So we've been looking forward to flight plans for the past couple weeks, such that we totally forgot about our awesome Chinese nametags! A sister showed up in the middle of personal study on Tuesday and announced that she had our nametags and we seriously freaked out. We've been wearing them a lot lately.
Finally Friday arrived and we checked the mailbox before dinner to find that our flight plans had indeed arrived. However, you're not supposed to get the mail before dinner so we left them there and went and told our district the good news. That was a fairly impatient dinner. One Sister in our district didn't get travel plans because her Australia visa hasn't come through yet, so she'll be reassigned somewhere else temporarily (maybe Portland...). The two Elders going to Taiwan fly from Salt Lake to Narita, Japan, and then to Taipei. The Brisbane Elders go to LA and then straight to Brisbane, while the Sister going to Melbourne goes to San Francisco, then Auckland, then Melbourne. The three Elders going to Auckland have the same plans (minus the last part to Melbourne of course), and then we have yours truly! I'm the first in our district to leave, reporting to the travel office early early in the morning, then catching a flight from Salt Lake to JFK (that's in New York in case you're not aware). From there it's the longish flight to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, which is why I made the Great Race reference. I hope Grandpa sees this letter, that was always one of my favorite movies to watch at his house. After that it's just a short hop to Lyon, and did I mention that I'm traveling all by my lonesome? At least it's not the first time flying to Europe by myself (thanks Mom!). So that was super super exciting!
This morning some more friends left, including Yasli Jensen going to Turkey and Elder McKee off to Slovenia. I had a great conversation with that same sister from last week (the French one going to Russia); I say great because it was actually in French this time (again, Spirit helping out). She told me about how the airport in Paris is "énorme" and scary. I'll survive, I hope.
We went to the temple this morning and saw rain for the first time in over a month I think. It actually poured, several missionaries that came back later walked into the residence looking like drowned rats. I did get to use my super awesome trench coat and it worked wonderfully, thanks Mom!
We've had some good devotionals lately, including one last night from Sheri Dew. I figured Mom would be a little jealous at that, she's a great speaker and made me think about something I've never really considered before. We mention "the ministering of angels" fairly often, but have you ever actually thought about it? If I were an angel up there in heaven I wouldn't just be sitting around or watching the Earth get more and more wicked. I would be down there, unseen, doing everything I could to help out. And guess what? They are. You can pray for angels to help you, whether unseen heavenly ones or earthly ones. We are not alone in this work, and I know that God will always send help as long as we are deserving of it.
Next time I write you it will be from France, and I'm super excited to get out there and hit the ground running! We watched the Joseph Smith movie last night and it was a fantastic reminder of who he was and what this Church is about. It's about Christ. Like Sheri Dew said, quoting a 4 year old boy: "Jesus has rules." Those rules will do nothing but help us if we follow them to the best of our abilities. I still have such a long way to go, but I think I'm becoming prepared to improve myself and be an instrument in the hands of God, working alongside earthly and heavenly angels "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of [everybody!]" (See Moses 1:39)
Keep the Faith!
Keep the Faith!