I've been a missionary for over a month now and I still feel like I haven't left for my mission yet. I keep thinking my mission starts once I get to California. So daylights savings time as a missionary is like Christmas. I have never enjoyed an extra hour of sleep more than I did last Sunday. It felt like 4 extra hours and I loved it! Remember how I was called to speak in church two Sunday's ago? Well this last Sunday was Fast Sunday so we had a two hour mission conference with the MTC presidency and all the missionaries. At the end of the meeting President Brown stood up and said "well we have some extra time so I would like to hear the testimony of a couple missionaries" Who does he call first? Sister Billings. So I bore my testimony in front of 2,000 missionaries. Definitely a new experience for me. When I got up there the first thing I noticed was all the tele-prompters and I was excited to see what they actually looked like but they didn't have any words on them...so I am still wondering how they work. On the podium there was a little tv screen of myself and it made me realize that I was not only talking in front of 2,000 people but I was on camera being displayed on two screens like 30 feet big. I don't really remember all that I said but I've been told it was recorded and I can watch it if I want to. I do remember bearing my testimony about prayer and the personal relationship we can have with our heavenly father and I mentioned something about doing the will of the Lord. After me he called Elder Christensen who is my district leader. I don't think President Brown knew we were in the same district but our branch president was very happy that two members of his branch got called...and from the same district. Elder Christensen knows president brown fairly well because his dad works at the MTC. I have talked to President Brown a few times while in the cafeteria but I was shocked that he remembered me. He even remembered that I was a runner (or used to be a runner) and that I went to davis etc. Some people, like president brown, are just really good at being personal. Anyway, that day I felt like a celebrity. Everywhere we went people kept mentioning my testimony and by the end of the night I was so excited to change my clothes because I knew no one would be able to recognize me anymore once I did. No one recognized Elder Christensen because he looks just like all the other elders. It was an amazing experience though and whatever I said was completely lead by the spirit. AND I didn't even get nervous mainly because I didn't have time to even think about what was going on.
I didn't run one day this week for the first time since I've been in the MTC because I have really bad shin splints from the track. It has super tight corners. But I found a record board that they have of push-ups, sit-ups, dips etc. and my new goal is to beat all of the girl records. Well probably not all of them. But I realized how competitive I am and it's definitely something I need to work on. Dad why isn't your name on the soccer juggling record?
Yes I heard that President Obama was re-elected. They put it on the menu that morning during breakfast. And they let us read the first presidency message. We heard a rumor that Obama wants to bring in Romney for help? True? And Romney won the popular vote right? I don't understand our political system at all...shouldn't the president be whoever the most people vote for? Maybe I should take an American Government class when I get back because I don't understand that at all. That day we spent the whole class talking about the second coming of the messiah and all the signs of the times. It was very interesting although we didn't learn any Spanish. I think it's interesting that the Lord has called (what...500%?) more missionaries at this time. We were told that the applications they received for sister missionaries within once month since the announcement is more than the amount of sister missionaries we have serving in the entire world right now. Speaking of sister missionaries we taught this cute 18 year old girl at the TRC this week who is deciding if she wants to serve a mission. She was asking all sorts of questions about why we chose to serve etc. and at the end she fills out an evaluation sheet about how we taught and at the end there is a question that says "what do you want to do as a result of their teaching?" and she put "serve a mission". I just kept telling her that any sacrifice you have to make will be worth it and you will never regret a decision to serve the Lord. I hope she really does choose to serve.
My goal this week has been to study the character of christ (again...I think that was my goal last week). But I've been reading Jesus The Christ and I love it. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet. If you can't get into it, skip to like chapter 7 because the beginning is pretty slow. Oh and everyone asked if it wasn't Gordon B. Hinckley that came so speak to us who was it? Someone from the 70. I can't remember his name now but I wrote it down....somewhere. And he spoke in conference. That probably doesn't help at all sorry.
Funny story of the week: last night during class we were talking about the restoration of the gospel and it was really quiet. My leg was stuck to my chair (they cushions are that leathery material) and when I moved my leg it made a loud farting noise and I said "Oh my gosh that was the chair" but my face went super red and everyone laughed. I bet some people really thought I farted. But either way it was SO loud so I was really embarrassed.
Jessica- Cute pictures! None of alex? And is someone going to send me some from the night of Halloween. I laughed so hard when you told me mom got scared by the dancing skeletons because she had mentioned them in her letter to me. Funny visual in my head. And you said I look like such a missionary in my pics....what exactly does that mean?? haha and which pictures did you guys receive? Dad which ones did you put on the blog? Do you know which one is my companion? The shorter blonde is Hermana Connelley and her comp is the one with the glasses. The other one is my comp (hermana Snow). I'm glad your new calling is keeping you busy! And thanks for updating me about the world :) I can't believe the kids ate all their candy in two days!
Karla- thanks for you letter last week! How's your horse? You asked if my letters home were my journal...I want to print off my blog when I get home but I also write in my journal every night. I've missed one night because we had a member of the branch presidency come talk to us and she stayed late so I didn't have time.
Mom you asked what the TRC is...training resource center I believe. It's just one of the buildlings on campus where we go to practice teaching lessons in Spanish. I feel like myself in those lessons so they're my favorite. The other lessons (Where we teach an investigator) I almost feel like I have to act like a certain character because that's what our teachers do (they pick a character to act like).
Dad your soccer story was so funny. I was wondering what you were doing playing soccer. And what exactly do you want in your foot picture? Me with no shoes? In front of the MTC sign? My comp got a card reader so I think I"ll be able to send pictures home now. Maybe next week?
Well the language is coming finally but I want to learn ALL of it before I head to California...which I know isn't possible. But I leave in almost three weeks!! Can't wait to hear from you all soon and thanks for your love and support :)
Love, Sister Billings