Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Secret Combinations, Companionships, & Christian Soldiers

Hello, Hello, Hello!

Today is an absolutely wonderful day. I think that I will first start off this email with a bunch of random tidbits about my district, the mission, MTC, etc. First, we don't have refrigerators in the room so the other day I was buying a water from the vending machine and noticed about 5 items sitting in the bottom where you pick up your item after you purchase it. All these things--such as a can of soda, salsa, queso dip for chips, etc--had post-it notes on them that said things such as "Belongs to Sister Reed. Don't eat. Thanks!" Haha, looks like the girls here are pretty creative when it comes to keeping their food cool. And since it's the MTC, they KNOW that it won't get stolen. Haha. Another random thing is that before we all sing as a district every day (we sing probably about 8 times a day), one of the Elders has a pitch pipe that we use to get our note. It's pretty funny.

Also, we had a district leave this week and it was my favorite district in the world. Elder Nimmer, Burton, Gleed, and other choice Elders were in it. They were my buds in basketball. It's interesting because it seems that districts seem to stay together during gym time. For example, my district ALWAYS and only play volleyball. There's another district that only play four square, and this district only played Basketball (and they were actually GOOD). So now all my basketball buddies are gone and Hermana Mineto (my female basketball counterpart) are in a semi state of mourning for them. ANYWAYS, so before they left, they all pulled me (and my companion) out into the hallway. "Hermana Burt, we have something we need you to do for us? Will you commit to doing this for us and promise us?" I of course had NO idea what they were talking about and am not going to commit to something I don't know. I asked what they were talking about and they said, "Well...it's sort of like a secret combination." WHAT?! I'm positive I made the most horrified face because I don't really try to hide or disguise my facial expressions. Well they all laughed and said they were just kidding (they better be!). They finally told me that they had something that has been passed down from district to district in the zone "since the beginning of time." And that they had been trying to figure out for weeks who to pass this thing onto. Elder Nimmer (who reminds me of Jim Carey with his awesome mannerisms and facial expressions haha) said, "We've even gotten down on our knees. Not praying about it, but we did get down on our knees." Haha, ANYWAYS, they said that they finally decided to hand it down to me. They were a little worried about this because it has only ever gone to Elders, but they decided they'd let me be the first Hermana. Cool. I was excited now. Then they pull it out of their pocket and hand it to me. And you know what it was?...A giant grey eraser (the pulley kinds that they use in art classes) that was the size of a tennis ball....thanks Elders. I feel really honored...

So Saturday was our hump day--aka half way point. At lunch on Sat, we all had a brindar or toast in honor of the occasion. Yeah, it wasn't that exciting. My stay at the MTC is all downhill from here, but only time wise. It's going to continue to go uphill spiritually until the very last day of my mission.

So can I just express how strange Elders are sometimes? There is a new Latino district and Elder Burris was sitting next to them one day and one of the Elders said, "My girlfriend is here at the MTC." Elder Burris asked, "Really?" The other guy said, "Yeah, she's right over there." Elder Burris turned around super fast only to discover that the Elder was pointing at me. "Hermana BURT?! I'm sorry, but you're not dating her. I know her, and you are not dating her." Um.. WEIRD! I guess he did this to another sister--Hermana Johnson who is this super cute petite BYU Cheerleader--and he told everyone that they used to date before their missions but now they "aren't on very good terms, so they don't talk." Lies. It's really sad how people need to lie about things like that....

Oh and my favorite sister in the WORLD left on Monday for her mission. Her name is Hermana Arellano and she is seriously SO amazing. She was only here for 4 weeks, and I really didn't get to know her until the last week, but she's pretty much my favorite person I've met here. She's awesome. She speaks English, Spanish, French and ASL fluently and also knows German and Mandarin. Her parents are from Guatemala but moved to Montreal when she was about 5 (and she knows ASL because she has a deaf sister). She's 23 and going to the Palmyra Visitor's Center Mission. I'm really excited for her, I know that she'll do great.

But the last week she was here, she was in Visitor's Center training and she informed us one day at lunch that at her mission, the majority of the time when they're at the Visitor's Center, they usually aren't with their companions. You give tours alone and TEACH lessons alone--it's probably one of the few missions in the world where you get to do that. At first when I heard this, I was SO jealous! I thought it would be so cool to go off by yourself and teach every once in a while. But then I realized (about 15 seconds later), that that would be horrible for me. If I need to learn anything on my mission, it's how to work with a companion! Because I have no idea and think that I'm so independent that I don't need anyone else and that I can do it ALL on my own. WRONG. I cannot do anything alone. I am SO grateful for my companion. Just being with Sister Anderson for 5 weeks now has REALLY helped me learn how to work, labor, and love a companion. I'm excited to see what I learn from all my other companions and I hope that each companionship I learn something new, different, and apply it. Last Sunday and Tuesday, we had speakers and their talks were BOTH on companionships. Kind of interesting. It's obviously a topic that I need to pay attention too--and don't worry--I took good notes. But I'm grateful for the chance to teach and learn in a companionship. I've learned so much and love seeing that this is the way the Lord has established for missionary work to be done. I know that as I'm here on my mission, it will prepare to work, serve, and love my future eternal companion--because in the end, that's the companionship that's the most important.

So I alluded to it, but for the Tuesday night devotional we had Elder L. Tom Perry come and speak! He is absolutely wonderful! He spoke on "Laboring with a Companion." But my favorite part of the night, was that after the closing prayer, everyone stood up as he did and waited for him to exit the building. The organist was playing music (what's the opposite of prelude?) and was playing "Onward Christian Soldiers." He was still up there, shaking peoples hands, giving people hugs, etc. Well it got to the chorus of the song and very quietly you could here a few people singing the words. Then he started heading out and by the time he was walking out the door, it had gotten to the chorus again and everyone in the room was still standing, and SINGING the words. It was a truly spiritual experience for me. It was awesome to see that all us missionaries were sort of demonstrating our unity in cause by singing this hymn as an Apostle of the Lord was leaving. That's now one of my favorite hymns.

Well, my 30 minutes are running up. Every week I seriously type SO fast trying to say everything that I want to, but as I'm learning about everything else about missionary work, there's never enough time to do it all. But it's alright. This week has been amazing. I love my district, I love my companion, I love and miss all the new people I've meet here and pray for them out in their mission fields. I love the Gospel. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love the MTC and the chance I get to spend ALL day just studying and learning about Jesus Christ and the plan of Salvation. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really do know us personally. Again, the Gospel is true, don't forget why we are here.

I love and miss you all. Thanks for all the AMAZING letters, emails, dearelders, and packages! I'm really spoiled.

Hermana Morgan Burt

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

Morgan, I love the way you express yourself in your blog. Its funny with a twist. Love you Mom.