Aside from the usual activities of service, teaching and learning there have been a couple of events that led Eleanor to describe this week as crazy! Though having said that, we’d rather she didn’t title her email ‘A trip to the ER’.
After her preparation day last week Sister Tolman got poorly rather quickly. Soeurs Holt and Redfearn went to check on Sister Tolman who was finding it hard to breathe because it was so painful as well as feeling really dizzy and light headed. The Elders from my district gave her a blessing and then we persuaded her that we needed to go to the doctors. The MTC has a doctor on call at all times who took her symptoms over the phone and decided that we needed to go straight to the ER. They took blood, xrays of her chest and gave her some morphine (the side effect of which was a continual attempt at the British accent and asking my opinion of it every few seconds!!). In the end they diagnosed her with pleurisy and sent us home with a prescription. We got to bed around 2.30 am.
To aid Sister Tolman’s recovery Eleanor and Soeur Redfearn took shifts at taking care of her. On Saturday afternoon Eleanor was nurse and we slept for most of the time until about 5 when we studied for the rest of the time. On the Monday, Sister Tolman went back to the hospital and this time diagnosed with pneumonia, poor her!! On Tuesday she was feeling much better and we played volleyball together during exercise time. In fact, in her email to us yesterday Eleanor said that Sister Tolman was right as rain and sat next to her while they were emailing.
Monday was a special day for Eleanor. Salt Lake City is the headquarters of the Church and it has a number of places to visit with a lot of history and importance to members of the Church. I went on the international missionaries’ trip to Temple Square- we got to see the Conference Centre. The Conference Centre is a modern building that is the venue for the Church’s General Conference twice a year as well as many other events, seating 21,000 people.
The Salt Lake Temple ‘This magnificent granite structure was constructed over a period of 40 years, from the laying of the cornerstones on 6 April 1853 to the dedication on 6 April 1893. The temple is considered the house of the Lord and is sacred to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today Church members gather in more than 100 temples worldwide to worship and participate in sacred ordinances, such as eternal marriage.’ There is a story in Mormon folklore that always makes me smile when talking about the Temple. One of the early leaders of the Church, J. Golden Kimball, was showing some visitors from England around Salt Lake City. Every time they passed a famous building, Golden would mention how long it took to build it. His European visitors constantly bragged that their country could build it in half the time. The group then passed the Salt Lake Temple. The tourists asked what it was. “Hell if I know” he said, “It wasn’t here yesterday.”
The Assembly Hall is described as a charming Gothic-style building with lovely stained-glass windows. This jewel of a building was constructed by Latter-day Saints between 1877 and 1882.
The Christus statue in the visitors centre. This is a replica of a 19th-century Carrara marble statue of the resurrected Jesus by Bertel Thorvaldsen.
The Relief Society Building which is identified as the ‘world headquarters for three auxiliary organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Primary (for children), Young Women (12–17 years), and Relief Society (for adult women). Women of the Church from around the world donated funds to construct the building, which was completed in 1956.’
Temple Square also has beautiful Christmas decorations at this time of year.
Then we ate lunch at the church headquarters which was amazing!! With caffeine free Dr Pepper!
It was only a visit for the international missionaries which meant that Eleanor needed a new companion for the day who was Hermana Dick who is from London, but she is actually the sister of my first efy counsellor [this is a Church youth camp type thing] (small world huh?!) She is so cool, she is going to Nicaragua but she is also a trained nurse so as part of her call she will be the mission’s medical advisor.
In class this week Eleanor continued to work on her French, they practiced multiple approaches to introducing the Book of Mormon to people who are not members of the Church. We also had our first TRC via Skype with a lady in Paris. She was so lovely and we shared with her a message based on the light the world initiative. We practiced using loads of role play teaching people not lessons. I learnt so much.
Eleanor had an opportunity to teach a lesson at Church on Sunday. My lesson was on the subject of doing the will of the father and everyone had lots of lovely complements after, it was nice to teach in English and express myself fully. I can’t wait for that to be me in French.
Music and devotionals continue to inspire her. Sunday devotional was very special, the BYU Men’s Chorus. It was beautiful and very Christmassy. Plus their director was from Wales (it’s weird how excited I get when I see, hear of or meet a fellow Brit!)
Later in the week the choir that she is part of sang “Testimony” It’s a rearrangement of I know that My Redeemer lives. It was very special and for a specific reason…tonight’s devotional was by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He spoke about the importance of the Book of Mormon as well as how we need to be the best instruments that we can be for the Lord’s work.
The highlight of my Wednesday was receiving my Christmas card off my parents which included bunting spelling out Happy Christmas! Soeur Holt We love you! Where each letter was a picture of someone from Hyde ward holding up that particular letter. I love it and it’s so sweet I have taped it above my bed, so thank you to all those who are in the pictures.
And the most exciting part of Friday: I got my travel plans for Barbados, I leave on the 27th December!! Because of a problem with the computers, Eleanor emailed later in the day which meant she could tell us her travel plans. We are excited for her to fly to the Caribbean and follow her plane’s progress on our phones.
Again, we’ll leave the final words to Eleanor: Love you all and have an amazing Christmas season.