I'm glad to know that I actually have all of your email addresses right. Things are going really really well here. It is bitter cold out right now and I am grateful that today is P-day and that I can wear pants. Knee highs only do so much for you in the way of warmth. How is everyone doing? Please keep me updated on the goings on back home! And thank you for all of the letters!
this has been a great week. I had the opportunity of speaking in church on Sunday. Each week they call two people up to speak from the stand at random and one of those was me. We already had our topic assigned to I just had to read the talk that I had already written previously. Unfortunately, I forgot that we had some ward business to attend to, so I sure did go up to the stand at the wrong time (I was already sitting on the stand because I was conducting the music.). Everyone laughed when the whole branch presidency said "Irma Thomas, Irma Thomas, you're not up yet". I was, of course, bright red, but it provided for a really funny experience to share with all of you.
I've enjoyed being able to go to all of the meetings we have in the branch. I'm involved in PEC every week and it's great because then I get to hear about what's going on in the branch and be able to put in my two cents when they ask for it. Also, it's great because they teach us protocol each week. This past week we sang "The Spirit of God" in church, which was a disaster because our pianist can't read music, but plays by ear (I regret that I can't play the piano better, but I've been practicing here, so hopefully, I'll be able to play better some day). They shared with us that this hymn should really only be sung at temple dedications and spontaneously when the Spirit is so strong that the song just bursts out. I found that so fascinating and I will always remember that now. Mom, I thought you would like to know that they teach us proper church protocol ALL the time here. They really are training us for the future.
This week I taught at the TRC like normal, but I actually knew my investigator. Crazy! It was my friend, Ryan, from Study Abroad. It was a little weird to teach him the lesson, but it was good to see him and be able to see how things were going for he and his wife. I've had some connection with all of my "investigators" at the TRC since I've come here.
Something else that happened this week was my clumsiness got in my way again. I drop whatever I'm holding or whatever is on my desk every two seconds, and poor Elder Daley (who is too much of a gentleman to not help me out) always bends over to pick up whatever I've dropped. I'm pretty grateful to sit next to him in class because I ALWAYS drop something and he's nice enough to pick it up for me and get annoyed when I beat him to it. However, this is not what I'm referring to. I got hit in the face with every type of ball that exists in the gym this week. The foursquare ball, a basketball and a volleyball. The volleyball knocked my glasses off my face and the basketball left an imprint of my glasses on my ear. Ouch. I think I may start running on the track more often.
So, as you all know, I got new teachers this week. Jen has been so great for our district. The elders can really tell that she cares about us and that has made a world of difference for them. They are learning so much because of her and love when she's in the classroom. Our other teacher is Irmao Cuaira. He's from Mocambique and he's HILARIOUS. Wow. He just tells random stories about his life right now that make us all laugh. We are so grateful to have teachers again and it's been wonderful. We have Irmao Schlappi tonight and we're all really excited.
So yesterday was Valentine's Day and the elders in my district, who are SOO wonderful to me and Sister Skinn, gave us a picture of our whole district and a picture of most of the elders in the district, as well as a box of candy hearts. My elders are truly so amazing. They love us so much and show it by how they treat us. They are really protective of us and make sure that we always have the best. I really could not have a better district--and everyone, including us, knows it.
I read in Acts 9 this week about the life of Paul and it was so interesting to me to see how merciful the Lord is to us. He always gives us another chance, always. He wants the best things for us and truly wants us to come back to live with Him again. I love this gospel. I know it is so true with all that is in me.
I love you all and hope that you have a great week! Happy Valentine's Day!