Let me first just start off by telling you my attitude has completely changed from on Friday when I received the news about my visa. I know that there is a reason I am here and that I was chosen to stay because I am tough enough to handle it. Having said that, I have no new news about when my visa will come or what the status of it is. I am in communication with the Norwegian Consulate and the main church travel guy. It is hard to be in communication with people though when you are limited to email and have no access to a telephone. But, It will all work out!
Saturday was my favorite day of my mission so far. It was such an incredible experience being apart of the Relief Society Choir for the broadcast. When we loaded on the buses Saturday afternoon, I have never been so excited to make that drive from Provo to Salt Lake. I also have never been so alert and happy while making that trip.
Once we got into the conference center, I shortly realized that I had left Emi's camera on the bus!! I was SICK about it. She had asked me to keep it in my bag and it must have fallen out. We didn't have any opportunity to find the bus or call the bus company so all we could rely on was our prayers. We got thrown into practicing and lighting and staging and all that jazz. I cannot describe the feeling of being in those choir seats. I have been in the conference center countless times but never have I once been on the other side of the pulpit. Walking past that historic pulpit, I was overcome with the spirit. I realized how many amazing people have stood at that spot and poured out their testimony to the congregation, and really to the world.
During the broadcast it was so fun to look out to 22,000 people and potentially 6 million watching all over the world. Emi and I kept pinching each other's legs because we just couldn't believe it. After the broadcast ended people started to leave the conference center, but the choir waited until most of the people left. Sister missionaries' moms were running up as close as they could and trying to get the attention of their daughter. It was hard to see people's faces from so far away, and the bright lights weren't helping. You knew once a sister found her mom because she would just burst into uncontrollable tears. I patted a few girls on the back while they signed and waved to their moms. I kept scanning and scanning the audience because I knew my mom would be there! I figured she was in one of the top balconies so I didn't search too hard. Then all of the sudden, two little blonde women caught my eye as they were waving like crazy people. I kept watching them and then they started copying my movements. It took me all but 2 seconds to figure out it was Haley and her mom Krissy. I became one of those crying sisters. I waved and laughed and cried with Haley from afar. After going in the dressing room and gathering my things, we walked outside to board the buses, and then BAM HALEY HUTCHINS. I ran like a fool to her and just hugged her for who knows how long. It was so fun to see her and visit for the short time we did. It made everything worth it! When we got back on the bus, WE FOUND EMI'S CAMERA!! Prayers work, people.
On Sunday, the Swedish sisters and I watched the relief society broadcast on LDS.org. We laughed so hard when we saw ourselves on camera. We all realized we kinda looked like dorks, but hey, YOLO!
Also on Sunday it was the Nords and Swedish missionaries' last day here at the MTC. It was so bittersweet. Luckily it was testimony meeting, so we all got to say a few things. The spirit was amazing! Sunday night was when I had to say goodbye to everyone. It was SO HARD! All 13 Norwegian missionaries sat in a small room and kinda had a pre-game pep talk, if I can call it that. There was not a dry eye in there; It was such a cool thing that I got to experience. 12 eighteen-year-old young men talking about how grateful they were for their time at the MTC and for each other. While shaking all of their hands goodbye, tears just kept coming down my face. They all laughed at me but I didn't care. It was half because they were leaving me behind, and half because I knew I would never be in the MTC with that same group ever again. All I could be was grateful for the time I have had with them here.
Yes, I also had to say goodbye to the four Swedish sisters I have been living with. That goodbye was a little bit more even on the tears. We were able to say one last group prayer together and we actually got to hug. They are all going to be amazing! I am so excited that they are all in Norway and Sweden now and I cannot wait to join them shortly.
My new companion is a solo sister going to Denmark. She arrived just 6 days ago, and guess what? She went to Olympus!! So funny. Her name is Kara Henderson and she is doing fabulous. The new Norwegian and Swedish sisters come on Wednesday so I will get to be with all of them and hopefully help them out as much as I can.
I don't have much more to say but that I am doing great. I know that people are doing all they can to get me to Norway so all I can do is use my study time wisely and have a good attitude. I love all of you guys. Thank you for all of your sweet notes and for your prayers. I am still at main campus, and have the same address until I get notified otherwise.