6-26-13 The MTC

Hola familia y amigos!

This first week has been un poco loco. Haha. Every day seems to drag on forever, but the week has absolutely flown by! (Talk about timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly stuff!)

I’d always heard that missionaries were busy and had no free time, but I interpreted that as “very little free time.” I shouldn’t have been so surprised that that wasn’t the case!

I’m absolutely loving it here, though! I’m in the new “West Campus” of the MTC, which are actually BYU apartments that they’ve converted into another MTC. The apartments where we’re staying are SO nice (we have a kitchen and our own bathroom with a SHOWER!) and I love how open it is. Every day we walk over to another complex that they’ve converted into classrooms. (“Converted” = cramming a bunch of desks into a tiny bedroom and putting six laptops in the kitchen). The cafeteria is a poolhouse with lots of tables and chairs and coolers for ice cream, drinks, fruits, salads, etc. They bring in the food for each meal because there’s no kitchen. Haha. But they’re working really hard on building us an actual cafeteria, gym, and bookstore. We’ll probably have some or all of those by the time I ship out to CA on July 30.

I love love love it here in the MTC. I’m learning so much! Nearly all my Spanish from my high school classes is coming back- I’m doing really well. I help some of the Elders in my district with their basic grammar and conjugations and stuff nearly every day in our Language Study time. It’s super cool and rewarding.

I love my district! The Elderes are super cool and fun to hang around with, and I LOVE the other “hermanitas” (a nickname an Elder from another district in our zone gave us) that I live with. Hermana V______, mi compañera, and I get along really well and we´re getting to be good friends.

This week we were super lucky and got TWO great firesides/devotionals. On Sunday we got to go to the Worldwide Leadership Broadcast, and a TON of apostles were there! They talked about members’ responsibility to keep us missionaries busy (nudge nudge), and about how the Church is going to start implementing technology as part of the missionary work. Like, facebook, blogs, texting, etc etc. It’s really exciting!

There also was a live video feed from different wards, stakes, and missions around the world… and guess whose mission president I saw? Elder H___’s! I nearly had a heart attack, I was so surprised! But I didn’t see E Ha___ among the missionaries behind him, so I managed to calm myself down for the rest of the broadcast. It was a HUGE shock, though!

We had our weekly devotional yesterday (Tuesday) and Janice Kapp Perry and her husband spoke. It was so wonderful! She led us in a medley of primary songs and sang her Family Song for us- it was the second cutest thing ever. The very cutest thing ever was also from that talk, when she was talking about the first “line” she heard her husband say- it was when they were in a music class at BYU and she was warming up (?) her reed for her clarinet and he said, “Those lips look like they were made for something better than playing the clarinet!” Aww.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Right after she told that story, her husband got up and walked over to the podium where she was speaking and laid a GREAT BIG ONE right on her, in front of the cameras and billions (exaggeration) of missionaries! It was the single cutest thing I’d seen in my entire life. All the missionaries started cheering and clapping and whistling- it was great. Haha.

I also talked Hna V______ into going to choir with me. (I said I would run with her a couple times a week… I kind of feel like I got the short end of the stick though! Haha.) While we were at choir practice before the devotional (we sang a musical number during it), I saw Sister C____ L_____! I’d actually been searching the crowd in front of me (we were in the back) for her, because I KNEW she would be there, when she came and sat RIGHT BY ME! We were super excited to see each other. :] We took a picture, but I forgot my camera today so I can’t send any pictures home. :[

I love the Spirit here. It’s so cool being here with so many people who are here for the same reasons that I am. Everyone I’ve met has been super cool and friendly, and everything is just wonderful. We have an “investigator” (teacher pretending to be an investigator for us to practice on) named Maria, and I’m enjoying teaching her, even though it’s crazy hard.

We can’t use ANY English (or Spanglish) so it’s really hard to communicate the things I want to. Our first lesson (on the third day here!!!) we taught about the Plan of Salvation, and as I got to the part about the 3 Degrees of Glory and the Celestial Kingdom, the Spirit took over and I bore my testimony about how much God loves her and wants her and her family to live there with him forever- the Spirit in the room was SO STRONG! I’m not sure how much of an effect it had on Maria, but it really affected Hna V_______ and I.

Our next lesson was on Monday and we taught her how to pray, and she accepted a Book of Mormon from us and said she’d read from it and that she’d pray with her family. We meet with her again this evening, so we’ll see if she followed through! This is so exciting!

Every day I look forward to the mail, hoping to have news about Trevy’s mission call- the other hermanas are starting to catch my excitement as well! I hope it comes soon!

I heard Branda got an AnimalJam membership- that sounds like SO much fun, B!

And Kendra has girls’ camp coming up soon, doesn’t she? I’m jealous! I always LOVED girls’ camp.

Thanks so much for your letters this week, mom! I love you so much and love hearing how things are going.

I’m so excited for your new trailers to come, Dad! I can’t believe how fast this is happening- it’s going to be great!

I love you all SO MUCH and I would love to hear from you, so send letters (or write me on dearelder.com)!

Hasta luego,

Hna Howell

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6-19-13 On the plane

Hey Family!

It’s been only moments since I’ve seen you, but I miss you already! I am so SO excited to start this new adventure! I love you guys so much & hope you have the time of your lives (even if I’m not there). I’ll write again as soon as I have something to tell you about!

Love,

Sister Howell

 

Sister Deryk Blair Howell enters the MTC

Sister Deryk Howell drop off at the airport
We dropped Sister Howell off at the Boise airport
bright and early this morning.

Sister Howell saying goodbye to her puppy Chester.
Her puppy Chester is going to miss her a lot, especially her piano playing.
He loves to sit under her piano bench while she plays.
We are all going to miss that, actually.

2013-06-19 Sister Deryk Howell entering the MTC  with Liz
Sis. Howell’s Aunt Liz picked her up from the airport in SLC,
took her to brunch, and then delivered her safely to the MTC.

2013-06-19 Sister Deryk Howell entering the MTC (7) 2013-06-19 Sister Deryk Howell entering the MTC (10)

We are so proud of you Sister Deryk Howell!

From Deryk

I leave this week for my mission! Hooray!!!

If you want to write me (which I know you do), here are my addresses!

MTC address (first six weeks or so):

Sister Deryk Blair Howell
JUL30 CA-RIV
2023 N 900 E Unit 820
Provo UT 84602

After that, you can write me in the field:

Sister Deryk Blair Howell
California Riverside Mission
5900 Grand Ave
Riverside, CA 92504-1328

My mom will be posting my emails here on this blog while I’m out- see you in 18! :]