On Sunday, my district did a musical number for the rest of our zone. We sang an arrangement of "Be Still, my soul", and it was awesome because I got to sing one of the solos at the end of the song. I genuinely think that music is the strongest/easiest way to spread the gospel, because it can touch people in a way that other things can't.
On Sunday, I got released from being a zone leader, and my companion was put into a trio of zone leaders, which worked out well because we have three sister training leaders in our zone, so it balanced out. The rest of Sunday was crazy, packing, going to a fireside, more packing, trying to finalize plans for traveling on Monday. It was crazy. Thankfully, I got all packed, and was completely ready. My district came by and said goodbye, we had a picture taking frenzy and a whole lot of hugs goodbye. And that would've been great end of the MTC, if I had left on Monday.
Monday was a very interesting day. Departing the MTC is insane, you pile your luggage inside a truck, say your final goodbyes to your roommates, who come to see you off, turn in all of your keys to the front desk, and essentially just make sure you can get on the airplane with no problem. My travel companion and I got onto the bus and got handed envelopes that had everything that we needed to get onto the plane. It detailed all about our layovers, what to do when we reached Madrid, and how much money we should have on hand to get to the MTC there. The only thing NOT in there was our passports/visas. We thought that was a little weird, so we asked around, seeing if anyone else had gotten their Visas in with their travel itinerary and everyone else on our bus had. We were pretty confused, but on the outside of our envelopes there was a big stamp that said "HAS PASSPORT" which we took to mean the church had our passports at the airport. Both me and my companion didn't think anything of it, because we had both separately talked to the Office, asking about our passports, because even though we had gotten our flight plans, we had never heard a word about the visa situation. The Office had assured us that if the travel office had told us that we would be flying out on Monday, that we didn't need to worry, that it was all taken care of. Apparently, that wasn't true.
We get up to the airport, and as we are checking in our baggage, one of the flight attendants was helping my companion, and they asked for our passports. My companion told him that we didn't have them, and that the church had them. The attendant acted confused and asked us to come out of line, and brought us over to the phone and asked us to call the MTC and ask them what the situation was with our passport. The MTC told us that there had been a severe mix up with both of our visas, and they were not even close to being completed. The told us to get on the first Frontrunner we could and get back to the MTC. Going back on Frontrunner was definitely interesting. A lady came up to my companion and I and said that her and her husband needed some money to get to Provo to visit their daughter, but were short a few dollars. We gave it to them, talked with her for a little bit, and then said goodbye. They ended up not even getting on the train, but my companion turned to me and said that that was an opportunity to plant seeds. Maybe one day, that couple will remember those two LDS missionaries who were kind to them, and might be a little more open to learning about the church. After that, we hauled all of our luggage onto to the train, and rode back down to Provo. It was really funny because we had so much luggage, so it looked like we were off on the Hogwarts Express. On our way up to the airport, we hadn't traveled with our luggage, so it was a LOT harder switching trains and doing what we needed on the train. Anyway, we got back to the MTC, and got back into my district, and still have yet to unpack. I met with our Branch President last night, and explained to him why I wasn't in Spain (apparently he knows the MTC and temple presidents there) and he reinstated me as a zone leader.
So. Going up to the airport was definitely interesting. It has been a really hard, crazy week. I was really excited to go to Spain, but am also happy that I get to stay in this zone, because I have become really good friends with a lot of the Elders and Sisters in our zone. Essentially what this week has told me, I know that God really is in the details in our lives, and has a plan. He knows what's best for us, even if we don't. I have had to rely on God, and he genuinely is showing me my weakness so that I can become stronger. It has prepared me so much for my mission, because I know that I will have to rely on Christ and that he knows our disappointments and pains, and can help us cope with them.
I hope you all are being safe! Remember that God is in the details of our lives. He really does know exactly what we should be doing in our lives. We may not understand why something happens, but that is one of the joys of having the gospel. We know that even though things seem to turn out wrong, and we seem to have an awful day or disappointment, Christ knows exactly how we feel and can and will support us through any trials. I think one of the roles of the Holy Ghost we don't spend nearly enough time talking about is his role as Comforter. He really does comfort us and gives us the feeling that everything will be OK.
Love you all,
|Elder Sterling, Elder Voss, Me, Hermana Leonard, and Hermana Tooleson|