Tuesday, September 30, 2008

MTC -- Week 4

I got Mom's Dear Elder. I also got grandma's DearElder. From what Grandma said, I got the impression that my info was put on my blog. That makes me happy. What makes me sad is that no one else used it. I wouldn't complain except that my companion gets three letters a day and I get two letters a week. I send out more than I get back and it gets a little depressing sometimes. All these people who said they would write me fell through. Oh well, I'm not here so people could write me, I'm here to serve the Lord. I'll get over it. But you know, if you feel like dropping me a Dear Elder now and then, I won't complain.

Next week we're supposed to teach at the TRC in Italian. So yesterday FRatello Bonham told us to prepare to teach him the lesson in Italian. So we all panicked. There wasn't time to all teach him, so we split up and taught each other instead. The Elders we were teaching with were amazing! Sorella Pitkin and I wrote word for word what we wanted to say, and we only got through half of the lesson. We had to do the other half ad lib. I almost wonder if the second half wasn't better and more heartfelt. However, the other elders did the whole thing from heart. How in the world can someone know that much Italian?

And I have another story about this Elder. Earlier in the week I confessed to suspecting that he had been in a gang before his mission. He won't let me forget that though, always bringing up the fact that I thought he was in a gang. However, shortly after I had asked and he had responded that he hadn't been in a gang, he told us that he had been friends with gang members who were now in jail; but at the time he didn't know that about them. He just has the mannerisms of someone who should be feared, but he's a really good elder and a nice person to be around. I mean that in way for the elders. In other words, he seems to get along with people pretty well. There have been some elders that I've been worried about because they were different, but this elder is really good at making people feel included and needed. People are interesting, and not always as you expect.

Do you know what the Referral Center is? It's where you make outbound calls to see if people received things they ordered. I haven't had much success there, I just wanted to tell you about it. Also, our district is allowed to do chat, but I haven't had a chat yet.

On Sunday, we had an excellent fireside about being good companions from Stephen B Allen. And my time is now flashing at me so I've got to hurry.

The church is true. The work will go forth. I plan on being a missionary of power. The splinter that was in my hand the day before I left is now finally gone.

Love Sorella Bjarnason

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MTC -- Week 3

To keep things simple for me, I'm only going to email Mom. I enjoy getting emails, but I prefer snail mail. However, do you know about DearElder.com? Check it out. I believe the process is that you go to that sight, find me, and then send an email to that site. Then it prints out at the MTC and I can get it that same day. I'm a huge fan of that. Okay, I don't know if that's how it works exactly, but I know that my cousin has Dear Eldered me and another person who didn't have my address, but must have known I was in the MTC. This is great because then I get a written form of your letter.

This week, one of the Anziani told me that I reminded him of a girl. He said that all our mannerisms were exactly alike. I don't know why this became such a big deal for me, but he's going to give me her address today so I can write her. I'm really excited to write my "twin."

What else has happened? Sack lunches are annoying. My companion doesn't really care for breakfast and hates waiting in line for something she doesn't want. I, on the other hand, think it's ridiculous to buy from a vending machine what you can get for free. That's been on my mind lately.

Hmm, my laundry is done, but I have 12 minutes left on the computer. It's a battle to get a computer, I think I'll just let my clothes sit in the dryer. Sorry to those other missionaries. However, I am currently looking at an empty dryer...two empty driers...people can live.

Gym: My companion, Sorella Pitkin, decided that she likes to run. I didn't really think that I liked to run, however, I've kind of picked up where she left off. In other words, I end up running more often then she does. I do like to get a work out and sometimes she doesn't feel like getting sweaty. I do like running with her though because I never can keep track of how many laps I've run. I always get distracted.

Last week we played a volleyball game Rome verses Milan. That was fun. People keep arguing of who dominated who. I, personally, think Rome did a better job, but both sides had their streaks.

Twice a week we have gym right after a meal. The first time this happened I wanted to throw up. Now I think I'm holding my food better. They definitely feed us well here.

Sorella Bjarnason

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Addendum to 2nd e-mail from MTC

I have no idea what I've already told you. My companion makes a list of what she wants to tell people for when she can write them. I think I'll start doing that, if I remember. My Preparation Day is Tuesday. Recently we've been told not to call it P-day. Yesterday in our class we watched a talk from a while ago by Elder Holland. HE called it P-day. Oh well, people are interesting.

I'm feeling really dumb for not bringing a lot of stuff. I had plenty of room in my bags. I wish I hadn't packed so light.

How much have I told you about Sorella Pitkin? She's from Utah, but has been a nanny in New York off and on since high school. She knew Elder Helps while he was on his mission in New York. Small World.

Then there's Elder Wiggant. He knows the Birkel family in Oregon. Jason Birkel was a bug boy in Modesto for a couple of summers. Raeann knows him. anyway, so Elder Wiggant attended our singles' branch in June...but I wasn't there.

I'm alive. I have to be more bold because you never get anywhere if you don't stand a little taller. I'm doing my best.

Oh, and Italian is so close to Spanish. My Dad and I will be able to speak pretty easily without problems. I mean, I won't know the Spanish words, but they are so close, that people'll be able to figure it out. For example, what in spanish = que but in Italian it is che. They are pronounced exactly the same. Okay, I should probably get off because I've heard horror stories of the clock saying 5 minutes left and then the computer closing you out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week 2 -- MTC

One thing that has been difficult is using our time effectively. I came here knowing I would have to work hard. However, when everyone around you is talking about The Office and Twilight, it's hard to stay focused. And it's hard to tell people to change the subject when you really want to add your own two sense. I feel like our teachers have been lecturing us more on using our time wisely then on language. I guess its what we need though. Hopefully we'll work together now to become more spiritually minded. I at least intend on putting forth a greater effort to learn and grow.

Anziano is Elder. Anziani is Elders. And we have the best!

One thing that I've wondered is how people learn languages. I now know. It has nothing to do with having great teachers who know how to teach. It has everything to do with teaching yourself and going to the teachers for support. We have spent very little time on Italian, I feel like. We won't go over a lot of grammatical stuff...not like in class. No, our teachers will teach us what we want to know. If we want to know how to say something, they'll tell us. We had to beg them practically to teach us how to conjugate. I still don't understand sentence structure all the way, but that will have to come on my own study as I study Preach My Gospel in Italian.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah! How do people do this? My laundry loads are done and I have only 13 minutes left on the computer. Oh, but life is so great.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

First Missionary Post--MTC

I love it here. They keep us way busy though. I don't feel like I have enough time to really do much. I also don't feel like I'm getting done everything that I'm supposed to.

I have to tell you about the Anziani in our group though. As far as I know, no other branch does this. However, when the Sorelle come to the lunch table, all of the Anziani stand up until she or they sit down. Coming one at a time gives them quite the exercise. Then, they take our lunch trays when we are finished eating. They are all so nice and kind.

On Sunday, as you know, it was fast Sunday. That meant Fast and Testimony Meeting. It was amazing! I figured there would be a bunch of us bringing up notes and bearing our testimonies from paper. That was my plan at least. However, I don't like feeling inferior (even though I know that's not how I should feel in this situation). When I saw that no one had notes and people were going off of memory, I decided to change my plans. It was amazing though, because I realized that I already knew enough to give a simple testimony. So I did.

We have the most amazing teachers. Sorella Jones and Fratello Bonham are zealous for the cause. Yesterday Fratello Bonham told us that he was using us to still affect Italy. They both loved their missions and love the people. Something Sorella Jones said hit me pretty strong. She said, "God would not waste his time and yours by sending you to a dead country." They have both told us that the reason missionary work is not going well there is because people are not bearing a strong enough testimony. Man, if nothing else, they sure are motivational!

(Rie's 1st missionary letter)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rie enters MTC

Rie has officially entered the MTC. She has been dancing, and jumping, and "eeeing" all around the house, airport, WalMart, and anywhere else she has been recently!! She has been so excited to serve a mission!! When it was time for parents and missionaries to separate, she was ready to leave and send us on our way!! She met another sister who was going to her same mission, and my last glance of Rie was of her finding a different passage out of the main room with her new sister missionary friend because the doorway was clogged with missionaries!! Not even a good-bye look for us!! Oh well!! Stay tuned to this site to hear updates of her mission!!

Kate, filling in for Rie.

Monday, September 01, 2008

My Little Sister

Ha ha, I'm still around. Full power hasn't been completely handed over quite yet.

Once upon a time there was a girl who was the youngest in her family. Once upon a time there was another girl who only had brothers. One day they met and became friends.

Of course, this is not a picture of that day. This is a picture of today when Jaymie called me up and said we needed to take pictures before I left. So here we are at the skater park.
We decided to take some pictures on a bridge. The purpose of this bridge is still a question mark. Maybe someone was planning on flooding the park one day. That would sure be a sight.

This is probably not how a missionary should act, but you're talking to the girl who's feeling on top of the world!!!

Here we are on the tire swing. I'm pretty sure those tire swings shrink. When I was young, they used to be...well...bigger!

Well, I was officially set apart last night. When we asked the stake president if there were any rules I was supposed to follow now, he declared that he wasn't worried about me. It's the elders that they are usually afraid won't make it to the MTC in one piece. I bet he wasn't imagining me climbing bridges and running through the skate park.