Date

July 20, 2016

Area

MTC

Companion

Celeste Barton

Week 8: SURPRISE!!

Hello my devoted followers,

This week was full of lots of exciting things!  First off, Sister Barton and I got to temple square with Sister Pierre because she's from Brazil and they try to let everyone visit temple square.  For those of you who don' know, the Salt Lake Temple is a temple that took 40 years to build!!! The early Mormons who settled Salt Lake believed that the promises made in the temple were so important, that they sacrificed for 40 years to build it - and as you can see, it is beautiful.  It was also really weird to be outside of the MTC, and it was really fun go on the frontrunner again. (some elders were particularely amazing - our stop was the next one and a man got on the train.  These elders started talking to this man in their mission language (spanish) and gave him a pass along card.  I was so impressed by their diligence  and love for this man even though they only had a few minutes)

Funny Things:
- Playing volleyball at the MTC is an interesting experience. First, we generally play outside on the sand during the hottest time of the day so I think that we've lost all feeling in our feet. Secondly, missionaries laugh all the time. And Third, the problem with playing with missionaries is sometimes we're too polite. Ex: The ball is super high in the air and one says, "you go!" Then "no you can go" "please, I insist" "no, go for it" - and then the ball hits the ground in the middle of both of them. XD
- Guessing people's first names is really fun and sometimes really difficult - it's so funny to say my first name outloud now because I fully respond to Sister Atkinson
- Elder Atkinson (my cousin) came into the MTC last week, except he BROKE HIS NOSE wakeboarding the day before he came in.  I cried laughing because he STILL CAME.  So he was wearing a nose brace and it looks like it's healing well. :)

On Sunday, instead of a normal devotional we watched the "Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar.  (a talk he gave at the MTC a while ago which is one of my favorite talks. I'm told there is a similar version online someplace and if you can find it, I highly recommend it.) (we normally watch a movie of the apostles address but only after the devotional) But the talk is about how Christ always turned outwards in service when our natural inclination would be to turn inwards in selfishness. And because of that love, Christ was able to perform the atonement which can cleanse our sins and take away all our pains and heartache. (If you would like to know more about how that's possible, I have some friends who can teach you :D )At the beginning of watching this, the presidency said it would be a special showing, and I leaned over to Sister Barton and said, "wouldn't it be funny if real Elder Bednar walked out at the end". AND THEN HE DID!!! You could feel the love and the spirit when he entered and I know he is an apostle of God. He said some funny things but I loved when he talked about spiritual gifts being received so we can serve others. Also about how God loves us ONE BY ONE and knows us individually. I thought about the spirit - that is why the spirit testifies because it is thought the spirit that we can be taught and feel love <b>one by one</b>.

Sorry this was a long email but it's been a great week!! Love you all! Thank you so much for your prayers and I know that I have been blessed because of them <3

Love you!
Sister Atkinson




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