To start things off this is MY LAST MTC EMAIL. Seriously this completely flew by. I can't believe I'm already almost out of here. A lot happened this week so I'll try to remember what I can.
First of all, we got FLIGHT PLANS this last friday. So crazy. I was almost more excited for flight plans than I was getting my call (not really. not even close actually but I was excited to say the least). So we (Elder Martindale, Elder Dumbrell, and I) leave the Mtc at 4:45 AM on monday. We fly from Slc to Minnesota where we'll have a 5 hour layover, then Minnesota to Amsterdam. Yes. Amsterdam. And yes kate I will be singing Amsterdam by ID the whole time. We sadly only have a 1 hour layover there and then we go to Romania. We'll get to Romania around 1:00 PM their time. It's about 13 hours of straight flying. I've never been more excited.
Second important thing of the week was that we took a language assessment a week ago and we got our scores back and it kind of helps you know where you're at in the language. It's out of 7 and so 7 means you're a fluent native and 0 means you literally didn't say a word of Russian. I got a 3.56 which is actually crazy good. The highest was from Elder Martindale and he got a 3.94. I was really surprised because I was expecting a lower score. The teacher told me that I had nothing to worry about language wise and to keep up the good work. (Personally I think the score was a fluke because it said I did best in grammar but grammar is probably what I'm the worst at lol). Gift of Tongues is real haha.
Bad news for the week is that volleyball got banned from our zone:/ for those of you who don't know volleyball has been our lives for the past 8 weeks. Basically some people complained that it was getting too competitive so the branch presidency banned it. Pretty lame. But we've moved on and we've been playing basketball and soccer now. It hurts a little bit to see others playing volleyball right next to us:'( rip zone 9
You know other than those major things the rest of it has been pretty normal. We had our last skype TRC yesterday and it went really well. We left a message for someone on skype TRC and we sang love one another in russian and it was so awkward but also really funny. After the video ended we were just laughing because it was so bad haha.
A cool thing this week is specifically for the Tenney family back home. I found out how to say "If he dies, he dies," in Russian and I knew you would appreciate it the most. Shout out Rocky 4.
My mom sent me a package this week filled with really random things and one of the things was a bunch of rubber chickens that you can fling around. We we had an all out chicken fling war the other night and it was so funny. Other missionaries would walk past and say "the Russians are crazy." We also did a little bit of hacky sack (shout out Dad). One elder in our zone is super good at magic, especially card magic so he's been blowing our minds this week with his wizardry.
It's been a really spiritual week and also a really hard week. I had one of my favorite MTC experiences the other night while we were reading the Book of Mormon as a district. We read Helaman 5 and it was amazing. We were reading outside as the sun was going down and the weather was beautiful and everyone was sharing really cool insights on the chapter. Something I definitely won't forget.
I have learned so many things in the MTC in the time that I've been here. Like an overwhelming amount. I have grown so much, especially in my testimony and in my love for the Savior. As a district last night we were talking about how much we're going to miss each other and how much we've all learned from each other. One thing the MTC has done for me is given me such a huge desire to go out into the field. I've learned a lot about obedience and leadership. I've learned a lot about having the Spirit with you. I've realized how important goals and plans are. I've had some amazing teachers that have given me so much help. I've completely fallen in love with the scriptures and personal study time. Personal study never seems to be long enough. I could read the scriptures for hours now. I've made so many new friends and I've had so many great examples here. Everyday I learn a million new lessons that help me become a better missionary. I've loved every minute of the MTC, even through the hard times and the trash food. I'm so grateful for the love that I have felt over the past week. It's been an amazing experience that I know I'll never forget.
Stay tuned for the next episode of "Missionary Life with Elder Whiting" coming to you next week all the way in Romania and Moldova. Will he know enough Russian to get back? Or will he find himself in a foreign land with no idea what he's doing? Probably the second.
My next email will come a week from this next monday so hold tight. I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for the emails and packages I've received. I can't wait to see what happens next.