Well, Thanksgiving here was super eventful. The MTC kept us really busy, in hopes of warding off any homesickness, I think. We had 3 devotional/program things scheduled for the day. For the morning devotional, they tried to psyche us out into thinking that the morning devotional wasn't going to be that big of a deal, but 2 of our roommates tipped us off and told us the rumor that a general authority was going to be at the morning devotional instead of the evening one. (Have I talked about how much I LOVE our hermana roommates? They are going to St. George - Spanish speaking. One is from Southern California - she says dude and freaking all the time and loves working out - and the other is from Georgia and has the cutest Southern drawl, and says things like, "Are y'all fixin' to go to supper?" and "That guy gives me the cringies!" And when talking about how big the cracks are in between the stall doors in the dorm bathrooms, she said, "I have made eye contact before while someone was going to the bathroom and it was awwwkward." Anyway, love them. I'll try to send pictures of everyone I talk about sometime soon.) So, since they told us that, we hurried to the devotional and got good seats, which was lucky because Elder Russell M. Nelson came to speak. I think the speakers at the MTC are always so awesome, but it's always cool to hear an apostle speak and you can feel the power they bear. Sister Nelson talked about the importance of doing things the Lord's way and not in the way of men and she talked about how Elder Nelson left his career during it's height in order to accept the call to be an apostle. She showed a picture of him as a surgeon in all his doctor clothes. And then she commented on how attractive she thinks he is. I've never heard a general authority talk about the attractiveness of their spouse, or talking about how attractive a general authority is. Except for Elder Uchtdorf. People always talk about his attractiveness. Also, his grandson taught our Chinese class the other day. Supes exciting. Are you loving this name dropping as much as I am? Anyways, that's the awesome thing about having general authorities come is that they are way more personable and interactive when they speak to us and their personalities show a lot more. Anyway, Elder Nelson talked about how they got the church in Russia.
After that devotional, we all herded into the MTC cafeteria to have our Thanksgiving dinner. Not the most delicious thanksgiving dinner I have had, but totally fine. Actually, it was better than a lot of the food I've had here. Sister Winters and I sat by the Elder we think is the funniest one ever. He doesn't know how much we non-romantically love him, but we always try to have encounters with him.
A little while after dinner, we went to a Thanksgiving program, where the organ played a rousing rendition of "Over the River and Through the Woods", for the opening song. (Try singing that song as a congregation - weird.) Someone sang a stirring Mormon pop song, and then under the direction of the MTC presidency wives, the missionaries performed a little totes non-politically correct skit of the first Thanksgiving.
Then we ate sack dinners in our room, and and THEN we went to do this service project making first aid kits for Somalia. Which was totally cool, except that while putting the kits together, they BLARED super loud rock-style PRIMARY songs. So jarring. And tons of people around us were like dancing and just loving it. Sister Winters was like, "I feel like we're stuck in a bad movie" and "I feel like we accidentally attended a nursery camp" and other funny things. Still just love Sister Winters. We crack each other up super easily, over things that aren't really funny at all so I won't list them off. But she's seriously like the best compy I could hope for.
Anyway, after that, we watched 17 Miracles, that pioneer movie. I think it's a new one? Anyway, the movie talked about Bodil Mortensen, who is totally my ancestor! So that was kind of fun.
This week, all the older generation (the people who got here a few weeks before us) of Mandarin missionaries left. That means we are now the older generation. Totes scary. I'm close to my halfway mark for when I leave the MTC - I think next week it'll be half way. The next generation comes in on December 7th. I think just even within the last few days, my Chinese has gotten a bit better and I am able to speak a little bit more. I really love the language and am really happy that I'm learning it, even though it's hard and lots of the words still sound the same to me. I always think it's funny when we say a word with the wrong tones, our Taiwanese teacher is like, "huh?!" and has nooo clue what we are trying to say and then once we get the tones right, she is like, "ohhh." So funny.
Anyway, love you all immensely and thanks so much everyone who has written me and emailed me. I'll write back asap. Family, I'm writing you letters today, so you'll get them shortly.
Thanks for all your prayers and support.