Another week has come and gone so quickly. I can hardly believe it. I mean the first few weeks seemed to take forever because the schedule seemed so packed with doing something every minute. But now that I'm used to it, time really just flies.
I hope you all had a fantastic Fourth of July. I'll have to tell you about mine because that day was totally different. But first, a few quick stories... So this first one is another funny language thing that happened with Hna. Roades. Last week when we were at the temple she had this thought that the people in there looked like sheep which she thought was cool because it was kind of like the sheep in Christ's fold. So she was trying to tell Brother Bell (one of the teachers) that in Spanish and he had this super confused look on his face. But it just so happened that Hno Bell butt dialed the other teacher Brother/Hno Evans. So the next day Hno Evans got into class and was like "you know that thought about sheep in the celestial room or something like that? Well, I could tell you were trying to say "they looked like sheep" but you used mirar instead of parecer, so instead of saying they look like sheep you said they see like sheep. Pienzo que es solomente un poco differente, no? But it made me laugh quite a bit.
The thing about Hna Roades that is fantastic is that she speaks slightly wrong stuff like that all the time but it doesn't deter her. She knows she'll get it right eventually, so in the meantime she just tries so hard to speak as much as she can even if it isn't correct right now. I love that about her. I love my companions so much! I feel like this week I got to know them both so much better. We've been running together during many gym times and between that and telling each other stories at service time et cetera, I feel so much closer. I am actually really really really proud of myself. Every gym time we've had since last Saturday, I've spent running about 3 miles then stretching for the remaining 10-15 minutes. So I've probably already run 15 miles this week. It is fantastic and I am so proud of myself because I don't think I've ever done that in my entire life. But I feel great when I run. I mean I don't run fast. It is probably more like a jog. I think my pace is about a 10 minute mile give or take a little. But the thing is that I can consistently just keep running at that pace and so I feel great doing it. I love it because when I run like that I feel like my body is happier and that I am able to make wiser choices with what I eat and how much I eat. It is all around fantastic! But I love that my companions love to run with me and that they'll tell me tons of stories during this time. Thus, I think I've decided I need to find a running buddy when I get back to New Mexico because it is so much better with someone else. It takes quite a bit to keep going when your body tells you it doesn't want to, but if you can get over that on your own or with someone, you feel fantastic afterward!
So about the Fourth of July... so it seemed like a normal day and I assumed that it would end up being like Memorial Day where there really isn't anything special. During the day it seemed like it. I mean Hno Evans took us up to the 5th floor at the window with a great view of the mountains and we read from the Book of Mormon about Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty. So that made the day a little special, but besides that it seemed like a typical day. But then we had a special fireside-like thing in the evening and that was almost like the weirdest thing. Usually firesides/devotionals are these quiet and reverent events. After music you never clap and the place never gets that loud etc. But when we got in there that night we were singing songs like Happy Birthday, Popcorn Popping, and Once There Was a Snowman. It was seriously the weirdest thing ever. When the actual fireside started, some eagle scouts from a nearby ward did a flag ceremony for us and there was a Judge who gave a talk about America and relating it to Joseph Smith etc. Then afterward there was a fiddle musical number of a medley of American songs. But halfway through some people got up from the audience and put some cowboy hats on the fiddlers and the whole mood changed from serious to like everyone in the crowd clapping etc. That was kind of weird too! Then afterward they had some narrators and we watched a video that I think is on youtube of MOTAB singing Called to Serve (if I remember correctly) with many pictures and videos of the MTC and all around the world. After this there was a video which one by one put an image of a missionary on a map in the location of every single mission around the world. It went by really quickly... like I think there are 340 missions but it only took like 3-5 minutes for this video thing. They put them up in alphabetical order and when our mission came up, we raised our hand all excitedly. But it was really fantastic being able to see it that way. There are so many missions! and being able to see it like that made us all so extremely excited to be out in the world and to be a part of it all!!! After this there was a bag pipe player and then people carried in their flags from all around the world (I think every country that has someone at the MTC had someone carry in the flag). Then some people carried in banners of Joseph Smith to the front and the light was shining on it all pretty from behind and we all sang a Joseph Smith song. But after all of this we went outside and they gave us ice cream bars and told us not to go back to our room until after the firework show was over. So we got to watch the fireworks from the BYU stadium and we had like the perfect view. It was so strange because we didn't even get back to our room until like 11:00 or so, but I am so happy that they made the day really special for us even though we are at the MTC!
Also, this week it kind of hit me that Fast Sunday can be almost as big as New Years. I mean New Years is all about making goals that you wish to accomplish through the year. Well in a way, fast sunday is there to review your goals and see if you're making progess and to also make those goals into smaller monthly goals. In a mission, everything seems to be about making goals and I love that. So when I realized that about fast sundays something big clicked. So I made a list of things I want to do in my life, what I want to do in my mission, what I want to do this month, what I want to do this week, and what I want to do this day etc. In Preach My Gospel there is a quote by Elder M. Russel Ballard that says "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life." I know I don't want to look back on my life and regret not having done more. I mean so much of people's time nowadays is spent on the computer or watching TV when really we can be doing things to make our lives absolutely amazing and actually living up to our full potential. So I learned that about goals this week and I hope during my mission to learn how to make and live goals effectively so that I can get back and accomplish amazing things with my life!!
Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic week. I know you're traveling this week, so good luck on the road and I hope that you are all safe and that everything goes fantastically well!! I love you all!
May the Spirit be with you!!
~Hermana Whitney Whetten