Thanks again for your letters. I opened up my inbox today to 30+ new e-mails! Holy cow. If you send me your physical addresses, I have more time to write during the day on Fridays, and I'll try to get you a letter sometime soon. You are all so wonderful! I love hearing about what you're all up to and I think about you often. Also, thank you to the Neubergers for their AMAZING candy filled package this week. We are saving most of it for Sister Peterson's birthday tomorrow and are so excited to deck out her room and surprise her :)
We have had a really good and busy week! Sister Sturtevant is feeling loads better and we're all working really hard together-- it's so great having her back!
We went to our kickboxing class this morning at 6, and then went to the temple this morning right afterwards with our zone (the last time for the Polish and one of our last times since the Provo temple is closed for the month of July) and had a temple breakfast. Such a good morning. We walked out and there was this huge crowd of photographers and families waiting for a couple who were getting married this morning. It was really sweet :)
I was asked to speak on Father's day in church this past Sunday (the branch presidency announces the speakers in sacrament meeting right before you're supposed to go up speak) haha, so as I walked up to the podium I was racking my brain for scriptures and examples to share, but as soon as I got up there everything came out smoothly. I talked a little bit about Dad and I felt really calm throughout my talk. That's really never happened to me before, but a number of people came up to me afterwards and said that I said exactly what they needed to hear-- I don't really remember what I said, but I know that I was being guided by the spirit. Very powerful experience for me.
This week I was called to be a sister training leader (S.T.L., perfect, right?) for my zone. I'm working with another sister in my zone (a fellow mid-westerner) who's going to Bulgaria-- she's great and I'm so excited to work with her. We had a bunch of new districts come in this week, so that was pretty great being able to teach and train the new missionaries. Many of them just graduated from high school 3 weeks ago. They all seem very new and lost, haha. I can't believe that was me three weeks ago! Whenever we get new districts we play a really big game of kickball with our zone at gym time, so we did that yesterday and had a really fun time. Our zone is super athletic (many of the elders and sisters do sports at the college level), so everyone is still pushing to break all the MTC gym records. It's so motivating! I'm going to start trying for the three-point record.
Elder Epperson was actually just called to be my district leader! He's from Kansas, so it's nice to have another midwestern connection. He's a sweetheart. I think that he and his companion are the youngest in our district.
Also, my district somehow impressed someone in a leadership position at the MTC (we don't know who) and we were chosen along with a Thai district to be interviewed for some media for the MTC. I'm not entirely sure how this happened, because we definitely have one of the loudest, funniest districts in the MTC. So, on Tuesday morning they came, oberserved our class, took pictures and interviewed us. I'm not sure what publications yet, but I wrote down your e-mail address, Mom, and I think the MTC Communications head, who trained us, is going to e-mail our families pictures and (I think) the article as well, when it comes out. Pretty exciting. Oh, and me and Sister Marks sang in the choir this week, and there were some reporters taking pictures and we made it in the church news! I'll send you the picture if I have some time after e-mailing.
The Polish district is leaving in a few days! It's completely bittersweet. My old sister training leaders are in that group, and they have the second biggest district in our zone, after us, so we're saying goodbye to a lot of our favorite missionaries. They weren't scheduled to leave for another two weeks, but the MTC is getting 160 brand new mission presidents tomorrow (one of them being the new Polish mission president), so they wanted to get them all settled before the transition. Sad to see all of them go, but also very excited for them.
Because our schedule has been so weird this week we haven't had as much time as usual to plan our lessons so, we've been making a lot of grammar and teaching mistakes this week. We have a long way to go, but I still feel like we're learning from our mistakes and pushing forward. Our teachers always remind us that we're in the Missionary Training Center and that we need to try to make as many mistakes as we can before we get out into the field. Our teachers are all-stars. One is getting married this weekend in San Diego, the other had a birthday earlier this week, some are leaving to teach the new Croatian district, etc. etc., so we had a few little celebrations with them this week. It was really tender. I'm so amazed at how close I feel to everyone here.
One thing that I've been thinking a lot about is striving to be continually converted. I think that we will have moments where we just know that a principle of the gospel is true and right. I think more important than those few and precious moments in our lives, is to strive to have spiritual experiences on a daily basis. If we're not actively trying to draw closer to our Heavenly Father, then we will begin to fall away. I feel so fortunate to be here.
This Sunday, look for me at the broadcast! I will try to wear that cute green jacket with lace on it, Mom. We're all getting very excited. The broadcast should be really great!
Love you, love you, love you!