November 29, 2013

Happy Thankgiving

Yesterday ..... haha

I hope everyone had an incredible Thanksgiving because we really have so much to be grateful for. I don't think I've ever had such an amazing Thanksgiving before. Want to hear about it? Of course you do ;)
First off, we got to hear from Elder Russell M. Nelson first thing in the morning. Awesome right?! It totally was. He talked about how important it is for us to be best of friends with the ward or branch mission leader and I thought about how grateful I was that I got to serve as my ward RS president before I came on a mission so that I could see how the missionaries worked with the ward council and the ward mission leader. Actually, I was thinking about how thankful I was that Bryan Sea to the Strand was such a great mission leader and I got to see how it all should work. That's going to be a huge blessing for me in Albania. We're (referring to my future companion) are gonna rock those branch mission leader's socks off! 
He also talked about how our second best friend should be the family history consultant because it is so important that we are encouraging our investigators to do family history work so that their family can have their work done as well. And that we should pray to find people who had ancestors ready to have their work done. I have never thought about that, it was a fantastic suggestion.
After listening to an apostle of God (doesn't that sound so amazing? Because it is.) We got to eat out Thanksgiving lunch. Turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, stuffing, sweet potato marshmallow stuff ... it was fantastic! The sisters in my district and I put out napkins to make it look like a table cloth, stashed our trays so it was just our plates, made name card placers, collected dried leaves to use as decoration, and mixed apple juice and sprite to substitute for martinellis (spelling?). It was basically the same as home :) Besides the fact that we didn't have family... and were in a cafeteria... but it was basically like home ;) We went around and said what we were grateful for and made toasts. It was the best. And let me just say, the mashed potatoes were real. Not fake. And it may sound ridiculous, but I almost started crying I was so happy about it. (I'm tearing up just thinking about it! Bah!) I just couldn't believe they had spend so much time peeling potatoes for almost 2000 missionaries so we could have real mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. It was like a piece of home. My mom makes the best mashed potatoes :) It reminded me of her and made me so grateful for my wonderful family and how kind it was for the MTC to put so much work into something so seemingly insignificant so we all could mashed potatoes like our mom's mashed potatoes :)
After lunch, we got free time (what?!) and walked around the Provo Temple for 2 hours! Best thing ever! And then had a humanitarian presentation and then a thanksgiving program. An elder played Harry Potter on the piano, it was awesome and another elder played the fiddle and about blew my mind he was so good. They also played us so crazy cheesy 80's videos (or at least they looked like it), those were quite entertaining haha 
Then we had dinner from a sack lunch picnic style in our rooms. And then the humanitarian project (it was in the news, prepared meals for kids). That was really fun :) And then lastly, we got candy and got to watch a movie! Woa! Ephraim's Rescue. It was pretty good! I really liked it. I knew someone in it too, that was funny haha But overall, it was a fantastic day! And you probably got way too many details and don't care so I'm sorry, but it's the most excitement we're had here.... ever haha

Ps, I'm halfway through the MTC. Uhhhhh..... freaky!

Want to know the funniest thing ever? Listening to an Albanian man try to speak in a southern accent. It doesn't work. And I died laughing haha

MTC is getting better every day. It's still an emotional roller coaster and the Lord is definitely teaching me a whole lot especially about being patient... very .... veeeeerrrryyyy patient :) Did you catch that last very? Because I should have added about 5 in there. But, the best thing ever happened on Monday! We taught Linda, one of our investigators (our teacher as always). We only had 20 minutes because the lesson went over which is about 2 minutes in english speaking time haha so basically, we were panicked. Anyways, a miracle happened! Motra Defriez and I taught the whole lesson of the Restoration in 20 minutes! What?! AND afterwards Motra Iftiu told me that she wished she had recorded it because I was speaking in full, perfect sentences. I about fell off my chair. I'm not even kidding right now. I died.... of a whole lot of happiness. Granted, my Albanian is still the WORST. Seriously, VĂ«lli Hoxha told me that I sucked (well, he told the whole class, but still haha) .... but it really was one of the best days of my mission so far. She said we taught everything so well and went over principles that most people skip and overall my Albanian was super good and BAH! Oh man, I wish I could type out the joy! But alas, I cannot. Just imagine. Me+happiness+falling off my chair+a lot more happiness x's a zillion. For the first time I thought, wow, I may actually speak this language someday! 
And then I walked out of the classroom and said have a nice light instead of have a nice day....
Crash and burn.
Oh well, I was good for like a second and that's all that matters hahaha

Okay, last thought and then I'm out. 
Elder Teh of the Seventy came on Tuesday for devotional and he talked about how right after they changed the age, all the general authorities were called to a meeting. Elder Teh thought he knew exactly why the age had changed, because the youth are so awesome of course! Elder Holland was speaking and said, "You all probably think that the age change was for the strength of the youth in these days. Well, you're wrong. It's all about the Lord hastening His work in these last days." Wow, how powerful it must have been to first hear those words from Elder Holland's mouth. This is a powerful, crucial work and what a blessing that I get to be a part of this incredible time. I get to be one of the missionaries going forth proclaiming the Lord's gospel and the fullness of truth. I feel honored every time I think about how I am a missionary for the Lord. It has been such a gift and it's only been 4 weeks. Like Alma, I have felt the song of redeeming love and I want to share it with all who are willing and ready to feel the same. The Lord loves each of us, He knows us, He cares about our lives and our happiness. Please, let Him take you into His arms, let Him bless you, let Him heal you. All you have to do is let Him in and I promise you, your world and your life as you know it will change so completely and so fully for the better that you will look back and wonder how you could have ever lived without Him. I stand as a testimony that God loves His children and blesses them in their times of need. That the gospel is His truth and the only was to receive a fullness of joy. I have felt it and I can never deny it.

I love you all. 
Motra Russell

Thanksgiving dinner - REAL mashed potatoes!

Sister Crowther!

Mini temple square

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