I asked Elder Eyster and Elder Boyd what I should call this email . . . and that's what they said. Probably because we do the same thing every week. But that's ok :)
So this week we met a movie star!! Jentry's going to laugh at this story! So this story begins two weeks ago when Hermana Obrigawitch, Hermana Hansen, and I were outside writing letters on our P-Day. This super annoying elder was yelling at his companion to not forget spoons, and so we were kind of looking/glaring him down because he was getting on our nerves. So he talked to us and did some kind of a flip, who knows why. Probably in honor of the Olympics. So Hermana Obrigawitch told us that he reminded her of James Potter during his teenage years (off of Harry Potter . . . for those of you who aren't familiar with good literature . . . Ashley Bragg :) ). So imagine an elder who looks and acts like James Potter. So we kept seeing him over the last two weeks and we thought he looked so familiar. On Sunday they showed the Joseph Smith movie, which our elders went to see after the fireside. They came back to the classroom and they said that our "James Potter" was actually the teenage Joseph Smith in the Joseph Smith movie! But he was leaving the next day for his mission in North Carolina! All of those times when we ran into him and we never even knew that he was in a church movie. Hermana Hansen is still mad about it :)
The MTC has a ton of cute little birds that just fly around on campus. They're so cute when they hop around, so I usually try to catch one every time I see one. It's my goal by the time I get out of the MTC. This morning we were sitting outside and I was feeding cheerios to the birds, but they wouldn't come that close to me. Hermana Hansen gets creeped out by birds, and she said, "Hermana Bragg, they're not going to just come to you! They're not ducks!" It made me miss ducks.
I got letters this week from Sarah (right after I wrote a letter to her . . . sorry!), Mom (good work on your classroom and DAD! Good job getting the tent trailer fixed!), Kaleb (Most of it in Spanish!), Brother Weiss, Jentry (I can't believe One Direction performed at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics!), another letter from Mom (thanks for the names), and a package from Sarah (no, I didn't hate the earrings. Thanks for the laundry detergent).
This week we had a ton of substitutes for all of our classes. I guess vacations to California and Florida are more exciting than teaching 7 missionaries :) But we had a lot of good lessons, especially with the Elders that we are teaching as "investigators." We also have the "TRC" (training resource center) that we go to every Thursday where we teach members of the church in Spanish. But they never have enough volunteers at the TRC, so Hermana Hansen and I got to be taught yesterday by the elders who have only been here for 3 weeks. They were in our zone (we have 5 districts in our zone), so they were a little bit surprised to see us when we opened the door. We are now the oldest district because the district ahead of us left on Monday. It was super sad. That district had all of the elders who would challenge me to ice cream eating competitions and produce weird concoctions that they would make me eat. But they were so excited to leave!
We had Elder David F. Evans of the Quorum of the Seventy come speak to us on Tuesday. We focused a lot on Luke 15, the chapter with all of the "lost" parables. Elder Evans spoke a lot about rescuing the lost and how our Heavenly Father is not as concerned about why they left. He is more concerned about bringing them back. In the parable of the prodigal son it says that even when the son was a far way off, his father ran to him and hugged him. It really made me think a lot about the people in my life :) So read Luke 15 if you get the chance this week.
I'm not going to lie, I've gotten to the point where I feel confident enough to go out into the field. I love the MTC (well, I've grown to love it :) ) but I feel like there are things that I can only learn while I am out in the field. There's only so much I can learn at the MTC because it's such a safe and secure place.
My Spanish is a ton better than last week, it's amazing to see the difference that happens week after week. The trick is to study your brains out and have confidence in your speech and have faith that you are going to be led to say what the investigator needs to hear. It's hard to study for hours everyday and to have all of your lessons and classes in Spanish, but it helps so much. The only person I can think of who is going on a Spanish speaking mission soon is Alyse Nelson. So Alyse, if you're reading this, study Spanish! And practice speaking it out loud! Read the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel out loud in Spanish and you will be so far ahead of the game!
Ok, I love you all! I love this church and I love the changes that it has allowed me to make in my life. I am so grateful for the chance I have to serve this mission during this time of my life. There's honestly nothing else that I would rather be doing with my life at this time. So go to church, read the Book of Mormon, and just be good people :)
Love you all!