Hello My People,
Your letters make me so happy. How are you all such awesome people!?
Nate, congrats on finishing quals! I'm sure you'll pass. Not even worried. How are the mission preparations coming? Man, those last 3 weeks before I left were so crazy. I'm sure you're in the middle of that right now. Onward! Come join the happy throng out here in these white fields! It's great, as you know.
So the biggest news this week is that we got our flight plans!! We leave for Portugal, all 43 of us (!), next Tuesday at 5:00 a.m. WOO!! I leave for Lisbon in less than a WEEK!! I guess there are some missionaries coming from the Mozambique MTC too, because President Fluckiger is getting 50+ newbiesnext Tuesday. Wowza. They've had a goal in the mission to get 5,000 new investigators throughout the mission for us to teach when we arrive. Holy Moly. I wonder where I'll serve, who my trainer will be, what the living situation will be like, etc, etc. So exciting!
We'll fly SLC to Atlanta to Amsterdam (overnight flight) to Lisbon. I'll have a 3-hour layover in Atlanta, during which I plan on talking your ears off. It's 2:19 pm to 5:30 pm Atlanta time (so 12:19 to 3:30 pm for you, right? Except Wayne of course.) Let me know if you want me to do anything other than call with a phone card. And, oh yeah, I NEED YOUR PHONE NUMBERS!!!!! I don't have Mom's new cell # memorized, nor Wayne's or Nate's. So, Mom, could you send me a letter this week with those numbers? Home is X, right? Better put that one in too just in case the spot it's occupying in my brain is replaced with Portuguese vocab in the next 6 days. :) Dear Elder works really well - I get it the same day. I guess I get it the same day if you deliver it, too. Whatever you prefer! Thank you!!
I got to play my violin in Mission Conferece!, as you know, I guess. That is crazy that Becky Li videotaped it and sent it to you! It was cool that Laura Dunn was the music coordinator. She was there for the sound check and asked me, "Now, Sandholtz .... my husband's cousin is married to a man named Kurt Sandholtz. Kurt and Carrie Sandholtz. Do you know them?" HA! Do I know them?! You better believe I know them!! That was a sweet moment. Her husband was there too, and I'm glad he was, because some lady told me I would play right after the opening prayer, so after the prayer I walked up to get my violin out of its case by the piano, but then the guy conducting the meeting said "We'll now hear from Sister Seamons ..." and announced that the musical number would be half way through the program, so I kind of just walked to the nearest open chair, which was right by Val Dunn, and his very kind smile made me feel like less of an idiot. :) I'm excited to get to know Grandpa Gene better. Val Dunn would be his nephew, right?
Anyway, playing a musical number in the MTC is great because you feel like a celebrity for the rest of the day. People all over the place are like, "Hey! You played your violin today!" One person told me, "I've never heard a violin sound that beautiful before, and that's saying something; I've heard a lot of violins!". Another, "That sounded like butter!"
Favorite Sister Duke-ism from the week: We were taking showers after gym and she kicked an empty bottle of shampoo into my shower. I kicked it back, and my flip-flop went with it. Without missing a beat she exclaimed, "Oh! Senior Companion has given me a shoe! Dobby is FREE!!"
Today we dyed our eyelashes with this kit she had. Lamest thing ever. Hardly made any difference and it stings your eyeballs. Stuff like that is never worth it.
Oh my goodness, Brother Whitaker has been telling us more stories about Portugal (he serverd there) and it makes me so excited! And nervous. This week he told us how delicious all the bread and pastries and chocolate is in Portugal. He said that some of the missionaries he knew got diabetes while serving there. YIKES!!!!! Pray that I will be able to have restraint and not come home from my mission obese and diabetic. But seriously.
Favorite Portuguese words of the week: wow = uau. haha! oh, and being congested/having a head cold = constipacao. hehe.
All right celestial people. I have to go. This is the last email you will get from me in the MTC. Oh man. I'm really excited to leave the MTC, but it sure has been a good six weeks. I love my district. Sister Duke and I are going to run a marathon together after our missions. Pray that my trainer will love me even half as much as Sister Duke does.
I love you. Take care of yourselves and each other. Faith is powerful.
PS. Updates on Bonnie? Has she started chemo yet?