This last Friday night was AMAZING!!! I went with some other sisters in the zone to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert with Santino Fontana (the voice of Prince Hans from Frozen) and The Sesame Street Muppets!!!! I SAW BIG BIRD IN PERSON! Everybody stay calm. There were a lot of children in the audience too but I'm positive I enjoyed it 10x more than all the children there. I mean even The Count was there and I was dying laughing! And big bird! Oh...did I mention we were on the 8TH ROW?!?! That's right. You'd think that would be too close but let me tell you, you cannot be close enough when Big Bird is on stage. Ah! It was excellent! I laughed so hard! And I was almost dying when Santino Fontana was singing...that man's voice.... Some sisters were teasing me saying that if he had proposed to me on the spot I would have said yes but we came to the conclusion that is NOT true because I'm obviously getting married in the temple. But if given the opportunity I would have totally given him the Book of Mormon and begged him to read and pray about it ;) ha! Jokes. He's old. And I'm a missionary. Lets change the subject.
Mission Leadership Counsel was amazing! We met in the Jubilee Room of the JSMB and went a little over our scheduled time because we were have some intense discussion about the mission. It was great! We finally all came to a census that the couches in the sisters lounge need to GO! So they will be removed soon and we're really excited because we are remodeling the lounge and making it a large study room! We all agreed that the lounge is an evil place. The A.P's gave me the task of doing the interior design of the large study room which my companion and I are now renaming the Hinckley Room! Haha(: So that's fun! This probably doesn't mean much to y'all but trust me, it's exciting stuff! We also drilled through lots of numbers and statistics to help find solutions to improve the mission. We will be having Zone Conference tomorrow so we'll be passing most of what we concluded in MLC onto the mission there! Zone Conferences are THE BEST! It's great to see the work pressing forward!
Our investigator in Hawaii is being baptized this Saturday!!! He had been praying about if he wanted to be baptized and when we called a few days ago he said that he and the Elders were planning on this Saturday as the day! So excited! We're really happy for him because his wife and children will also be baptized as well. This was the man we met on Temple Square months ago when he was passing through on the way home from his brothers funeral. We had taken him through God's Plan and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. So we are really happy for him because now he has the knowledge that he will see his brother again and he seems so happy. (: (: So we are so happy!
There has been, what we're calling, THE VIRUS passing around the mission this last week. We had a sister in our zone coughing up blood, but have no fear she is ok now. Another sister in the zone started showing the symptoms of THE VIRUS yesterday morning. As soon has we heard this we literally ran to her apartment, tore the sheets from her bed and informed her companion to start deep cleaning the apartment. Then we ran down to the grocery store and bought heaps of chicken soup and orange juice so she can be pumped full of vitamin c and liquids. Then we came back bearing our gifts of clean sheets, orange juice, and chicken soup. She is feeling a little better today but we are on guard with all sorts of things in case she begins to worsen! So yes, it was quite an exciting morning!
But alas, last night was the best night from this last week. For our Christmas gift from President Poulsen we were all assigned a family go have a Christmas dinner with, here in Salt Lake City. The family we were assigned to visit was The McConkie family. And yes, the father is the nephew of Bruce R McConkie. Needless to say it was a very spiritually powerful night. Brother McConkie definitely has the "McConkie voice" when he speaks and he always refers to you as "my friend". Haha! He told us the story of about how he had auditioned all those years ago to be the announcer for the choir, he was up against Lloyd Newel (obviously Lloyd was given the job) but Brother McConkie was so close!!! Haha! He also told us about how he is a lawyer for the church when it gets sued and shared with us some funny stories about that! haha some people's children...(: After dinner they brought us in the living room and said he wanted to share with us some of his favorite Christmas songs and then he turned on The 12 days of Christmas (the vocal point arrangement)!!! So funny! He was laughing up a storm he just thought that song was so cute and funny! After the music though he wanted everyone to share their favorite Christmas memory, which was tender. (I shared about the Christmas we spent in Alabama before Granddaddy passed away.) Lastly, before we could share our message he said he wanted to share a message with us! Haha so he went and grabbed a book he wanted to read from for us. It was a book written by his uncle, Bruce R. McConkie. (: The message he shared was really powerful, it actually made me tear up! When he was reading the spirit just filled the room soo strongly. He read about how we always have to remember that, midst all the millions and trillions of stars and worlds and galaxies in the universe, we have to remember that on THIS earth the Savior was born in a humble stable. And on THIS earth, He lived and died for all of us. So yes, it was a really special experience being in their home. When we left we all felt like we had just left the home of prophet!
This morning was pretty interesting and a little emotional as well. I'm not sure how it came up, or why (perhaps it had to do with us discussing wars and things like that in the Book of Mormon), but my companion asked me to please explain to her what 9/11 was and why it happened (my companion is from Australia). I think it was the first time I have ever explained 9/11 to someone before. So I explained what happened and why and how we remember it and she asked lots of questions. I don't think I ever realized how reverent I feel about those events until this morning when we talked about it. I also realized that I never really talk about that unless someone asks me to, which I find interesting, and I suppose it is that way with a lot of people in this country? But anyways, it was good because it really helped me remember how much I love this country, and it really strengthened my testimony of the gospel. It did leave me feeling a bit somber, but I suppose it should. Of course, afterward she asked me to say the closing prayer for morning studies and I just cried and cried all during my prayer haha(: Today isn't a special holiday for our country or anything but today I really feel a lot of gratitude for those people who established this country. And I am also so grateful for those who have died for my country, and those who are currently serving for my country. And I am also very grateful that my religion encourages me and teaches me to love and respect whatever country I live in and/or am from.
Well, I believe that is the bulk of what I wanted to share today. I guess there is just one more scripture that I'd like to include in this letter.
"And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it - In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children - and he fastened it upon the end of a pole...and he called it the title of liberty..."
(Alma 46:13/14; The Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ)