This is my last P-day in the MTC! I leave for Russia on Monday, and then it's time to dig down and figure out how to survive Siberia. Pray that I keep all ten fingers and all ten toes!
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving here in the MTC was awesome. In the morning, we had a devotional with ELDER BEDNAR!!! We began by singing "Come Thou Fount" (the cool arrangement by Mack Wilberg in choir, and then Elder Bednar had a giant Q&A. He passed out cell phones to the missionaries, and we could text in questions that we had. Because it was broadcast to the other MTCs, they could also email in their questions. I made sure to take advantage of that opportunity. Even though he didn't answer my question directly, I still learned a lot from what was said because the real teacher is the Spirit. What an awesome opportunity that was.
Later, we had a service project for all the missionaries. I think the organization was called "Feeding Children," and we all made bags of easy-to-make casseroles that will be given to families in need. It was nice, mindless work, but fun to meet and talk with other missionaries while we served. Elder Bednar came in and watched us with his grandchildren, and I was about 10 feet away from him! I didn't get to shake his hand or meet him, but he was RIGHT THERE!! Next time, Elder Bednar. There was also a fun little Thanksgiving program. There was a short skit about the first Thanksgiving, a beautiful harp number, and then I accompanied a sister named Sister Aure (serving in Florida). She sang "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret (?) (with some modified lyrics to make it MTC appropriate), and she has an amazing voice. She received a standing ovation. It was a real pleasure to play for her.
We had a nice Thanksgiving feast provided by the MTC cafeteria. (Loved the stuffing, it was my favorite part.) Then later, in our bedroom, we had another party with all of the food we received in our packages from family. There was SO MUCH food. SO MUCH. We're still trying to work through it. Sister Brayton's family sent her a whole pumpkin pie, so we took what we wanted and then gave it to the elders. We knew they would finish it off. We also gave them some homemade candy turkeys (and a homemade candy dinosaur, because my turkey just somehow looked more like a dinosaur than a turkey).
To top it all off, they had a surprise film for us at the end of the day, and it was... MEET THE MORMONS!!! (In all caps like half of my email because it was so exciting!) We were all so excited because most of us hadn't had a chance to watch it yet. They had popcorn, and it was a party, and then they had Christmas lights on outside after. What a day!
We've been having our final lessons with a lot of people. We had our last Skype TRC on Monday with Marina who lives in South Jordan, and we talked about how we can receive revelation through the Book of Mormon and that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Christ (see the title page). My district and Sister Thomas's (or I think Thomas' is technically right, but I feel a little lazy right now) have been taking turns being investigators and teaching each other. It's easier and harder because we don't know as much Russian as our real investigators, but it's been an interesting experience. I like experiencing a lesson as an investigator and seeing things from their point of view. Aнтон (Anton) agreed to be baptized! He loves to read the Book of Mormon, and he really wants to make sure the church is true. He's great, we love teaching him.
We've been reviewing some language principles, so Sister Balls-Barker's turn to teach us was yesterday, and she created a cute game to help us practice. She even made a game board and had two pennies to be our game pieces. Brother Froelich also had a game for us, and it was more fun that I thought it would be. He wrote down points from the lessons in Preach My Gospel, and we each (in my district) drew a slip of paper and couldn't show it to anyone else. Then Brother Froelich was an ADD investigator, and he would turn to different missionaries, and we would have to teach him our topic on the spot and also tie it in to what the missionary right before us had been talking about. It was hard, but really fun, and I'll probably use that on my mission to practice. Usually the topics flowed pretty well together, but Sister Brayton was teaching about Jesus Christ when Brother Froelich turned to me, and my paper said Word of Wisdom. I was so caught off guard that I started laughing, and I struggled and laughed and tried to spit out words that would connect the life of Jesus to the Word of Wisdom, but it was hard to do. That was the funniest combo in that game.
In sacrament on Sunday, because it was technically the last Sunday that wasn't fast Sunday, all the missionaries who will be leaving (my district and Elders Fortuna and Smith from the other zone) sang "A Child's Prayer" in Russian. It was so fun, and our sweet branch president, President Peer, cried. So cool! Sister Balls-Barker also gave a great talk. She has been practicing for weeks how she would say how excited she is to speak and how she would thank the branch president. She really knows the Russian language, and she shared a great testimony.
Also on Sunday, we had a devotional by Sheri Dew in Relief Society, and then the evening devotional was by BYU's acapella group Vocal Point. I can't listen to most of their songs, so you all have to do it for me. They are all RMs, and they shared some profound thoughts with us and sang gorgeous arrangements of religious songs. I might have to find some of those kinds of songs to listen to. The devotional last night was by Elder Evans of the seventy. He shared the new Christmas video "He is the Gift" with us. The more I watch it, the more I learn and the more I feel the Spirit. You should all go watch it if you haven't, and watch it again if you have. You can find it on lds.org or mormon.org/christmas.
TTFN! Next time I write, I'll be in Russia! :D