Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Almost a MONTH!!!

Hey everybody!

Can't believe that it's been almost a month! Like I've said before, it feels like I've been here for a year, but it also feels like I just got here yesterday. 

Actually, awesome story just happened to me last night! So, my roommate from BYU last year, Mike, who's going to Kennewick, Washington, Spanish speaking is here at the MTC right now too. He got here a month before I did and I've seen him around but recently I haven't seen him at all. I was getting kinda bummed because we were never able to get a picture together. One night I heard his name get called on the intercom, so I thought maybe he left early or something. So, fast forward to last night and Elder Seidl's name gets called down to the front desk. I'm all like UGH! I just got out of my suit and everything. Because I don't have any sort of long sleeve PJs or P-day clothes, we have to go out in the FREEZING Utah cold to the main building. So, as we go into the building, I go up the stairs and I hear a "Hey, Elder Hawkins!" And lo and behold, it was Mike walking down the stairs past me! He couldn't see my face, but I was wearing my bright orange Flyers shirt and he told me that he thought "there would only be one person in this whole MTC with that shirt!" So, I told him, we had to get a picture ASAP! Then we freaked out because we didn't have a camera, buuuuuuuuuuuut the whole reason Elder Seidl got called down to the front desk was because he lost his camera and we were going to pick it up! So, after we picked it up, we met up in the laundry room to take a few pictures and say goodbye... since he ended up leaving the next day! How lucky is that?? Didn't see him for a few weeks and happen to see him the night before he leaves! I'm going to attach some of the pictures we took! Anyway, I'm really thankful we got the chance to take some pictures together at the MTC. 

 Me and Mike! Wish we coulda been in our suits but I'll take what I can get!

At least we have our tags.

My arm is extended, btw, because that's where Joseph should be! 
Crazy kid! Hope he's having fun at BYU. Tell him we miss him!

Anyway, things at the MTC haven't been too exciting, but the French has been coming along. Elder Seidl and I had a pretty tough time teaching our lessons this week, but we're starting to get more into a groove. I think we're finally starting to get into the swing of things and actually teach good lessons. We also had another PVL last week and it completely failed. I think most of the day, we just forgot that it was PVL because our teachers were speaking a lot of English for some reason! But, we have another one tomorrow and one more on Saturday. Our goal is to work up to two full weeks of PVL within our last three weeks here. That's going to be pretty crazy! I know I can do it, but it's still pretty hard. 

Elder Adams was feeling sad so he went to the 
corner for a bit... haha lol just kidding. 
He's so goofy we were just having some fun!

It's been pretty cold in Utah lately though... we were walking to the Temple for our Sunday walk (we joke around and call it our yard time since it's like the only time we get to have time to just walk around to stop and smell the roses, per se) and it was pretty cold for us African elders! The sisters were like, why don't you have any coats on. Then I promptly replied, "Because we're going to freaking AFRICA!!!!" and then everybody laughed... but it was still cold. It also snowed that Sunday and then yesterday as well and it's super icy here... since we're kind of on the edge of the campus, they don't salt it as much so we were slipping and sliding on our walk back to the residences last night. Everyone keeps saying oh you should enjoy it since this will be your last winter for two years... in my head, I'm thinking... ummmm... I lived in PA for 10 years. I think I've had my fair share haha.

 The district... Sister Hall is the short one! 

So, our new sister came in! Her name is Sister Hall and she's from Vancouver Island, BC. She's going to the New Caledonia mission, apparently, but there's some weird island too that she's going to (it's starts with a V or something). Anyway, she's pretty cool. She's in a trio with Sister Hoar and Allred... they seem to get along well. Although I feel pretty bad for Sis. Hall because she has to pick up French pretty quick since she's essentially three weeks behind us. She honestly knows nothing about French but the resource teachers come in and give her personalized lessons during language study. She'll be a pro by the time we leave (since she leaves three weeks after us and still has to do the 2 weeks of PVL with us) so I'm sure she'll be fine. 

Elder Seidl and I... with the sisters sneaking behind us lol.

Thanks to everyone for all the letters this week! Sienna sent me some pictures of the family, which I'm really glad to have! And thanks for all the stuff Sienna sent too... I'll write to her in a letter and talk to her more personally but I will say... I got a back scratcher so I am happy! :)

As for the shirts, I'm more of a fan of the non-Oxford collar ones (the one's that need collar stays). I bought like 20 collar stays before my mission so the shirts with buttons kind of make those a waste of money. As for the fabric, they both feel fine so feel free to send whichever. Still need to get baptismal clothes so I'll try to get that done within the next few weeks. 

Oh, one last thing before I clock out. The BYU Men's Choir came for our Fireside on Sunday night and it was amazing. When they sang O Holy Night, the Spirit just hit me like a ton of bricks. I absolutely love that song. I'm super bummed that I missed Adele singing it at the ward party, but I'm sure I'll get to hear it when I get back. But, that choir sounds absolutely beautiful. I wish they sang Handel's Messiah chorus because I really miss hearing that. Yeah, it was really awesome to say the least. (Cue the Fro, find videos maybe?)

(Couldn't find a video of the BYU Men's Choir singing O Holy Night...
But I think Trevor would appreciate this one!)

Hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season. Just remember to take a step back and remember what it's all about... if you need help, just sing a Christmas hymn or two. I'm so thankful that I have the chance to be here and spend it with these amazing people, even though I miss being with the whole family (and we definitely don't have a 15 foot Christmas tree here!) The MTC did decorate the trees outside with Christmas lights and it looks really cool. I'm going to try and get a picture of it if I can. 

Miss and love everybody,

Elder Hawkins

We HAD to get the classic coats picture!

Note from the FRO: Nice to know our boy is still recognizable by his undying love for Philly teams! What he didn't mention about Sienna's package and his most prized "back scratcher" is that poor Sie went shopping all over Provo just to find one and then couldn't fit it in the box.  It was partially sticking out when she sent it.  Nice to know it arrived the few blocks to its destination without any mishap!  And I LOVE that he mentions a back scratcher when his own FRO sent him a box of Philly Soft Pretzels and Tastykakes!!!  What?!  *shakes head

Remembering what the season is all about!

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