Tuesday, September 27, 2011

farewell, MTC

posted for Christine by Jana

Dear Familia,

First things first, I have some exciting news...I will be calling you tomorrow!!!! YES WAY! We are allowed to called home while we are in transit (They're not thinking that I'm getting to guatamala with no one to pick me up and just telling me ahead of time to call home, so don't worry). I have two options. Between 5 am and 7 am (MST) when I'm in Salt Lake or between 1 pm and 3 pm (EST) while I'm in Atlanta. My plan is for while I'm in Atlanta to call Mom's cell phone. If Dad is at work and can't break away, I was given permission to call him as well on his cell phone. So charge your phones tonight and be ready!!! If you want to try to conference call then you better coordinate that tonight with anyone who wants to be on the call. I plan to call as close to 1 pm (EST) as possible, but that's just after I land, so gimme a sec to find a pay phone. Can't wait to hear your voices!

So this last week we got to have a devotional by this one Nelson guy... I think it was Russell M. Nelson or something... but I can't be sure...WOOT! It was so awesome. I love their talks here because they are a lot more chill and conversational with us. At one point he had 4 missionaries on the stage with him doing these things. He was suddenly hugging this one sister missioary as we all stared in shock...he then explained it was his granddaughter and he may have planned it that she was called up so he could have a hug since that was the only way to steal her away. It was pretty hilarious. He did a big introduction of the new Book of Mormon Ensign. We each got our own"collector's" copy to love and cherish as a gift from him. (I don't quite believe he really bought all of them for us...haha) Anyway, it was an awesome evening and his wife's talk was awesome as well.

The week has flown by and I am now one day from flying out. I leave the MTC at 4 am to catch a 7 am flight out of Salt Lake to Atlanta. And no we will not be sleeping in the airport! We will be contacting. So if you hear crazy stories of sister missionaries getting arrested because they freaked out some family trying to sleep in the airport at 5 am...well that's possibly me...But it was all with good intentions!

Tell Ken that I have a message for Danae. I ran into an Elder here that is best friends with Legrande. He described him as a brother by choice. I can't remember his name...hopefully she does. We just happened into each other in the immunizations clinic. And the other crazy part is that his brother is in the Jacksonville mission right now! So I get to carry a message there too. He said to tell them his muscles are so awesome that they broke 4 needles trying to give him a shot and he wasn't even flexing... i.e. he's happy and having a great time here. It's crazy who you run into here!

The teaching is going pretty well. One of our "investigators" couldn't meet all week because of an ear infection. So I'm a little sad about that. We haven't gotten nearly as much teaching time as I had hoped. But hey, I'm about to get A LOT of it. So why am I worried right?! The fact that I've never taught more than the restoration and only the beginnning of the Plan of Salvation (up to Adam and Eve) shouldn't worry me at all right?! (can you tell I'm a little freaked out?!) Can't wait to get to Florida and tell my trainer that! Speaking of, we are part of a new program that they launched around the world August 1. We will stick with our trainer for the first 12 weeks (2 transfers) and have an extra hour of study time together specifically designed to give me more training. They have a whole curriculum of specific things we will do every day to help me get up to speed faster as far as the work goes. I'm starting to believe Elder Ballard's statement that we are the most prepared missionaries in the history of the church. They are working hard not just throw us in the shark tank and tell us to say when it hurts (hold my sign, I don't want it to get ruined ;) ) So I feel pretty confident that I'll be ok. Even if I do break down my first teaching appointment...

I'm glad to hear that Michelle is doing ok. I've been praying like crazy this week and have been wondering all about it. It all turned out well because she had a missionary praying for her ;D... Ok so I'm not that powerful. But hey, I can imagine right? I'm just glad to hear you're all happy and doing ok with it. I dreaded getting a call to meet with the Mission President here because of something... Someone please hug her and tell her I love her and I'm sorry I can't text her and tell her myself! Hopefully she took our pic of us to Cincinatti and showed it off to the young, cute Chase-looking Doctors there. ;) ok kidding. But hopefully she had it to remind her of how much I love her!

And to all the other little kiddos I want you all to know how much I love you!!! I brag about all my little people all the time to the other missionaries. The letters I've been getting from the McCracken kids and Ryker have brightened my day! Tell them they all make me proud to be an aunt and I want them to grow up to be missionaries too! I wish every person could even just spend the three weeks at the MTC that I have. I've grown in ways I didn't think possible and I will never see the gospel the same again. I love it here and I love the work.

Well Dad, can't help but say I told you so. You should know better than to have sloppy powerpoints! haha just kidding. Tell that young man it's my job to keep you in line. I bet you did great though. I wish I could have seen the disposal of the ATR vessel. You should check on my Transport plan and see if that ever got rolled out...

Well 45 seconds left.... LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!! You are the best family I could have ever wished for. Thank you for you letters, prayers, and love. I can feel it!

Remember, be the change!!!

Sister McCracken

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