Prepare to Serve

Friday, May 30, 2014

We're leaving the 3rd... no wait, it's the 9th.

OK, this week might be a bit out of order, I can't really remember a lot of what happened last week, this wee kind of overshadowed it. What I do remember though it that we got new people in our zone! Some adorable little Croatian sisters and elders, two new Bulgarian elders, and a lone little Slovenian sister. We invite them into our debauchery and fun as often as we can, they are really fun. The Bulgarians joined us for Ninja today, and some of the Croatian sisters and the one Slovenian sister joined us and the Bulgarian sisters in celebrating Sister Talakai and sister Lewis' birthdays the other day. It was super fun, Sister Osmond got a cake and they had tons of party hats, Sister Pria took pictures (of which there were many, in varying degrees of silliness) it was great. We also chose various times before and after class times to sing happy birthday to them so loudly the whole building shook. With sister Talakai we hid in the Bulgarian room and when she walked in we bombarded her. With sister Lewis we were all just hanging out in the hall outside the Polish classroom (where everyone hangs out because we are the life of the party) and when she least expected it, we all surrounded her and started singing! It was super fun!

The reason for my subject line, and the reason I can't remember much of last week is this: On Monday, we had just started our consecration week which is where we speak in nothing but Polish for the whole week... I just tell you now before you get your hopes up about some amazing sorry where I couldn't speak Polish but now I can... our consecration week didn't last that long... :(

We came into class and Brat Tribe says (in Polish) "so this is your last week, right?"
Us - "what? no!"
Brat Tribe - "my schedule says you leave on the 3rd"

So this caused much freaking out and also made us forget all about consecration week... so it was more of a consecration hour...

We went to the travel office, but it was closed for memorial day, so we spent all of Monday freaking out, thinking that we were leaving next week. On Tuesday we checked the travel office and they said "we have you listed as leaving on the 9th"

So we calmed down. But then yesterday we come back from TRC and there's a note on our door that says we have infield orientation on Friday. You are only supposed to do that on the Thursday or Friday before you leave. So we were freaking out again. Brat Jensen said we were supposed to just go anyway, but that we are still leaving on the 9th, but we are freaking out wondering if we really are leaving on the 9th but the MTC thinks we are leaving on the 3rd, and what kind of problems will that cause, are we still going to be able to stay in our rooms, etc.? Finally Sister Young went and asked her boss for us, got the infield orientation thing cleared up (it's next week) and insists we are leaving on the 9th... we are still worrying a little, but not as much. We should find out, 100% for sure tomorrow.

So yeah, that has been the craziness of this week that has overshadowed all other craziness.
Today was pretty awesome too. They hold auditions to perform before devotionals and stuff every Thursday. Starszy Jourdan, Starszy Burdick, Elder Duncan, and Elder Howard (Bulgarians) have been practicing a song as a barbershop quartet, with Sestra Dubois as their accompanist. The song is a compilation of lead kindly light and brightly beams our father's mercy. They auditioned today for sister Nally (whose husband is the president of the MTC) and a few other sister who choose the music. They blew them away, seriously! Sister Nally was so excited, she added a few things to their arrangement and is writing a new piano part for Sestra Dubois and they are going to perform it next week. I'm going to use my new MP3 player to record it and maybe I can send it to y'all. While they were performing it (for like the third time, they we practicing it with sister Nally's new piano part) the other sisters were taking pictures of them and taking video, it was really fun!
I have been playing volleyball more, and I'm starting to get kinda good. I've started to sacrifice my body for the game, I try (keyword is 'try') not to dive (unless we are on the sand) but I will run across the court if I have to, to get the ball, leap into the air to swat it back over the net, even if my arms are killing me, and I am even willing to get hit bit a spike if I think I can keep the ball from hitting the ground. We don't keep score but that doesn't mean the game doesn't get intense, it is awesome!
Starszy Torres would like me to let you all know that he is here :) he's a funny thing.

We haven't had too much crazy in the class this week, I can't really remember for sure though. We had an imaginary shootout with the Bulgarians out of nowhere yesterday. Me and Siostra Holden just kicked open their door and started firing on them. I pulled out an imaginary grenade, then stepped out a bazooka and destroyed the whole class. Sister Lewis then stands up and starts firing back, she chucks a grenade, I scoop it up and throw it back. I look around the corner and she jumps out of nowhere and sticks me with a frag grenade. So i pull it off and throw it at her, she doges it and pulls out a sword. So I get a light shield and sword and we just started striking at each other. Just before the fight ended I had switched to throwing knives and Sister Lewis was deflecting them with her shield. It was a good time.
I've also been having fun with the word for Monkey in class. it is spelled Malpa ( the L has a slash through it so it's like a w so the pronunciation is something like mawpa) I've learned death by monkeys "smeirc malpem" (S and C have accents, and then there's the L funky) which is my favorite. The other day we were practicing using the verb for "to go (by vehicle)" and I was paired with my teacher Brat Jensen, because we have an uneven number in our district. At one point I asked him (in Polish) "Are you going to school on (by the means of) a monkey?" He looked at me in disbelief said (in English) "by the means of... a monkey?" then said (in Polish) "No, I'm going to school on (by the means of) the train... with a monkey" It was really fun.

We've also all started practicing the piano about every other day. each person only gets like 10 minutes, so it's a little ineffective, but whatever. I've found I can still play OK. If I run through the right hand a few times I can at least do that pretty well. I can still read the music alright and stuff too. It's just adding in the left hand that makes it difficult.
Yesterday we had another Skype TRC session with an actual Polish person in Poland. Her name was Ewa (basically Eve) and she was so nice! and patient. I understood almost everything she said, it was really great. According to Brat Jensen she is like the foundation of the church in Poland. Today Siostra Holden found her featured in an article on in Polish. She was so fun to teach though, it was a good time. Us and Starszy Jourdan and Starszy Sidwell were the only ones who got to teach though. they others couldn't get a hold of anyone.

That's pretty much all I remember right now of the past week, it was pretty chill. I am also running out of time, if I remember more I will send another one tonight. Or I will at least respond to any other emails I don't have time to respond to now.
Kocham Cie!

Thursday, May 22, 2014


This week felt long, it was really fun but so much happened that it just stretched out the whole week. There's a lot that I don't remember, but the thing that sticks out the most in my mind is Volleyball!
We played volleyball almost every day this week, mostly outside at the "beach" volleyball court. It started because the Finns challenged us to a battle, Finns vs. Pols (and Sestra Dubois). It was awesome! even though we didn't keep score we were super competitive about it, though it never stopped being fun, we are all the kind of people who can have fun and be funny while being super competitive, so it was all good. The last point decided the game though and we lost, which was a bummer, if we had actually been keeping score we would have won. Throughout the week we continued to play a lot, against the Bulgarians, against the Finns again, against like, everyone! it was great, I forgot how fun volleyball is!

We teach our investigator, Olek again today (he's actually Brat Tribe pretending to be Olek, but whatever). We were going to teach him yesterday but we had an interesting teaching opportunity sprung on us. We've known for a while that this was coming, from talking to the old Pols, but we didn't know it would happen yesterday. We had a skype visiting teaching sort of experience where we got to teach a lesson to a member of the church in Poland. it was really cool, and kind of terrifying, I have trouble talking to people over skype in English. It went alright though, I could understand a good deal of what he said, when the sound wasn't cutting out and I think he enjoyed our lesson. However, he had a roommate or a family member there who kept bugging him, so he got distracted a lot, trying to tell them that he was talking to us and they needed to leave him alone, it was kind of funny though. We've been told that later we might get a chance to teach a non-member or an inactive member in Poland.

Brat Tribe has been especially hilarious in class lately. We've been telling the others in our zone about him too, and he's become a bit of a celebrity. The other day he was telling us how we shouldn't teach. he said (in Polish) "sometimes Missionaries act like paratroopers, they just fly in, land in the middle of the battle and start firing bullets/the gospel at everyone around them." then he acted it out, putting on his parachute, jumping out a plane, and landing. Then he pulled an invisible gun off his back and started shooting at us all. at one point he pretended to kick open a door, fired at Starszy Sidwell and yelled "chrzezst!" (baptism) He then turned and kicked at Starszy Burdick, his foot was like five inches from his face, it was hilarious.

Then later, he was talking about transferring the polish to our brains using expressive gestures and talking with his hands. Suddenly he starts wriggling his hand around like a tentacle and brakes out of Polish to say "Tentacle of communication" then he sets his hand down on the top of Starszy Jourdan's head. It was completely out of nowhere, no one was quite sure why he did it, but we all just died!

The other thing that happened with our teachers needs a little bit of back story. Lately Brat Tribe has started knighting us with random stuff, the other day he did it with me and Siostra Holden's vocab books after testing us on our words (we got them right, that's why he did it). He also sometimes does it when passing us the Polska stick so we can explain concepts to the class (it's a pointer... for pointing at stuff). The other day Starszy Jourdan took a pencil and some string and turned it into a sword. When Brat Tribe saw it he swung it around like a rapier and then put it in his belt proudly. Brat Jensen held it like a sword for about a minute then flipped it around so that he was pointing at everything with a cross. But Siostra Young's reaction was the best. She saw it, picked it up, rolled her eyes and looked at us all with a look that clearly said "really guys?" Then she tried to use it as a pointer, but she could not focus. She would point, then she would see the handle, sigh and bring it back down to look at it mournfully. She tried that like 6 times before Starszy Johnson said "Skup, Prose!" (focus, please). Siostra young exploded! she yelled "Mnie?! Mnie, Skup!?" (me?! me, focus?!) and then chucked the pointer onto the table. We all just busted up laughing, her included, it was so funny. The next day we bought her a fancy collapsible silver pointer from the bookstore. She loves it. She plays with it all through class, and during her meeting with the Troika (Starszy Johnson, Owens, and Torres) she was using it to point at things on her own desk.

oh yeah, Brat Jensen is back from his vacation in Poland. In his absence we all compensated for his sassyness. So with him back, the sass in the classroom is so thick you can almost feel it. But at least it makes every day really entertaining.

OK, know that I have told you about what has been going on in class, I need to tell you all of the awesomeness of Sunday. On Sunday, we heard from our elders that our fireside that night was going to be really cool. It wasn't going to be broad casted though, so we knew we weren't getting a general authority, because they always broadcast it when we do. We got there super early. we just went straight from choir, and we were the only ones there at first. While we were waiting, the Starszy all got volunteered to be ushers. We sisters were fine, until Sestra Dubois goes "should we be ushers too?" and the guy goes, "sure!" Ugh, I was so annoyed. I watched the ushers every Sunday and Tuesday and made fun of them in my mind, I did not want to do that. The only benefit of being an usher is that you get to sit on the second row. So, the fireside starts and President Nally says "we're going to have a special fireside tonight, we are going to watch..." and for a second my heart leapt, I thought "have my dreams been answered? are we watching Frozen?!" Well obviously no, my prayers were not answered, we were instead watching Elder Bednar's Christmas devotional from two years ago "the character of Christ" admittedly, it is a really great talk, but we all say it on our first week, so we were a little bummed. During the video I noticed some weird stuff going on, a few elders across the isle from us were pulled out into the hall, President Nally got up and left near the end, and some people were re-arranged so that three seats were open in the second row. When it ended, the doors opened, and president Nalley came in, he motioned for us to stand, and President Bendar walked in behind him! It was sooo cool. And because we were Ushers we were right there! I was no longer mad at Sestra Dubois. It was a really experience though, he pretty much just held a discussion and people asked him lots of questions. It was so cool though, i got lots of notes.

Anyway, those were the highlights of the week, and what I can remember from it. I have my journal with me here, but even so I feel like I'm forgetting something. Whatever, if I think of anything else I wanted to tell y'all I'll either send another email later today, or I'll send a handwritten letter.
Kocham cie, and thank you for all your letters!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

3 Nephi 3:7

It was so awesome to talk to you all on Sunday! Being able to talk to our families got everyone totally pumped. Some of the presidency were worried that being able to call would make some people homesick, but that definitely wasn't the case in our district, if anything, it only strengthened us in our purpose. For the next hour or two after we were all super smiley and laughing and telling stories, it was a blast. Starszy Burdick and Starszy Jourdan got to talk to their girlfriends too so they were on cloud nine, it was adorable.

So, you might have looked up that scripture by now, and you might be confused... "did she mean 1 Nephi 3:7?" you might think, well, no, I did not. That scripture has become our motto with sports, it started with four-square but as we've started playing volleyball and ninja it has followed. I mention this because we just came from an epic game of ninja. in the game you use your hands to chop at everyone else's hands, or limbs if you are playing ultimate. When you hit their hand they can no longer use it, and when both hands are hit you are out. You start in a circle too, and you take turns depending on the order of people in the circle at the start. it never stays in a circle though. there is a lot of jumping around and yelling and rolling. At one point Starszy Jourdan was on the ground and Starszy Sidwell stood over him, so Starszy Jourdan picked him up and they became a super ninja... until Starszy Jourdan betrayed Starszy Sidwell and got one of his hands out.

The best part of the activity though was when Sestra Dubois was handing out tic tac's after getting out. Starszy Jourdan wanted one, but instead of holding out his hand, he always just leans back and open's his mouth like a baby bird. So, out of annoyance, Sestra Dubois just dropped the whole container in his mouth. So, Starszy Jourdan dumped the whole container in his mouth and spit them back at her, machine-gun style. We all just died laughing, but Starszy Johnson was the best, he was laughing so hard he could barely stand. It was great.

This past week was pretty great, partly because we discovered Ninja, but also because nearly everyone in our district and several of the Bulgarians all bought Sketchbooks this week, because of me. I've been drawing a lot lately, I had a lot of cool ideas for my comic. I'm going to send you one of them so Laney can colour it if she wants to (OK, the computer is being stupid right now so I can't get any pictures off my card, I'm going to try a different computer later, hopefully then I will be able to send them to you). Anyway, Elder Kingsley saw me drawing and asked if I could teach him how to draw, I gave him a few pointers. Then Sister Lewis started asking me for advice. Then the other day most of the Starszy sat themselves in front of my desk at personal study time and asked me to teach them. So I gave them lessons on how to draw people and I've been drawing them little examples for them to practice drawing since then. It's been really fun, a couple of them have goals to be able to copy some of the paintings they saw at the Sacred Gifts gallery. It's ambitious, but I commend them for it.

Remember how we had that whole theory about Brat Tribe and Siostra Mcadams? Yeah, we were way off! Brat Tribe has a girlfriend and he is going to propose to her in the next week or two. They've been friends since 9th grade when they took an art class together. He said she had a broken arm and he used to help her get her paints out of her bag. She got back from her mission in late December and they've been dating since early January. They dated before their missions, broke up before he left, then she left for he mission right after he got back. Then, a couple months before she got back she sent him an email an basically just said that she wanted to go out with him when she got home. He said when he read that he shut his laptop, went into his room and danced around for a little while. It's super cute, he plans to propose to her in the classroom where they first met. adorable!

We hosted again yesterday, more people came, but we had more Sisters than last week so I still only hosted two girls. It was pretty fun though, all of us Pols are getting a lot better with the Language so we could just talk to one another and freak out the newbies a bunch, it was really fun. When we got back to class Siostra Young was there and we spent the next like, half hour, while we were waiting for some of our district members, cracking her up. I can't remember most of what we told her, we threw a lot of broken Polish around and that alone had her dying. But I think the thing she laughed the most about was when we told her about Captain Texas.

OK, so the story behind Captain Texas is that Starszy Johnson somehow got ahold of a fake mustache. He wore it to gym and ran around talking in a cartoonishly outrageous Texas accent. There were a bunch of brand new Missionaries there that day and when they met him he said "just call me Captain Texas!". So now there are a bunch of missionaries around the campus who thing that Starszy Johnson is from Texas. Whenever they see him they say "hey Captain Texas" and he answers in his outrageous accent... they actually believe he is from Texas, and it is hilarious, because he so totally is not! Their always asking him about stuff like Nascar and he responds with basically a stand up comedy routine, saying something along the lines of "It's the best when they just throw it into fifth gear and go VROOOM, down that left turn!" (when you are reading that, give it the most obviously fake southern accent you can possibly imagine and it will sound about right) It's even better when Starszy Jourdan joins in because his voice get really high when he talks in a southern accent and it is really entertaining. Anyway, all the talk about Captain Texas, the terrible southern accents, and the broken Polish said in a southern accent was just killing Siostra Young. It was fantastic!

Oh, we had another apostle come and speak to us, L. Tom Perry, that's either five or six now, I've lost track. It's really cool and we've been told the next couple of weeks are going to be really exciting too, which we just assume means more general authorities are coming. I am convinced that the reason they are all coming now is that Starszy Jourdan is going to be our Prophet some day, so they all want to come while he's here. That also appears to be the general consensus of our district.

At our service activity this week we had a great moment. We were cleaning showers, which is oddly fun, mostly just because Sestra Dubois attack the shower with the hose like she is a fire woman, putting out fires and rescuing puppies. After you spray down the shower with the hose you have to attach a bottle of soap/chemical stuff that you then spray the shower with. The soap is toxic though and you aren't supposed to get it on you, so we wear gloves and glasses. Sestra Dubois had just attached the soap and started spraying down the shower when the soap container slipped of the hose and fell. Sestra Dubios' reaction was what made the moment so great, as soon as the soap came off the hose she was gone, she threw the hose and ran into the shower behind us. When we looked in there she was up against the wall and clutching it like a bomb when off. It was hilarious, we laughed so hard a Sister on the floor came by to make sure we were OK.

Well, I can't think of anything else that really happened this week. It was really fun, and we laughed a lot.

I love you all and I love getting your letters and emails! That goes for all those who have sent we things who are not in my immediately family as well, I'm sorry I haven't really bee able to respond, it is like crazy busy up in here!

Kocham Cie! (you all have no idea how much it bugs me that I can't use the correct letters for that. The 'E' at the end of Cie is supposed to have an accent under it.)

I'm really sorry if there are any parts of my letter where the wording is really off, there was an Elder near me singing, loudly and off key for most of the time and it was really hard to focus!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I can't think of a clever subject right now...

I'll start with the sad thing so that this ends happy. One of the Elder in our zone, going to Bulgaria speaking Turkish went home yesterday. He said he had some stuff he needed to take care of or something. We were all pretty bummed about it, he was cool and he always played four-square with us at gym.

But, last night I remembered that line in Kung Fu panda, "there is no such thing as coincidence" (or something like that, it's been a while since I saw that movie.) so I told our district, as we were wallowing in sadness that there is no such thing as coincidence and everything happens for a reason. We can't possibly know how things are going to work out in that Elder's life, only God knows and we have to trust him and stay strong, we can't let this bring us down. Anyway, we are all a lot happier today, so yay!

That's all the sad, now to the happy! I don't think I have mentioned yet that the Pols dominate at four-square. The four-square court pretty much belongs to us! it is awesome and we've been schooling newbies for a while now. The newbies from last week and the ones from yesterday.

 Speaking of, I was a host yesterday. I lead around brand new baby missionaries, scared out of their minds, just like I was four weeks ago! I did not want to do it at first though, they pulled us out of class and made us do it. I'm still kind of sick, not too bad, but just walking around the cafeteria wears out my lungs so badly I have a coughing fit before I can eat my food. So, leading several people all over campus, whilst hauling their bags did not sound like a good idea. I was alright though, I was able to keep my coughing fits to the times while they were in the bookstore or getting their badges, and it was really quite fun!

This week was pretty chill though, for the most part. Oh! except that Elder Holland came to speak to us on Tuesday. That was really cool. I think he's the fourth general authority who has come to speak to us since I got here, it's pretty crazy, there must be something really cool going on right now because there's no such thing as coincidence, ha ha!

Oh! another cool thing that happened! I found out that Elder Sidwell went to Kimber! the same time I was there. He was best friends with Kaleb Seran. He remembers Sifu too, I'm not sure if Sifu would remember him though, his name is Jeremy Sidwell. He mentioned Sifu specifically though and said that he didn't take Kung Fu, Spanish, or Drawing, so I think he was probably in Sifu's class.

Because Siostra McAdams left and Brat Jensen is on vacation we've started having some of the Slovak teachers teach us. It's cool because we've been able to see how similar our languages are. However, whenever Brat Bateman "teaches" he actually has us teach him because he is trying to learn Polish. It's kind of fun, but pretty difficult since we don't actually know Polish all that well and we can't rely on English because he won't speak anything other that Slovak, broken Polish, and occasionally Czech.

Today we get to go to see the Sacred Gifts exhibit at the MOA. the only reason I know the name of the exhibit is because they've had an announcement about it at almost every meal time every day this week, it's become a bit of a joke with all of us and we are getting kind of annoyed with it. We are all really excited to go though, and not just because we get to get away from the MTC for a couple of hours

As for what's been going on it class, Brat Tribe has not been able to keep it together at all this week, he keeps breaking into long tangents in English so he can tell us stories from his mission and show is missions pictures. We love it though, it's been tons of fun. The first time he did it, it was so he could tell us that we are better at Polish now, than he was when he landed in Poland. We've been told several times by teachers and the return missionaries who volunteer for us to teach them, that our Polish is really good and they are impressed by how quickly we are improving. It's pretty cool, though I still feel like I am struggling a bit, I should probably just be grateful that I can mostly understand what my teachers are say and I can somewhat get my point across when I am speaking, that's pretty good for four weeks right?

We've had some fun this week joking around with Sestra Dubois and Starszy Jourdan. They are seriously like the same person, they look alike, they have the same personality, similar interests, they are even both adopted. So we have a running joke that they are long lost siblings. They've totally run with it. Starszy Jourdan likes to say that they were triplets, but Sestra Dubios ate their other sibling in the womb. So, whenever he says something to annoy her, she says she'll eat him too, it's very silly.

Sestra Dubois is miss popular as well. Random Elders she's talked to like once keep asking for her email, she is getting very freaked out by it all and doesn't what to be mean, but also wants them to leave her alone. All the Elders in our district, especially Starszy Jourdan have been simultaneously really protective of her, and making fun of her to know end, it's been really entertaining.

I got the letter about Grandma and her back, I fasted for her on Sunday and I've been praying for her. I'm praying for all ya'lls too, so yeah.

I love you all, sorry this letter is so short, my week was kind of, same old same old... Mostly, I was sick...

P.S. Thank you for the cupcakes! I forgot to say this last week but they were really yummy.

I still feel like I'm forgetting something... but I don't know what it is... If I remember it I will shoot you another email later if I get the chance.

I can't wait to call on Sunday! Kocham Cie!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Boze Ojcze Nie Opuszczaj Nas

This week was quite emotional, for several reasons, still good, just... powerful... that's the only word I can think of to describe it, Polish is doing all kinds of crazy things to my English... First we found out Thursday night that Brat Jensen was going to be leaving for vacation on Saturday, going to Italy... Romania?... and Poland. He won't be back for a couple of weeks, and that was kind of a bummer, cuz we like having sassy Brat Jensen around to roll his eyes when we think we are speaking Polish well and whatnot. The more heartbreaking moment of last week came on Friday morning. We were just chilling in class with Siostra McAdams when she suddenly announces that she got a job in Kansas City and that was going to be her last day teaching, her last day in Provo even! There were many shocked cries of "czamu!" (a word which literally translates to a dramatic why!? and is pronounced like chamoo!). Then she bore her testimony, mostly in English, everyone got teary and she told us "when you start teaching at the MTC they tell you would will never forget your first group or your last and I know that is a true statement"(she said it better than that but I can't remember her exact wording. They she gave us all her email address and told us she'd love to hear from us, Siostra Holden and I got to hug her, and we all got a picture with her and then she was gone! it was so sad, she was my first investigator (fake, but still) she was my favorite teacher, and she had such an impact on my testimony and my teaching ability.

And the worst part was that latter that night we realised that she had foreshadowed her leaving at the start of the class when she had us sing "God be with you till we meet again". So, as we realised and collectively bulbbed and mentally kicked ourselves over that, we decided we would learn to sing that song in Polish, perfectly, get one of the other teachers to take a video of us singing it and send it to her. We haven't been able to do it yet though because after she left all but two of us in the whole class steadily got sick...

And thus begins the beginning of this week... which has been sucky! Only because of the sickness though. I am still sick and have almost completely lost my voice which is super dumb because I am just starting to feel like I am really getting the hang of the Language. We started learning cases and possessives and tenses and it's all just clicking in my brain, Polish words and making their way in to my everyday vocabulary without me even trying and I'm finally learning enough words and becoming confident enough in them to be able to say whole sentences and even think in Polish! (really simple sentences, but still) Everyone except Starszy Johnson and Starszy Burdick is miserably sick, Starszy Wieler was fine, but yesterday he started coughing and we fear for him...

Oh! and, before I tell the next story I wanted to say, I realised a couple of days ago that all my MTC family members are a character in Mass Effect. Now you're thinking, uh oh, Jensen's lost it, but seriously, when I started to think about it, it was totally obvious! Laney is probably the only one that will really follow this, so I'm including a short summary for each as well, I want you all to get a feel for these Elders and Sisters, as much as possible without actually meeting them.

Starszy Wieler - Thane - He's funny and he jokes around with us but when he talks about spiritual things he becomes so soft spoken and wise, he is so spiritual and kind!

Starszy Burdick - Garrus - He's a convert and he's like that backbone of the group, he doesn't aim for leadership position, but when he is put in the position he excels, he is always willing top let others take the wheel though, and when others are despairing he comes by and picks them up, and gives them encouragement.

Starszy Johnson - Joker - He is always making jokes, he cracks me up constantly! His sense of humor is often kind of dark, and it usually involves saying something just to get a rise out of Sestra Dubios. However, when he needs to step up and be a leader he can, though he still makes jokes the whole way.

Starszy Owens - Javik - He is so packed full of information, has an opinion on everything, and he is determined to share it all with you all the time even if you already know it! However, you can't imagine the group without him and you wouldn't want to!

Starszy Torres - Grunt - He's the youngest of us all, always trying to prove himself, sometimes he makes dumb discussions and puts his foot in his mouth but he is such a strong warrior and has an amazing testimony.

Starszy Sidwell - Mordin - He's a toothpick. He's hilarious, always making making us laugh. He's a fast talker who sings show tunes and he's a total Dramat Krolowa! lol, drama queen! those are his favorite word and he loves to use them when talking about himself. He was the first Starszy that I met, it was actually only about a minute after you guys dropped me off, I passed him with my bags and we started talking.

Starszy Jourdan - James - He's hilarious, a total jock, completely reckless in a really funny way, but you know that he can also be a great leader. He was our district leader for the last 3 weeks and he did a fantastic job, but he's still always really to make us laugh. Usually by pretending to get offended and dropping his stuff on the floor or storming out of the room pretending to cry, or by telling us some of the horrible things he did when he was a kid, like throwing a flaming roll of toilet paper at his brother, inside the house!

Siostra Holden - Miranda - She is super nice and funny, but also very centered on our task, which is great because I love to goof off! She's also really good with languages and which has been super helpful in teaching. She doesn't take guff from any of the Elders and acts almost like a mom to them, keeping them in line when they say stupid things and whatnot. (as an example, as I'm writing this I can hear Siostra Holden say to Starszy Jourdan and Torres "are you two being mean?" And Starszy Jourdan says "No MOM, we're being nice!")

Sestra Dubios - Jack - Unless she is laughing or making a joke she always seems to have a look on her face that says "I'm not listening to a word you are saying, I could care less" but you know that she is listening, that's just her face. She cracks me up all the time, her sense of humor is pretty dry and she does not take anyone's crap!

That's the group, district F and Sestra Dubios, who is honorary district F. Now, this week we were all sick, and the week before Starszy Wieler had gone out and gotten himself a TON of consecrated oil... just for fun, he's got like 5 vials hanging off his keys. So he kept telling everyone, "If you need a blessing, I'm prepared!" (Laney, picture him as Thane) So that's what everyone did! And when I got my blessing, I asked Starszy Wieler to perform it, because he is Thane and my train of thought was, if I were Shepard, choosing from my crew, who would I choose to perform it. The answer was obvious after that. When I chose him he said it would be the first time he'd actually get to preform the blessing, he'd only ever anointed before. The blessing he said was so sweet and so perfect for me I almost burst into tears right away. He said things that were almost word for word straight from my Patriarchal Blessing, he blessed me in learning the language and in becoming a teacher and a missionary. I felt sooo good after!

Soon after that day, I can't actually remember which day though because the days are sooo weird here! We taught our new investigator Olek, who is Brat Tribe. Teaching Olek has been hard because he is Agnostic, he doesn't believe in god and he doesn't understand how people can believe in things they can't see and he won't commit to praying, even on his own, he doesn't see the point in it. When we taught him, my throat was still pretty sore, on the mend, but still torn up, so I wasn't planing to say much. Once we got in there though I found myself talking more that Siostra Holden, which is way outside the norm for our lessons. He said that he wanted to know for sure, one way or the other if there is or isn't a God. I bore my testimony to him and told him firmly, that the ONLY way he would know for sure was by praying with a sincere heart and real faith that he would receive an answer, a feeling in his heart, or a sense of clam, something like that. I might have been a bit frustrated with him at this point because we've basically said the same thing for three lessons now and he has not budged! He asked what faith was though and I had him read Ether 12:6, he asked what a trial of faith was and I told about Edison failing to invent the light bulb over 2000 times.

Basically I said that Edison knew he could do it, he never lost faith and his failures made him stronger, and because he succeeded, he changed the world. Anyway, after that it seemed to finally click with him and he said he would think about praying. There's still a chance he might not, but it's the closest we've gotten with him so far. It was all the spirit, it was crazy! Anyway, those were the highlights of my week, it's been crazy, and different and we are all kind of annoyed about the schedule change ( again, sorry about the absence of a letter yesterday, P-day is now Thursdays).

I love you all! Kocham cie!

P.S. I'm way over time, so I can't write any more, but will ya'll send me pictures of those mass effect characters that correspond with my MTC family members? they want to see pictures of their characters, only Burdick knows what they look like. Also, Laney, look at your email!