Friday, May 17, 2013

2nd to Last letter from the MTC

This is Sister's Shaughnessy's last week in America, so please write her and wish her well.  She is leaving for the Ukraine next Tuesday, May 28th.

Here again on another P-day and I don't know how it happened! The days are so long, we accomplish so much, but the weeks just fly by like nothing. This is our last week on the normal schedule, then we switch to final week, field prep schedule! I can't believe it! Today is also our last "English Day," the rest of the MTC we are doing SYL everyday. It is so daunting, but our language is improving. I understand a lot more that I can speak. Also, as we were talking about it, this really is our last english day for like 18-24 months. After the MTC we are on our way to Ukraine and I doubt my english will get me very far. We get our travel plans on Friday and our Syrillic name tags probably tomorrow. I can't believe it! And P.S. our last name in syrillic is 7 letters.... SO MUCH NICER!!!
We went to the temple today and did initiatories, and it was so great! I haven't done any other than my own, so it was really nice to go in and hear those blessings that I have been promised.
Yesterday was my companions birthday, thank you mom for sending those cupcakes! They were so great, and she carried her little balloon around for the evening after we got it! Her family sent her this ridiculous package that just had everything in it, it was so great! She was so happy, I really think she enjoyed her MTC birthday!
Our investigators are progressing along nicely, none have committed to baptism yet, but they are progressing, which is really great. We taught the Plan of Salvation yesterday and I realized that I need to focus my vocab on that lesson for a bit, because trying to explain the Spirit World in a round about way was probably very confusing to our investigator. Oh well, I felt the Spirit and that is all that matters. We left her with a pamplet, that will explain it a lot better than I could. I can't wait to get to Ukraine and be able to teach real people. Only a couple weeks left!
My dear friends that were in the group that came in two weeks before us, going to Russia, they left yesterday! I can't believe it, it was so sad, but I am so happy for them! They will do great things! On Sunday we took pictures with the Ukrainian flag at the temple and then had our District Farewell picture with our Branch Presidency as well. The MTC is such a great place, but I am excited to get to Ukraine. This week we have had a lot of culture lessons and gotten stories from our teachers about some odd things that happen in Ukraine. What I have learned thus far is: don't whistle inside, they think that you are wishing distruction upon the house and people, bread is the best in the world over there, but you never want to throw it away. Even if it is moldy or dry and hard you don't throw it away, you take it outside and leave it for the birds, or take it to a duck pond or something. Our teacher that is from Ukraine says that she still even does that now because bread is that sacred to her culture. The public restrooms over there are toilets that are cemented into the ground, with no doors or stalls...yay! I can just see the look on everyone's faces as you read that, especially Aunt Jamie's. Books are also very sacred and you NEVER put them on the ground. Ever. Especially your scriptures.
On Sunday we had the coolest experience ever and I am so grateful to be a part of it! Janice Kapp Perry came and talked to us on Mother's Day. She has written several songs for the church including, "A Child's Prayer" and "I Love to See the Temple," and "Army of Helaman," she also wrote the music to "As Sisters in Zion." She talked to us a little about missionary work, but the best part of it all was when we sang. She had us sing a medley of all her primary songs, which was just so great and it really brought the Spirit. They all are just so simple and plain, but a powerful testimony of why we are all missionaries. At the end of her talk she told us how she has rewritten lyrics to "As Sisters in Zion" for all of us sister missionaries. She calls it "The Sisters of Zion," and had us be the first ones ever to sing it. --- It was so powerful, I am getting teary just telling you about it in an email. It was ment for us as sister missionaries, and the power that came as we sang it.... INCREDIBLE! I think all of us were crying! I really felt like I was part of something so much bigger than myself as we sang that song! It was a testimony to me that we really are on the Lord's errand and this is His work and His glory, and I get to be part of bringing it to pass. I can't remember the lyrics, but I remember some things like we are enlisted along with the army of helaman, angels will be walking beside us and all other amazing, amazing things! It really was just so great! She is producing a new CD just for sister missionaries, and it will be on there. Please look it up and read the lyrics and listen to it! It really is just so powerful to all of us women!
Every week I am just so grateful for life here and all that I am learning! Everyday is just the best and I don't know how they keep topping each other! There are so many tender mercies of the Lord everywhere and I can feel His awareness of me continually! This church is true, and I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be part of the work at this time!
I love you all so much!

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