Week 7 - MTC

Hi Everyone!

Greetings from your favorite Missionary (don't worry I do have some humility left). The MTC is wonderful and the weather in Provo is beautiful. We finally got a lot of snow, like a few inches and it is everywhere and just looks stunning with all the Christmas lights.
Thanks for all the letters this week. I love hearing from all of you!

It was a fabulous and busy week here, and I don't even know where to start. Let's see...

Last week we taught our progessing investigator, Bobby, again. He is doing fabulously. During our lesson I asked if he would like to pray while we were still there, because he was feeling kinda nervous about praying after he had a bad experience earlier in the week. He said he would love to, and then we all knelt down and he offered a beautiful prayer. He asked if he should be baptized and then we all just sat in silence for a few minutes and then he thanked God for his answer and promised he was going to try and be the best person he could. Now he can't wait to get baptized and we have him scheduled for December 26th. Sometimes I forget that Bobby is just an actor because whenever we see him he just is "in character" and when we teach it seems so real. Anyway, we love Bobby!

We taught the whole first lesson this week only in Albanian for the first time. Sister Yourstone and I taught together and our teacher put us in with a returned missionary and then a new volunteer that we had never seen before. Usually we just see BYU students, but she was older with grown children. It turned out she was actually from Albania and has only been living in the states for 2 years, so she didn't know much English, which didn't matter because we weren't allowed to speak any English anyway. She is a convert to the church and so it was a really scary, but awesome experience to teach her. The spirit was so strong, except Sister Yourstone and I didn't really understand anything she was saying. But we nodded our heads and pretended like we knew what was going on. We got really awesome feedback from our teacher afterwards, except for one thing... In Albanian the word for "This" is "ky" and it is pronounced "k+ewe" and the word for "where" is "ku" and is pronounced "k+oo." Obviously these sound very similar and if you don't shape your mouth just right you will say the wrong word. Well, we never really thought about how similar those two words are, and it turns out that while we were teaching the first vision, when Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, we accidently said "Where is My Beloved Son?" I guess if you were an investigator that might be a kinda confusing story to you. We had a good laugh about it though!

Sadly our District is down one this week, as Elder Anderson is in Quarantine. He has been pretty sick mostly the whole time we have been in the MTC, so it is probably good that he is just getting some rest. We all are on Tami-Flu again, but I'm pretty sure that he didn't have Swine Flu, especially cause last week my whole district got the swine flu shot. I should say, my whole district except me, because obviously I passed on the optional shot. No surprise there. I feel great though!

We got to watch the Christmas Devotional on Sunday and I thought it was wonderful. I hope everyone got to see it, or has a chance to go to LDS.org and watch it. It will really get you excited for the Christmas season. This week we also had Elder Claudio R.M. Costa from the Presidency of the Seventy come speak to us. He was fabulous. He is a convert and originally from Brazil, so his English wasn't perfect, but his talk was amazing. He had so much energy and was so fun to listen to. He said whenever he travels he always talks to people about the church. He says that all he asks is, "Are you a member of the church?" and when they say no he asks "Why?" Then he answers any concerns they might have had and gets their contact information and then sends the missionaries to their home. It's that easy! Ha, ha. He is probably my new favorite General Authority from the Seventy, with of course the exception of Elder Cherrington, because he is kinda like my own personal General Authority.

As far as other fun things in the MTC, a couple Elders from our Branch challenged Motra Yourstone and I to a volleyball match. We made them quickly regret that challenge. Also, Sister Peatross came across the funniest story on LDS.org this week. It was from the October 1983 New Era (pg. 46) and it was called "Fiction: Setting the Trap" by Jack Weyland (The guy who wrote "Charlie.") I know it is totally random, but us Sisters got a total kick out of it. I definitely want all my sisters and roommates to read it. I don't know if anyone else will really get it or be able to relate to it if you haven't been a girl in a Singles ward, but I guess if you get bored over the Christmas Holiday you can read through it.

Also, as always we went to the Temple today and there was a deaf Sister in our session, so we got to have a sign language session, so that was cool and different.

I love that Grandma and Aunt Lisa had the sister missionaries over for dinner and one sister's name is Kelsey. That is so awesome! I'm glad you are keeping them fed and enjoying them. I hope you can have them over again. Sister missionaries are so awesome ( I would know I spend 24/7 with three of them!)

I can't believe how the time flies here where you are having fun and serving the Lord. My departure date is currently set for January 5 and so I have less than a month. We are just working our hardest to learn as much as we can about Albanian and the gospel.

I love serving the Lord, and I know that I am supposed to be a missionary at this time in Albania. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and will answer our prayers. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and I am so grateful for his atonement. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is true. I hope you all have a chance to read it daily! I know that President Monson is a Prophet of God and that this is the true church of Jesus Christ on the Earth today!

I love you all!

Motra Hall