The myldsmail website has been down all day today because the Church was changing internet hosts – all the missionaries at the MTC who have P-Day today were pretty upset. Fortunately, the site is up and working again as of a few hours ago, so we’re all able to access our emails again.
Despite last week being the week of Christmas, we still had a pretty busy schedule. On Tuesday, we had a devotional by Elder Brent Nielson of the Quorum of the Seventy. He specifically requested the song, “He Sent His Son”, to be sung by the choir that night, which we did. In fact, he even asked for the song to be sung immediately preceding his talk, which is unusual since we usually sing the choir song right before the speaker’s wife’s talk instead of right after. In addition, we also practiced the song, “The First Noel”, in choir to prepare to sing it Christmas day for the devotional.
On Christmas eve, all classes ended at 2pm, which basically meant we didn’t have class since our district starts class at 1:30pm on Thursdays. That evening, we watched the video, 15 Witnesses, and had a live nativity scene, which was really nice.
On Christmas day, we heard from Elder Bednar! He likes to make all of his talks into Q+A sessions, so this time, he passed out 150 cell phones to us missionaries so that we would be able to text him questions that he would look through and choose some to answer on the spot (with his wife as well). In addition, the devotional was being streamed live to around 13 other Missionary Training Centers around the world with those missionaries having the opportunity to email in questions to him. Our big meal of the day was lunch, which was ham, scalloped potatoes, and green beans with bacon. After that, we bagged a sack dinner which we would eat later in our classroom. Before making our 30 minute phone calls home, we watched a live enactment of The Christmas Carol. Later that evening (just when we thought it couldn’t get any better), in the second devotional, David Archuleta came! He also brought along some friends including Lexi Walker (YouTube singing star – she’s only like 13 or 14 I think) to sing for us! Everyone was super excited that he was here.
The other district in our zone left early this morning. Now we’re down to only one district that’s comprised of 6 people…in the entire zone. We’ll have another missionary arrive tomorrow from Hong Kong to join us, but after that, according to the MTC chart, we won’t be receiving any new missionaries in our zone until all of us have already left (although supposedly the chart is very unreliable).
We don’t have anything special planned here at the MTC for New Years…the schedule is the same as usual, although I feel like there will be many who stay up anyways to celebrate! The forecast calls for more snow on Wednesday, so there should be quite a bit of snow on the ground by the end of the week!
Happy New Year!
Elder Austin Simonson