Wow Christmas was such an amazing experience, and i have learned so much. We had to get up at 6 am and run over and get our continental breakfast, which wasn't much just bagels and oatmeal. Later i found out that main campus had sausage, eggs and biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I got a little jealous. We then emailed home for about 20 minutes which was the email i sent yesterday. And then we were bused over to main campus and we had homerooms in the main building where the cafeteria was. We had the Christmas talent show from all the Elders and Sisters that tried out. I didn't get a chance, but that is alright. We had one sister from our district play the violin and it was really good. We had some zones sing carols and duets on the piano, cello, guitar, and a ukelali. It was great, the best ones that i loved was this elder that did a bottle dance, he had the bottle on his head and he did a dance and he was singing the whole time like "da da da bada da da" kinda like from the Fiddler on the roof, it was great, and the best one was a magician and he was amazing, think of the magician at mom's fair and this kid was like him or even better it was amazing. He was pulling stuff out of everywhere and it was great. He was the only one who got a standing ovation from the 1,800 elders and sisters in that conference room.
After the talent show we had Lunch and i was in heaven, the food was so much better on main campus and it was amazing i loved it so much!! we had turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, a huge salad bar, it was delicious, i didn't get a chance to eat the soup but i know it would have been delicious. We then had choir practice and it is such a beautiful song, 'Where shepherds lately knelt' i think that is what it was called but it was beautiful and we sang it for Elder David A Bednar, who came and talked to us missionaries. They had the camera zoom up on me during the singing, it was great, the apostle saw me, through the T.V. screen. He did an amazing talk and something that has never been done in the MTC, he passed out 200 cell phones to us all and we were asked to text his ipad with questions that we had and he would look at them and then answer them. It was phenomenal, plus it was broadcasted to all the other 12 MTC's in the world and they all cellphones as well, and texting him at the same time. He answered a couple from London and one from south america. It was amazing his main theme through all of the questions that were being asked was the Atonement and how Christ suffered for us, and how we need to turn outward and lose ourselves in the work of the lord. I love that one part he said that we were called to be a full time missionary, and the place where we are going is where we need to be but if we get reassigned then that is where we need to be, nothing happens by coincidence, the only thing that we are truly called to is to be a full-time missionary, that is the calling.
My favorite part about the whole day was when after Elder Bednar talked with us we went back to our homerooms and we all sat in a circle and our district leader, Elder Hill, stood up and said that we could bear our testimony or a thought that we had about the talk and what we felt. Everyone bore their testimony except two people i think, my companion and an elder. Anyway, we were sharing and i was looking at my notes and i saw what i had written down and Sister Bednar had spoken before Elder Bednar and she had said that 'we were given the name tag" and i was looking at that and i thought about my time in Disney and how that name tag gave me a title and what people expected out of me and who i represented and then i thought about the name tag that i had on my shirt. And i didn't want to get up and share because i usually don't share my testimony but i remember what president Jones had blessed me with to be bold and not to shy away and I stood up and I told everyone about my experience at Disney and how the name tags that I was given was sprinkled with pixie dust and we had to have lessons on how to be happy and then i touched my name tag and said "this one is different, it doesn't have the fancy stuff that goes with a Disney name tag, they probably just slid it through a laminator with our names on it. this name tag that we wear is special, it has the name Jesus Christ on it, and everyone knows who we are, this is who we represent, this is who we are and this is who we want to become like. The only name that matters is Jesus Christ, not your own name, or the church but Jesus Christ. I told them that I know Heavenly Father loves us and that His son Jesus Christ lives." It felt so good to testify of Jesus and I could feel the heat rise from me and a feeling of warmth and happiness.
Christmas was the best day ever for me. We had a jazz player from BYU come, Ray Smith, he was incredible, also Sister Nally (the MTC president's wife) did a duet with him on the organ without any music. This woman is incredible, she just sits down and plays any kind of song, on the piano or the organ and she uses her feet as well, i'm so shocked. Everyone was kinda falling asleep to the music it was sweet and tender and just fun to listen to. We then had Dinner, which was a sack dinner, sandwich, chips, bottled water, the best. We then watched the Christmas show that Uncle Vince helped direct last year, with the Candy Bomber and they dropped all the candy form the conference center ceiling. For the Elders and Sister's they had a bag of popcorn for each one of us and they brought in garbage bag after garbage bag filled with rather large bags of popcorn and they passed them out to the Elder's and Sister's it was great everyone was having a wonderful time and the music was fantastic. I loved Christmas day here it was amazing. I can't wait for Christmas in Mexico!!!!
I love being at the MTC and the wonderful spirit that it brings, the language is still so hard to learn for me but i can understand some words, My companion and I still struggle a little but we are definitely better than we were last week and it is a working progress. I am memorizing the lesson's in Spanish and I have the First Vision down, i just have to get the rest of the lesson down. I love teaching it is probably one of my favorite things to do even though i have no idea what they are saying, i still wont understand anything anyone is saying when i go down to mexico, because the Spanish they teach here is different then the Spanish down in Mexico. Anyway, I am anxious and ready to start teaching and to have wonderful experiences, i am so happy to be here and thrilled to be able to wear Jesus's name on me. I am loving every moment here at the MTC whether hard or easy, good or bad, this is where i am meant to be. Thank you for your letters and the presents again, I have already taken about 200 pictures and I can't wait to share them with you when I get home. I love each and everyone of you and the spirit that you have. I know that this church is true, I know that Heavenly Father loves me and I know that Jesus Christ Lives. I love you all.
Sunset at the MTC in Provo
Christmas Presents for the Sisters
Parting of the Hair - Elders Smith, Hill, Cardenas, & Kennedy
Christmas Morning Sleepover
MTC Main Campus Cafeteria, Christmas Lunch
Elders Smith & Hill sleep during the Jazz Concert
Christmas Sack Dinner - Elders Smith, Hill, Cardenas, & Kennedy