Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas in the MTC {Week 6}

December 26, 2012

They surprised the Missionaries on Christmas at the MTC  that they would be able to email their families, so we were able to chat back and forth with Kamille for a few minutes on Christmas morning. It was great to have an almost direct conversation from her! She said Christmas was good, but weird.  And all she was eating for dinner was Dorito's.

Here is her regular email of the week:
I'm nervous for class tonight, because I really haven't spoken any Finnish since about Saturday, nope, not even then, that was an off day for Sisar Clifford. So hopefully I'll remember something. So, I am still sick, again. I am probably going to make ANOTHER trip to the health center today and demand a Z-Pak. No more of this whimpy allergy medicine or amoxicillion they keep giving me. On Monday I took a four hour nap, and it was amazing. I felt terrible. I really hope that I don't have mono again. One of the elders in my class was diagnosed with mono the first week here, I told him that if I got it again I would probably kill him. And we all know that I don't want to that.
I can't really think of anything to say, except for that as of today, I am half-way through my MTC stay. Next week we get our baby Fins. Three elders and FIVE sisters. They usually only have one or maybe two sisters in a class before, they've never had FIVE! And from the looks of it, that number is just going to keep growing. They haven't had any sisters here for a few months. It is going to get crazy. They are changing all the buildings. Offices into classrooms, classrooms into dorms for sisters. Sticking extra bunks into rooms. They are also probably going to expand the MTC onto BYU campus, now that the freshman class will be so low, they will use classrooms and dorm rooms. Which kind of all makes sense.
We watched It's a Wonderful Life last night which was great and terrible all at the same time. I was so happy that we got to watch it, but then I forgot I was at the MTC and reality hit me hard as we were walking back to our rooms. I was not happy about being here. On Christmas Eve we watched A Christmas Carol, which was just weird. It was kind of culture shock to watch something besides the Testament or the Jospeh Smith movie, or Mormon Messages. Yesterday we had two speakers, Elder Nelson, and Greg Olson. Both were great. I didn't bring my notebook, and due to my illness I can't really remember what they talked about. But I do remember that I sang in the choir and the songs were really beautiful.
Actually, I remember something funny, yesterday there was a talent show and two elders got up to perform a song on the guitar and ukelele and sang to it. They wrote it themselves, but I'm confused as to when they had time to write a song. We were all thinking this, and one of my Elders was like, "Wait, how do they have time to write a song? What language are they learning, Spanish?" And there were a whole bunch of Spanish missionaries in front of us, and then a whole bunch of Russian missionaries next to us, and the Spanish were all offended, and the Russians thought it was hilarious. Because we literally have no time to even think about anything, let alone write a song! And also, I'm still very sick of, "OH! I heard that was the hardest language to learn? Is it hard? Why is it hard? Can you say something in Finnish for me?" We get that all day long, in the bathroom, in line at the cafeteria, waiting for a fireside or devotional, in gym, ALL THE TIME!
Mary Ann Hammon came in last week, and I've seen her a whole bunch, which has been so great! This week has been weird because of the holiday, and we've only had one teacher for like a week, and the rest of this week instead of all three. It may take awhile to get back into the swing of things, but I hope that it is sooner rather than later.
 ok, I'm out of time. peace.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kirroko on Totta! {Week 5}

You are now reading an email from the only sister currently in branch 57 of the MTC. Yep. I'm just that cool.

The gift of tongues is real! And the church is true! this week was a very great week. It all started as I moved my things into the better building which is 17M. Well, ok, first it wasn't so great, I had been feeling quite sick all week and on Friday my teacher MADE me go to the doctor. But it was all good, they finally gave me antibiotics, and so far everything has been good. Antibiotics are a rare thing here in the MTC. You almost have to beg for them. But all is well. Friday morning during class we had some time where the teacher wanted to work with some of us. I had been sick for a grammar lesson, and had also missed one due to my coordinating sister duties, so obviously it was my turn. Actually, it pretty much always is my turn with every teacher because I'm the slowest in my class. It's fine. Continue reading.

During this time he wanted me to just speak Finnish, and not worry about all the cases, and the grammar of everything. I was so nervous, I pretty much started crying, but I tried it. And guess what? I had an actual conversation in Finnish...for 20 minutes. And I only used a few English words. I couldn't believe that I was actually capable of that. He told me that even though the Elders all speak way more than I do, I make less mistakes, and actually make a lot more sense when I speak. That was a great thing, which turned into me teaching whole lessons without  notes, or a script like I usually do. On Monday Veli Peterson gave us another grammar lesson. I was deemed winner. We usually don't have a winner, but I had finished the practice sentences second, and usually I am last. And I had them all correct. It was amazing. The gift of tongues is crazy. Because I can speak and write this language, but I have no idea how any of it works.

Kaitlyn asked me if I have to teach lessons in Finnish yet. The answer to this is yes. We started teaching full lessons in Finnish on November 16. If you can't remember when I got here, I will remind you. I got here on the 14th.

This week we have had amazing speakers come speak to us. On Sunday Sister Dalton spoke in Relief Society. It was amazing. She said some great things, that I think almost every single sister needed to hear. One thing that she said was that in April, they will have 2,000 sisters in the MTC. That is pretty much how many people are here now. Can you imagine? She also talked about the timing of missions in our lives, and why we are here right now, before the age change. We are here to be mentors, and trainers, and examples to all of these 19 year old sisters. It was awesome. She gave me so much hope and confidence as a missionary. I can't wait to get to Finland. there are so many things that I will be able to do! Last night we had one of the seventy talk to us. That was really great also. He said that this is a spiritual adventure. And he gave us a tag line, "see what God can do through you." It was really great, I have learned so much this week.

Our papa Fins, and the Estonian Elders left on Monday. Well, Elder Hill left last Wednesday to go home, but he'll head straight to Estonia in a few weeks. But I have missed them so much. The last week we had all become such great friends. And everyone else left as well. Like all the sisters in my branch. And other English speaking friends I had made. It's a bummer. And it's going to happen like two more times. Dang. We are getting 22 new missionaries in our branch today, three of them are sisters. I can't wait to meet them and welcome them here tonight. I enjoy that part of my calling, as long as the Elders listen when I talk. Last week that didn't happen and the papa Fins totally yelled at them and talked about respecting the sisters. Oh man, I miss them. Darn.

Well, since it is Christmas, and I assume that everyone is really wondering what I want them to send me, I thought I would include a little list.
-Somehow on Monday my green-ish tights tore. And I was really bummed. So maybe some new colored tights would be good. And that color especially.
-I would love a beautiful colored cardigan. I am lacking in color. But even if you just take one out of my closet, that would be fine too.
-I would really like a photo album. And maybe you could fill it with photographs of my previous life. Like of friends, and family, and I don't know, things I've done. Just hop on that hard drive and check it out.

This week I decided that I love Finnish. I hated it up until like yesterday. It is such a beautiful language, even if it sounds like jibberish. I'm so glad that this love happened. It makes my life so much easier. I'm so happy! This week was so great, and I'm so excited for Christmas.

Hyva Joulu!

-Sisar Clifford

Monday, December 17, 2012

One Month?! {Week 4}

This week started off not so great...I was sick on Monday, and after some coaxing (and help from my Elders) got one of my companions to go back to the room with me to sleep. Tuesday started in a similar fashion, but after a strange turn of events led to an afternoon of greatness!
My companions left this morning, I was put in the strange sitaution of finding new companions. My branch president was going to have me move down the hall with some other English speaking sisters in my branch. But then, I would have to move next week when they left. And then again two weeks later when those sisters left. Which I decided would be ok, even though it would be a pain. I went to the scheduling office to ask about rooms, and they gave me two options that they really wanted me to think about. Option one was what I mentioned before, option two was moving to a different residence hall and be with other language sisters for the rest of my time at the MTC. I definitely wanted the second option, but I didn't want to be selfish either. I thought about it for the next few hours, and also called the branch president to ask his thoughts on it, because I would be in a different building than the sisters in my branch, and it would make my calling a little difficult. I told him the two options, and left my opinion out of it. He told me that he felt like the second option would make a lot more sense.
I was glad he felt that way. Remember how I said I had made friends with the Hungarian sisters down the hall in the obscure language hall? Well, those are my new companions! I'm so excited, and so grateful for this. My elders will no longer have to pick me up and walk me home. These sisters will be my companions until January 14 when they leave, which is only really like two weeks before me. And in January when all the new Finnish sisters (there are five, and one Estonian) come, they are going to put some in our room, and the rest in our same hall, and then I'll be companions with them until I leave.
Every part of this situation makes more sense. And I feel so good about it, as does President Hickin, and the scheduling lady, because she told me like four times. I did not have the best experience with my other companions, but learned a lot. All day yesterday after making the arrangments I was filled with so much hope, things are starting to fall into place here in the compound.
After lunch was gym time, where I immediately ran to the four square court to tell Chamberlain Nover and Burdick Nover the good news. To which there was much rejoicing. Not just from the three of us, but the other two Hungarian sisters, the three Albanian sisters, all of my elders (papa fins and estonians included) and the hungarian elders. After which I played some decent basketball and then played awesome four square and finished gym time with Elder Peek in the king square! It was amazing. Then, at dinner, they had my favorite salad.
I'm am so exicted about it, that's all I talked about with all of the elders last night, and they are also very excited for me. I even overheard Elder Bunker who pretends like he doesn't care about me tell Elder Hill how excited he was for me because he knew that I had been having a hard time. And the elders are also excited because they are cool girls and more like me. Oh, isn't nice to be loved?
The Papa Finns and Estonians leave on Monday, and I'm already depressed. I am going to miss them so much. It is cruel how they force you into these places with so many new people, and then you fall in love (in a very friendly, missionary appropriate way of course) and then they leave you. It's horrible.
I'm so excited for Christmas, it is going to be amazing! I hope you are all doing well, and did not fall asleep during my amazing story. It is a Christmas miracle, and I am so grateful and feel very blessed. Strange how just getting new companions can bring on so many emotions. Mui mui!
Sisar Clifford

Last 24 in Bountiful

The last 24 hours before dropping off Kamille proved to be a whirlwind....

Last family dinner at China Platter 

Picking up Kaitlyn's Mission Call...


(you can watch Kamille's jealous reaction here)

two hours before getting set apart.

And saying last goodbyes to friends and family.


Mass packing chaos.

One last photo at 3448 S. Huntington Dr.

...her final request.

Our favorite photo from the event.

And with one last photo she was off!

Off to her next adventure... God be with you 'til we meet again Sisar Clifford!

Farewell Photos {Nov. 11th, 2012}

A Blizzard.  How fitting for Finland.