Sunday, March 16, 2008

So Long, Farewell, Auwederzein, Goodbye!

Hey, I could add John on the list now! I hope that all went wonderfully at the wedding today. My thoughts were with you and I'm glad that it has turned into such a nice day. Please give me all the details on what happened/will happen today. It was great to hear from all of you this week, thank you so much for writing. I hope that everything worked out alright with the boys being sick and that they are doing much, much better now.

Well, it's been another week here at the MTC, except that it was my last full week! I'm so excited to get to Portugal and on to new and exciting food. This week has been somewhat uneventful, but I'll try and remember some things that happened that would be good for all to hear about.

I completely forgot to mention last week that Elder Holland spoke to us in our Tuesday Night Devotional. Whoops! Well, it was fantastic! He really gave us some great advice and was sooo funny as well. I learned so much from him and I have not written that fast in so long. He talked to us about how when we have hard, discouraging days, that we need to think of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the last few days that he had on this earth. He talked about how we need to turn to Him when things get rough and to remember that perspective.

Well, we also had Sister Cook speak to us. She recounted mission experiences, which I find to be the most useful for me. I can really relate to them. Relief Society has been so wonderful here. We hear from the leading women of the Church almost every week and it's such a priviledge to be able to learn from them.

We've had some extra group meetings this week in preparation for our leaving to the field, one of which was a health meeting. Here's what I gathered: wash your hands, drink clean water and don't eat any raw meat. Pretty basic. Poor Sister Skinn doesn't know what she's getting into in Cape Verde. It's certainly going to be an adventure and a HUGE lifestyle change for her. Of the three sisters here in the branch, she's definately the most high maintenance, so I hope she's able to figure out how to get ready in the morning there. I'm sure she'll do great. She's SOOO creative.

Well, the elders have finally discovered that they can play tricks on each other--and I'm in no way discluded in this effort. They've taken to taking scriptures, books, anything pretty much, and "hiding" them throughout the room. The only thing that there is to hide anything under is desks, so that's one swell hiding place, but it is entertaining for all of us. Can you tell that we've all been in one tiny room for almost too long?

Well, only one time left in gym, which is unfortunate, because I've started to dominate over the elders. It's been really fun to play with all of them. We all have a four-square comradery amongst all of us.

We talked with Marie again this week and she kept all of her committments again, but is up against a wall of faith right now. The closest branch is two hours away and she doesn't think that she can make that kind of sacrifice. I pray that she is able to go to church and that her area opens up again very soon.

Life is good here at the MTC. It's been hard for us not to have teachers, but we've gotten through alright. I'm excited to go out and learn in the field. I went to the RC last night, because we'd had MDT all day and 11 hours of straight studying is a bit much. I did follow up calls and got one million answering machines and one million invalid numbers. It got me really excited to get to Europe.

I love you all and I hope that everything goes wonderfully today! I've been studying about hope this week and I just wanted to share very quickly about what I thought about. The word in to hope Portuguese is esperar, which has three meanings, to hope, to wait and to expect. God wants us to do all three of these things when we have hope. He will bless us, we just need to wait and expect that He will bring these blessings in His due time.

Irma Laura Thomas

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