This week was a great one! So, on Tuesday night, we had a devotional with Elder Evans of the Seventy. He is on the missionary board with Elders Nelson and Bednar. He gave a wonderful talk! His wife did as well! He talked a lot about how important it is to lift people up, and to share the missionary spirit. Haha, it's kind of hard to explain, but it was just a really great talk. Then, that night, the Elders in our zone dropped off boxes of Christmas goodies to all of us sisters! We were so touched by their thoughtfulness! I am really so appreciative for my district, my zone, and the members of our branch presidency. They have really made this MTC experience incredible.
Then there was Christmas! We started out with a missionary talent show, which was really cool (and pretty hilarious). We had a Christmas lunch (which was like Thanksgiving) and then...ELDER BEDNAR CAME! It was AMAZING! We did a Q&A session, which is what he usually does, but every single question was so inspired, and helped me so much. One of my favorite answers was to the question, "Why do I feel so inadequate?" Elder Bednar replied by saying "You feel inadequate because you have some sense of what exactly you have been called to do. Every calling in the church will make you feel inadequate. I feel inadequate every day! But, when you feel inadequate, you can recognize your mortal limitations and then know exactly who you need to turn to for help." It made me feel better knowing that even an Apostle feels inadequate. He also talked a lot about the enabling power of the Atonement, and gave us an apostolic blessing, that "if we will sincerely seek to understand the strengthening power of the Atonement, then you will be able to fulfill your calling, in the land that you have been assigned to labor." So, I am making a very conscious effort to learn about and apply that aspect of the Atonement in my life. I have already seen its help in my life, but I definitely want to learn more. Grace is such an interesting topic, and I'm excited to learn more about it :) After the devotional, we listened to a jazz band, which was actually really cool! It reminded me a lot of high school :) And then we had dinner, and finished the day watching the MoTab Christmas Performance from last year with Alfie Boe. Love it! So great :) It was a fantastic day.
On Thursday...life went back to normal. However, we got our invitation to go back to the Mexican Consulate, and we are going there this Friday. I also received my travel plans...only 4 of us did though. And we are all split up. I am leaving Salt Lake next Monday at 12:30 PM. The rest of my district is leaving at... and I get to travel by myself :( I'm a little worried... I go from Salt Lake to Dallas, then to Monterrey, Mexico. There, I will meet up with 2 other missionaries in my district, and then, we'll fly from Monterrey to Puebla. We're scheduled to arrive in Puebla at . I'm excited to finally be going though! Just make sure and send some extra prayers my way ! Heaven knows that I will be the one to get lost in a Mexican airport! (I'll be able to email again this Saturday, but then after that, you may not hear from me until the following Monday. But, I am allowed to call my family when I'm at the airport, so please send me an email with your phone number before Saturday if you want me to call you!)
Friday was pretty cool! For TRC this week, we Skyped with a man living in Mexico! He is a member, but we Skyped him and shared a message about receiving revelation during church. It was really cool...then discouraging...then cool again, because even though I didn't understand most of what he was saying, I understood A LOT more than I ever could have 6 weeks ago! My teacher, Hermana Larsen had to remind me of that, but I really am grateful to be learning Spanish. The people of Mexico are fantastic, and talking with the man made me just that much more excited to go! Thank you, modern technology, for allowing us to have that opportunity!
Yesterday...I gave my first Sacrament Meeting talk in Spanish! In my branch we all have to prepare a talk on a certain subject, then after the Sacrament, my branch president announces the 2 or 3 missionaries that will be speaking that day. It was kinda crazy...during the last part of the Sacrament, I just had a thought "I am going to give a talk today". I wasn't surprised at all when President Wilkins said my name! I think it went pretty well though...it was only a 5 minute talk, so not that big of a deal. But I was glad to get it out of the way here, and not in Puebla, haha! Our district also sang for the musical number in church. It's kinda a tradition here, that the district leaving next gives a farewell musical number. We sang the "Sisters in Zion/We'll Bring the World His Truth" medley, and I played the flute! It was a great experience :) I love how much music we have here at the MTC. Music really does help to bring the Spirit into meetings, classes, etc.
I can't believe that this is my last full week at the MTC! I am very grateful now for the extra time that I do have here. Heavenly Father DEFINITELY knows what He's doing! We also said goodbye to the district that came in the same day as us...they all left for their various destinations Sunday and this morning. I can't believe we're the next ones to go! Heavenly Father puts people into our lives for a reason, and I'm grateful for the wonderful people I have been able to meet here.
Have a fantastic week, everyone! I love all of you so much, and I am grateful for each of you! I will email again Saturday!
Love, Hermana Smith