I finally got a computer without a timer!!! Not that I'm trying to be disobedient or go way over time or anything, it's just nice to not have the crazy pressure of the flashing red timer in the upper right corner of my screen!
I'm guessing that maybe you're wondering what the subject of this email means...and I'm going to tell you (aren't you excited :) )!
38 - days that I've been a missionary now, from the night I was set apart until today! I keep a count up in my journal; each entry has a heading like this (this is what tonight's will be):
Day 38: 10 June 2009
And then I write whatever I write for the day.
28 - days that I have until L.A.!!!!! That's right, Brothers and Sisters, if the flight plans hold true to my original departure date, I'll be in Los Angeles, California, preaching the gospel in exactly 28 days from now! THAT'S LESS THAN 1 MONTH AWAY!!!!!!!!! Crazy, huh? I won't actually know for sure what time or day I leave until probably two Fridays before I leave. That's when outbound missionaries get their flight plans, telling them what time to be at the travel office, what time their flight is, who's in their travel party, etc. So I won't know what time I'll be able to call from the airport until then, but I'll let you know as soon as I can!
I spoke a little too soon about the swine flu avoiding my district here...the day after I sent that email (last Thursday), TWO missionaries in my district got quarantined, one of which was one of the sisters in my room. That meant that on Friday, our whole district got to go in for a special "health meeting," where they gave all of us a preventative medication called Relenza. All districts who have missionaries go into quarantine get it, in the hopes that it will prevent the rest of us from getting the flu. I wasn't too crazy about the idea, but I decided that it's for the best, and that I needed to be obedient. So I'm taking it...4 days left! Right after that meeting, MY companion went and got sick, though apparently not with the flu. She was in bed for most of that night, and pretty much the whole next day. We finally took her back to the clinic Saturday night (we'd taken her on Friday and they just sent her away with some Sudafed), to find out for sure what was wrong. Since it was Saturday night, that meant that the MTC clinic was closed, so we got to go to the local clinic here in Provo. Yep, I left the mission boundaries on my one-month mark. It wasn't terribly exciting, but it was nice to have a little change of scenery! A little weird to sit in a waiting room where Batman was on TV though. . . She tested negative for the flu, but the Dr. did mention that the Relenza that we're all on could have masked it and made the test come back wrong...fabulous! She's been pretty much out of it until today, which means that I've been inside on my residence floor for several days. Got some good personal study in though, and it wasn't too bad. I'm still fine, as is the other Hermana in our room. The most I ever got was a slight runny nose, so I'm very grateful!
Ok, ok, ok, on to something else!
We're supposed to teach our first lesson in Spanish tonight! I am SOOOO not ready! The Spanish is coming, but I definitely still have a ways to go! I'm reading the Book of Mormon out loud in Spanish everyday, which is really helping (I'm a lot better and faster than I was before I left!), but again, a long ways to go still. I do love singing the hymns in Spanish! We sing to open every class, and of course in our sacrament meeting and other district meetings, and I just love it!
Can I just say (again...) that I LOVE the MTC and the mission?!?!?! I do. I love it!
The most exciting news (I know, I know, about time, huh? I'm a little long winded, I know) is/was our devotional last night! As we were singing the prelude music (all the missionaries are lead in 3 hymns prior to large meetings..it's kinda cool to sing our own prelude!), they paused us for a moment and made this little announcement: "Elders and Sisters, as you all know, we don't stand for the hymns of Zion, but we DO stand if a member of the 1st Presidency or an Apostle enters the room. So, if that should happen to happen tonight, please do so."
Gee, I wonder what THAT means?!
Sure enough, about 2 minutes later, in walks Elder and Sister Bednar!!! That man has a power and a love and a spirit about him that is almost tangible, let me just tell you! Devotional was incredible! Elder Bednar spoke about recognizing the Spirit; specifically answering the question, "How do I know if it's the Holy Ghost, or just me?"
Here's the answer he gave: "Quit worrying about it!!! Quit fussing, quit stewing, quit stressing about it, quit worrying about it! If you're living a good life, if you're doing what you're supposed to, if you're being a good boy, if you're being a good girl, honoring and keeping your covenants, and keeping the commandments, then you are following the Spirit!" He said that about 6 different times during his talk.
He said, "90% of the time, if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, you ARE following the Spirit, but are/will be unaware of it." He then shared several stories from his own life where that happened. He did something, not really thinking about it, or even questioning it, only to find out 6 months, or 20 years down the road that it was absolutely inspired by the Spirit. He told us, "If you are good, then every good thought that you have is inspired of God." He specifically emphasized ACTING; not just sitting back waiting for some big, dramatic answer to come. The Lord told us to Press Forward, not Sit Still! "You get going You get busy and do everything that you are supposed to do, and you WILL become and instrument in the hands of the Lord." SO POWERFUL!!! He share D/C 80 with us, and left us with this promise and blessing:
"If you will be a good boy, if you will be a good girl, if you will remember and keep your covenants, if you will keep the commandments, then as you press forward with faith in the Savior, your steps will be guided, your utterances will be inspired, and you cannot go amiss."
Wow. WOW! It was so powerful, and just so great to be able to sit at his feet and be taught! Especially this principle, which I have thought and wondered about SO MUCH! Really, I cannot express to you how incredible it was! One of the funniest things was getting to see and hear his sense of humor. You didn't think he had one, did you? Oh, he does! It was great! He even talked about that for a few minutes, and said (so funny!!!), "Brothers and Sisters, General Conference is not the place to pop off! We're standing, expressing the mind and will of the Lord there, and it's not the place." But then he went on to tell about E. Oak's favorite joke and how his shoulders just shake every time he tells it. It was so great!
Ok, so this is a waaaaaaaaay long email, but I'm glad I finally got to say more of what I actually wanted! Life is great, it really is! I'm so glad to hear how well things are going with the move and the yard sale and everything at home. I hope and pray that things are happy and smooth in this transition time for y'all. I Love you SOOOOO much, and miss you tons! Never fear though, I am about the Lord's work, and He IS blessing me!
I Love Being a Missionary!!!!
Hermana Sallie Wilson