Dear friends and family,
So this past week has been incredible. Conference was absolutely amazing. Someone mentioned that we will always remember this Conference because we were in the MTC for it, and I completely agree. It was a different experience watching Conference as a missionary. But, I only have 30 minutes of email time a week, so I will write my normal email now and then write a letter and send it to my mother and have her type it and send it out to all of you. I have an experience that I want to share but I just can't type that quickly! :)
So the funny experience first. Some days I remember that I am surrounded by 19-year old guys. Many of them have turned into elders and some...not so much. So the other day I was putting my tray away in the cafeteria. For those of you unaware of how the cafeteria at the MTC works, when you have finished your meal you put your tray on a revolving conveyor belt and it takes is back to the "dishroom," where MTC employees have to clean them up, wash the dishes, etc. The missionaries can't see the dishroom, but I used to work there so I am quite aware of the fact that "real people" have to clean up your mess. So I put my tray down and this elder "cleverly" balances an empty box on top of my cups, looking at me as if to say, "isn't that cool?" Our conversation went something like this:
Me: "You didn't want that to go through the dishwasher, did you?" (thinking, "real people" have to clean that up, elder!)
"Why don't you throw it away?"
"Um...in the garbage?!"
"Where is the garbage?"
"Right outside the door"
I walked out of the dishroom line rolling my eyes, and I saw one of the elders from my district standing right outside, laughing. I said, "Did you see that?" and he just kept laughing. He saw that, all right! He thought it was really funny. I thought it was funny, too...but sometimes I just wonder about some of these elders. Good thing I am here to teach them the right way, right? :)
And now for the spiritual, in case I don't have time at the end. So I have been getting so anxious and antsy to get out in the field. I mean, the MTC is great. All I have to do all day is think about the gospel and study the gospel and teach gospel lessons and pray like 15 public prayers a day and go to devotionals and firesides and hear from General Authorities...oh yeah, and learn Chinese. But I have been so frustrated because there are people all around the world that don't know that Jesus Christ is their Savior and Redeemer, and here I am living in a miniature "city of Enoch"! So the other day, I was complaining to the Lord. Really, Lord, are you sure you wanted me to be in the MTC for this long? I didn't come on a mission to teach missionaries the gospel! Basically, I had a similar desire to Alma, who wished he could be an angel to preach the gospel to every nation. And I wouldn't have to waste precious time going to the bathroom or sleeping if I were an angel!
These thoughts are clearly not abnormal for me, but I think the Lord thought I was going a little too much into excess. Right in the midst of this tirade, the Lord told me, "Breanne, I can do my own work. I could do it by myself. I know what I called you for, and I called you to Taiwan--which means I called you to go to the MTC for three months. Deal."
Wow. I guess it was a bit humbling. I realized that I am doing the work of the Lord, but not a work He couldn't do without me. I am just blessed enough to share in His work and in a bit of His glory, in helping others along the pathway to immortality and eternal life.
And finally for the informational part. I still have 7 minutes so I might as well take advantage of them, right? This information, however, will be more about my family. My little sister, Avalon, was in the Children's Choir at General Conference. They kept showing the same little kids, however, so I never got to see a close up of her. I was a bit disappointed, but I think I saw the top of her forehead and hair. My little brother, Bronson, is getting baptized this Saturday. I am excited beyond all reason. It is my first baptism as a missionary! :) I don't think I can take credit for this one. And about my other family--many members of my zone (and my DL) were in the MTC priesthood choir. Didn't they sound wonderful? I wish we could have watched them, (and I wished the sisters could have sung too!!!!) but we did get to hear them at choir practice.
The elders in my district are finally letting their guard down a little. I think we are getting into the rhythms at the MTC and so they break a smile once in a while. We took pictures at the temple yesterday so I will have to send those soon.
And to all of you who have written me emails, I so dearly appreciate them. I appreciate the letters most of all, but the emails are also wonderful. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and your prayers.