I thought I'd record here some of what we spoke about - she amazes me. In no particular order I share what I can remember (operative word: can. I hope I'm getting this mostly right -I should have been like all the businesses I call and recorded our conversation "for quality assurance" - we'll correct details later):
Every week each missionary at the MTC is asked to write a talk for Sunday and then whoever is conducting calls up those he feels inspired to hear from. So, this last weekend Brooke, who had been fasting and praying as described in her last letter, wrote her talk and found herself wishing she could share it, but did NOT think she would be called upon because she was already singing in the special musical number and giving one of the prayers. However, after the sacrament was passed, she heard the announcement, "We'd like to begin the meeting today by hearing from Sister Brooke Nelson and then Elder So-and-So." As she put it, she had "just that much time" to get her talk and thoughts together before standing and going to the pulpit.
She actually was grateful, however, to be able to share her thoughts and centered her remarks on endurance. Among the various things she said, she mentioned her struggles with a "hereditary disease" that kept her from serving the first time she applied and how priesthood blessings and persistence, etc., taught her that she could push through such adversity if she was willing to keep at it. This particular Sunday, someone in the priesthood leadership of the MTC was in attendance who was not always there. After the meeting, he came right up to Brooke and thanked her for her remarks and asked, "Was this 'hereditary disease' you spoke of 'depression' by any chance?" She acknowledged that it was and he responded, "I thought so," and proceeded to tell her that his wife's sister wants so badly to serve a mission but she suffers from severe depression as well and no one really gives her much hope of being able to serve. Brooke's talk had given him and his wife much to share that will lend encouragement and hope and a renewed determination for her to keep trying.
I guess it's obvious as to why Brooke feels she was called on that day when it was so unlikely that she would have been. It was was of the countless little "miracles" that she experienced while there in the MTC. She loved it there. She couldn't explain how slowly life went there (in a good way) and she said, "I just don't get it. How does time warp like that? I can't describe how it just felt like I'd never lived anywhere else sometimes and every day felt like a month and each week felt like a year."
I told her it sounded as though it was a little slice of life lived in "The Lord's time" - the Spirit is so strong there that much more is learned and experienced in those 3 weeks than is learned in our temporal timing beyond its walls. I've often thought, really, why bother? What can 3 weeks do anyway? Why not just have a quick overview and orientation of missionary life and rules and a formal launch into their respective missions and let them learn what they need to learn 'on the job?' But...with this celestial atmosphere, unencumbered by The World, the ability to learn and be taught increases exponentially. She laughed and agreed. She thrived in it. It truly was a taste of heaven.
She said she didn't sleep one wink Sunday night - literally "didn't sleep one wink." But, she was energized and was travelling with one Spanish-speaking Sister and 4 Elders. She loves her Elders. She mothers them and had taken along a big bag of goodies, snacks and treats for them for their trip.
|Elders Savage, Wells, Murphy, and Wood|
It was also very hard for her to leave Sister Correia. She wishes she could just serve her entire mission with her and wishes so much that we could have met her. I was happy to tell her that we will! This summer! When we visit Palmyra and go to the Hill Cumorah Pageant! She's so excited now.
Well - she's there by now. Sorry this went on for so long. She said she can now send pictures via internet, so we expect a whole bunch soon! Thanks again for all your support - Hurrah for Sister "Kentucky!" Hurrah for Israel!
BONUS! A few more pictures from the MTC - A Slice of Heaven on Earth
|Lauren (Pieper) mailed me the entire box of cereal - an awesome package|
|We made them wear read and we wore pink|
|Ed & Pat Pinegar -|
Grandpa Rex's Cousin
|Max & Lynne Pinegar -|
Gr. Rex's Twin Bro & my Great Uncle
|Las Vegas Friends - The Larkins (Seattle Washington Mission)|
The Albrights (Washington DC Mission)
|MTC chalkboard art|
|Sis Vaughn - Coordinating Sister|
|Tender every-other shot|
|Provo Temple Companions pathway|
|Prove Temple companions|
|Provo Temple District 29C - 5 of us went to GKLM|