Thursday, May 30, 2013

Calling at Airport

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Just call me The Rookie.  I didn't think to check my email last night! Learn from my mistake if you have a missionary at any level, especially a newbie...check your emails even if logic tells you not to.  I had no idea she would get a chance to write and update us before she left the MTC.  It is good to know there is some mercy when it comes to this communication issue a mother must endure.  I am classifying this as: "typical lack of communication with a missionary to further increase the faith and patience of a mother."  I  finally see the light...this is why missionary moms act a little psychotic and sit by the computer to check emails 40 times a day, there just might be an email.  

So, without seeing this email first, I anticipated her call between 4am and 3pm on Wednesday. I thought we would have an hour to talk (unrealistic expectation right there).  She called at 4am sharp and spoke for a few minutes then got disconnected.  She called again, and we chatted a few more minutes, then she spoke to David, and then to her very sleepy sisters who remember it all as a dream and back to me.  That is when I found out she only had 15 minutes to chat and the time was almost over.  In essence, I averaged 5 minutes (between the hello, how are you, disconnect, hello, asked a few questions, I love you and the goodbye) and everyone else 2 minutes. The jist of the conversation: she is excited and nervous for D.C.  She is traveling with 26 other missionaries going to D.C. and she loves and misses us.  Since when did fifteen minutes become the speed of light.  I missed that physics headline! It's a true fact in this situation.

Needless to say, reading this email first would have helped me strategize the phone call a little better! Hands down, it was wonderful to hear her voice for the precious few minutes we spoke. 

Thanks again for all your love and support! I know it is a tremendous strength to her.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hey Family!!

First off, THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER for all the letters and support!! It really brightens up my day to hear from everyone.  I am sorry I can't write everyone back all at once! If I had the time I totally would! But I will do it! It just might take a couple weeks.  You are always in my prayers and I am forever grateful for wonderful family and friends!!

So it is my "P-day" today, well sort of.  We get to do laundry and stuff before we leave tomorrow!  I hope you get this before tomorrow morning.  So my flight leaves at 6 am from SLC.  I just want to make sure that you know that I will be calling from 5 am Utah time, so 4 am your time! I know that is super early!!! Sorry! We do have a layover in the Dallas Airport, but since we have to make a connecting flight, I don't know if I would have time to call you then.  So it is probably safer to call in the morning.  So just be ready from 4 am on!!!  Here is a little update on what I have been doing...

These past 5 days have flown by! Wow! What a wonderful time I have had at the MTC! I love all of my teachers so much! They have made this experience wonderful.  I hope my last letter didn't seem to Debbie downer-ish!! It has been hard, of course, but with every trial comes sooooo many blessings!!!  The past couple days have been wonderful! My companion and I have seen ourselves grow in the past couple days.  We are really trying to teach with humility and invite the Spirit into our lessons.  I know that there is ALWAYS something to improve on, but I have realized that as long as I am doing my best and being obedient I can't go wrong.  

We are all done teaching our "investigators".  It was such a neat experience to teach lessons and practice.  The neatest part of it was that you can feel the Spirit and know what to say even when it isn't a real investigator.  The Spirit still helps prepare us and tell us what to say, even in role plays!!

Ok but the neatest experience yet!!! For the Sunday devotional, we had Elder Allen, a member of the Seventy, come and speak to us.  He got up and said that he had a talk prepared but  felt prompted to change topics because we were watching Sister Monson's funeral service after the devotional.  So he told us that he was just going to speak by the Spirit and speak to us about what we really needed to hear.  So the best part about this experience was that as he got up to speak, I said a little prayer to Heavenly Father asking Him to help me with a concern that I had been thinking about all day.  About 10 seconds after I finished my prayer, Elder Allen started telling us that he was going to speak by the Spirit and hoped that he would be guided to answer all of our questions/concerns/doubts!!! That was seriously an instantaneous answer to my prayer! WOW! And truly, everything that he said comforted me.  As he was speaking, he was very honest with us.  He kept saying, "Oh, I just had another thought" and then would tell us about it.  The most powerful part of the meeting was when he had us watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing, "Come, Come Ye Saints".  Then he had us sing it with them!!  As I listened to the words the first time, the lyrics "Tis better far for us to strive, our useless cares from us to drive" stuck out to me.  Yes, this mission will be hard, but so many more blessings will come (even salvation) because I really devoted ALL of myself to Heavenly Father's work! I just really want to be the best missionary that I can be!!  That experience was such a testimony builder of how the Spirit can touch each and every single one of our hearts!  And the Spirit KNOWS each and every one of us.  That is why when we rely on the Spirit, we can be an answer to someone's prayers.  

Some fun little things that have happened in the past 2 weeks:

The first few days of class, I was asked to say the prayer at least 3 or 4 times a day.  My district now says that I have a "praying face".  I don't know what that means, but I guess it can't be a bad thing, right? Needless to say, the last 2 days here I haven't said any prayers because I was asked so much in the beginning.  

My roommates and I sing ALL THE TIME!  It is so much fun!  All of us have pretty decent voices, and we love to try and harmonize! Sometimes it turns out, other times it doesn't.  We just laugh and have fun no matter what :)  We also made up lyrics to the cup song from Pitch Perfect about the Washington DC South mission while we were cleaning bathrooms for our service project.  
Yesterday we were walking to the cafeteria and an Elder said hi to us.  He kept walking and ran straight into a pole! Or so we thought.  We all freaked out, but he was just kidding! He hit his foot on the pole to make it vibrate.  Oh Elders! They keep the MTC happy and exciting!

I can't think of anything else right now, but it has all been so great!!  I am so grateful for laughter and optimism!!
Oh, Dad.  Don't worry about keeping my pen at the airport! I didn't have an extra on me, but I did ask the lady sitting next to me on the plane.  She was sweet enough to let me use it, and it was a good conversation starter.  We talked about where she was going..which was Rochester, NY and my mission.  I let her know that there were Church sites right by Rochester.   I felt like it was a good way to start off my mission, so thanks for keeping my pen! :)

Sorry this letter has been a little scatter-brained! I guess I am a little all over the place right now, trying to do laundry, pack, and get ready for DC!!!! It is really here!!! In a couple hours I will be out of the MTC and on a plane to DC!!  So the next time you hear from me I will be in DC!!! AHHHHH!!!!!


Sister Udall

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