go through a day and count how many times you say "guys." You aren’t allowed to say that here and I did not realize how much "guys" was part of my vocabulary. "Hey guys." "You guys stop it!" "Guys! We are over here!"  Phase out that word while you can!

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