Monday, December 30, 2013
What an amazing week! Although I was away from home, Christmas at the CCM was fantastic!
On Christmas Eve, all 7 of us (just the girls in my district) piled into one of our apartments. We were totally kids at heart 'cause we built a huge fort out of our couch cushions and mattresses! Then we told stories and ate food till we passed out around the early hour of 10:45pm ;) Of course I was the first to fall asleep, and in the morning everyone commented on my loud snoring! haha
Christmas Day was the best! In the morning there was a talent show which was incredible. When you have a ton of kids from all over the world in one place for the holidays - there is some serious talent! My favorite act was a magician who did some really neat tricks. He just kept pulling out umbrellas and handkerchiefs from thin air!! Then we ate lunch in the main campus MTC cafeteria. Let me just say, that although west campus has more space in the living quarters...the food on main campus is a 100 times better! We feasted until we were on the verge of exploding! Then we weighed ourselves in the main campus gym (since west campus doesn't have any scales). All the guys have packed on the pounds here! In just 2 weeks one of the elders has gained 10 pounds already! I have lost 1 pound so far.
After lunch, we had the opportunity of hearing from an Apostle of the Lord! David A. Bednar and his wife came and carried out a Q&A session with us. He said what we did had never been done before: they passed out 200 cell phones to people in the audience and had them text a question to his iPad that was with him on the stand! And it wasn't just our MTC, 17 other MTCs around the world texted or emailed in questions that Elder Bednar answered throughout the devotional! So many questions that I had were answered! My favorite quote from him was, "If you sincerely seek to understand the enabling power of the Savior's atonement, you will have the assurance that you will be able to accomplish all that you need to accomplish in the place where you were assigned to work."
Right after the devotional we had some free time to take pictures and hang out with the people in our zone. I seriously have been blessed with the coolest zone ever. There are about 25 people total, and boy do we have fun! I am always laughing- sometimes to the point of tears around them!
We walked around the main campus and admired all of the amazing paintings and pictures they have that cover every wall. I fell in love with this painting of Christ standing on the water and calming the storm.
Then we attended a Jazz concert put on by Ray Smith (a famous saxaphone player). I really enjoyed it, but it might have been too relaxing because everyone else started dozing off!
The final thing we did to end the night, was watch the Tabernacle Choir. They passed out popcorn to all the missionariesand the best part of the choir performance was when the broadway singer who plays Jean Val Jean from Les Miserables sang "Bring Him Home!" I was dying!! It was awesome! I was exhausted by the time we got bussed back to west campus, but it certainly was a very spiritual and memorable Christmas.
I love my Savior and I am so grateful to be a representative of Him during this time as a missionary. I love this church and know with all my hear that it is true!
Some other events that happened later this week include: saying goodbye to Hermana Edwards who finally left for Mexico :) And I also got called as our new district leader because the older leaders left this week for Argentina. Being a district leader means I'm in charge of running our meetings, picking up the mail, interviewing the other girls in my district each week, and setting/helping us achieve our goals of coming closer to Christ and becoming better missionaries.
I love you all and hope you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy a Happy New Year this week!
Monday, December 23, 2013
I can't believe Christmas is in 2 days!! All last week everyone (myself included) was receiving Christmas cards and packages. One hermana from my district even got a mini Christmas tree! And I have hung up all the Christmas cards in our room and get to brag about how awesome each of you are!
The days are totally blurring together. I can remember certain things we've done but it's like I am in a time warp or something. Each day is mostly the same: breakfast, study, lunch, study, gym, dinner, study. I am learning so much and my Spanish continues to get better every day. One bummer is that my favorite teacher went home for Christmas with his family so we are going to have a substitute for a while. But it's okay. So grateful for all the people that give up their time and energy to be with us at the CCM (Centro de Capacitacion de Misioneros or Spanish for MTC) during this holiday season.
The people in my zone have literally become like brothers and sisters to me. Each one of them is so interesting and unique. My companion tells me all about the East coast since she lives in Maryland and how she can be in Washington D.C. within and hour and New York City within 3 hours. I have one hermana in my district who lived on a giant farm and tells us crazy animals facts and stories about hunting and fishing with her family. Another hermana, who is from Arizona, has never seen snow and squeals with excitement every time we go outside!
It has been snowing pretty much every day. It definitely makes the mountains and all the surroundings beautiful. But it sure is cold here for a California girl like me. This will be the first time I have ever experienced a white Christmas.
Hermana Braun and I are crazy! We always find a way to make things fun. We have been nicknamed Pocahontas and Meeko (I am Meeko...her racoon side-kick) We constantly sing and address all the trees as Grandmother Willow. She and I take care of each other like we've been friends for years. We are even starting to laugh the same!
|Pocahontas and Meeko|
This week and the upcoming week Hermana Edwards has made Hermana Braun and I a trio. She hasn't gotten her visa yet so she's joined with us and now we are the 3 Musketeers. I feel sorry for her because this is her 8th week so Hermana Braun and I are trying to make her prolonged stay more enjoyable. It was her birthday yesterday so we convinced all the elders in our zone to sing to her :) She's great!
|Hermanas Eliason, Edwards and Braun|
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas this Wednesday! Appreciate the times with your loved ones and remember the true meaning of this holiday! Continue to write me! The letters make me so happy :) Thank you for all the love and support!
Monday, December 16, 2013
So as soon as I arrived here in Provo, Utah at the Missionary Training Center I was paired up with my companion. She is totally awesome! She is Hawaiian and her full name is: Isabel Misayo Na Wa'a Kaulana O Ka Hele Lani Braun! It means "two majestic canoes traveling to heaven" which is cool because her twin brother shares the same middle name :) She taught me how to pronounce her name and it sounds so beautiful. Sister Braun and I are so similar that it's almost weird! We have tons of fun together and get along perfectly.
The other girls and guys in my group are all so unique and interesting. At meal time we all just tell stories. The cafeteria food is really unhealthy, so I'm just living off of the soup, salad, and cereal bars. But I can already tell that most of the boys here are going to put on some pounds because they are always chowing down trays full of food!
I love gym time here! We have volleyball and basketball courts in these crazy bubble/ igloo buildings (as you can see in the picture).
What's really amazing is the view I have of the mountains. Every time I walk out of class, I get to admire the humongous snow capped peaks! It makes the cold climate here way worth it!
Spanish! The Lord is helping me so much. I can already say a prayer and bear my testimony in Spanish. Sometimes, after being in class all day, my brain feels fried - but it's insane how much I am learning! The teachers here are so helpful and spiritual. Our main teacher Brother Bliler (who we call Brother Buhler- like from the movie Ferris Buhler's Day Off) makes class fun and interactive. It is a miracle that I have so much energy! My body is exhausted but my mind keeps wanting to absorb more and more information.
I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful holiday season. Christmas is the best time of year because people are so friendly and focused on Christ.
Please write to me! I was so happy when I received some Christmas cards, letters, and emails these first couple days. You can use the DearElder.com website too :) I love you all so much!
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 11th 2013 Kiley entered the MTC. Her cousin, Jennifer, picked her up from the airport and drove her to the MTC where she met up with some good friends, Kaley and Holly, before entering.