Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Week #2 - The beginnings of Chivalry Days


DEAR FAMILIA,

Sometimes, im so happy and excited with life, that I dont know how else to express it besides in caps lock :) Also, this MTC keyboard is in Spanish, so if there are random nonsensical characters... not my fault :)  

PHEW! This week was SUCH A GOOD WEEK! For starters, it was my birthday on Monday, and it was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! Thank you SO much to all those that took the time to send me a note or package - Mom, Justin Barnes, Allison Barnes, Elder Johnson, Sister Lake, Parissa Cettit, Jessie Gilley, Candice, Dad, Aunt Heather Demars, and Aunt Melinda specifically; thanks so much! I loved hearing from you all :) I promise I'll send response letters out sometimes soon - I'll probably be writing out letters so much this P-day, my fingers will be smokin' by the end of the day.  

Anyway, couple of fun facts about this week:

1) Hermana Goodrich and I started this tradition called "Chivalry Days". As many of you may know, the LDS mission structure is very inspired, and one component of the "system" is companionships. This means that two different missionaries (always of a same gender) are assigned to be each other's companion 24/7 for one transfer (around 6 weeks). The Lord spreads his word through the mouth of more than one witness! Anyway, since my companion and I are obviously both girls, we don't have any gentlemen around to help us out. SO, we decided to alternate "chivalry days" - when it's our chivalry day, we open the door for each other, give each other smashing compliments, and all sorts of goodies. It's super fun, and the Elder in our district thinks we're hilarious/super wierd. Both are probably accurate. 

Sister Elayne Johnson and I

2) Mom, I saw Sister Elayne Johnson! And Elder Doug Wadley, and Sister Quick
3) Mom, I just have to say - I LOVE YOUR PERFUME! For those that don't know (meaning, everyone except for my Mom and I probably :) the Sunday before I left, I was telling my Mom how much I loved her perfume - how it was so distinct to me, and how it reminded me of her so distinctly everytime I smelt it. Unbeknownst to me, she had gotten me a small bottle of her perfume and snuck it into my bag before I went to the MTC - as I was unpacking on my first day, I opened it up to find a sweet note from my Mom, and her smell bottled up in my hands. It was so wonderful, and I love wearing it! I only wear it every once in a while (since it kind of puts the Elders in our district in a daze when we smell too delicious :), but I feel like I'm getting a hug from my Mom every time I do. Best ever!

4) Also. This is just hilarious and totally worth mentioning. I feel like my friends and family really do know me so well, when I received multiple packages contain avocados for my birthday. Thanks guys - clearly, you all know me very well :) Plus, I feel super cool sneaking vegetable contraband into the cafeteria to put on my delicious salads! Life is good in the MTC, but even better when you have sneaky avocados!  

5) Yesterday was an awesome Sunday - Hma Goodrich and I are in the MTC choir here (Elder's Crump and Stewart - it really is as great as you said!) and got to sing in the Fireside yesterday. It was super fun, and really brought the Spririt. (that is, up until the high-strung/stressed out Sister next to me start bouncing her leg like no tomorrow and shaking the whole row of chairs - I'd probably be annoyed if I wasn't laughing so hard. Seriously! she seemed to think she was a racehorse in a skirt! She was just going to town next to me :)
6) THE MTC HAS ALMOND JOY ICE CREAM!! Gracious family, I almost love it as much as you. Almost. It's coconut flavored with almonds and chocolate, and makes me feel like I'm in heaven each time I eat it. Muy bueno :)  

Hm. I should probably elaborate a bit more on birthday celebrations, since I don't really know what else to write about (unless you want to hear a more detailed description of racehorse girl - I could probably talk about that a little longer, but I'd start laughing in the computer lab, so we'll skip it :). Mi companera Hma Goodrich was super sweet for my birthday, and had a package delivered. She got me some fun stuff at the Bookstore here - a beautiful black scarf, an AMAZING journal with a picture of temple square on the front (Sister Lake Sr. would like it :), and a watch (actually, there's a funny story with that - when I was preparign for my mission, I was reading through the packet that was sent with my call, and reading through the "what not to bring". On the list was "alarm clocks". In my hurried reading rush, I just assumed this meant that the MTC would have a wake up alarm for us or somethign - when I got to the MTC, I was very confused when my obedient companion pulled out a giant pink alarm clock. I fount out rather quickly that we weren't supposed to bring alarm clocks that were radio accesible - since I missed that memo, I've been time-clueless since I've always used my phone for time. My companion finally took mercy on me and bought me a watch from the bookstore - it was super sweet, although she still teases me about it... sigh.)  Anyway, she put together this cute package for me, and gave it to me that morning. My hermanas in my district announecd my birthday everywhere we went, and everyone was super sweet about it. Actually, favorite conversation of the day right here: 

Elder Rich (zone leader): Hermana Lake, is it really your birthday!

Me: Yep! It is!

Rich: Well, Happy birthday! How old are you turning?

Me: 21

Elder Primm (nearby Elder): Oh... well, don't worry Sister, you don't look a day over 18!
Me:.... I don't know if i should be offended by that or not. 

It was super funny. To all the 18 yr olds here, they look at us 21 yr olds (don't I sound so dignified when I say that. I'm... 21. Yes.) like we're about to sprout white hair. It's pretty funny :)

This is the view from Hma Goodrich and I's favorite studying spot in the morning. We're on the fifth floor of on of the buildings here (Bldg 18, if that means anything to you), and there's all sorts of pros and cons with that. Pros - amazing view in the morning, and amazing calves from walking up 5 flights of stairs about 6 times a day. Sister Snailio would be covetous :) Cons - super sore calves from walking up 5 flights of stairs about 6 times a day. Anyway, Hma Goodrich and I always study by a giant window on the fifth floor in the mornings -it's beautiful!
My whole district!! From left to right - Elder Lindeman (district leader), Elder Summers (who brought a plastic unicorn that he keeps in his white shirt pocket to "protect his heart"), Elder Creer (who is actually from Richland and knows the Gills/is a super good basketball player), Elder Hasleton (who is slightly OCD), Hma Johnansen (art major from Snow college, SUPER artsy), Hma Bateman (who is HILAROIUS! She has the best stories I've ever heard:) , Hma Froerer (can french braid like a boss), Hma. Morris (Does a really good Golem interpretation), Me (on cloud nine because I have avocado contraband) and Hma Goodrich (who is, of course, wearing pastel colors, lace and high heels. She's super cool :)
I love you all! I suppose last thought I'd leave you all with is this - I learned a valuable lesson this past week. In our life, many of us have righteous desire to be completely obedient to the Lord and follow his principles and commandments excatly. However, it is easy to become so caught up in this desire, that you lose sight of what your purpose really is, and end up exhausting yourself. Hma. Goodrich and I learned this lesson the hard way, as we would get up earlier to work out before class, then try to study for every break, etc. However, we learned this - just the same as your obedient desires would never allow you to go any lower than the bar the Lord has set for you, so must you never go any HIGHER than His standard. If you do, you are still being disobedient, no matter if your working higher or lower than your expectations from the Lord. He loves us! So very much, and so very individually and dearly. I know this is true, for I have felt it SO strongly here! 

And I love you all as well :)  

Love, love, love,

Hma Lake  

P.S. Best scripture of the week, right here! And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. D&C 67:10 - the promises to those of the Lord's ordained are so powerful! That's the scripture I memorized this last week, and the goals I'm working toward. Wahoo!

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