Wow I only had to wait one day longer that usual but I feel like I have an extra weeks worth of stuff to say.
Things are getting crazy. Every week on Tuesday nights rumors fly about who will be speaking. We hadn't seen an apostle until last Tuesday when Elder Scott came. We couldn't believe it. Then last night Elder Oaks came. Both of them were so good in their own way.
Elder Scott is one of the most gentle people I can think of. I think he was a little sick so he didn't give handshakes like he normally does but he did give everyone a virtual hug- the one for the sisters was very discrete but with the elders he gave a pretty vigorous virtual hug. He's so nice and you can tell he still loves his wife so much. What a nice guy.
Then last night Elder Oaks talked and was so good. As usual his talk was very logical and well organized. I loved it. It's so refreshing to hear someone who actually thinks about the doctrine. I think missionaries are in particular danger of making things up. We’re surrounded by it all day and sometimes I think that leads to overzealous anziani making things up.
The theme for this week has been change. First off, they are replacing the floor in the kitchen because it had problems, but because of it they closed 2/3 of the serving lines. Now we have super long lines at every meal. An extra bonus is that we get to eat to a chorus of jackhammers. It’s like eating during a bombing raid, or under a jet engine. We have to yell at each other the whole time we're eating.
Speaking of yelling I really love talking to people in Italian when they don't understand. I can politely tell a Russian elder that I really wish he would pass me the ball and stop shooting air balls.
As you can probably tell this is a day later than normal. They changed the schedules for the whole MTC this week. We asked our branch presidency why and they told us that they went to a meeting for all the branch presidencies this week they heard about a lot of new changes coming to all missionary work. They couldn't tell us what they were but it sounds big. Everything should be in place by August 1 so we should know by then. There have been rumors for quite a while about changes as big as Preach My Gospel coming. I normally don't believe stuff like that but it certainly feels like something big is coming. The schedules, the meeting...I feel like something is rumbling and it's not just the jackhammers.
Last week I showered after we had gym in the evening. I was walking back to my room in my towel when I ran into some Samoan elders. They saw how I had wrapped my towel and told me I should do it their way. They don't speak English too well so it was an interesting conversation. Anyways one of them came up behind me and said I’ll show you. I tried to tell him "but I’m not wearing anything under my towel" but he just wrapped my arms around me from behind and started to retie my towel. I just decided that whatever happened would happen and if everyone saw me naked so be it. He tied it for me and I even stayed covered up the whole time. Everyone thought it was hilarious...and it was. I now tie my towel like a Samoan every day. I figure I went through too much to learn that not to do it.
Every week we write a letter to the branch president to give him an update on ourselves. We also write something we learned in the scriptures. This week I thought about prayers a lot. I was reading about prayer in the bible dictionary and it talks about how when we remember that God is our Heavenly Father, prayer becomes natural and instinctive. I think this is so cool. When we really understand why we pray- because we are God's children- it makes so much more sense and is so much more meaningful. A side note- doctrine is so important and I think sometimes we forget the significance of things we say a lot like- God is our Heavenly Father. Do we realize what this means? God-the creator of the universe, the God of Abraham and Isaac, Moses and Noah, is our Father. It's amazing. It's ironic how we forget the things we say the most. Back to the story, I wrote this in my letter and then in sacrament meeting the branch president spoke and pretty much just read my letter. I don't mind, I don't need credit, I already know I’m brilliant (just kidding, I’m humble) but it was so funny. Either we were really thinking the same thing this week or he really liked my letter.
One last funny story, last week I woke up really fast and saw that Anziano D'addabbo was still in bed. I flipped on the lights and said its seven o' clock lets go. D'addabbo looked at me like I was crazy. I looked at my clock and saw that it was actually 2 in the morning. Whoops! Oh well. I really am crazy.
I'm out of time but I love you and I miss you.
Ciao. ti voglio bene