Crazy week at the MTC!
Christmas went really well last week. I did get all my letter time cut out so I was only able to send out one letter last week, but with the Temple closed this week, I had three extra hours to write letters! No need to fear, my letters and replies are coming.
On Christmas, we had Greg Olsen come and give a great fireside talk. He's a painter that the Church commissions a lot and he has some amazing pictures of Christ. I would highly recommend taking a look at them if you've got the time (To Fro: one of my favorites is the one he has of Christ in Gethsemane... you should look for it. It's really cool! Just thought you should know).
We also had a talent show (some very talented people! Playing the Ukelele behind the back, cool yo-yo stuff, funny piano numbers... it was a fun time!). At the end of the night, we were able to watch It's A Wonderful Life... in COLOR! What the?!?! Crazy seeing it in color... and I feel awful saying this, but watching it in color made it somewhat more interesting than usual. I love black and white movies so I hate saying it but it was true. Elder Ihalmo had never seen it, but when Jimmy Stewart's character was about to jump off the bridge, Elder Ihalmo started saying "jump, jump!" to which the district all laughed at him because it's something he would say. Everyone around us was looking at us and giving us weird faces for laughing at Elder Ihalmo... they thought we were laughing at the movie I guess. So yeah, Christmas was very enjoyable.
Some random Igloo on the way to the temple, so Elder Kunz and I pretended to do some "porte-a-porte"-ing of Elder Adams' new home! Elder Adam's is such a goofy guy but we all love him!
The District. Elder Seidl's mom sent some Martinelli's and we shared it with the district. Elder Seidl has been slowly hoarding paper cups during breakfast on Sundays so we would have stuff to drink the Martinelli's out of! Anyway, we just picked a random time and counted down from 10 and celebrated the new year with the district (this was like a 1/2 hour before the one in the dorm). It was pretty fun actually!
The full weeks of PVL haven't been too bad either... I think that's because most of the time we kind of forget that it's PVL, especially when our teachers speak English. It's still been pretty good practice. Can you believe that I am officially two weeks away from leaving for Benin?!? Pretty crazy if you ask me! Time has been flying bye... we should be getting our travel itinerary's later this week. I'll let you know next week (probably my last email from the USA for a while!) about my layovers and what not.
Also interesting to note... I've been talking to the new Benin elders this week (there are 7 of them if I didn't say already)... and most of them, if not all of them, got their calls a whole month before I did. How lucky is it that I got my call a month later than they did but came into the MTC a whole 7 weeks before them? I think that's pretty cool! And really lucky to say the least!
Hipster reflection picture for Sienna (it's of Elder Ihalmo)
Anyway... things have been going really well in class. I can tell my teaching is improving (in my lessons, that is) and it's pretty cool to see the progress I have been making. Some days have been pretty tough here, but it's been good overall. I am getting super itchy to get out to Africa though... argh... it's gonna be so cool! I'm tired of this snow too... in the two months I've been here, it has snowed more than it did the 8 months I was out here for school. Ridiculous! It snows just about every day and it is freezing! I'm ready for my sunny, 85 degree weather!!
So, I got to be going soon. Got some pictures to send off. Thanks to everyone who sent me their letters! This might be the last chance I have to reply to them here in the US. I think I'll have a lot more time to send people emails out in Benin/Togo so I'll probably be using more emails.
So, the panorama is us celebrating the new years at 10:00 PM Mountain time... which means I was really celebrating the same time you were! I thought that was pretty cool... Elder Kunz's mom sent tons of new year celebration material and we all celebrated the "Philadelphia New Year" (everyone thought it was funny, but we couldn't stay up till midnight! But we had tons of fun and a big mess). Gotta admit, it felt cool when I thought about how you would be celebrating the new year the same time I was.
(This picture was borrowed from Elder Kunz!)
Vous me manquez et je vous aime! (I'm pretty sure I used manquer correctly, but if not, have Sur fix it before you post it!)
P.S. Thanks for all the cool gifts from Christmas. I was just wondering... are there any other cool fro-y tips you could give me for the Lavender extract? I know how to use it for burns, but I remember fro saying it was pretty useful for other things too.
Elder Muldowney & Elder Hawkins.
Mongolia & Benin
Finally got some pictures together! Pride of VF2 right there!
Funny how we're going on the complete opposite sides of the map isn't it?!
Note from the Fro: First of all, I think it's fun not to correct his French because, well, it will be interesting to see how he progresses! Happy Anniversary is really Bonne Année, but he'll figure that out by next year, I'm sure. And about that "perfect immune system" (insert his siblings unison eyeroll here) ...it's true, he's got a pretty good immune system, doesn't get sick much. But I know that virus is going around more than just the MTC! Hope that "perfect" immune system holds up. I will have to send him more uses for that Lavender oil right away! Not that it cures the stomach flu mind you. We also think it's funny he sends "hipster pics" to his sister Sienna. He made fun of her and her obsession with Instagram all summer! She's thinking about starting an IG account for HIM to post these pics in. Too funny! And last but not least.....14 DAYS?!!! Last MTC email NEXT WEEK???? Trying really hard not to panic. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. I know I can Fro this. ;)