Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tere perekond!

Hello family!!
Someone once told me that at the MTC, the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. SO TRUE. The days are ridiculously long and it doesn't help that we spend more than half of that day in a classroom that was once a Raintree apartment bedroom (Eldon, it's room 349 if you remember where that is!). But this week has been flying by! I can't believe it's already Thursday.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Video of Mormons in Estonia: :)

As I think about entering the MTC tomorrow, a quote by Lloyd Alexander plays over and over in my head. "Child, child, do you not see? For each of us comes a time when we must be more than what we are." Study, work, teach, talk to strangers. Yeeeeeahhh. No more naps for me.

Tomorrow's the big day! As of tonight, I'll be an official missionary. All of my contact info is on here. Please keep in touch! I can't guarantee that my writing will be consistent, but I would really love to hear from you all of the same. If you're really bad at writing letters, check out! It's just like writing an e-mail except that I get a hard copy and it's free! Whoo hoo.

Anyway, thank you everyone for your love and support! I'm going to miss you, but I am so excited for the upcoming 18 months! I'll see you all December 2014.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The temple.

After getting over the shock that I was of age to go on a mission back in October, my next thought was, "I can go to the temple." That possibility was so mind-boggling to me. Growing up, I always put the temple way ahead of me. I would do that when I was an adult, I thought. Which, in my head, would have been at least a few more years down the road. But there I was considering a mission and realizing that that would mean going through the temple and therefore, making lifetime commitments.

When my papers had been turned in, my stake president told me that he wanted me endowed as soon as possible. (!!!!!!) I hadn't even been to temple prep. I didn't feel ready at all. The night before I had my interviews for my temple recommend, I was freaking out. Going through the temple adds a lot of responsibility. I mean, wearing garments for the rest of your life? I was so intimidated by the covenants I knew I'd be making not knowing if I'd be strong enough to remain obedient.

However, after my interviews, everything was fiiiiiiine. I felt peace and I felt more confident with a temple recommend in my hand.

I went through the Provo temple. My mama was there along with my dad, four of my brothers, three sister-in-laws and a few of my close friends. Seeing your family dressed in white is absolutely wonderful. Prior to going through the temple, my stake president gave me a bit of advice. He told me just to chill out. Chill out and enjoy the Spirit. And that's what I did. Best advice ever. Did I really have any idea of what was going on? Nope. I mean, not all of it was brand new, but things were certainly presented in a different way.

So, I continued to go to the temple every week. I've experienced a couple of times now, instances where the Lord wants you to do something, and you do it not really knowing why and what the purpose is, but all I can say, is that it makes me incredibly happy when I hearken to the will of the Lord. As a result, He has blessed me with a greater love and understanding of the temple.

Reading back on this, I realize it's kind of vague, but I think that going to the temple is a very different thing for every single person.

I've written this post today, because temple work has been very present on my mind. Yesterday, I met with someone who is from Estonia! She is a pretty recent convert and she is currently here in the U.S. visiting the elders who taught her and other friends. We made contact on Facebook and made plans to meet in person. It was lovely. She told me her conversion story and told me all about Christmas in Estonia and so many other things. She told me she had been doing family history work and did some baptisms the other day. She then gave me three of the names to do the rest of the work for in the temple!! I was so excited.

Today, I spent over four hours in the temple. It was looong, but what a wonderful experience! At one point, it hit me that it was my first time that I was directly serving Estonians. :)

Four days, my friends.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Imagine me with a wool scarf, a wool coat, a long wool skirt, and wool tights. In my bedroom. When it's 91 degrees outside.

This is what happens when I'm home all alone with only one week left. But I've discovered that all of the clothes I've bought can be worn with so many different things! Hurrah!

Here I come, Estonian winters!

Listen to this song. Please. It's beautiful. 

This is a song performed at Estonia's song festival (Laulupidu). The title translates to My Fatherland is My Love. There are generally about 30,000 singers on stage! The festival is held once every five years... and it's happening next July. :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ten days, folks.

Let me tell you about my last normal weekend before I head off on the mission.

--I went camping.
--I ate crawfish for the first time.
--My mama told scary stories like The Diamond Ring and The Bloody Toe around the campfire. Classics.
--My dad retold the story of shooting a chicken-eating cat nine times for its nine lives.
--My brother dressed up like Tigger. Just for the little kiddos.
--Sarah and I read King Lear out loud to each other.
--We went to our last concert last night. The New Electric Sound. Look them up.
--Red Barn Apple Juice.
--I drive way too fast on the freeway.
--We went to our nephew's baby blessing and got reeaaaallllly lost. At least we made it in time for the  sacrament, right?
--Sarah and I talk about Winston Yellen way too much.
--I learned that I can listen to more than Mormon Tabernacle Choir on my mission. Yessss.
--I had my last interview with my bishop!
--Warm Bodies. How delightfully quirky. And morbid and gross. Great soundtrack. Runaway by The National is a lovely song. Also, I think my brother and I will, from now on, be speaking like zombies to each other. "Say something human! Say something human... 'How... are... you.... ?' Nailed it."
--I looked at a plethora of pictures of Estonia.

Oh, you want to look at some too? Cool. Cool cool cool.

--Last thing. Sigur Ros is a great stress reliever.
--Oh, oh! And so is Viggo Mortensen's voice. Especially when he's narrating one of my favorite books.  ^^

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

This is my mission blog. It's called Ode to Estonia because sister in Estonian is Õde. Ode to Estonia... sister to Estonia... Get it? At least I think I'm clever.

In just two weeks I'll be an official missionary! With a name tag and everything--I'm ridiculously excited about that name tag. It's finally becoming a reality. But on the other hand of things, I'm getting slightly frantic thinking about all of the things I have to do and all of the people I need to spend quality time with. It's exhausting. It all started this past Sunday. Church was great. My ward is absolutely fantastic. I love them so very much. But everything that was shared in testimony meeting and the lessons were screaming at me, YOU'RE LEAVING. Needless to say, I was a tad bit emotional. Just a bit. 

Now I'm in a state of "this is your last time doing this... you can't listen to this for eighteen months... you might (you will) have companions who won't get your movie references..." I also hate it when my iTunes on shuffle will play Christmas songs by Nat King Cole.

In the midst of all of this, my lovely friend shared a wonderful article with me. Read it here. READ IT. Please. It clears up so many stereotypes about mormon missionaries. If you're not a Mormon, read it and learn why so many young people (generally ages 18-21) choose (please note: I'm not speaking for everyone who makes that choice) to serve a mission. If you are Mormon, just read it. If you're like me, read it to remind yourself why you're serving a mission.

I'm serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Baltic Mission. The mission includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus. I have been assigned to learn to teach the gospel in the Estonian language. Be prepared to see lots of pictures of old castles, wonderful people, and snow. Expect lots of snow. And lots of pictures of me bundled up like Randy from the Christmas Story.

Meanwhile, here are some photos Sarah and I had taken. I'm kind of in love with them. Look up our photographer at She was wonderful to work with.

"She is the light that guides me home. Yes, that is from one of our cards. 
No, someone else wrote it. Doesn't make it less true." 
Name that movie. I love you, Sarah.

P.S. Nat King Cole's "Joy to the World" just started playing on my iTunes.