Wednesday, August 31, 2011

singing in the MTC

AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!  I SANG A SOLO LAST NIGHT IN FRONT OF JEFFREY R. HOLLAND AND 2,685 MISSIONARIES!!!!!!  ALL BY MYSELF!!!  WITH SIGN LANGUAGE!!!!!  IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING AWESOME FREAKY INTIMIDATING BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE EVER DONE IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE!!!!!!  ME!!!"  SISTER CALLIE WILSON!!!  SANG A SOLO FOR ONE OF THE TWELVE!!!!    oh.  my.  I cant even find words to express what that was like.  We auditioned last thursday for a possible performance of a musical number and me and sister sellers translated Savior Redeemer of My Soul into ASL and as I sang, we both signed it.  The entire presidency cried through our audition and said they wanted us to perform for the devotional on Tuesday (last night).  They have NEVER EVER EVER HAD A SPECIAL MUSICAL NUMBER FOR A DEVOTIONAL ON A TUESDAY NIGHT!!!!!  IM THE VERY FIRST!!!  We touched them so much they said they had to fit us in for when Elder Holland came but we didnt know it was going to be him until the day of!!!  oh my heavens!!!!  He gave an AMAZING devotional about missionary work, and it was sooo good.  and then we sang for the ending number.  my brain isnt working right now.  Im super A.D.D...  Im soooo happy the Lord gave me this musical talent that I can use to help other people feel the spirit!!!  I feel the only way I can give back to him is to use this talent for His work and thats what I was able to do last night.  What an amaaaazing opportunity!! 
So...we were kind of already considered really cool, but now Im literally a celebrity.  People ask to take pictures with me, everywhere we go, Im attacked by missionaries expressing the wonderful spirit that the Lord brought through my song.  I am so grateful for Him that He blessed me to be able to calm down enough to sign while signing in ASL because the grammar is completely opposite!!!  It was so great!  Theres no way I could have done it without His help!!  The Lord gave people the spirit through me and I love every minute of my time that I can be an instrument for him! I love it when He uses me!!!  So amazing!  So, Im getting a LOT of compliments from people, but Im remembering that the Lord is the reason, all I did was let Him use me.  gotta stay humble, right!!! 
Im doing well.  really well especially after yesterday.  It might be because I cant stop smiling when people express to me that the felt the spirit so strongly.  I love the fact that the Lord touched many last night!!!!  On other terms....things are good.  The days are passing more quickly.  I know that serving a mission is the best possible thing I could be doing in my life right now!!  Im just sooo happy to be a missionary!!!  I know that the Lord gives us trials but in the end, he ALWAYS wants whats best for us and the paths we choose need to be in accordance with His will.  If we do His will, we will become the most joyful, happy people!! Even more happy that we can imagine!! I am filled with the joy of the gospel here at the MTC, but excited and ready to go to the field!!! 
Im interpreting some here, which is great experience for me and Im getting better at voicing.  The only time I REALLY struggle to interpret is when we watch Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday mornings.  My companion, Sister Sellers (deaf) asks me to interpret but the MoTab keeps singing these really weird ancient songs from the 1800s and only half the lyrics are understandable.  So she looks at me and signs WELL!!!  WHAT ARE THEY SAYING!!!  but I tell her over and over again that I cant understand the words.  We just laugh.  She thinks that because Im hearing I should be able to understand them.  nope.  all the other hearing people are lost too!!!  hahaha.  since the elders of my district are the new zone leaders, Ive been interpreting some of their training meetings, too.  Its been great.  Nice to know that the Lord needs me to be here at the MTC right now.  Makes me feel needed. 
Elder Wardle, the one with 2 cochlear implants, walks around singing songs all the time.  he thinks hes good.  he sounds like a DEAF PERSON SINGING...  surprise!!  It makes me laugh but I tell him to stop all the time.  hahah. 
I love love LOVE YOU ALLL!  The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth!!  Share your testimonies!!  Write me on Dear Elder!  muah!
Sister Wilson

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

week 3

Another week come and gone!  Going by so fast!!  The three elders in my district have been called leaders.  Its really amazing how theyve grown up since we got here..but we are helping them stop doing dumb things so they can be good examples for our branch.  I have been going to physical therapy with my deaf companion, sister sellers, for her bad knee and I have run across several people while doing so.  The other day I saw the Madsens from the home ward and I also saw cousin Wendy!  Random!  And while at the temple, Kendall walked by!!!  so weird to see family and friends.  oh.  and Bill Baby drove by this morning and waved to me out his car.  haha.  guess thats what you get when you're from this area! 
We did a VOICE OFF day yesterday and we all had different punishments for speaking, depening on what we hated.  Sister Embley had to run a lap at gym for every time she spoke, she only had to do 3 which is pretty good!  I wont tell you what Elder Wardle has to do....
My name sign is "sister wink" because apparently, I wink all the time.  Like when someone answers my question right or I want them to know they did a good job.  Guess I never noticed I winked often, but my district thinks its great.  I dont think I wink that much when I speak English, but ASL Im noticing it a lot.  haha. 
P-day will switch to Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays, so if you dont get an email from me next Tuesday, thats why.  but it could be the week AFTER next.  not sure.  The MTC is the FULLEST IT HAS EVER BEEN IN THE EXISTENCE OF THE MTC.   That came out kinda weird, but you know what I meant.  There are 2,075 missionaries here right now and we have to beat each other up to eat dinner in the cafeteria.  mmmm.  that cafeteria food.  :)  I'm actually eating cream of wheat for breakfast, Mom, by the way.  Reminds me of home.  and I do LOVE the fact that I can have 8 strips of bacon when its available.  hee hee. 
Last Friday we had our first REAL DEAF INVESTIGATORS in the TRC!!!!! (training ...uh...recreational...okay.... I dont know what TRC stands for)!!!!   and also... okay.  They werent real investigators.  just members who volunteer to listen to us speak.  but they WERE both Deaf and they were both strangers as well.  instead of my teacher pretending to be some strange other character.  it was a lot of fun and the spirit was so strong!  It was great to finally teach a stranger Ive never met and have them respond positively to my message. 
While at Sister Sellers appointment for physical therapy, we were waiting for the shuttle to come take us back to the MTC when a lady spoke to us.  I turned to look at her and noticed that all of her fingers on one hand had been amputated.  It was on our voice-off day, so I couldnt talk to her but we began to converse back and forth via writing on paper.  I decided to not beat around the bush and I asked her what happened to her hand.  She explained that she had to amputate fingers because of dialasis.  Then I had this impression come over me that she needed to know of Gods love for her!  So I wrote her again and I told her that He loved her very much and He knew this was a hard trial to accept.  I then wrote that He would compensate her for her sacrifices.  It was a very strange and bold thing for me to do, but I figure I better start getting bolder if I'm going into the mission field, right?!  She smiled a big smile (for the first time) and said He had been supporting her for years.  It was such a great testimony to me that God loves all of us!! 
Random:  I dont miss my cell phone at all.  Thought I would.  I dont.  or facebook.  I dont even care.  My district all mocks me for recieving dried plums and tomatoes and carrots in my packages but they make me giggle.  hehe.  and I eat them all.  :)  Thanks mom.  Elder Roper's mom sent marshmellows and chocolate with graham crackers and we made microwave smores the other night.  Super delicious.  I watched Legacy the other day and couldnt help but laugh at those dumb mistakes we laughed at as kids.  Thanks to Brett and Kyle for ruining the movie for me.  I cant ever take it seriously anymore.
I love all of you so much!  Write me on dear elder until I get into the field!!  Also, I dont have ANYONES emails on I cant write you back... I only have moms.  :S... so if you want me to write ya, send me a quick note so I have it. 
Love Sister Wilson

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

week 2

WEEK TWO!!!!  It feels like MUCH longer, but things are going well.  30 minutes to email is really not ever enough time, but when I sit down to write, I forget everything I needed to say...  hmmm...  writing me on Dear Elder is the best thing because I dont have time to read emails on here because I use my time to write!  Thanks for the dear elders Ive gotten so far.  even though I cant write back until P-day, theyre fun to get randomly throughout the week.  MOM BROKE HER FOOT?????  HOW ON EARTH??!  Did Rob pick her up and spin her around again?!  I leave for one week and you guys cant even take care of Mom for me.  geez.  I am going to try out to sing a solo for the fireside on Tuesday night and my Deaf companion is going to sign it with me.  signing and singing at the same time is hard, but we are figuring out the grammar.  That should be fun! 
My FIRST Sunday, they called me up to the podium to speak.  great.  They randomly call on missionaries and for some reason, my president thought that I needed to be the first speaker so I had to get up in front of everyone and give a talk about Repentance.  it actually wasnt too bad!  Kinda scary to be called on at random, though!! 
Sooo....heres a funny story.  I wasnt feeling well after breakfast yesterday and I decided to take one of my nausea pills.  After about an hour, I was dizzy and feeling like a zombie.  I wasnt even able to walk I was so tired.  I fell asleep in class like 12 times and I couldnt understand what anyone was signing because I couldnt focus.  We went to gym and I thought maybe if I worked out my tiredness would go away, so I got on the bike.  I fell asleep while biking.  Pretty sure I accidentally took a sleeping pill instead of my nausea medication.  They look very similar.  hahahaha.  So I gave up and we skipped gym so I could take a nap because I was completely NOT functional.  hahaha.  so dumb.  I made sure to look at the right pills last night but my district was making fun of me the whole day, which they had every right to do.  I have never been so tired in my life!!!  Guess thats what sleeping pills do to ya, huh???  haha. 
My companion sister Embley is improving her ASL.  She gets frustrated sometimes but I am learning patience and doing a lot of one-on-one tutoring her with the language.  Heavenly Father loves His deaf children in Oregon and He wants her to learn this language so she can find and teach them!!!  YAY! 
I have such a strong testimony that God loves all of His children.  He sends us out to different countries and different languages to teach the people!  Its such a great work!  We have some so-called- investigators that we are teaching....which are really just our teachers in the other room who are pretending to be investigators....  anyway.  We taught a lady named Veronica yesterday.  Shes deaf.  She is also an illegal immigrant from Mexico so she DOESNT KNOW ASL.   We taught the resurrection, the atonement, prayer, and about Jesus Christ JUST BY GESTURING!!!!!  It was amaaaazing.  We had to act everything out.  Just face expressions, pointing to pictures, acting out concepts.  In the mission field, there are so many deaf people who grew up with hearing families who didnt sign so they are LANGUAGELESS.  We have to find those deaf people and teach them but we cant use any kind of language, so its interesting.  I hear that in my mission, I will do this with 60% of my investigators.  Most of them are so uneducated that they just didnt learn language and they cant speak English.  Or else they know some other kind of sign like Italian Sign Language and so we have to adjust to the individual.  Soooo hard.  and interesting.  I love it though and I am getting better!!!
I forgot to tell you about my first day!  I forgot my meal card, and we werent supposed to go back to the classroom, so the PRESIDENT OF THE MTC payed for my dinner!!  hahahaha.  They all love us because we sign. 
The three elders in my district are....19.  Well, sometimes theyre 12, but I love them anyway.  haha.  Elder Wardle has 2 cochlear implants and he cant ever stop talking.  We have to tell him to turn his voice off more than any of the hearing people!  Elder Roper is from Gilbert, Arizona.  Hes hearing but he took 2 years of ASL in high school.  Elder Alder is the district leader.  Hes Deaf and hes from (Brett will love this) Preston, Idaho.  Im really glad we have a small district.  Its kind of crazy that there are only 6 of us learning ASL in the whole MTC, though. 
Im so happy I dont have to wear nylons.  Did Stacey pop yet!???!  I miss Roxie. 
I love you I love you!!  Could someone tell me if my blog is working?
Sister Wilson

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm in the MTC

IM ALIVE!!!  Everything here at the MTC is so so so amazing.  :)  Please tell everyone to write me through Just create a free acount and Its a much better system because I dont have to limit the amount of time I can read the letters.  They only give us THIRTY minutes to read and write emails on P-days, so writing me through dear elder will let me have an easier time.  I love you all!!

I'm eating a lot of food.  its so great.  not.  really.  Ive had a few hypoglycemic attacks and cant seem to eat enough protein, so sending nuts or other snacks would help!  or popcorn!  Microwave popcorn, if anyone feels so inclined.  We have a microwave and girls are always making popcorn at night and I cant ever eat any of it cuz it isnt mine.  haha.  Cafeteria food is....fine.  There are days when its super gross and days when it isnt awful.  I really miss fresh vegetables.  They give us these gross mixed frozen stuff... blegh.

My ASL District:  ASL is amazing. I already loved the language before I came.... My district has 6 of us learning ASL.  3 Deaf and 3 hearing.  I have 2 companions!  Sister Sellers is Deaf.  She signs but she can also speak near perfectly.  Shes so outgoing and fun that she talks to everyone around us.  Its kind of funny that we are a novelty.  Everyone instantly thinks I'm super cool cuz I know sign language and Ive been interpreting quite a bit so people sit and watch me when they sit behind us at devotionals and I'm interpreting.  We get a lot of questions about ASL and Deaf people, which I LOVE explaining over and over!!  It makes me so happy to know that people are interested and I love to share the Deaf knowledge.  Tell Brett I dont have a ground- AC.  so no fridge for me.  :)

Sister Embley didnt know a LICK of ASL before she got here a week ago.  She has been learning and growing so much!  Shes the only one in the district with NO asl background.  On our third day, she was able to say a simple prayer!  AMAZING!  The Lord wants her to learn this language!  She was originally called English speaking to California, but 2 days before she left, she got switched to the Portland Oregon mission using ASL.  The Lord must need her.  Its interesting because Sister Embley and sister Sellers cant communicate AT ALL.  Sister Embley has a severe speech impediment and she doesnt know sign language, so Sister Sellers cant read her lips.  and Sister Sellers can voice to her but cant understand what she says back so I have been the constant interpreter.  Its so perfect.  I know that this companionship is the way God wanted it to be!  They could be companions without me and I couldnt be without them.  I love it.

Because we are ASL, we get reserved seats to EVERYTHING.  hahahah.  Front row seats to devotionals from the apostles, BABY!  YEAH!  so fun.  Merril J. Bateman was like 10 feet away from me.  :)  marvelous.  OH!!!  I need to tell you all that WE ARE THE VERY VERY VERY FIRST GROUP OF MISSIONARIES TO BE TAUGHT BY THE NEW PREACH MY GOSPEL PROGRAM!!!  They just re-did the program and we are the first to be trained in it!  It is sooo inspired by God!  Its so wopnderful!!!  I love and miss you all!!  The church is true!  Please pray for sister Embley to be able to learn the language, she's really struggling and its sooo hard to be thrown into a district where everyone signs and she doesnt understand.

Went to the temple this morning for P-day and it was amazing.  I love love love the temple.  I challenge all of you to go very soon!  Its so amazing there!  I'm learning to take short showers and get up early. Been soooooooper busy and tired.  a lot of emotional experiences in the MTC.  Its amazing how close you can get to your district when you spend all day every day with them in classrooms.  They have all already seen me cry like 4 times.  We bear testimony and support each other.  I love it.

I need Erin and Amy to send me their addresses!  I cant write anyone unless they write me first! Or send me their address through dear elder!

Love sister Wilson!!!!

9 weeks here I come!  one down, 8 to go!