Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An Incredible Week!

I have had an INCREDIBLE week, but before I get into that, I will do some "housekeeping" for all of the wonderful questions I have been asked. I love you all so much, and appreciate so much the letters and packages. Sister Scott- thank you for my awesome package when I arrived here! It was so nice to get to the Trail Center and have something waiting for me. Papa. I love you. Thank you, and Grandma too, for the letters, money, and sports clippings! Especially the one about the Yankees being terrible. I read that one a few times because it made me really happy. MOM. That "greenie" package was the cutest thing ever. I loved it!
Send a few aprons- I know that we will for sure be having a "fake" Thanksgiving with a family in our ward on the 17th, but we are not sure who we will be having our actual dinner with that day. We went to lunch at one of the senior couple's apartments yesterday- the Monsens. They are SO great and from Mapleton, Utah. I love them, and they are friends with Sister Coats grandparents, so that is extra fun. They are really like our grandparents here, especially the Ellsworths. I have been so grateful that we have gotten here at the same time and get to be together our whole time here! Over half of the sisters will be gone by March, so I will be one of the "experienced" missionaries by then. Haha...yeah right!! I am learning so much and just loving it. To answer some of your questions...the Trail Center IS open every day, even Sunday 9-9. I get to go to the temple on November 16th (AHHH!) and I think it is every other transfer that we typically get to go. We have an awesome Halloween party tomorrow night at the TC for all of the sisters and the senior couples! It will be a lot of fun, and we get to do a fun craft! We went to the Trunk or Treat for our ward on Friday night, which was a lot of fun. We had invited that little family with the little girls who think we are angels to come, and they had another Halloween party that night, but they came at the very end because they really wanted to see us! We love them so much. That was the only night that I have really been freezing, because I should have had my heavy coat on, and I didn't. Gloves or a scarf might have helped too, but we were at the TC all morning and didn't know it would be that cold at night!! People in Nebraska really decorate for Halloween. I've never seen anything like it!
I'm going to write my experience of this week now, so I will have time for sure to get it all down, and then I will write more about my week if I have time! So. Dad. First of all, whether you were aware of it or not, THANK YOU for following the Spirit and sending me those stories. For everyone who doesn't know, Dad sent 4 packets of stories about my pioneer family, all who had some connection to the area around here in WQ. I was sooo happy when I got them, and the same day, Papa had written me about my family that is buried in the cemetery where I serve. It was really exciting to me because everything had so much more meaning! I thought that on its own was really incredible, but it didn't end there. That night was Elder and Sister Johnson's last night serving at the Trail Center before they moved to American Fork. They live in the area here and have served at the TC for years after he retired as a professor at UNO. He is well known as the Family History buff of all of the senior elders, and we all go to him if we have questions about FH or about doctrinal questions, but I hadn't served with him very often. We were all sitting at the desk, and he was talking to Sister Brown (whose family also is from the Colonies) about family history, when I perked up, and wanted to share the cool information I had learned from the stories that Dad had sent that day. I excitedly told him that Stephen Martindale Farnsworth and Philinda Keeler were in the same handcart company, which I thought was exciting because my grandpa was a Farnsworth (obviously) and my grammy was a Keeler! I thought this was cool on its own, but Elder Johnson was about to one-up me. He said "did you just say Keeler???" And I said yes, and he said stay right there, and ran off to get something. He came back with a huge book, and turned the pages hurriedly until he got to a page that told the story of Abner Keeler and Leah Jane Shaw. Now, unfortunately, I don't know my family history as well as I should, so we checked to make sure, but sure enough, this is Grammy's line- her grandparents, right? Now, once again, I thought this was SO amazing, because my family was in this book, and he knew right where to find it! He told me to go read all about them, and I came back in after I was finished and told him how much I loved them. I apparently said "I really love that lady" and he started crying, and I was tearing up because I just felt like it was the most incredible thing that I got here right before he moved to Utah, and that we were able to have this incredible moment of him knowing where to find my family so quickly. However, once again, it doesn't end there. Elder Johnson wrote that book. It is called the Legacy of Virden, and he WROTE it because his family members were also in Virden with our family. They were also in WQ, Mexico, and Keg Creek, Iowa with our family. We have so many incredible ties to each other.
On Saturday morning, during Trail Center Training, they had the opportunity to bear their testimonies. Elder Johnson got up, and after managing to choke out that he had seen a tender mercy this week, told the story that I've just told you. However, he added to it that after he retired, his wife didn't want to retire from teaching elementary school yet, so he didn't know what to do to pass the time. One morning, he woke up and knew he needed to write this book, even though he had never even thought about doing something like that before. He put $20,000 and 3 1/2 years into that book, and in front of all of the missionaries at the Trail Center, he said that it had all been worth it for the experiences that we had this week. He called me up to the front and gave me a copy of the book, and told me that Leah Jane Shaw had been one of his favorites of all to write and research about, and that she was a hero to him, so meeting me was a tender mercy. I was crying the whole time. Today, he and Sister Johnson took Sister Coats and I to Keg Creek, Iowa, so we could see where they would have lived, the cemetery, and surrounding church sites. It was amazing!!! I will never, ever forget it, or forget them.
Look! Pictures sent by email! It's a miracle. Ok, more answers to questions. We definitely take our coats with us everywhere, but it hasn't been too bad yet. We do have cars, but the problem is that we are limited to a certain amount of miles each month, and we live 25 miles from the TC...which means we get to "car fast" or not use our car some days. The members of our ward are amazing and drive us places sometimes, and I have been so grateful. We have seen miracles those days!
Our TC schedule changes each week, so some weeks we are there more, some less, but Gingerbread comes November 17th which will mean we get much busier for awhile! I'm so excited. Ask Emily Clonts what ward her in-laws are in. I think its Bellvue 1st, 2nd, or Fairview? That's just a guess. I am fine on tights and my shoes are just great! I rarely wear my danskos, but I've worn them a few times! Tell Susan and Brian congratulations for me! Send lost of pictures. Tell the Marisa thank you for sending pictures this week!!! That was such a nice surprise. She can definitely email me, but I can't email back. OH! Just to clarify- I can't call my non-member friends if I refer them, but one of the other sister missionaries can, and the only people who can do that are Visitor Center sister missionaries. So, Sister Coats can call any of my friends who I want her to, but I can't!
Because that experience took such a long time to type, I didn't get a chance to tell you about any of our investigators, but know that I love them with my whole heart and that we are working hard and being obedient. We know that with exact obedience comes miracles, and we are going for miracles, not just blessings!
I love you to the moon and back! I'm "having a good time" ;)

Sister Farnsworth

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Little Note from Sister Ellsworth

Hello again....
Just a little note to tell you how much we are enjoying being around your sweet missionary!  We got to work together at the Trail Center this evening and had a great time!  When she emails you on Tues. she'll tell you about a wonderful book of family histories she received today written by Elder Johnson, a senior missionary at the Trail Center, containing history of her New Mexico ancestors.  It is quite a remarkable set of circumstances that set this event into play...and a very tender moment for both Sister Farnsworth and Elder Johnson. She can't wait to tell you all about it!  I just have to say....you are the ultimate missionary mom in my book after seeing the cute skirts, pillow cases, etc. you have made for your daughter!  She can't help but tear up as she talks about what a great mom you are to her.  And she sure has a special place in her heart for her dad as well.  Good job, you guys! Winking smile  
Sister Ellsworth

Monday, October 22, 2012

Finally Some Pictures!!

Sister Farnsworth and Sister Coats

Sister Farnsworth and Sister Whittaker

Loving Omaha!

Hello again! I think that I told Katie that my preparation day changes every week between Monday and Tuesday, but I can't remember if I told anyone else. Sorry! I'm a slacker. I hope that you got my letters and my pictures! There was no card reader or way to hook up my camera last week during the email, so we printed some at Walmart when I went to buy another pillow. Did I tell you how much I adore my quilt? I love it. So much. Is that the package that you were talking about? Because if not, I just got really excited. Ok, I will try and answer all of your questions. I copied and pasted them into a word document so I could look at them and try to answer them!
The house we live in (the Hill's home) is so great. We just live upstairs, and have our own bedroom, bathroom, and she lets us use her "craft" room as a study room so we can have separate space to study in. We really love them, and she is always doing stuff for us and is so sweet. It is amazing because we have  been able to help them out in some ways and they help us out so much. Heavenly Father really knows how to put people in our lives that can bless us! We share the kitchen with them, but we are rarely home anyways so it's not that big of a deal. They signed up to have us live there for 6 months, so at the end of December we might be moving! I would absolutely love it if you could make some cute aprons. I don't know yet where we will be for Thanksgiving, Christmas etc., but Sister Hill loves blue, and I would really like to be able to give her something because she does stuff for us all of the time. I think that is the address that President sent you, which is weird. Don't send letters to their house. I will send you the Trail Center address, which is way better to send mail to because the mail man actually delivers it there. If it goes to the office, we have to wait for someone to bring it over from the office to the Trail Center, and we may not be there for a couple days. We are at the trail center either 9-3 or 3-9 about 4 days a week. Some days more, some days less, but that is pretty average. I just can't get over how much I love it there. I honestly just have this overwhelming feeling that I am supposed to be there every time that we are serving there. We get 140 dollars a month, which has been plenty so far. I did spend some of the cash I brought with me last week to get stuff like my pillow, pictures etc. But I should be fine on that front! This week a lot of people have signed up to feed us too, which is nice because it saves us money.
My eye is fine as long as I am wearing my glasses, which means that it is either my contacts or my contact solution that is the problem, or that for some reason, my eyes can't handle being covered? I don't know, but it makes me wish that I had listened to you and gotten another pair of glasses because I get really sick of wearing the same pair all of the time haha! I got kind of sick last week, but I am healthy as a horse again!
Sister Coats is from Heber, Utah. She is so great, super artistic, and pretty much the missionary that everyone in the mission wishes they were. Most of the sisters say that if they could pick their trainer it would be Sister Coats, so I guess I am just really blessed! We get along really well and laugh a LOT. In fact, yesterday she told me that she has never laughed this hard with any of her companions, so basically I'm just really funny. Haha yeah right. She's probably just laughing at me for messing up. I have a lot to learn, even though she is really sweet and says she I came pre-trained. Makes me grateful for my MTC teachers. She comes home in February, so she only has one transfer after we are done together!
So. We are only over one ward, but it is a HUGE area. Honestly it is so big, but it is an amazing ward. Sister Coats said it is probably the "nicest" area I will serve in my whole mission, which is interesting. I love it a lot!! We have really felt strongly like we should be working a lot with the members of the ward and helping them become "Preach my Gospel members" just like we are PMG missionaries. We know that we will see great success through people bringing their friends in, just like it sounds happened with Curt's friend! That is so sweet. I have gotten to know a lot of the members and really love this ward. I am apparently singing in church on Sunday with a woman in our ward who has been less-active for quite awhile, so we are really excited about that because she obviously has to be at church to sing in church! We have been trying to use our talents that Heavenly Father has blessed us with in order to do His work in His way, so this is a step in the right direction!
Ann, our investigator who came to the Gladys Knight concert, is great. I can't remember if this happened before or after my last email to you, but in our last appointment with her we committed her to prepare for a baptism date! Hopefully she will have the faith and determination to know that this decision will bring her closer to her Savior than any decision she has ever made in her life. I know that being able to truly access the Atonement will change her life.
Gary, who we set for baptism my first day here, is also really wonderful. He has this baby girl named Athena who is so cute! We had another good lesson with him on Saturday, and then he came to church on Sunday!! It is so exciting and scary all at the same time to have investigators at church with you, because you want them to have a good experience, but you also know that this could be a turning point in their lives. Church has really become so much more important to me on my mission than it has ever been before.
We met the CUTEST family the other day! We knocked on their door, looking for a girl named Brandi that Sister Coats had met there before. Amanda, who opened the door, said that she didn't live there but she was there a lot and that's probably why she said to come back there. So anyways, Amanda talked to us for a few minutes with her little girl named Ava, who is 9. The little girl got so excited when we started talking about Christ, and pretty soon her sisters- who are 7 and 8- came running to the door so they could talk about Jesus too. They are so great. Before we left, we gave them the pass along cards with the pictures of Christ on them and they came and hugged us and asked if we were angels. It was adorable. They were convinced that God had sent us to earth to meet them and that we were going back to Him as soon as we were done talking to them. Can you believe how cute that is?! They would just love going to Primary!
We have been trying to pray more specifically because we know that if we are specific, God will answer our prayers specifically. So, as we have been trying to work with members who have friends prepared to hear the gospel, we prayed about that. Before church, Sister Coats and I were praying together, and she said "please help us know who has a friend that is ready to know about the gospel by having them come up to us at church and offering to feed us." Now, I didn't know this, but in her head, she thought, and they will be wearing red. Really specific, right? So, right before Sunday School, we were walking to class and Sister O'Rourke (the primary president) came and was talking to us, asking how we are. They have a lot going on right now because his dad has pancreatic cancer, so we haven't been able to go over and see them, but she wanted to tell us how excited her husband was because this woman he works with has been asking him all about the church. Brother O'Rourke grew up Catholic, and this girl is Italian and very Catholic, but she has been really interested in learning about the church and they talk about it all the time! We were really excited about this, and told her that we would talk to him about it after church. Right as we were about to walk away, she said, hey, do you have dinner plans tonight? We didn't, so she offered to feed us. She was wearing a red sweater and red shoes. We walked away and just stared at each other for about 10 minutes. WHAT?!?! We had an amazing dinner and lesson with them, and Brother O'Rourke is going to give her a Book of Mormon with his testimony in it and invite her to church on Sunday. They are amazing.
So this week at the Trail Center, I got to go on a group tour with Sister Coats. It was one of those tours that is like a church history tour, and there are people from all over that hop on a bus and drive together for hours to see all of the church history sites. When they walked in, they were kind of grumpy from sitting on a bus all day, but it was amazing to watch that just by feeling the incredible Spirit at the Trail Center, and by allowing them to really feel the sacrifice of the pioneers, their entire countenances changed. The Trail Center is a sacred place. When we got to the Memorial room, which overlooks the cemetery and the temple, we had them sing Come, Come Ye Saints and had one of the men in the group read Amy Porter's story. (I'll send that home sometime) He was so choked up that he couldn't even get through it. We then talked about how so many of us have family that came through here with the Saints, and that I have a relative buried in that cemetery who was only 14 months old when he died. I think that I understood better what we mean when we talk about giving people a converting experience rather than a testimony building experience, because all of us in that room felt very strongly the desire to be closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. As we align our will with God's, we will be happier. We will feel His love more frequently, and much stronger. We will be led to serve others and will be blessed.
I love being able to bear testimony of my Savior every day. It is a blessing to me, and I cherish the relationship I have built with Him. This is His church. This is the way that He has established to return to live with Him once more. If we make even small steps, we will be blessed more than we can possibly imagine! I love this gospel. I know, with everything that I am, that it is true. I love you so much, and am so grateful for your love and support!
Sister Farnsworth

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pictures from Omaha!

We just received these pictures in the mail.  This is President and Sister Weston.  The others are the group that Allison arrived with as they begin their mission in Omaha.  Sister Whittaker is standing next to her!  Fun to see the faces after hearing about them!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Welcome to Omaha!

We are so lucky to have such a writer!  I hope you enjoy this letter even a portion of what I did!  Pray for her eye to heal...I'm a little worried!  Thanks for your support of her, in your letters and in your prayers.  Sounds like she is off and running as a Missionary!  What great experiences she will have!!

So much to tell you, and luckily, I get an hour for email in the field! So I should be able to say at least part of what it is that I want to say. First of all, thank you for the emails! I was really grateful to get here and have them waiting for me because it feels like forever since I have heard from anyone with leaving the MTC and getting here and settled in. My packages were here and waiting for me, which I was so grateful for! Thank you so much for sending a quilt- it's so cute and comfortable. I am going to buy another pillow today because my one is not enough. I guess I will just get this out of the way before I tell you all about my wonderful week....my eyes have been really bad. My first full day here they were completely red and sore down to my cheekbone. I have found that if I am wearing my glasses, they heal, and heal quickly, so I don't really know what to do. Maybe I will only wear glasses for awhile, but you know how much I hate that! If anything happens, I will call Sister Weston and she will help me figure out what to do!
Well, I will start from the airport in Denver because that is the last I talked to you! This email may be an overload of information, but I will just get it all out so that you can have all those questions answered haha. When we landed in Denver, we found out that our flight had been delayed, so we were in no rush to do anything. After hanging out for a little while, we went to try to make a phone call, but somehow, ALL of our minutes were gone on our cards. We went and found a calling card vending machine, which worked for Sister Whitt, so i put a 20 in, and nothing came out. I tried again, and NOTHING came out. I was pretty disappointed because I wanted to call you, but I kind of just gave up and sat down next to Sister Whitt while she called her dad. A man ended up coming and sitting by us, and we had an awesome, hour long discussion about so many things, and we left him with a Mormon.org card. It showed me so clearly that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us, even when it seems like its just a coincidence. His plane just HAPPENED to be delayed....not a coincidence. Then on the plane, I had the best flight of my life. I sat behind the cutest family, and the two girls (who are 8 and 6) talked to me the WHOLE time about how much I will love Omaha. They told me that they wanted to be friends with me, and the mom said they could have me over for dinner!! They were an incredible family, and I love those little girls so much. Emma wrote down her address and phone numbers, so before the end of my mission, I will go to their house and they will get baptized! They are so great.
We met President and Sister Weston at the airport and then the Assistants took us back to the Mission office for dinner and training and interviews. We stayed that night with a senior sister, and the next day got to go see the Trail Center for the first time. I fell in love with it instantly. I am so grateful that I get to serve at that sacred place, and I went and found James Brinkerhoff right away. I love it. So much. After that we went over to the Kanesville Tabernacle and took a tour there! All of the Senior couples are like our grandparents, especially the Ellsworths for me. I am so grateful for them. Next we had lunch at the mission home and some of the missionaries came and we went on exchanges and went out tracting! The APs challenged us to commit someone to baptism by the time we got back in 2 hours, so off we went. I went with Sister Coats, and Sister Whittaker went with her companion. We met a few great people, and then we met Gary. Gary came out on his doorstep and talked to us for quite a long time. He told us that he is really lost and confused and has been looking for the way that he should go. After teaching him for awhile, I knew that this was my opportunity to invite him to follow the example of our Savior and be baptized, so even though I was terrrrrrified, I did! He had a few more questions, but by the time we left, he committed to be baptized on November 12!! Such an incredible experience. After we were done, we went back to the mission home for more training, dinner, and to find out our first assignments. I leaned over to Sister Whittaker, and even though I was so sad to leave her, said how great I think it would be to have Sister Coats as a trainer. Well, sure enough, I opened my letter from President, and I was assigned to serve with Sister Alexandra Coats as my trainer in the Lakeview area in the Omaha zone!
I have had an incredible week. I have met wonderful members, had meetings with some really great less active members of the church, and fallen in love with our investigators. One of those investigators is Ann. Apparently Ann is what missionaries call an eterni-gator (I'm still getting used to all this misison lingo) and has been investigating the church for about 2 years now. She has had some really hard experiences in her life lately that have prepared her heart to really be humble and accept God's will for her. So, when we found out that there was a possibility that we could have tickets to the GLADYS KNIGHT FIRESIDE, we called Ann and asked if she would want to go with us. We didn't think that she would because she has anxiety when she is in places with a lot of people, but she said that she would love to come. If you haven't heard about this, Gladys Knight organized a choir called the Saints Unified Voices and goes all over the country giving firesides for free. It is gospel music straight out of Baptist churches, performed by an LDS choir, and you can feel the Spirit like CRAZY. I wanted to cry the whole time. Gladys, her husband, and the man who has been her friend ever since she joined the church all spoke, and were very, very bold about the message of the Restoration. They essentially said, this is Christ's church, and if you want to follow Him, you need to be here. They even said that now that they had been at this fireside, they would be held accountable before God because they had heard of His truth. It was amazing. Ann felt the Spirit sooo strong, and she kept saying how grateful she was that she came. We met with her Sunday night, and after teaching her that faith and trust in God are necessary to keep going, she committed to prepare for baptism on November 10! We are so happy for her and I am praying so hard that she will be able to keep that committment, because I know that God will bless her for making efforts to follow Christ.
There are so many other people I could sit and tell you about, but I want to tell you about the Trail Center and how much I love it. Elder and Sister Watson are the directors, and I love them so much!! They go home in January, so I don't have very long with them, but they are great. Every Saturday morning we have training at the TC, so all of the Sisters are there together...meaning I get to see Sister Whitt all the time. It is really great. I think we are spending the night at her apartment on Friday night because we work at the TC that night and then we have training there in the morning and we live about 25 minutes away! Saturday after training, we had new sister orientation, and one of the things we had to do was take our companions on a tour of the gallery. This was super intimidating for me because Sister Coats is really incredible, and knows so much, and I hadn't even really been on a tour yet, much less given one! She gave me a tour first, and the Spirit was so strong. I had this very real understanding that I was supposed to be here, and that I had a work to do in the Trail Center. She asked me if anyone came to my mind that I wanted to share the gospel with, and Tevin kept coming to mind, so she called him yestserday haha. He was probably in practice, but we will see if he ever calls back. Love him. After she finished, I took her on tour. I don't know nearly as much as I would like to know about the pioneers, or even about being a missionary, but I know how to bear my testimony, and I know how to relate how hard that was to our lives. So I did that. And I saw how, as we are willing to follow our Heavenly Father and really submit our will to His, we will be led in doing His work. This is His work, and as I make efforts to do it His way, I know that He will bless me. It was an incredibly spiritual experience, and I was grateful for it. I love the Trail Center. You can feel the pioneers there. You can feel their sacrifice and their desire and their love. Being there is a huge blessing to me in my life, and I know already that I will never forget that feeling.
We live at a members home in our area, which is so nice, and we will be there until the end of December, which is when my training will be done, meaning Sister Coats will most likely get transferred and I will probably stay here in Lakeview! That means probably about 4 1/2 months of my mission will be spent here, which I am thrilled with because I really like it and I am really tired of not knowing who people are. It will be nice when I know the members and people better. I also found out that the date on my certificate is correct- my mission is over February 25 2014. Weird to think about right now. Apparently Trail Center sisters serve closer to 17 months total. Sister Coats was called full proselyting, so she will serve 18 months.
I can't think of anything else to say. I know there is more, but I still have to email President Weston and Elder Watson. Send letters to the address that is the mission office. They bring them to the Trail Center for us. I love you. I miss you! Tell Mattie happy birthday for me.
I love you to the moon and back. I'm having a good time.
Sister Farnsworth

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Message from Omaha

Last night we got a little surprise in our email!  We have established a connection to a couple who are serving in the same mission with Allison. Their daughter, Kami Spoelstra is in our ward, and we were able to meet them this past summer.  We are so appreciative for them taking the time to send us an email updating us on Allison, since we haven't heard from her since she arrived in Omaha!  Thanks Ellsworth's!! We love you!

Hello from Omaha....
I got permission to send you an email update from your sweet Sister Farnsworth after talking with her at the Trail Center tonight.   She mentioned that she didn't get to talk to you while in the Denver airport and knew you would want to know how things are going since arriving in the mission field.  So here's your late breaking news report:
Wed. night all the new elders & sisters met at Pres. Weston's for dinner, testimonies and first assignments.  We also got to be there as we missed out on the last new missionaries dinner they had.  So, we got in a good visit with your daughter that night and then again tonight at the Trail Center where she was assigned the same shift we were on.  We love her already and are amazed at how quickly she has adapted to missionary life!  Her trainer, Sister Coats, says she is a natural and hit the ground running!  They are already teaching new investigators and doing a remarkable job!  They are in the Lakeview ward and will serve there for at least 6 weeks (that's when next transfers might make changes.) Today at our Sat. morning training session with all the missionaries (sisters & couples at the Trail Center) Sister Farnsworth gave a sweet testimony and told a bit about herself.  She is such a sharp young lady....you've done a good job there!  You'll be receiving an email from her on Tues., I believe....so be patient!  This is such an amazing place, here at the Mormon Trail Center...the spirit of the pioneers is so evident, you can't help but feel they are still watching over this hallowed ground.  IT'S THE BEST MISSION IN THE CHURCH! Open-mouth smile
Thanks for sharing your daughter with us....she is a treasure!
Elder & Sister Ellsworth

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Last Week in the MTC

Well, we are now into our FOURTH and final week at the MTC. We had a different P day because we went to Temple Square today, and only ended up having half of a pday, which will make Papa happy! I feel like I have way more things to tell you than ever before because of how intense and wonderful this week has been, so I will write as much as I can and then send a letter FULL of information home too! I want to warn you that this keyboard is messed up, maybe because we are in the Spanish classroom building, so I am sorry if there are strange marks here!!
I made a list of things that I have to tell you. Priorities. First of all, I have seen Elder Aiono a bunch! He seems like he is doing really great, and he said to say thank you for the cupcakes! The next thing is that I wanted to ask if you would talk to Sister Zitar (sp) about if she would send me some of the details of her lessons with the missionaries. Anything she would like to tell me, anything that she struggled with understanding or that she really loved. I love hearing about real situations because it is kind of hard to imagine real situations being at the MTC haha. I also wanted to tell you about one of my favorite parts at the MTC. Every Tuesday night devotional we sing Called to Serve, which is AMAZING in a room of about 2000 missionaries. Stripling warriors anyone? However, on rare, and special occassions, we get to sing the Army of Helaman song. The best part about it is that instead of singing the words ¨we will be the Lord´s missionaries to bring the world His truth´´, we sing ¨we are NOW the Lord´s missionaries.¨ It is a powerful experience and I love it every time! I have also really loved studying lately in 1 Nephi 8. One thing that stuck out to me was that in vs. 33 it says that the numbers of the people mocking them were ¨great¨ which seems daunting, but in vs. 21, its says that we are NUMBERLESS.  Makes me feel like I can go on in my work!
OK, so a rundown of all the things that have happened. Last Friday we had in field orientation, which was amazing because it really got me excited to leave the MTC and arrive in Nebraska!! We learned so much, but we also had so much fun, which is something that I am seeing as a theme of my mission. We work SO hard and study as diligently as possible, but we definitely have fun while we are doing it. On Sunday we had our normal meetings, but then we got to attend the Departure Devotional with our elders. Over 500 misisonaries left just last week! It was amazing, and once again, it got us very excited to be out in the field, so it was really hard when we had to remember that we still were here for another week. I really do love the MTC, and will be sad to leave, but when you realize that there are REAL people waiting for you, you just want to go. Our elders left us on Tuesday night after some sadness, and we joined our new ¨district¨ of 30 sisters for the next week.
This is the biggest group of Visitor Center sisters that any of our teachers have ever seen. 22 are going to Temple Square, 4 to Mormon Battalion, 2 to DC, and Sister Whitt and I to WQ. This group is INCREDIBLE. We have Sisters from Flordia to California in the US, and from Honduras, Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines, Kazikstan (sp), India, the Dominican Republic, Japan, and many more places that I can not make my brain remember right now. Long day! It is so great to see all of these sisters come from all over the world to serve! Last night, I felt so incredibly lucky to be serving in a VC, because we learned about the online and technology based teaching we will get to do. We teach people who have found the gospel or have any questions about the church through Mormon.org. I LOVE this website. Because of it, online proselyting has just passed Salt Lake as the number 1 baptizing mission in the church! So, until we make Nebraska the number 1, I will have to use chat and phone calls to teach people all over the world. And yes, I mean all over the world, because through chat, the church has now officially been introduced to people and taught in EVERY single country in the entire world. It is amazing. I got to chat yesterday for the first time with a woman named Theresa who decided to get on mormon.org during her lunch break because she had seen the debate and was interested in Romney´s religion. I am so grateful that will be a tool for us in the next month particularly. So chat is exciting. I love it so much! On Wednesday we took a tour of Temple Square, and today, I SERVED THERE! When we got there, the APs said that no matter what our mission call said, today we are called to serve at Temple Square, and it was so much fun. It was really busy with conference being tomorrow, so I got to talk to tons of people! It was wonderful, and again, made me SO excited to go to Nebraska. I only have one more day of classes here at the MTC because class is canceled all day so we can watch conference tomorrow. I cant wait to hear what President Monson and the other wonderful speakers have to say. I feel like I need it so much more than any other time in my life!
So, I told you about our Romanian sister. She got a new sister for a roommate, also going to Romania this week! Sora Rivera (the new one) is from England, and is so nice! So, when she got here, we found out that her district was just going to be her and one elder. Now, this is really strange because sisters and elders are NEVER supposed to be alone together, and it would just happen in that situation, all the time. The night she got here, we were talking about how odd the whole situation was, and just joking, said watch, on top of it all, he won´t even speak English (he is from Italy). Well, sure enough, he showed up to the MTC in the middle of the night, and when we met him, he doesn´t speak a stitch of English!!!!!! We laughed so hard for about an hour. Both of them have really great attitudes, and Sora Rivera said it will just make them want to learn Romanian faster so they can communicate with each other. It is all so strange and funny.
Daddy, it sounds like your Grand Canyon hike was AWESOME! I did not love hearing about how hard it was at the end though! Haha. Hope Powell is fun, and I will talk to you when you´re going to Rocky Point! Mom. I am going to the airport at like 6 in the morning, so we should get there by 715 ish. I would imagine I will call you between 8 and 830 my time? Maybe later since my flight is not until 1015. I bought my calling card! It was really exciting! I got my packages, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am really grateful. Grandma and Papa, thank you so much for my package! I am so grateful!!!!!!! I hope Kelsey´s wedding was wonderful! I am sure it was. Tell her congratulations for me. Thank you for the work outs, we got them just before they canceled our gym for the rest of our time at the MTC. Sad. I got Susan´s announcement today! It looks great and I am so excited for her and Brian! The BYU game is going on right now. GO COUGS.
I have about a million more things to tell you, so I will write them home in my letter. I love you to the moon and back, and I promise I´m ¨having a good time¨ :) I can´t believe that I leave on TUESDAY MORNING. Send all letters from here on out, unless they are Dear Elders (which I LOVE) to Nebraska, my new home!!!!!!! I will talk to you so soon!!
Sister Farnsworth