Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the MTC! I hope you all have a very wonderful Christmas this week. I love and miss you all, but I don't think there could be a cooler place to be this Christmas than the MTC!

My first email this morning got deleted, so this is email number two, so sorry if it is a little short.

This week has been super busy, but super fun! For starters I got a new companion this week. Well not really...but kinda. Since we have eight people in our District, but two sets of trio companionships, one Sister and one Elder teach the Albanian volunteers together as a mixed gender companionship. This week it is me and Elder Smith teaching. I actually enjoyed teaching with him because he understands a lot more Albanian than me, so when I am sitting there with a confused look on my face, he is able to answer the question that the investigators ask.

Now for my funny Albanian moment of the week...After Elder Smith and I finished a practice teaching lesson with our teacher Brother Ellingson, I tried to say to Brother Ellingson, "Thanks for your time." Instead I conjugated "time" wrong and said "Thanks for being worthless." I had no idea what I said, but we all had a great laugh about it later.

For Relief Society on Sunday our guest speaker/teacher was Sister Harriet Uchtdorf. She gave a wonderful talk in her cute little German accent. I loved most when she said that "You're a designer model, one limited edition, which is priceless." I know that this is so true. We each are so different but so special and Heavenly Father loves us each so much. We have been given different talents and abilities to love and serve those around us in a way that nobody but us can do. Thanks to each of you for being your wonderful, unique self and blessing my life in a special way that nobody but you could do for me.

As I mentioned in one of my first letters, each week the Branch President calls two missionaries on the spot to get up and teach a selected principle in Sacrament Meeting. I was so lucky to be called this week to talk on Faith. I didn't have anything written out to say, but I spoke from my heart and I personally think (in my most humble opinion) that is was a pretty good little talk. I was grateful that as the scriptures say, the "Spirit is the Teacher" so what I say really doesn't matter.

Last night we had an amazing devotional from Elder Niel L. Anderson, the newest member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Brother Angus hooked us up with some excellent second row seats as always. Elder Anderson and his wife shared excellent messages, but I think I enjoyed most the special musical number. They had 11 of their small grandchildren (ages 2 1/2 to probably like 10) sing to us and they were so cute. It helped to remind us all how important families are, since they brought their whole family to this devotional with them.

Since Sister Peatross lives only like a couple blocks from the MTC, it seems that she knows tons of the people that work here from her home ward. This week she got called to the District President's office. We were kinda nervous because that is where Sister Yourstone got called last week when she received bad news. It turned out though that President Brown just wanted to say hi to us and let us know he cared and see if Sister Peatross had anything she wanted him to say to her family. I guess we feel kinda special since he made time to talk to us when there are over 2,500 missionaries at the MTC. He told me he thought I looked Albanian, and so I told him, in my best Albanian accent, that I actually was Albanian and I was learning English here. He seemed pretty confused and quickly changed topics, but we all had a good laugh about it later. I don't know why I am such a dork sometimes, but I just am! :)

I don't want to give away too much info about the exciting plans for Christmas here, but just to give you a preview for next weeks email...We have a Christmas eve Devotional planned, and two devotionals scheduled for Christmas Day. Also there is a first annual Christmas Day MTC Talent show that I have somehow found my way into. I'm pretty excited about it! Unfortunately since there are over 2700 missionaries in the MTC right now, I won't be able to call home on Christmas because that would be kinda crazy to work out, but know that I am thinking about all of you and sending my warmest Christmas wishes and love!

A couple FYI's for the next coming weeks. I will get my flight plans later this week, but as of now I am still scheduled to depart on Jan. 5th. Next week I will email my new addresses for after the MTC. One is is Albania and one is a pouch service in SLC. I'm not sure, but I think DearElders can be sent to the pouch address once I leave the MTC (You may check the website on that though).

Well my time is up, but I am so grateful to all of you for your love, support, and prayers. I am so grateful to be on a mission right now and serving the Lord. I love this Christmas season and the opportunity to reflect on the Life of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him and I know that through the Power of His Atonement we can do all things. I know that this is his church!

I love you all! Merry Christmas!
Motra Hall