Hello Dear ones! Yes, it is indeed a good thing I am always always in my Sunday Clothes, I would not like to be burdened by any blue Mondays while on this adventure. Sister Burgess always says: “you are truly a sister missionary when you start wearing things that don’t match just so that you are wearing something different.” Luckily I have not gotten to that point yet, I am singing and searching, and studying… IN my Sunday clothes.
I cannot believe my eyes… ( That was one more obscure musical reference for those who are counting.) It has been a month out here in the land of England, that means I only have seventeen months left. Ok ok, that is still a long time, but I cannot believe it has been this long. Thank you all for your support through letters, It is so good to hear from you. So some highlights from the week.
Sister Burgess and I were put in charge of another musical activity, I have an uncanny ability to get missionaries to sing and dance in ways they never thought they would on their missions. Sister Burgess and I made four dice that we so cleverly blew up bigger using the fancy copy machine and wrote on one dice, a word of inspiration, second dice: a funny way to sing it, third: a physical trait for the performance, and Fourth: a dice that decided if there would be a soloist or not. Surprisingly, not everyone was as excited about the dice as I was, I mean who would have guessed that would happen. We had renditions of called to serve sung in Italian or German with dancing or snapping, one group sang fortissimo in formation: “sweet hour of prayer”, Presitent Preston was the capstone of that group with his hands in the shape of a heart, belting out hymns. I joined in of course. To close we had our doctor, Elder Stevens who had been in the Tabernacle choir for seventeen years talk about how music has influenced his testimony and brought light to those he performed for. He and I were both in tears. Beautiful when someone else feels the way you do for music and its ability to bring peace.
We did some skipping of rocks at the duck pond during personal time for ten minutes on Sunday.
Sister Burgess and I taught two of our most spirit filled lessons yet.
Some of the German grammar lessons are finally making sense in my head. I try to use the new grammar in my daily speaking, but then I get frustrated because I have to talk slower to use it, but perhaps it is better that way so I do not go into long explanations when teaching investigators.
They have been placing the most lovely smelling fertilizer outside our windows in the flower bed which is great for the plants but not so good for missionaries who crack the window open hoping to beckon some sort of breeze to aid them in their studies of accusative pronouns and scriptures to help with understanding faith. It means that we have been using the electric fan more and also discovering that electric fans move paper, and dice made of paper are no exception. Thus the game “Fans and Dice” was born. I have sent a picture to aid you in your pursuit to understand what I mean.
Please note, the above picture does not accurately display the majority of the time spent at the MTC, our district decided to not go to the optional snack time and found other ways to de-stress.
Today we had spaghetti which made me glad. Because we have not had spaghetti the whole time I have been here. They give enormous portion sizes. which is why I have been working a lot harder during exercise time. So today was one of those days I was very glad that they filled my plate with pasta. I got a lesson from Elder Dimartino on the proper way to eat noodles using a spoon and fork.
Today we went on a church history tour, walking along cobble stone streets seeing baptism sights, hearing about the enormous amount of faith that was shared, the bold preaching, and the light that was brought to the saints in England who were living in the poverty of the working class. This religious fervor that helped so many to the truth. There are so many miracles that helped the church take root upon the world and the conversion of so many helped this gospel stay strong and shaped the world wide organization it is today.
We listened to a very powerful talk from Elder Holland. He always strikes me to the heart. (not in the les miserable sort of way) No, Rather in a way that both terrifies and supports you, enlightens you empowers you, inspires you to act and to act well. I am striving to teach with the spirit. Missionaries teach the words, and facilitate the spirits presence, but really the Holy Ghost is the one who lets anyone who asks know it is true. The Holy Ghost is also there for “Trost” Comfort. I have felt that comfort in so many moments in my life where I was not even doing anything specifically religious, just being out in nature, spending time with people I love, or most specifically when I was performing in Little Women. I feel this peace, this light. It sounds like what has been described so many times. But I know it is a truthful feeling. Other peole feel it, it is that feeling of being alive and realizing simultaneously how small but beautiful each human being is.
That is why I love to perform. How many other productions have there been of the same musical, or how many trillions of times in history has an A note been sung. It is impossible to know, it is so fleeting, it has only been in the last of this spectrum of human existence on the planet that we have been able to record music to listen to anytime. But true live performance is like the spirit. It is real and tangible in the moment it is there, it is that feeling of calm or quite once a note rings out….that moment of awe before the audience cheers. It is true connection, true heart. It is beautiful. It has the power to make a lasting impact, but is not loud or enormous It is there, a still small voice, but what we learn from it, and the comfort it give is not fleeting, all it take is a moment to relive it and you can be back right where you were when you first felt that light.
The song of the heart is a prayer unto me.
Love, Sister Gardner
Spring is upon us!