Monday, September 21, 2009

Wednesday, September 9: Eight and Final Week at the MTC

Hello Family and Friends!Brooke, thanks for your little e-mail! That was a fun surprise this morning. How are you all doing? It sounds like you had an awesome Labor Day weekend camping and spending time together. Mom, thanks so much for the package and the letter! The suitcase tags are absolutely adorable and just what I needed! The birthday list is awesome too! Thank you for doing that and sending the dramamine, baggies, and toothpaste. There are a few more things that I thought of that would be really helpful if you don't are so great and so willing to serve me. You do so much! I don't know if you saw the little note that I wrote on the box of the package I sent home but I could really use a brown downeast t-shirt with short sleeves, not just the cap sleeves. Also, I've wanted to buy another SD card for my camera so I can send the one I have now home and we can just keep sending 2 back and forth so you can get my pictures. The bookstore is all out of them and they don't know if they will get anymore in before I leave. The bookstore is also out of calling cards so I figure I just won't call home on Monday...just kidding! But if you could send me a calling card too, that would be great. And a small 3 oz. or less bottle of hairspray for my carry-on. I know that I am going to look horrible once I get to Belgium but I'll have to do whatever I can to look my best. Anyway, that is a lot to ask but I would appreciate it so much! This week has been awesome! Time is just speeding up more and more, probably because I want it to slow down, but I am getting more excited to leave in 5 days! I figured for this last e-mail from the MTC I would make a list of my 10 favorite things about the MTC, so here it goes! 1. My Branch! I love all of the missionaries that make up my Branch! They are awesome! I am so impressed by the 19 and 20 year old elders. They are so dedicated to the work, worthy, and enthusiastic about sharing the gospel! Yeah, yeah, there are the times when they are immature and goofy but I love them and I have learned so much from them, especially Elder Johnson and Elder Matthews who are in my class with Zuster Fritz and I. They have such strong testimonies and I am so excited to be able to serve with them in Belgium and the Netherlands...I know that they are going to do amazing things! I've loved being able to serve as Coordinating Sister...I am sad that is almost over. I have been so blessed to be able to see the examples of all of the sisters in my Branch. They have influenced me so much. I am thankful for my Branch Presidency and their wives. The Lafferty's, Creer's, and Chandler's are amazing and so dedicated to serving. I am going to miss all of these people but I will remember all that they have taught me!2. My teachers, Broeder Bond and Zuster Spencer, are outstanding! I really think that I was blessed to have the greatest teachers in the MTC. They are the perfect examples of the kind of teacher I want to be as I share the gospel. There Dutch is amazing and they have been so patient with me as I have worked to learn. They have taught me how important it is to teach by the Spirit and love those I teach...invaluable lessons. There testimonies have strengthened mine and I will miss them.3. Of course...Companions! I have already bragged about Zuster Fritz so much so you know how much I love her! I will miss her so much when we are seperated. She has been the greatest second companion that I could ever had. She has been a light and example to me!4. The RC! I called Bryce back on Friday and he had read and prayed. His faith is amazing to me and I think that as I talked with him on the phone he taught me more than I taught him. The spirit was very powerful and strong and I felt prompted to ask him if he would meet with the missionaries...and he agreed! I was so excited! I am going to write him a letter today and try to keep in touch with him to see how things go. I have total confidence that he will accept the gospel! Missionary work is so thrilling and brings so much joy!5. Receiving letters from all of you! You don't know how much it brightens my day to hear from you! THANK YOU for all of your love and support! Prayers too! I feel the power of your prayers and I am so thankful for your faith!6. Seeing familiar faces! I have seen so many people that I know here. President Allen, sisters from high school, Ryan (my co-counselor from EFY-crazy!), sisters from Utah State, Elder Grant...there is nothing like seeing a familiar face!7. Granola and peaches for breakfast. You know how I like routine and schedule and I have found that if I have granola and peaches every morning for breakfast I am happy and satisfied! Every other meal I can't say the same, but I do love breakfast!8. Firesides and Devotionals! So many wonderful speakers and members of the quorum of the seventy and the twelve. Absolutely amazing and so inspiring!9. Personal Study! I love the hour I get every day to study in the scriptures. I have learned so much here and I am so thankful for this opportunity. This is definitely not a sacrifice of time but a huge blessing!10. Sunday is my favorite day...although I do love everyday here. Sunday is really a day of rest and rejuvenation and I am so thankful for it! Well, I love you and I can't wait to talk to you on Monday. I will be letting you know about my flight plans in my letter home. Thank you so much once again! Never forget that FAMILIES ARE FOREVER! Love,Zuster Lauren Sharp

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