Hello everybody! I have had a great week! It was another really quick one. It's crazy that I have already been here for over 7 weeks, it doesn't feel like it at all. I have feeling though that now that I can count the days down on my hands they might start to drag on a little more. But it's all good because I need to take advantage of every moment I can.
So this Sunday night was way cool. Jenny Oaks Baker came and spoke to us and played a few songs on her violin. I don't exactly remember, but I think she was the one that played at Uncle Rick's Choir concert at the Cathedral of the Madeline. She is incredible! It took them a while to introduce her because she has such a huge background, and not to mention that she is the Niece of Elder Oaks. So she graduated with her masters from Julliard, played first chair violin in the national symphony, and was recently nominated for a Grammy for her Disney soundtrack. Pretty cool stuff. She spoke about half of the time and played for half of the time. She spoke about how she truly couldn't have gotten where she is now without the influence of the Holy Ghost in her life. She also said how we can't have faith in one particular thing, (in her case, winning the Grammy) we just need to have faith in Jesus Christ and he will help us through our tough times and everything will work out. It was really awesome. I felt the spirit so incredibly strong while she was playing, it's crazy how music can do that. My favorite song that she played was "This is the Christ", it was so cool. Oh yeah another part of her story is that she left the symphony so that she could focus on her family, she has 4 kids that all came and played I am a child of God. Her oldest was like 11 and her youngest was 5, one played the piano, violin, cello, and then the 5 year old boy played the guitar. It was way sweet, that is one talented family. There is a new Mormon Message on LDS.org about her, check it out.
It has overall just been a really great week. I feel like the language is coming along pretty well and that my testimony is growing a ton too. We have so much time to study, and I have truly grown to love The Book of Mormon. I don't think I appreciated it as much as I could have before the mission. It's a pretty awesome book, if you haven't read it, you should. :) We have grown super close to the other district in our zone, 2 of them are going to Angola with us, 2 are going to Mozambique, and 3 are going to Portugal. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to everyone but I am so incredibly excited to get out to the field and start working! I have grown particularly close to the foreigners, one is from England and the other 2 are from New Zealand. They are the coolest guys, and have such strong testimonies. The 2 New Zealanders are super in to Rugby, as every New Zealander is, and say that they want to come back to Utah and play for BYU or something, which would be sweet. Again, being here makes me realize how blessed I am to have been raised in the Gospel in such an awesome family, I'm very lucky!
I also got to host for the first time this week, AWESOME. It's super crazy that I was the one getting dropped off on the curb 7 weeks earlier. It definitely brought back some emotions, but that's just because I love my family so much.:) So I got to host Ryan Anderson which was super cool! I wish I would have had someone I knew to welcome me... haha.
Elder Featherstone spoke to us on Tuesday night. He is an Emeritus 70. He gave a really great talk about the importance of following spiritual promptings when we have them. Because sometimes, especially on the mission they could change a person's life. He told a story about a personal experiences where he followed a prompting to stop and talk to a non member about the church and then ran into them 20 years later and he was super strong in the Church. Super cool. It really put it into perspective. It made me think a lot about Mom and her missionary experiences a few weeks ago in New York. You never know if the people you talk to will ever pursue the church or even have a second thought about it, but just like some missions, its all about planting seeds. As long as we follow the promptings we are given, we will be blessed to receive them more often.
Today we got to go and clean the temple which was super cool. We were assigned to clean the baptistery. It was a really cool experience. It gives you a different outlook on the temple and confirms just how sacred it really is.
To make this week even better, we got our travel plans! I'll be flying out Monday morning (the 30th) at 8 AM to Dallas where we have 5 hour lay over and then we're off to London where we have a 12 hour layover..... and then we fly straight to Luanda! Yahoo! I love this place, but I'm so incredibly stoked to get out into the field. It's going to be a long 48 hours of traveling though... We leave the MTC at 5 AM Monday and then land in Angola at 5 AM on Wednesday. Let's hope I can get some sleep on the plane!
The chuch is true ya'll! My testimony truly has grown so much over the 7 weeks I've been here. Eu sei que esta Igreja e verdadeira, e eu sei que Jose Smith restaurado o evangelho de Jesus Cristo. Se nos temos fe em Jesus Cristo nos podemos fazer tudos coisas, e ele vai ajudar nos quando nos precisamos ele.
I love you so much family! I thank Heavenly Father every night for you guys! I hope your summer has been as awesome as mine!
Luke!: I heard that Football conditioning started this week, how fun is that! You are going to be awesome. Remember to score a few touchdowns for your bro in Africa.
Sam: Props on your license! Be careful out there!
Squid: I hope you're enjoying your time off dance! Live it up!
Con: Get some sleep boy, you probably need it after seeing Batman twice last night. Go see it 2 more times for me.
I love you guys so much! I couldn't do it with out you!