Oi minha familia!
Another week has flown by here at the CTM. I can't believe how fast it's going. Wasn't I just emailing yesterday? Wasn't it just Christmas?! Sheesh.
Thank you so much for all the letters this week! Everything was backed up last week because of Christmas, so then I got a whole stack of letters when they started coming through again. Friends and family both. So thank you SO MUCH! I love hearing from all of you.
It's been such a wonderful week here. Probably my favorite yet, actually. I just love it here. I love being a missionary. We had a nice surprise on New Year's Eve.. we weren't planning on anything happening, just normal class until 9 and then bed. They came around around 5:30 and strictly informed us that we weren't going to have teachers tonight because they were all going home to celebrate, and that we were to stay in our rooms and study until 9:00. Okay okay, no big deal, we're used to that. Then just minutes later they came around and informed us the plans had changed! Instead of studying, we had an hour and a half of gym time to play volleyball or whatever we wanted, then we got to watch the Emma Smith movie which was phenomenal, then we watched a little short film about the Savior (I'll expound on that in a second) and then instead of the normal snack, we got ice cream and brownies. It was the BEST. We're spoiled here. I think it was even a little better than Christmas because we were totally not expecting it. But then we went to bed as normal at 10:30 (I felt no desire to stay up to ring in the new year... sleep is so precious here!). We were woken up several times through the night by all the fireworks which was fun. Fireworks are the thing here.. it's out of control! But it was a great new year's eve :) I can't believe it's a new year already! It went so fast. It's going to be a GREAT year though. I'm so excited. What are your new years resolutions? Sounds like you guys had a fun night :)
Last night we had a fun surprise. My companion and I were sitting in our room talking, it was about 10:15, and all the sudden she stops and looks out the window for a second and says, "Serio?! De novo??" Fire alarm. Again. Yes, this has happened before. It's the funniest thing really. All of us just start flooding into the halls, into the stairwells, and before you know it there's 200 missionaries in pajamas standing on the track outside, no one has a clue what's happening. We just stand around for a while, make jokes, stand around some more, and when it goes off we flood back into the stairwells, into the halls, and back to our beds. Last time it was a bit more frantic because it was the first time. This time it was just funny. We still don't know what set it off. Last time it was an iron. Who knows! It'll probably happen again next week :)
So, big news. Great news. I think I'm leaving a week early....!!! I'm doing so well with the language that they decided to put me on the fast track and let me go a week early....... Okay tricked ya. I really am leaving a week early, but that's not why. Remember how I was supposed to report a week earlier than I did? Well, because of that they're expecting us in the mission on that original date, so there's a whole group of us that will be leaving after 8 weeks. It's not set in stone yet, but we're about 90% sure. I'm SO EXCITED! I just want to be out there, working, and walking, and helping real people. I love the MTC, but I'm so excited to go. So, plan on that :) It should be January 22. I'll confirm next week. Letters have been taking anywhere from 8-15 days to get here so you can probably send letters up until next week. Then I'd go ahead and send them to the mission home in Santa Maria. But don't stress too much, Sister Steadman will forward them to our mission if letters come and we're already gone. January 22.. that's the day! Three more weeks! Hoorah!
I don't have much else to say... it's been a great week. Oh quick note about the video we watched.. it was taken from a mission conference which means you can't find the talks anywhere (boo!) but it was words from Elder Eyring and Elder Holland about the Savior and it had the testaments video playing in the background. It was SO powerful. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. The thing that stuck out the most was when Elder Holland said, "Salvation isn't cheap. It isn't easy. It never was and it never will be." And so the mission won't be either. But it will be so worth it. Can't wait!
All is well, the language is great, got a lot more to learn, our teachers our awesome, our district is the coolest. I'm happier than I've ever been.
I pray for you all everyday. I love you so so much! I think of you often and hope you are all so well and so happy :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG NA! I am sending a letter through email later today for you :)
LOVE YOU! Have a WONDERFUL week!
PS: Mom, our district will have our pizza party next week :) You're the BEST! Thank you so much! You've already won the hearts of all the elders :) xoxo!