Another week down... just two more to go in the MTC. Keep the prayers and letters coming!
¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!
So another crazy week at the MTC! First of all, I forgot to tell you about something that happened last week that was just oh, so exciting. Last Sunday morning we were awakened by the fire alarm! We evacuated very quickly and calmly (only a little groggy because we were blessed to have it wait until 6:15 to go off, instead of it happening in the middle of the night), and only a few of us forgot our nametags.... Then after we sat outside for a few minutes watching the crazy Halloweeny lights flashing inside the building, my companions needed to find a bathroom so we snuck into the building where gym and all the devotionals are held to use their facilities and by the time we were coming out, everyone else was coming in. Apparently they didn´t know how long it was going to take before we could go back inside, so they were letting us wait inside where it was warm. My companions and the other hermanas from our room went to the foyer of that building, where there are couches, to wait/nap. After a while some sister in the main gym started to play the piano and then everyone else started singing along. Loudly and not necessarily in tune. You know that it really means something when I do not want to participate in singing (though there is also this "shower choir" that takes place every night in our dorm and I also have no interest in that because I shower after gym, and I can hear it just fine from my room, thank you). Eventually we found out that the alarm was set off by a dust mite in the system or something like that, and they were just waiting for the technician to come and reset it. No fire. We got back to our rooms about an hour after the evacuation, which meant that we only had 15 minutes left of our personal study time after we got ready. But it was an adventure, and it made that day different from the last. That´s what Hermana Frandsen is always saying is the key to survining the MTC - making each day at least a little bit distinguishable from those which surround it.
Next adventure, on Thursday we went off-campus again to the dermatologist. Nothing too scary, they said it is something called "lichen planus." They don't know exactly why it happens, just that some people have it. They didn't have a pamphlet for me at the doctor, so Mom, if you want to do a little research on it and let me know if there's anything important I might be missing out on. The PA said really it wasn't preventable nor could I have caused it, but it is treatable. So they gave me 25+ shots of steroids - one in each of the "lesions" (I call them "spots," but that's not very clinical) and told me that it should be sufficient to heal them, but I have a follow-up again in two weeks just in case there are any friends wanting to linger.
We discovered the second gym this week, in the basement of the bulding with the post office and bookstore, and my companions are totally sold on it because we can use headphones to watch the Mormon Messages channel or the Joseph Smith movie while we ellyptical. There are also free weights, which I appreciate because the arm machines in the other gym are definitely built for men and don't adjust well to my shorter height and arm length. But there is nowhere to run in that gym, which I find disappointing because I usually spend my gym time running around (and around, and around, and around - 10 laps to a mile) the track in the other gym. So I miss that but we'll probably take turns.
Another really awesome thing that happened is that we got a baptismal commitment from one of our "investigators," Bonni, who had really been dragging her feet. She didn't want to commit until she "knew more." Well, we had a really, really great lesson with her the other day where she finally realized (because of the Spirit and some awesome verses in the Book of Mormon) that in order to be able to use the Atonement in her life, she needed to get baptized. It's so hard to describe, but even though it was just my teacher pretending to be an investigator, it was like she was really coming to know the Savior for the first time. I hope whenever the mission gets really hard that I am able to think back on the look on her face when she finally came to that realization, because it was just filled with light and joy and I pray to be able to see many others come to know their Savior once I am in Chile.
Our companionship gets to sit on the stand tonight in devotional, Hermana Frandsen is giving the closing prayer, so of course we're hoping the speaker is someone really impressive because then we would get to meet him. But it really doesn't matter who speaks, we always love devotional and learn a lot.
Well, the time has run short. Just one more quick thing - we are expecting our travel plans this week and we are walking around in this stupor of sheer terror. We really need to get out of the MTC (like, so badly - things are getting really ridiculous. The other day the elders spent 10-15 minutes measuring each other's "wingspans" on the whiteboard and my companions and I thought it was so great. That would not have happened 8 weeks ago. We're regressing into middle-schoolers because we just need SOME kind of an outlet!), but we DON'T feel ready to just move to South America. Not at ALL! But it's happening. On November 12 I will be in Chile (got an email from someone in my mission office saying they were expecting to see us in Concepcion that day) and I'm soooooo scared. Also, I really don't speak Spanish! AAAAAAAAHHH!
Anyway, I've really got to go. Love you all. Keep on writing to me! Read your Book of Mormon every day, and remember that Heavenly Father loves you!