1. WE MET ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND AND ELDER HALLSTROM AND SHOOK THEIR HANDS! Elder Holland looked into each one of our eyes and smiled and based what he talked about for 2 hours on what he felt we needed to hear after that. IT WAS AMAZING. We all left feeling so inspired. He especially talked about not reverting back after your mission to the person you used to be. He really wants us to hold onto the things we've learned and not fall back into old habits after the mission. Elder Holland is hilarious, and my favorite quote from the whole night was when he said:
"If you go back to who you were before your mission, I'll shoot myself. I'll shoot myself! And we'll blame you. We'll put your name in the Church News."
It was so funny. He is a crack-up. At the end, he bore such a powerful testimony. At one point he said, "I have not given my life to following a cunningly-devised fable. This gospel is not a cunningly-devised fable. This is God's truth."
I know that is true, and I want to echo his words. I didn't leave friends, family, concerts, work, and school to devote my life to a cunningly-devised fable. I know this is real. It's all real. It changes lives. I see it every single day. I'm here because it's all true.
2. This week I also got to hold a letter that Ernest Hemingway himself loaded into a typewriter, filled with words, and hand-signed ("Hemmy") at the end! AHHH! Thank you, museum-worker, for letting me unlock the glass case and touch everything in the Hemingway collection!
3. I ALSO SAW MY FIRST AMISH FAMILY! They were in a horse-drawn buggy on one of the backroads and we drove past them! I've heard there are a lot of Amish communities out here, but I hadn't met anyone Amish yet. They seemed so lovely! I was in such admiration of their complete satisfaction with such a modest lifestyle. I wish I was more like that. OH! The horse also made eye contact with me as we drove by. AN AMISH HORSE LOOKED AT ME! HOORAY!
4. We had a hilarious investigator come to church yesterday. He's from Detroit. We met him on Saturday and he said he'd come to church even though he's "kind of racist towards white people." He said it's just something he needs to work on, though. Haha it was a HILARIOUS Sunday. During the sacrament, where we take a small bite-sized piece of bread to remember Christ, he leaned over and said (after taking a piece of the bread), "I feel like a bird." I don't know why, but I just thought that was so funny. He's the coolest. He also taught us the secret handshake of the Detroit Community Basketball Team. We've made it.
5. I also hit my one-year mark! What?! May 22nd was the day I entered the MTC last year. Bonkers! Life is crazy and moves way too fast.
Sorry this email is so lengthy! I try to help fight reader's fatigue but with this email I know I have failed. Oh well, thank you for reading!
I love you all!
<3 Sister Christiansen