Thank you again so much for all of the loving notes I got this week! It is so great to hear from all of you!
So this e-mail is going to be super disorganized...I don't really know where to start!
This is my 5th week in the MTC, which means that next week is my last week before going off into the mission field. Seeing as how my visa coming is a very unlikely event, I am expecting to be temporarily reassigned somewhere in the states next Thursday or Friday until my visa comes. Any guesses as to where I'll be going?
Tessa at the Provo Temple
On Friday, we got to do TRC! It was so awesome! We met with a member from Brazil, and we talked with her about prayer and it was really great. She was so sweet! They were short volunteers for the Spanish TRC, so sister Acavedo jumped all over that, and she asked if I could do a split with her to volunteer as Spanish speakers for missionaries to teach. My brain was so messed up from switching from Portuguese to Spanish. We met with the coordinator of the Spanish TRC, and I understood everything she said, but I couldn't not respond in Portuguese. She asked me if I spoke Spanish, and I said, "Sim, Eu hablo espanol." It's blatant spanguese. It was bad. I couldn't for the life of me speak Spanish. Luckily, for me, the Spanish speaking missionaries got lost somewhere, and they had a crazy surplus of volunteers. There was a senior couple that was volunteering who were from Brazil, but also spoke Spanish, so Sister Acavedo and I taught them in Portuguese. They were the absolute cutest couple, and we didn't really end up teaching them, but mostly they just told us stories. They were adorable. It was really cool, because they were talking for a solid 40 minutes about the history of the church in Brazil, and I could understand almost everything they said. It was awesome!
I've been wicked sick all week, with the black plague, I'm pretty sure. Sore throat, headache, fever, cough, stuffy nose and all that good stuff. I went to the doctor to get a strep test just to make sure, and it's not strep. This doctor was very sweet, but it seemed like he might have had a somewhat recalcitrant attitude, because he suggested that I get plenty of extra rest. Missionaries sleep for 8 hours a day and that's it. #exactobedience. Anyways, I am mostly better now which is good.
Tessa and her companion Sister Spencer on P (preparation) Day
So this disease started Sunday morning, of course, because that was the day that I was going to sing in sacrament meeting. When I woke up, I felt like I swallowed a million knives and then tried to wash it down with fire. Perhaps that's a bit of a hyperbole, but I would like to express that my throat hurt wicked bad to the point where I could barely talk. Anyways, so I was sitting in Sacrament meeting, minutes before my performance with Sister Guynn and I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to do it. I prayed really hard that I would be able to do it, and I went up to sing not really knowing if I was going to severely embarrass myself or not. It was an absolute miracle. I sang just a well as I did when we practiced earlier and it actually went really well. Everyone in our zone seemed to really enjoy it. It was such a miracle!
Anyways, I was feeling better enough Sunday night to do choir, so I went and I'm so glad I did! We prepared Jesus Once of Humble Birth for the devotional on Tuesday. Our choir director, Brother Eggart, really wanted to do a particular arrangement of that song, and the MTC didn't have enough copies. So he called the publisher of the music, and he donated a bunch of copied with the condition that the missionaries would be able to keep the music. So now I have a really cool arrangement of that hymn (which I love by the way). But wait, there's more! Brother Eggart alluded to the fact that there might be a general authority there on Tuesday by saying that the devotional was going to be broadcast to all of the MTCs around the world, which they rarely do. For the next two days there were so many rumors floating around of who would come to the devotional and it was pretty funny. Guess who came? ELDER RICHARD G. SCOTT! It was so crazy! I've never heard an apostle speak before, and there is really nothing like it! When he walked into the Marriott center (where we hold the devotionals) everyone stood and was absolutely silent. He began his talk by saying how elated he was to see so many sister missionaries. He noted that his late wife was a return missionary, and she blessed his life and the life of those around her so much by the mission she served. Side note about Elder Scott: His wife died over 18 years ago, and he refuses to get remarried because he knows that she is absolutely the love of his life, and he knows that he'll be able to see her again. It is so sweet. Anyway, he gave his address about prayer, and it was a very simple talk, but it was absolutely phenomenal. He talked about how we must not only pray, but act on our impressions, and promptings and press forward in faith. He paused near the end of his talk and said that we may have noticed that he was particularly emotional this evening. He explained that the reason why he felt so emotional was because he knew that his wife was there with us. He said that he could tell that she was there, and he expressed his gratitude to God for showing him tender mercies like this and allowing him to feel close to his wife, even though she was on the other side of the veil. Throughout his talk, quietly with the apostolic grace that only 15 people in this world possess. It was absolutely incredible. He left us with a blessing, which was so cool. He directed his blessing to missionaries learning a foreign language that they would have the gift of tongues. It was such a special experience. After his talk, he sat down and waited for the broadcast to end. He stood up and waved at all of us. He walked off the stage and waved as he walked. He paused just before he exited the room and yelled "Be good!" It was the sweetest thing ever and all the missionaries laughed. It was an incredible day! I took notes on my music, so I have a really cool record of the meeting that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life.
I love all of you so much, and think about you every day!
One of the Elder's in Tessa's district took this of the Provo Temple.