First things first, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Today we woke up at 6:30am as usual, but realized we didn't have anything planned until 8:30am. So... we brushed our teeth, washed our face, showered etc. and went back to sleep for like an hour. Naps are rare, and when time for a nap comes along, you take the opportunity. It was a great start to the day. The excitement at the MTC is tangible. Missionaries are singing Christmas songs, taking pictures in front of the Christmas lights, and laughing all over the place. I am so thankful to be here during Christmas. The true spirit of Christmas is here, and it is fantastic. There are hundreds of Christ's representatives all in one place on His birthday. You can imagine how strong the spirit is here. It is incredible. :) And I am so lucky that I get to call home tomorrow! Dear family, 3:15pm is my call time. So at that time, expect a call on Mom's cell phone. Ahh I'm so excited! :)
So, as one of the greatest gifts we could get here at the MTC, we got our TRAVEL ITINERARY TODAY!!!! My travel plans are here. In 12 days, I will be in KOREA!!!! It will be the biggest culture shock of my life, and I speak like .0001% of the language... but it will be so amazing. We have a native Korean sister staying with us in our residency room. She is so sweet. And she is sweet enough to help us with culture tips. For instance, when someone compliments you in Korea, you respond with "No, no." not "thank you." If you respond with "thank you" it is basically like saying "I know." So its not humble at all, and they will be offended. She helps us with our Korean and gives us tips all the time. She is so sweet. I already adore Korean people. We also have a Korean Elder that joined our district, and he is absolutely hilarious. Ahh I just love Koreans. And Korea. And the Korean language. :)
Oh yeah, travel itinerary. Dear family, here's my travel plans:
January 5th 2015:
3:35am - report to MTC travel office, head to SLC airport
8:11am - leave Salt Lake City
9:33am - arrive in Seattle, Washington
11:40 - leave Seattle
January 6th 2015
4:00pm - arrive at Incheon Airport... in KOREA!!!
Yes, the time difference makes things way confusing. I don't know exactly how long our flight is, I'll do the math later. But I do lose a day of my life on this flight. It is worth the sacrifice, though. ;) If you want to figure it out, Korea is like 16 hours ahead of us. Don't know if that helps... but yeah. :) I am so pumped. I can't even believe this is happening! Hopefully I'll be able to call during the layover in Seattle. But since its not a super long layover... I don't really know whats going to happen. I'll let you know more next week.
So guess who I ran into yesterday? Tyler Stevenson. Yup, he was just chilling at the MTC with the presiding bishop of the church, who happens to be his uncle. We were putting instruments back in the instrument room, and walked out to head to the Tuesday night devotional. I heard my name called and turned around to see Tyler. It was exciting to see someone from home! I have also ran into Elder Ethan Hansen, Elder Bryan Daines, and Elder Nathan Netzley this past week. But Tyler isn't on his mission yet so that was a surprise. So after talking to Tyler for a bit, his uncle came around to meet us and shook our hand. It was just me, my companion, and 2 elders. So we all introduced our selves. We talked for a minute and then headed to the devotional. Bishop Stevenson talked so it was cool to tell people that we shook his hand and talked to him for a while before the devotional. I love seeing familiar faces at the MTC. :)
Oh, I never told you this, but I had the musical number again on Sunday! I arranged it myself... kind of. I have an arrangment of Silent Night by David Lanz, and I asked the sisters of the two oldest Korean missionary intakes to sing. So 7 sisters sang, and I played the piano. The first verse was in English, second in Korean, third in English, and then a little more in Korean. It ended up being absolutely beautiful. I just took my piano solo and cut some of it out, changed around how high it was, and made it work. It was SO BEAUTIFUL. Our branch president, President Perriton, came up to me after and told me that it was beautiful and that my piano playing is amazing. I am so thankful for the ability to play the piano. It has helped me on my mission so much so far, and it has only been 2 months. I love the piano. I don't know what I would do without it. :) And arranging this myself was a new experience that was actually way fun. I just love music.
This last week, I've been reading Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They all contain stories of Jesus Christ, and his life. Since its Christmas, I figured that would be a good way to celebrate. I know without a doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that He performed many miracles. I know that He loves each and every one of us, and knows us all individually. I know that He atoned for our sins and felt all that we have felt. I know that through Him, I can gain eternal life, and so can you. Jesus Christ is the son of God, and He is our brother. I went to choir randomly this week, and the choir director told us something that really struck me. Jesus Christ was born with the veil, too. As a child, He may have not even know who He was. Or maybe He did. But can you just imagine Him laying on the grass as a child, looking at the stars, seeing everything that He created? And possibly not even knowing that He helped create such a beautiful world? His only intention in His life was to do His Father's will. Such a simple intention. And He was and is perfect.
Well, I will talk to you tomorrow... on the phone! Whoot whoot! :) LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! :)