One thing to note: she has asked that we get her some physical mailing addresses because she has very little time to write emails, but she has plenty of time to write snail mail letters. So if you'd like to correspond with her, try the snail mail method--or at least make sure she has your mailing address if you send emails.
And without further ado, here is her latest letter and a few pictures.
First of all I wanted to thank you for all the birthday gifts! It was a great day and my companion was awesome! I'm actually really excited for the shirt and I loved all of the cards from Jemma. Also I would love it if when she sends pictures I could get a little discription of what it is. I can guess most of the time, but I love hearing her explain it. They were great though! Also thanks for the cupcakes! Those are so good! I shared them with my district and I think it was much appreciated. We took pictures too so I will try to get those to you. Hopefully it works this week.
Thank you so much for the dearelders! Please thank Melodi Christensen and Aunt Loralie as well! And dad yours made me cry. I loved having those days full of so much fun and am so grateful that I have such a wonderful family with such great parents. My companion and others in my district also made the day really special. I was really touched, and am grateful I had to opportunity to celebrate my birthday with such great friends.
We lost one of our teachers this week! He got married and is moving up to Kaysville so he had to quite teaching. We got him a tie and signed the back and he told us he would even wear it at his reception. He was such a great teacher, as are all the teachers we have here. I couldn't be more grateful for how caring they are and how much they encourage us and bring the spirit. Speaking of our teachers, we got a baptismal date out of our other investigator this week! My companion has had a really hard time connecting with him and we have been concerned about how much faith or belief he actually has, but he actually accepted our invitation and said he believed in and wanted to follow Christ. We start teaching our new teacher as an investigator this week so we will see how that goes.
Conference was great! But it was also really draining. We watched all the sessions, of course, as well as the relief society broadcast during the priesthood session. I was really excited because I had heard so much about it from Far Away Grandma and the missionaries who got to go. We didn't get to see it until conference if we stayed at the MTC. They reminded us a lot about the covenants we make in the temple and the simple things we can do to fulfill them. I spent my personal study today reviewing my notes from conference and there are so many good topics! There was a lot about every member a missionary which is so true. We can't do our jobs nearly as effectively without the members of the Church doing their part as well. Elder M. Russel Ballard challenged us all for reach someone, just one person, before Christmas this year. I know I will be trying my hardest, but I also have the opportunity to be working full time on a mission, but I would also challenge you all to reach out to just one person and bring them closer to Christ. If every member of the church acted on that we would see such a great miracle! There were also a few talks about acting on our beliefs which has been a focus on mine here at the MTC. There is no better way to live our religion and to share our beliefs with the world than by acting by them. Our preaching and teaching would mean nothing if we didn't act and do what we learn and what we teach. Anyway I learned so much more and we were reminded of so much that we need to be doing. I also can't wait until the Ensign comes out, but I think by then we will be in Taiwan and I don't think I will get it in English. So we will see how that goes because we can't read characters yet.
I think the rest of this week was pretty normal. We go to class, study, eat, sleep and that's about it. Our roommates are leaving for Taibeimorning. After our district will be the only district in our zone and we will also be the oldest Mandarin district at the MTC! How crazy is that! So because everyone is leaving my companion got called this week to be the new Sister Training Leaders. It a calling they started because of all the sisters coming in now. We are pretty much the sister zone leaders. But unless we find out that the zones are combining our zone consists of us and the other sister companionship who want to move into our room after everyone is gone. So I don't think we will have a very hard job keeping up on the sisters in our zone. Even though it won't be too hard, I'm really excited to have this opportunity to grow and learn. (That's another thing I loved from conference. I can't remember who taught about it but they taught us that every opportunity can be taken as an opportunity to learn and to grow.) I want to implement that into my life more and take every single opportunity and experience I have out here and learn from it! I know times will get hard, but I hope I can make them count.
I looks like Jemma had a fun week with lots of cousins! I loved the pictures. (And no I can't look at the blog on P-days. I can only get on my email) But I would love to see pictures or hear about what has been going on more. Maybe you could send me a screen shot and I could print it out. Haha, I don't know. I do get to go to the temple every P-day and I love it! I loved hearing about Jemma's little sayings and how much she is learning! I'm so happy she is having a good time and that she is missing me, but I'm glad she knows I need to be out here. I know I need to be out here, even though I miss you all and I'm sad I'm missing things I know there is no greater work I could be doing and that I would not want to see myself anywhere else! I have grown so much already and its only been about seven weeks!
Oh and thanks so much for keeping me updated about Lizzie! I'm so glad she is doing well and is back in the field. I can't wait to get out there as well!
I love you all and had a great birthday and conference weekend! I'm getting so excited to get out in the field! I love the MTC but the food is starting to get old and I think we are all just ready to move on! I love your letters and cards and the support! I couldn't do this without you all!
With much love,
Dont worry all that stuff in the back of this is not mine. This is me opening my present. My companion gave me our mission t shirt from the bookstore. The other two is our district and then us studying or preparing for an investigator last p-day.