Dear Family and Friends,
It is official!!! I have travel plans and will be leaving the MTC to enter the real world again. I am flying out on the 28th of July. My flight leaves at 10:35 a.m. and I will arrive in Houston at 2:35p.m. Look out Houston here I come. I have to be up and ready to leave the MTC by 6:00a.m. I am grateful it wasn't at 3 or 4 like many in my Zone in the past. I will be with both my companions Hermana Stevenson and Hermana Donkin. Mom and Dad I will call you when I get to the airport and am allowed to. If I were to guess it will probably be around 7:30-8:30 when I will call. I am sooooo sorry Mom. I know I will be waking you up. I will call home first and then call Dad on his cell phone because he will probably be at work. So if anyone wants to talk to me they need to be awake at that time. I am so excited to hear everyone's voice so please wake up. I am flying on Delta. This means that I have to really make sure my luggage is not over because of all the airlines, their fines are outrageous. Remember everyone don't come meet me at the airport. I will see you after my mission. You get to pick me up from the airport then.
So that has been the most exciting thing to happen here at the MTC!!! The Spanish is still a work in progress, but I can teach whole lessons in Spanish. Every Saturday evening we do something we call the TRC. This is where you teach fake investigators who volunteer from the outside world. Every week we are given a different task to do and a lesson to teach. This last week we taught the second lesson which is the Plan of Salvation. For our task we had to meet a progressing investigator and give him/her directions to the church in Espanol. The lesson is in Espanol as well. My companions and I did really well. We always have things we could work on, but it went really well. It has been my favorite lesson in the TRC so far in the MTC. We taught someone who is a native of Colombia. It was so cool to hear a native speak Spanish, it was even cooler when I understood what she was saying. And it helped me feel a little more confident in my Spanish because she could understand what I was saying. We have Sisters here who are learning English who are native Spanish speakers. I love these Sisters. I talk with them every night. They help me with my Spanish and I help them with their English. Let me just say I am so glad that I am learning Spanish and not English. English is crazy.
I am glad you are getting my extra letters. I was wondering if our mail box was working here or not. Thank-you to those of you who write me. Your letters are a ray of sunshine. They remind me who I was before I came on my mission. They also remind me how much love and support I have from back home. As I have said before if you write me a letter, I will write one to you. It might take me awhile sometimes, but I will do it. Happy Birthday Mom!!! I keep forgetting to send your birthday card. I did remember your birthday on your birthday, but I should have planned ahead and sent you a card before your birthday. Well, Mom I just want you to know that I am very very glad you were born. I celebrate your birthday. You are the best Mom ever!!! You work so hard and love us all so much. You definitely get the "Best Mom Ever" award!!!
We are having fun here at the MTC practicing teaching, learning or reviewing new Spanish concepts, and firesides that uplift us. It is a good time to be alive. I can definitely tell that it is time to leave the MTC though. Everyone in my District gets really excited about the simplest things. And we think the silliest things are funny. The Elders in my District are leaving the Tuesday morning before us. It will be so weird to be in the MTC without them. But we are so excited to go. Three of our Elders are going to Atlanta GA. One is going to Boston MA. The Hermanas are going to Texas Houston. I don't know if I will get the opportunity to write next week, but I will call.
I love you all!!!!
Work hard and Love the Gospel, Love Always,
Hermana Alaina Mills
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Alaina's District 4A (at the moment)
Back Row from Left to Right: Elder Haggard, Hermana Donkin, Hermana Jardine, Hermana Stevenson, ALAINA, Elder Wood
Front Row from Left to Right: Elder Nelson, Elder Cowley
Alaina's and her companion, Hermana Kathryn Stevenson
Alaina's new TWO companions.
"We are tired."
Hermana Donkin and Hermana Stevenson
They were in Alaina's district for 3 weeks
Left to Right: Elder Udall, Elder Porter, Elder Bench, Elder Fullerton
Left to Right: Hermana Donkin, Hermana Jardine, Hermana Stevenson, Hermana Mills
At the MTC
Friday, July 16, 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
Hello!!! Well it happened Hermana Jardine went home on Thursday. It was very sudden. We thought we would have her for at least the weekend, but it was not to be. We helped her pack and sent her on her way. It is weird being in our room and doing things without her there. As well we now know that she has Type I Diabetes. She has written us and says it is weird to be alone. We miss her but know she is where she needs to be. So we are now a three-some. Still Hermana Stevenson, me, and Hermana Donkin. Hermana Donkin is from Portland Oregon. I thought that might intrigue Dad since he served in Oregon. She is from a very big family. There are ten kids in her family. She is very loud and happy. She has been a welcome addition to our companionship. She helps Hna. Stevenson not get as annoyed with me. It has really reduced the contention. Also this last Sunday they released me from being the Coordinating Sister. They like to give as many people as they can the opportunity to lead. I served for six weeks. Usually they have you only serve for 4. Hermana Donkin has been called as the new Coordinating Sister. She is already doing a fabulous job. She is a great support to me and I love having her around.
Today has been a little crazy. We had to go to the front offices so Hermana Stevenson could do somethings for her job back home. If she takes some test online she will still have her job when she gets home. It took forever. So that is why I am writing you so late. Also today we had the opportunity to clean the temple. It was nice to go to the temple. We haven't been since they closed the temple. We have missed it greatly. The spirit is still there. The peace I feel in the temple is so wonderful. I love the temple!!! I am very glad that I will be able to attend the temple in my mission. The temple is in my mission, Hna. Donkin says.
We had a fireside on Sunday with Jenny Oaks Baker. It was amazing. For those of you who don't know Jenny Oaks Baker is a very accomplished classical violinist. She is married with 4 children. She attended College in Philadelphia and went on for her Masters in Juliard (spelling?). She shared with us many experiences where music has helped her to rely on the Lord and gain a stronger testimony of Jesus Christ. Of course, she played songs. She played "Amazing Grace", "I need thee every hour", "Believe Me", "Be still my soul", "This is the Christ", and "I know that my Redeemer Lives." Her father, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, was in the audience with his wife. It was a great experience that I will treasure. I love music and this fireside was really special.
I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well. I love the letters I receive. They are such a support. So thank-you everyone who has written me. Continue to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to live as he would live. I know we will never completely succeed, but we should always be striving to become more like Christ. Again, those of you with boys help them to find their own testimony of this amazing Gospel. Have them read Preach My Gospel before they enter the mission field. These things will benefit them greatly. I love this Gospel. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I know it. I know that Jesus Christ is supporting me on this mission. He is the best friend and best older brother anyone could ever have. Let us all strive to be more like him.
Hermana Alaina Mills
Friday, July 9, 2010
First off Mom I did get your package. Thank-you Thank-you!!!!! I love the skirt and the other Hermanas say it looks really cute on me. I know that must have been hard with how busy you are Mom and I want you to know that I appreciate it. The language is going pretty well. This is the second week that our teachers are only talking to us in Espanol. Also we have three days a week that we only speak Espanol. Those days are Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. I wish I could say a lot more, but I just keep working at it. I know when I arrive in the mission I will feel like I learned nothing in the MTC because people will talk so fast. But I know with the Lord's help I will be just fine. It will be difficult and frustrating but that will just make me stronger. My companion and I keep working on being good companions for each other. She told me that in her setting apart blessing she would be blessed with sweet companions. I just kept thinking about how my blessing told me to be patient with my companions. That seemed to be the biggest message to me before my mission was that I would have some difficult companions. But I love my companion she is awesome. Yeah sometimes things get rough but we work things out. So my district is now the oldest district in the zone. We have four districts total in my zone. My district is the only one with Sisters. It feels weird to be the 'oldest'. But at the same time I am excited to be that much closer to going to Texas.
I have some really sad news about one of the Hermanas. One of the Hermanas has been sick every since she got here. She got a cold, hurt her foot, etc., Well this week they finally sent her to a specialist for her foot. She has tendinitis ( I think that is how you say it.) She is a runner so this is very common. This was on Monday. On Tuesday morning they took some of her blood to do some tests because they were worried about some of the other symptoms she has been having. Symptoms like being thristy all of the time, using the bathroom alot, and multiple charlie-horses in the while she is sleeping. Well during our morning class a nurse came and pulled her and her companion out of our class. We knew this could not be a good sign. Well, the diagnosis is that Hermana Jardine has Type II Diabetes. I was worried this was what it was because I know what the symptoms are. Her blood sugar level was over 500. It should be around 100. They did some more tests on her urine. There was a lot of things in her urine that should not be there. I don't remember what they were. But they sent her to the hospital to stay over night. Her companion went with her. She won't leave her to do this alone she says. On top of this she also has an appointment with an OB-GYN for a reaccuring yeast infection. This poor girl. So the doctors say that she will be sent home. They say we will have about a week left with her and then she is going home. She has been crying and crying. I have not even seen her or her companion today. After she leaves Hermana Donkin will join the rest of us and we will form a tri-panionship. I don't know what we will do without Hermana Jardine. They have been gone all day yesterday and today. We miss them and notice greatly their absense. Things just don't feel right without them.
I pray all of you are well and healthy. I love you all. I keep working hard to prepare to share this wonderful gospel with the world.
Love, Hermana Mills