Like Thanksgiving, Christmas at the MTC was unique. Christmas morning, I opened all my presents Harry Potter style. Thank you everyone who gave me gifts!!!! I am trying to write out as many letters in my spare time as I can. In the morning, I looked out the window to find a very fine layer of fresh snow, as one ought to have on Christmas morning. That was particularly fantastic considering that the last several weeks at the MTC had felt like a bland October and it was high time Utah ought to start acting like it should, with proper snow and all. Snow seems to do something positive for my mental well being for some unexplained reason so it made this week wonderful, and incredibly thankful I’m being sent to Sweden.
Christmas eve consisted of a talent show (oh Mormons and their pianos….) and watching the Nativity. Christmas morning I may have not had the Scott family traditions that I miss but I did have Elder Nelson come and talk to us. By the way, he wanted me to tell you Mum and Dad, “Thank you.” His message was understanding the doctrine of Christ and how it will help us and how it will help others we give it to…. for it is the ultimate gift of this earth and therefore very fitting to talk about on Christmas. He touched just nine factors of Jesus Christ’s doctrine and expressed the importance that we learn and understand them to the point that we can explain them simply, for too many missionaries over complicated things when true pure doctrine is simple and not just for old wise scholars, but for everyone, including children and adults alike. You can make the gospel very complex if you wish too, but as Elder Bednar said when he came here, “the things that really matter are very simple”.
After that, I was able to call home which was the best part of the entire week for my parents are awesome. Then, we all got herded back into 19M to watch this old lady with a very strong Utah accent pretend to be Mary alone on stage for thirty minutes, followed by the cast of Hale Theatre’s Christmas Carol singing some songs for us, (which was nostalgic having been in the play myself) and we watched Ephraim’s Rescue.
The rest of the week was a blur of language study and filling our heads with information we forget the next day and have to relearn all over again. Sometimes, I feel a bit like a sacrament cup, expected to take in a gallon of water being poured down on me….but I try my best and four days from now I’ll be flying to Svergie (Sweden) regardless, and what I don’t get here, I’ll get there.
On Sunday, David Archeluta came with Richard Elliot, the Motab organist who has some crazy skills you don’t see at conference. Richard Elliot spoke about the power of music, quoting Lorenzo from Merchant of Venice and talking about his younger years in a rock band. He did some underbar footwork on the organ….then David Archeluta trotted up to the stand and wow….he is tiny. He is like a little baby mouse with a voice of gold. We have called him ficka pojkvän (pocket boyfriend) because many of the Systers would not mind having him as a boyfriend and conveniently he can fit in your pocket so he is travel friendly. He sang some impressive numbers and did his little baby chuckles and there was much rejoicing.
Yesterday, Anthony D. Perkins of the seventy talked, who was the mission president for Taiwan (tip of the hat wag of the finger to dad). He talked about how we must being willing to change ourselves on the mission, and loving the people is essential. You can follow all the rules perfectly, but it takes love to make a difference.
Today I got to clean the temple (thus why this letter is late) which was a unique experience. Anywhere else you would think it was a tad bit excessive to dust every inch of everything that was dusted the day before so it does not feel like your dusting is very effective, but it is the temple. Being on the earth, the temple will never be perfectly clean, but we must make it as clean as humanly possible…..though I should never put as much attention and time into cleaning my house as I would the temple or I’ll never doing anything else.
It is four days until I leave and an overwhelming sensation of anticipation is filling me. I will never be a perfect missionary, but I feel ready for the field. My Swedish is broken and often grammatically incorrect, I do not know every quote I should know from the scriptures off the back of my hand. I will certainly be very much a stranger in a new land, but all of this I will improve on, and it is far better for me to do it in the field rather than hiding from the fear of responsibility. The next letter will be very different from the last several, for though the MTC is necessary for the field, I have a very strong feeling that it has not really prepared me for what is too come….which should be hard but absolutely amazing.
Farewell good old dry Utah. I must be off to Svergie, where the air is how it should be, like the northwest.
p.s. I guess I got this virus in my throat that is giving me bad coughs and trouble breathing so I had to get an x+ray and prescription drugs for it but it is all fine, nothing to worry about.
p.p.s. sorry the letter has no proper structure. I know it ought to be several paragraphs….short on time sorry.
p.p.p.s. lyckliga nya år (Happy New Year!)