So the computers here randomly do and don't have timers on them...try as I may, I can't get one without, which I would really love. Oh Well...
Well, I don't know if you've heard or not, but the swine flu has hit the MTC. There's a write-up about it on LDS newsroom, if you want to read it. We're on a partial "lock-down" right now; mostly it's just the flu that's going around (the MTC of course is prime breeding ground for it!), but we have had 3 confirmed cases of the swine flu (or as our elders refer to it, "Puerco Muerto"). All missionaries scheduled to leave in the last week or two are on at least a one week delay. They're letting new missionaries in, but no family can come in with them today - bummer for a lot of families!!! I feel kinda bad for the new missionaries too - it's scary enough just coming into the MTC, let alone the MTC with a flu epidemic! Half of my zone has been sick, and at least two elders have been quarantined. There are signs and announcements everywhere that say "if you have any of the following symptoms, get checked at the health center immediately, and STAY IN YOUR ROOM!" One of the Hermanas in my room (not my comp, thankfully) is sick too...don't know what it is yet, but she's going to the clinic today. On the up side, I'm perfectly well! Not even a little bit sick, and not planning on getting that way! I've been taking my vit C and Elderberry Defense herbs, drinking lots of water, and washing and sanitizing my hands a ton. Oh, and praying too. So far, it's all working pretty well!
Ok, on to happier news!
Remember how I told you I'm getting a lot better at getting on time for things here? Well, it helps that almost nothing here starts on time...meetings almost always start about 5 minutes EARLY. It's so good! Mornings are still the hardest for me, just trying to get totally ready in about 30 minutes, but I'm working on it!
Mom, I must've said Mike Richards on accident - I haven't heard from him in years! It was Mike Brooks that wrote to me my fist week here!
And no worries about the clothes thing - I'll let you know when I get closer to heading out whether or not I'll need a little extra $, but I was already planning on buying a few things in L.A. But yeah, being here DEFINITELY gives me a better idea of what I want!
Guess who I saw here yesterday? Debbie Ryals!!! She just got in on Monday, and I ran into her on my way to dinner yesterday! She's only here for about a week (apparently the English-speaking Sr. missionaries are only here for about a week!) before she heads out to NY. She seemed to be doing really well! I little nervous and overwhelmed, I think, but that's pretty normal. Overall she seemed happy and excited to be here!
Also, I'm in the MTC choir, which is way cool! They didn't have it for the first 3 weeks I was here because they were refinishing the gym floor, so it was closed until about a week ago. We sang "Behold the Wounds in Jesus' Hands" yesterday for devo. It's amazing what they do with us here. We learned and were ready to sing the song in two 1-hour practices (Sunday and Tuesday), and it was actually really good! I'm excited to see what else we'll be doing! We're also trying to put together a quartet to do a special musical # for something while we're here. My comp and I and one of the companionships of elders in our district are trying to get some music, and we're going to audition as soon as we can. It's really exciting!
The weather here is AMAZING!!! It has been beautiful every day that I've been here! It's rained maybe twice during the day (a few more times at night), but even that is beautiful! It's just lovely though. This place is incredibly blessed, even if we are all dying from the swine flu (just kidding, just kidding...no one is dying!).
Also, we've decided that the birds here are the happiest birds on earth! They are ALWAYS out, and just a chirping away! We joke about how they're always excited about everything, and that they're saying, "HEY! ISN'T THIS PLACE GREAT?! IT'S DINNER TIME, AREN'T YOU SO EXCITED?!?! WE LOVE IT HERE! WE'RE SO GLAD THAT YOU'RE ALL HERE! THE MTC SURE IS AWESOME, HUH?!?!?!" :) Seriously though, I love hearing and seeing them everywhere!
Life here is fantastic! I just really can't even tell you how great it is! I'm learning and growing so much! I love my companion, and am so grateful for her! We both learn a lot from each other, and definitely complement each other well in our strengths and weaknesses. The Lord has really blessed me with charity and love! There really are incredible blessings that come from being a missionary - I LOVE IT!
Thanks so much for all of the love and support you all give me! It's means more than you know!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!
Hermana Sallie Wilson
ps I'm snail-mailing some pictures today! I can't email them, so hopefully you can scan them in or something.
pps Will you ask the missionaries how/what ever happened with Carol, the lady that I met on the plane over here that lives in Woodside? I've been thinking a lot about her!
ppps tell Sis Novak thanks for the Letter!