Hey there my wonderful family!
How is life in the warm, beautiful sunshine state? I sure miss it. Haha! It was getting really nice here until this morning when we went to the temple and it decided to start dumping snow. I really don't understand the weather here. Anyway, I can't believe I'm down to almost two weeks left! We haven't gotten our flight plans (should this week) but my guess is I will leave on the 29th since it is a Thursday and Elder Stewart (from my BYU ward) and Elder Williamson (the Elders six weeks ahead of us) left on a Thursday. I'll let you know what my flight plans are once I get them. My guess is we will fly to LA, then to Seoul, South Korea, and then to Vlad.
This last week has been wonderful in so many ways. I think the highlight of my week was this last Sunday night. We had our usual MTC fireside but it was a special fireside. The BYU Men's Chorus came and sang a musical fireside for us, and you all already know how much I love music. I don't have to tell you again how powerful and special music is to me, especially since beginning my mission. All I can say is, "Wow!" I've listened to them before, but that night was special. Every musical number carried with it the Spirit of our Lord. They sang several hymns as well as several psalms, one song called the "Micmoc Honor Song" (it's from a Canadian Indian tribe and it honors nature; it was really interesting) and three African American gospel songs (I LOVED THOSE). It was by far one of the most memorable experiences I have had at the MTC besides my spiritual experiences through teaching. I remember thinking that night, "Wow, Spencer. You have been so blessed to get to experience feeling the Spirit so much testifying to you through music." And I know I have a horrible voice but I hope it's good enough that I might get the chance to sing with that choir when I return because I would love to sing with them. So anyway, Sunday night was wonderful.
Yesterday, we began speaking 100% Russian all day, every day until we leave, and then we'll have to speak Russian to live, basically. :) Haha! So I've pretty much said goodbye to English. While it may frustrate me a little at times because it's hard to convey all I want to, I love focusing on it all day long because I can let myself "forget" English. Dad, you may understand what I mean. It's hard to go back and forth. At least it is for me.
Oh there's something I wanted to share with you... On Sunday, one of the branch presidency's wives shared with us a quote that I really love. We were speaking about commandments in church and she quoted Elder Scott, I believe, who said, "Righteousness will mold you so you don't fit where you don't belong." It makes sense! When we do what is right, we mold ourselves so we fit where we belong; so we stay away from spiritual or physical danger. From stories I've heard, Vlad and other cities in the mission have danger within them. There are some Russians who do not like us. At all. And they'll tell us or try to show us their feelings. But every story I've heard has had miraculous endings, and it shows me that the Lord loves his missionaries. When we are living righteously, the Lord will protect us. I'm not nervous to go to Russia because I think it could be a little scary or dangerous at times. I am nervous, super nervous actually, because I know I will butcher the language at first and I will probably go through some of the hardest days of my life. But I love this gospel too much to let that stop me. I love this message. I love the Book of Mormon. I love the Lord so much and I'm so excited to jump on that plane and be amongst the Russian people. Oh and one last thing, the scriptures are amazing. They answer all our questions. I love you all so much. I'm sorry I ran out of time to say more.