Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's snowing again and it's almost January! - Dec. 30, 09

Hi Everybody!
Ok, so I was thinking today (oh yeah, it happens) and it's almost New Years which means it's almost January, which means I almost only have about 18 days until I'm in Hungary! (see, that's why I try not to think too hard too line of thought get's kind of crazy...). Yeah, but we should be getting our flight plans next Friday! (the 6th, I think...) And I'm so sad, that Albanians are leaving this Monday! They've been here since we've gotten here, so we've really gotten to be good friends with them...ha, but Elder Smith said he's going to be going to BYU, so hopefully I can find him there....he's such a great guy, he comes into our room pretty much every night just to hang out with us and share his candy....actually, he usually tries to leave his candy, because EVERYONE sends missionaries candy! We have so much right now! haha, one of the Hungarian traditions is this big box of candy that we pass on....I have no idea how old some of the stuff is, but the Starburst I ate was still ok.....haha. Yeah, but I think we'll definitely be adding A LOT more candy....
Ah, so Christmas! It was so great! We woke up early so we could wake up Elder Smith (haha, I got a video of it), then we kind of went back to sleep until 7, when we woke up, made some hot chocolate, and opened presents! It was so much fun, and thanks to everyone who sent something or even just prayed for us! (Believe me, we need all the help we can get learning this language....). Yeah, but Young Women, you are all awesome! The package was super-great! Haha, I don't know if you should have sent the ball though, sometimes when we get back to our residence hall, we bounce it off all the walls and stuff...we stop by quiet time though, so I guess it's ok....haha. Yeah, but thanks so much! It was so great being able to open presents on Christmas, especially since we had no idea what we were going to be getting! Oh, and if any of the Young Women are thinking about serving missions, I would totally encourage it! We've got a sister missionary in our district, and she brings such a different spirit to everything we do....we can see such a difference between those districts that have sister missionaries, and those that don't...sister missionaries bring such strong testimonies, and everyone is so respectful of them.
Ok, so after we opened presents, we got showered and went to the Christmas morning devotional....our district and the Albanian district were ushering, so we got to sit in the 2nd row....and Elder L. Tom Perry was the speaker! Oh my gosh, he is so much taller in real life! On tv, he looks just average height, but he's really tall! His family came too, and they each read something out of the scriptures about Christ's birth, and then he would talk about was such a great devotional, and afterwards, as he was leaving, he stopped to shake hands with a sister who had sang a special musical number. She was sitting right in front of me, so L. Tom Perry was like, 6 feet away from me! It was so cool!
Ok, after the devotional, we went to lunch, and Elder Perry was there too with his family! We didn't get to sit by him or anything, but it was just cool seeing him sitting with missionaries and talking with them. After lunch, we went to our residence hall to write letters. Then, we went to the fireside where we got to hear from Greg Olson! He showed a bunch of his paintings, and explained how he's learned so much more about the Savior just from the amount of thought that he puts into trying to portray Him.
Oh, so I forgot to mention the fireside from the 20th (I think....). I can't remember the speaker, but he's in charge of the the Home Front, which is the group that puts out the LDS ads on tv, so we got to watch a bunch of them! They are so ridiculously cheesy, but so great! You should all definitely check them out online! (I think they're online....?) One of them is called "The Practice" (I think....) and it won an Emmy! That's so cool! Then, there's another one about divorce, and when they were having tryouts, they asked each kid to bring their favorite toy...the boy who was in it brought his favorite toy car, and the girl brought her favorite doll....before they started filming, they took the girl outside and took her doll away from her. Then, they took the doll inside to the boy, took it's head off, and put his car inside the doll. Then they brought the girl back in, gave her the doll, and started filming. It's so funny, because they do that between takes (sorry, earlier i said it was before filming), and you can see the exact moment when the kids react to what happened. It's pretty funny. There all great though, you should watch all of them.....most of them will have you laughing, if not because they're funny, then at least just because they're so darn cheesy!
Yeah, well, my clock is blinking at me....I've only got about 4 minutes....oh! We heard from an Elder who left a few weeks ago, and we get 1.5 hours for email, so these might start being a little longer...haha. He also said we can watch Disney movies on P-Days, but who wants to go to a foreign country and stay inside watching movies!? I'm going to go everywhere I can! Ah, I'm so excited! Our departure date is getting closer and closer! And the time is definitely speeding up....I don't know how, but it feels like we're going to be leaving really soon! I can't wait!
I love you all, and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Remember to keep writing, and I'll send the address that I'll have in Hungary next week....I forgot to bring it with me today.....
Happy New Year! almost....
Murray Elder

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