Monday, November 4, 2013

"I'm leaving never to come back again." - Jesse McCartney

Let me give you a quick little recap of the MTC. 
Well, as you all know it was Halloween was on Thursday! We aren't allowed to dress up, but all the sisters in the zone chose different Disney princesses to be and we wore outfits with similar colors. I was Princess Jasmine of course! It was a life long dream of mine to be Princess Jasmine at Disneyland, but a couple years ago when dad and I went to Disneyland for New Years I met Princess Jasmine and she was mean so I discontinued that goal. It's whatevs. A part of me still aspires to be Princess Jasmine, but her outfit isn't very modest either, so I guess I will come up with some other goals. 
On Friday we had in-field orientation. I learned SO MUCH but it took 10 hours! They would have all the departing missionaries in this big room and we would have a big group session for about an hour. I really felt like I was at a self help seminar, but with less dancing. Then we had breakout sessions that had a theme like pioneers, or pirate ships. That was weird too. They kept comparing it to being at Disneyland because it was so exciting...I mostly wanted to PMITF the entire time. For those that are unfamiliar with my acronym PMITF it stands for punch myself in that face.
Saturday was mundane as far as I can remember. 
Sunday was like meeting/devotional overkill. For two hours in the morning we had mission conference. All mission conference is all the missionaries in the MTC getting together and the MTC presidency speaks to us. 
Awkward story about the MTC presidency: President Hacking and his wife Sister Hacking are the first counselors in the presidency. They came to our sacrament meeting a couple weeks ago when we got the fourth counselor, and following the meeting I told Sister Hacking I wanted to be like her someday. I mean, she's such a sweet woman and she's a wonderful example to Sister missionaries! She looked me in the eye and grabbed my arm and said "Don't ever try to be like me." You're probably thinking that she was just saying that to tell me to be myself. It was not like that at all. It was really scary and I didn't know what to say after that so I just hugged her and walked away. I still feel uncomfortable when I see her in the cafeteria now. 
On Sunday afternoon we had Sacrament meeting and it was saa-weeet! All of the missionaries in the zone leaving for the field this week (31 missionaries to be exact) sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" in their language. The Laotian Elders began by singing the first verse, then the Viet's sang, then the Hmongs and then the Cambodians, then we all sang the last verse in English with the congregation. It was absolutely amazing to be able to sing with all the people that have been my best friends these past two months! I love these people so darn much! 
Another story: 
On Wednesday at the temple Sister Litchfield and I did a session before everyone else in the zone. While we were sitting in the Celestial room many of the missionaries from the zone walked in all dressed in white. We all just sat there for a while just taking in the beauty of the temple. For many of us it was the last opportunity to go to the temple for the next couple years. After being in there for a while just smiling and reflecting upon the last couple months, we all stood up and shook hands. HOLY EMOTIONS EVERYWHERE! For just a moment time stood still. I was in the temple surrounded by numerous people that I love. I genuinely love the missionaries that I spent the last two months with. We really are like a family, or a small gang. There are days that we cannot get along and we all want to kill each other, and there are days that we love each other so much that in the words of Sister Thain "I would die for any of them." I always thought people that loved their zones were noobs and squares, but zones are a huge blessing. I am going to miss these people, but I am so proud of all of them for working so hard and going out to foreign places to serve The Lord! Okay, my mushy love for my zone is done now.
After Sacrament meeting was another meeting with the branch presidency where they basically told us not to be idiots and told us not to get fat. They're so nice...
Then we had to walk to the the snow. It had been snowing since that morning and someone even said in devotional "thank you for the snow". That was a little weird. At least I can say I have seen snow before I leave to Cam-Bam. 
And then guess what we had after that? Another devotional. I think they're trying to bombard us with devotionals so we begin to hate the MTC and leaving won't be as hard. They're manipulation is working. I am so ready to get out to the field! 
Every Sunday devotional begins with a musical number performed by a missionary. Elder Seegmiller got to perform an original arrangement of "More Holiness Give Me" on the piano! It was sicky sick! He represented the Viet's well. Elder Seegmiller is going to be serving in Anaheim, California so his goodbye will be really sad. I'm totes not looking forward to that. 
That's my recap for the past few days. It hasn't even sunk in yet that I am leaving for Cambodia TOMORROW! I am really interested to see where I get assigned first. I wonder if I'll go to Vietnam soon? For the past year before receiving my call I was hoping to serve in Vietnam, or somewhere Vietnamese speaking. Now the time is finally here to go serve the Vietnamese people! LEGGO!
Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and has sent me packages and wrote letters and emails the past two months. I am not sure if I will be able to write letters from Cambodia, but I will let you all know next week. Stay safe. Stay righteous. Love others. 
-For the last time from the US, with love,
Sister Egelund
These are all the missionaries that are leaving this week! Can you tell that we were all crying?
The Viet district trying to be really Asian and throwing up the peace signs. Elder Seegmiller thinks that he shouldn't do it because he's not really Asian; although we have all accepted him as one of us. 
All of the Sisters in our Halloween costumes! Yeah, we're the bees knees. 

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