happy Tuesday!!!!!! happy P-day!!!!! annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd..........................happy "ONE- WEEK -FROM- TODAY- I'LL- BE- IN -UKRAINE" DAY!!!!! isn't that so great!!!???? yup, I’m leaving the country on TUESDAY of next week!!! and I’m so so so so sooooooooooo excited about it!!!! which also means....I’ll be calling you! and you are in luck, my friends....because I’ve got a pretty decent layover in DC....and I’m going to be racing to the phones. I’m so excited to talk to you! you better all be home.......dad....get off work. Mom.....let the kids stay home from school. siblings.......I don't care what kind of lame school activities are going on....you will be home to talk to your sister. because the next call will be on Christmas. SO BE THERE. ahhhhhh I’m so excited!!! we got our travel plans on Friday (or Thursday), and I was jumping up and down (being a girl) because I’m so excited! I fly from here to DC, and then from DC to Vienna, Austria, and then to Ukraine! I’m pretty sure I’m going to look real bad, but I’ll be there! it will take us a day and a half to get there. isn't that crazy to think that this time next week I’ll be en route to another country? I still can't get over it. not just any other country, but the country that will forever change my life. I’m so excited. I know it will be such a huge culture shock, and I know I won't understand what people are saying to me for a really long time.......but I’m still really excited. oh....also, as we were looking through our travel plans, and packing instructions.....I was reading the weight restrictions for suitcases. we're flying Austrian air, but there is this airline called like muffasa or something hilarious like that...and it said, "your carry on may only be 18 pounds for this airline." so I was going on and on and on about how bad that would be, and how glad I am that we don't have that restriction...because I’m shoving ALL my heavy things into my carry-on, so I can make the other weight restrictions. and then one of the elders goes, "um.....so.....like...I hate to be the one to tell you this...but...umm.................we have the same weight restriction....and um.....here......just.....yeah.....18 pounds." sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I’m freaking out a teeeeeeny, tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny bit. I pretty much decided I’m going to make a coat out of all my heavy blankets, books, and random clothes....and wear it...because if I’m wearing it.....it technically doesn't count. so, if you have any advice on the best way to do that, just let me know. oh, and I’m attaching a picture of my travel plans, the time that I’m in DC for my layover is DC time, so know that I’ll be calling sometime in that time frame. I’m not sure the time difference, but just plan accordingly.
moving along. this week was great. Elder Holland didn't end up coming on Tuesday (I still have hope), but we did get to hear from another apostle. Elder Nelson came, and we got to sing "Come Thou Fount" as a choir for it....and I loved every second. it's been a really good week, and I’ve learned so much. I seriously cannot believe how much every day teaches me. this week I’ve really been thinking a lot about so many different things, but one of them is that all my characteristics and qualities are so real, raw, and apparent here. like.....I’m so aware of myself. I’m so aware of all my areas of weakness...I’ve recognized weaknesses I didn't even know that I had. and along with that, my strengths and talents are so apparent. I’ve found out way more about myself in these last eight weeks, than I think I could have ever figured out. I’ve been able to see the areas that I’d like to improve on in my life. Although it may seem hard (and sometimes it is) to have my weaknesses just displayed for me (and let's be honest...everyone around me), it's also incredible, and amazing. It's amazing because I can work on strengthening my weaknesses! While I was studying, I read Ether 12:27 (just look it up). It's so perfect- the Lord gives me weaknesses so I will humble myself, and as I humble myself, He will make my weaknesses strong. I LOVE THAT! Also Jacob 4:27 - I am given weaknesses so I can recognize that it is by HIS power that I can be made strong. oh, it's so wonderful. and let me tell you.......I feel it. I feel myself becoming better every day. I feel my weaknesses becoming strong. I love recognizing how I can be better, and improve, because who doesn't want to be even better than they are RIGHT NOW?! it's amazing. I know that through the Lord, I can do all things. and without Him, I am nothing. absolutely nothing. through him, I am everything.
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd I am really recognizing so many talents that I have, that I didn't even realize! and also, how so many things about myself that just seemed normal....really are talents! I’ve realized that I have many more talents than I ever gave myself credit for.
I decided this past week that I wanted to make a list of everything I wanted to accomplish on my mission. it's really long. but pretty much, I thought about everything I’ve ever wanted to be. I’ve thought of everything I have ever admired in other people. I thought of things I’ve always thought about one day learning how to do. I’ve thought about things I’ve wanted to change about myself. and I wrote them all down....and I decided that I’m going to do them. I’m going to become that person. I’m going to have those talents. for instance (on the superficial side of things)...I’ve always wanted to know how to harmonize songs. so, I decided I’m really going to LEARN, and PRACTICE. my district hates me for that one, because I literally sound awful with every song that I sing...but I know by the end of my mission I’ll have it figured out. I’ve always wanted to have really long hair.....so I decided I’m going to. I’m going to do something different than I’ve ever done...and only air dry my hair for pretty much my entire mission. those are just two silly examples...but the rest I don't really need to write out for you all to see. but I know that I can do everything I’ve ever wanted to do, and be. and I will.
okay, so some of my: "is that really necessary moments" are comin' your way:
1. I taught a lesson this week. we were talking about Christ, and being why we need to be baptized. she said, "I was baptized when I was a baby, why do I need to be baptized again?" it was actually a really crazy moment, and I just thought of the Moroni 8:8 scripture, how it says that little babies don't need to be baptized, because they don't sin. and how the point of being baptized is being cleansed from sin, being cleansed through Christ. so....I was like...let's read that scripture. and I actually, accidentally had her read Mormon 8:8 (because Mormon and Moroni look almost identical in Ukrainian). at the end, she just looked horrified. and I was really confused...because that's a good scripture! well, come to find out.....Mormon 8:8 just talks all about war and bloodshed on the face of the earth.......so that's awkward. and I just thought to myself, "jas....was that really necessary? of all the scriptures to show her????"
2. last night I was taking a shower (my favorite part of the day), and I just hear someone coming into the common area screaming....everyone turn off your showers!!!! there is a flood in the other bathroom! the pipes are flooding! hurry! turn off your water! (just complete panic and chaos). so I’m like covered in shampoo, and I turn my water off. as I got out, and looked at the "flood" in the bathroom..........there really aren't even words. there was no flood. there was like water on the floor, because someone forgot to put the shower curtain in the tub. sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I think you know what I was thinking. "really.........really..........was that really necessary?"
I have so much to write, and soooooooooooooooo not a lot of time to write it. but as you know, I’ll send a letter. annnnnnnnnnnnnd I’ll talk to you for a very long time on Tuesday!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! I’m so excited. happy birthday to Bradley, congrats on varsity cheer, bean! and congrats to mom for being a consignment store shop-a-holic and getting some great finds! make my room nice and pretty ;)
I am sending pictures from the day you sent those DELICOUS cookies, the day we got our flight plans; I got to HOST last week...so I sent a picture of my sticker with a cookie, and some temple pictures. I think that's all. xoxo