Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Week 3. 33% finished with the MTC!!

Here is Jordanne's letter from week 3!  She sounds like she's doing fine and being blessed.  Keep the letters pouring in!  -Danielle

Hello Everyone!

This week was another hard and good one.  Last Tuesday after I sent my email, we had a really great devotional from Christoffel Golden of the 70.  I felt the Spirit so strongly and learned a lot.  In devotionals, firesides, and other such meetings, they have taught us to draw a line down the center of the page, writing notes from the meeting on one side and the things we learn by the Spirit on the other.  The line I draw is imaginary, since my journal isn't very wide and I don't want to waste space, but I do write notes from the far left edge and spiritual promptings starting more towards the center.  I invite all of you to try this (if you do not already do it), because I have learned that when I do it I really do learn more and feel the Spirit more strongly.  So we have devotionals every Tuesday night, and firesides every Sunday night.  About 15-20 minutes before the meeting starts one of the music directors leads us in some prelude hymns.  This is really fun because not only is it some of the only music we hear all week (I don't know how recently this changed, but NO MUSIC is allowed at the MTC.  It's pretty awful.), but also because EVERYONE participates.  It's very powerful to hear thousands of people who are dedicating their lives full-time to the Lord singing His praises.  The Spirit is wonderful there, even if we do usually sing the same missionary hymns over and over.  On Sunday we sang "A Child's Prayer," which usually gets me even on a good day, but when the elders sang, "Pray, He is there.  Speak, He is listening.  You are His child, His love now surrounds you," I really could feel Heavenly Father reaching out and giving me a great big hug.  I was so grateful for that tender mercy.

Hermana Brewster and Elder Biddle from our district are leaving us this week for foreign MTCs.  We're really going to miss them - they added so much to our district.  And Elder Biddle is from Australia and headed for Spain, which means it's unlikely that any of us will ever see him again and he is truly a favorite among the district members.  This means that Hermana Brewster's companion, Hermana Dalley, will join Hermana Frandsen and I in a trio.  We love her and are excited to have her, but we're worried about the adjustment for all of us, just having to build a new companionship "vibe."  We are also getting a new district in our zone this week with (drumroll please...) three new sisters!  Which means, I will have more than just the four of us to coordinate, but not too much more.  We are very excited to not be the "new district" anymore.  We are a little less excited about the fact that all three of the sisters are moving into our room, which means it will be completely full and a very, very tight fit.  I have spent most of this afternoon trying to "condense" my stuff down into half of the space I was using so that there is "plenty" of room for the new sisters.

I saw Elder Christensen (youngest brother of Trevor and Arica, who used to live in our ward) in the lunch line the other day.  He is headed to Paris in a week or two.  I also crossed paths with Elder Carter (John and Karen's) in my first week before he went to the field, and just this last week I met Sister Ackerman (Katie, Neil, and Jenny's sister), who is headed to the Alpine mission in Germany/Austria/Switzerland.  Hers was the weirdest because I didn't actually even know she existed (for some reason I never knew they had any kids younger than Jenny), but she looks exactly like her family and when I saw her name I asked if she was related to the Ackerman's from Logan.  She was like, "Yeah, I am one."  Anyway, the MTC is a very small world!

Another edition of:  Things You'd Only See at the MTC (AKA The MTC Makes You Weird).  There is an elder in our zone/branch (who is leaving next week) who plays the piano beautifully and can improvise almost any song by ear if you can give him the tune.  Apparently he has opened for John Schmidt....  Anyway, he gives these "concerts" on Sundays between sacrament meeting and dinner and it's totally awesome.  The weird thing about it is that truly NOWHERE ELSE is it cool for two dozen 19-year-old boys to sit around listening to another 19-year-old boy play hymns on the piano.  (Okay, so they're not ALL hymns.  But "Come Thou Fount" and "We'll Bring the World His Truth" are always requested.)  Something else weird about the MTC is how exciting it is to watch "The Testaments" on Sunday after fireside, and then how absolutely quotable it becomes!  "You are a specter from the Gods!  Walk with me." and "Is the place of records far?" and "Don't disappoint me!" are the favorites of my companionship this week.

Hermana Frandsen is really funny.  Something else really great she said this week is that when we were receiving spiritual gifts and talents in the pre-existence, she didn't get any patience because "the line was too long."  Hahaha.  I can totally relate to that!

Well, there is really so much more to say and no more time to say it in, so I will adieu for now.  Keep on writing, writing, writing on Dear Elder or by snail mail and sending your love and support my way!  (Hey, almost brother-in-law, why haven't I heard anything from you?  Did you think Shannon would write for you?  Because she's not.)  Thanks to everyone who wrote this week - it's really such a blessing and I feel so loved.  I am doing my best to respond - if it's slow coming or short, it's not because I don't love you!  I love you all!

The gospel is TRUE!  If it wasn't, I seriously wouldn't be doing this.  Heavenly Father loves you, and He loves me, and He loves the people in Chile and for some reason we need each other.  I don't know any more than that but I have a testimony that only God knows my real potential, so I should stop trying to second-guess Him.

I hope all is well and happy with you all.  I LOVE YOU!


Hermana Burgess

P.S.  In one of the Dear Elders I received this week, there was a typo, and it was addressed to "Herman" Burgess.  It was pretty much my favorite thing ever.  My fellow missionaries and teachers and such are not allowed to refer to me by nicknames, but if any of you feel inclined to address me as "Herman," it will make me laugh.  :)

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