News from the wonderful Sister Rebecca Stenquist has come! Here is her first email sent from the Provo MTC. Hope you all enjoy:)
I am here!!!
I am alive!!!!
I've kept a list of things to write you so here we go.
My Bulgarian class is composed of me and Elder Breeze. I am also the only sister in my District. This means that I am a SOLO sister, and have permission to be without a sister as long as there are at least two elders with me. Most of the day I am with my 5 elders in my district. I love them so much! I love my elders!!! They tease me and look after me too. Its teh best! They've nicknamed me "Eyebrows" or "Sister Eyebrows" because I gave them the eyebrows the other day and it looked scandalous. It was funny. And they constantly remind me of it. Its so hard not to hug them though!!! The other four elders are going to Poland and they are so fun. In the classroom Elder Breeze is my companion. We have taught two lessons in Bulgarian by reading our notes off of our notebook. I can pray in Bulgarian, read Bulgarian, introduce myself, and count in Bulgarian. Bulgarian is hard but I am determined to work hard and give it my best. Elder Breeze already took a year of Russian so he's much faster at learning bulgarian than I am but I try not to get frustrated with myself. I'll learn it eventually. I try really hard to stay positive, pray for more faith, and try to laugh as much as possible. It feels very good to just laugh at my Bulgarian during class because it really is pretty funny how terrible my Bulgarian is.
My companion is in another branch and a different Zone. She is going to Croatia, is from Utah, has long beautiful hair, loves cats and other fluffy things. She is soooo nice and I love her a lot. My other roommates are going to Czech and they are also really awsesome.
So the Bulgarian program is only 9 weeks, not 12. This would schedule me for flying the week fo Christmas. however, the MTC apparently doesn't have missionaries fly that week so our departure date is one week earlier than that--December 17. I'm pretty sure this is the day I'll fly to Bulgaria, unless they messed up the date. Yay for tender mercies!!! And holy smokes i need to learn Bulgarian fast!
Tomorrow I fly to LA!!! Its super funny because I think its just going to be Elder Breeze and I flying there. So......I guess we just get to be like a couple companionship, ha ha. We leave at 4, will probably fly at 6, and then we'll have about four hours in LA. Going to the Bulgarian Consulate to pick up visas doesn't take long, so I heard that after that we can ask our driver to take us wherever we want to go. Hee hee hee. :)
I have run into so many friends here!!!! My first day Sister Amanda Nordhagen from my BYU ward helped me get my luggage and find my room and everything. it was so good to be helped by a friend! Then I ran into Sister Shaffer, one of my favorite girls in the world, at lunch. I see her occasionally and it totally makes my day! She's been in the MTC twice as long as she was supposed to be because Spain stopped all work in their visa office. I also have seen Sister Rex a few times, who was in my dance class at BYU. Its awesome to know so many people! Also, on Sunday I saw Kevin Jensen in Music and the Spoken Word!!! It was so fun to see him!!! Sister Shaffer and I looked at each other and put our fingers to our cheek like a little tear. Because its sad to be away from awesome friends, but awesome to be at the MTC. How confusing.
The second counselor in my Branch presidency is Elder Melville who grew up on Grandview Hill next to the pink chapel. I wanted to make sure to tell Grandma Guiguitte about that because she might remember his family
The MTC is hard but its good. I am learning to like it more and more. The people are absolutely awesome, I love them all so much. I was afraid of getting a companion I wouldn't like and having to be with her all of the time. But instead I got a fantastic compnaion and I'm not often with her because I'm always with my Elders. God is good to me. :)
I am so grateful to be here and am so excited to go to Bulgaria. It is a great work that I get to help with. And holy smokes I have a lot of work to do.
My Bulgarian teacher told us this story about Bulgaria. He asked one of his good Bulgarian friends what should be done to help Bulgaria. The Bulgarian man said--All the Bulgarians should kill themselves, and then new people could move into the country. That would be the best thing for Bulgaria. --Apparently this is a common thought in Bulgaria. There is just a thick depression over everyone, and everyone in Bulgaria hates Bulgaria and Bulgarians. It's so sad!!! I hope I can show them the source of happiness--Jesus Christ---and bring a bit of joy and happiness into Bulgaria.
My teacher also said that there are quite a few Chinese people in Bulgaria, and quite a few Chinese restaurants!!! Score!!!!! I think I know where I'm going to be going and talking to...... :)
He also said that Bulgarian food is so fresh and healthy and delicious that most missionaries lost a lot of weight without even trying. He said he ate all he wanted, and lost 15 pounds his first few months, even though he wasn't even doing the excercise in the morning. I am so excited to have good fresh food!!! YAY! However, My teacher also said he got sick when he came back to America because his stomach couldn't digest the food. So that will be unpleasant. maybe I'll just stick to organic food and really healthy food when I come back. Either way, Bulgaria is going to be awesome.
To write me, the best way is thorugh Dearelder.com because they'll print off your email and deliver it to me the next day which is way nice. Then I can read your letter throughout the week and just spend all y time emailing you when I get back.
I love you all! Mom, your chocolate-covered almonds are saving me. I love them! I am happy and healthy and learning tons. I am also taking my vitamins every day, just for you mommy dearest.
One more funny story. Last night Elder Allen spoke to us and he had some missionaries come up to the podium and say one thing they gave up to come on a mission. One Elder said "My girlfriend." All of the hundreds of missionaries in the congregation started
whooping and cheering. It was so funny! Then Elder Allen--"Well, I'll say thank you in behalf of whoever she marries while you're gone." He was a super funny, enlightened speaker and I really enjoyed yesterday quite a lot. Then, after our fireside, we got to watch Legacy. it was SO FUNNY because the acting was so bad and so cheesy. Also, all the missionaries would laugh or whoop whenever the one man flirted with or courted themain girl. All these elders are so funny. Holy smokes I love them a lot. They are just delightful. Thank heavens for good elders! :)
Love you all!!!