So this week has been fantastic. Why? Because I got to be in the same room with our General Authorites!!! And super close too! I can't tell you how amazing that was! And the spirit I felt when they walked into the room and sat down was amazing! That was the first time I have ever seen any of them in person! I was super happy. There were many tears that day. I think for a lot of people in there actually. But guess what!? Me and Elder Russell M. Nelson got eye contact and I waved at Elder Oaks and he saw me wave and he waved back at me! And when he waved all the missionaries around me that saw waved back at him. But his initial wave was to me! (: I was so excited!!!!! Ha. I know it is cheasy, but I think I get more excited about our church leaders than the worldly celebrities. So I honestly can't believe right now that I leave tomorrow! Tomorrow! Where has the time gone!? I am seriously going to miss it here at the MTC and everyone here that I have grown to love! I get a little longer with my district, but not much... :( My teachers (Brother Taylor and Brother Chamberlin) Have been fantastic! I will miss them. Especially Brother Taylor! He got so close to us! And he brought some of his mission pictures and shared with us his stories. I don't think I told you this but he came and ate lunch with us one time. I think he ate everything he could chose from in the cafeteria! He had so much food! Lol. But the World-wide Broadcast was amazing, and i was on tv!!!! We found out after it was over and went back to our classroom to see if they had already posted it on that new website. And they had! So we opened it and watched just the parts where we sang to see what we sounded like and to see if we were seen. And we were! Our entire district, every single one of us got a close up more so! And that made me so happy because- I know it is cheasy- but I prayed that we would be able to be on it. During our rehearsals they practiced with the cameras and we didn't get on once, but I told Heavenly Father that I don't care about being seen on the screen during the practices, but I asked Him if it was ok with Him if I could be on it just once so my family can see me and make them really excited and happy! (: I told Him I knew it wasn't an important prayer, but that it did mean a lot to me. And He really did answer my prayer! Better than I could have ever asked for! us Sisters were seen twice and our elders as well, and then the picture they used on their website to click on, it is of us Sisters again! (: Heavenly Father answers prayers even if they don't seem like they are that important of a prayer or you don't think He would care to answer such a prayer, He does! He really does and it is absolutely amazing! Another example is one of our Sisters, Sister Dumis, we found out didn't get her visa. And they had already given her her travel plans before telling her she didn't have her visa. (I don't know why or what happened with that) But she was devastated. She was so sad she was going to be left behind. Honestly our district is so close. We are a family. And we wanted her to come with us. So we all fasted on Saturday for her. And it just so happened that for lunch on Saturday, they had grilled hamburgers. And they were grilling outside for hours! It smelled AMAZING throughout the entire campus! And Elder Zaccaria has been wanting a cheeseburger for weeks! And he would always talk about it. It was so hard! But we all stayed strong and fasted for Sister Dumis even though everywhere we went made our mouths water. haha. And just today Sister Dumis went down to the travel office and the lady said she didn't have her visa still and that she would talk to some guy to see what he wanted to do. Either keep her here or re-assign her. She was so sad. But then Some other guy a little bit later told her that her visa had just come in two minutes ago!!! (: So she got her visa and is coming with us!!!! Our fast worked! And I am so glad because it was a difficult fast. But we all believed that if it was ok with the Lord and it was what He wanted to happen, she wouldget her visa and would come with us! :) I am so greatful for the opportunity to be out here on a mission. I can't tell you how much my testimony has grown. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He was an amazing man. I hope to develope the faith that he had. I have grown to respect and admire him so much more since being here. There is no way anyone would go through what he did without this gospel being true. And I still can't believe everything he went through just for holding true to what he knew and for obeying The Lord. But how greatful I am to him. I honestly want to go and give him the biggest hug after this life for what he has done for all of us. I know without a doubt that this gospel is true. And I am so thankful for it everyday of my life, and I can't wait to get over to Portugal to share the sweet message that we have that will bless every person that is willing to listen and learn for themselves the truthfulness of the message we teach. I know this is the Lord's church restored on the earth. I love you all so much! Never forget that!
Sister Amanda Stokes :)
p.s I can't send pictures still... The computers that let us attach pictures is in building 1M and all the mission presidents are in there so we aren't allowed in. Ha. So one more week and I can send some home! (: Sorry.... Love ya!