Today was a little different than any other Sunday we have experienced. Breakfast was very simple so that fewer workers would have to work on the Sabbath. This morning we could either have dry cereal or dry cereal with all plastic utensils. Also at lunch we had only one choice pot roast, potatoes and carrots. However, they did have ice cream from the BYU creamery.
We were assigned to a branch depending on the first letter of your last name. Our branch was an American Branch so all the missionaries were from other countries assigned to missions in the United States. When they blessed the sacrament it was the first time the elders had blessed it in English.
They then had a sister from an oriental country speak and a elder from Chili. The elder from Chili has a mother who was just diagnosed with cancer but the mother and son both felt like he should serve a mission now.
The elders and sisters than sang the primary song "Armies of Helaman" with accents and the spirit was very strong.
Then for Relief Society they don't have a lesson but they have a song and prayer and then a new sister tells a conversion story. They then had a special musical number and a speaker.
The speaker was the wife of a former Melbourne, Australia Mission President. They came home about a year ago. She looks very young but she served a mission in Peru when she was 21 and her and her husband have 8 children. She showed pictures during her talk and it looks like most of her children went to Australia with them. What an experience for those children.
From 5:30-6:30 we had a departure meeting for any missionary leaving the MTC this week. There were 500 missionaries to that meeting.
Then at 7:00 we went to a fireside. A counselor in the MTC presidency (President McIff) who was a doctor talked about relieving stress in the mission. He committed all the missionaries to 20 minutes of exercise 6 days a week. Don was all excited about that.
At the end we sang Called to Serve. At first we sang very soft as if we were an army approaching. Then the second verse was louder until the third verse when we all stood and sang very loud. There were over 2,000 missionaries in the auditorium singing. It was awesome.
August 28, 2011