Thanksgiving in the MTC

November 28, 2015
​Elders Edgley, Budge, Morris,
 Garrett, Davis, Taylor-Jenson
 (This is my whole District)

Well guys, Thanksgiving was actually my favorite day so far! It was just filled with so many exciting things. I also didn't have a single class that day! WOO! ;D 
Nicks (red head), Davis (very left),
 Budge, Morris, Garrett

The day started with a devotional from Dallin H. Oaks. It was really nice to know that I was listening to an apostle of The Lord in a meeting that was quite exclusive. I don't know, it was just fun. He didn't give the best talk or anything, but what I got out of it was that trials truly shape us into the best person we can become. And that trials help us be more thankful for the blessings we receive everyday. Here's a great example of how I learned to be more thankful for my life at home.. While all of you guys were all sitting down as families and friends dropping the hammer on crazy amounts of food, I was eating a sack dinner with a PB&J sandwich for my main meal while sitting on the floor of my classroom. Happy Thanksgiving to me.. Haha. 

That really was our Thanksgiving dinner, but we had our "Thanksgiving Dinner" for lunch at 11:00. It was actually super awesome! They made everything all fancy and had a chef cutting the turkey right in front of us to prove that it was real turkey. (; They also had stuffing which was my favorite! I was SO happy when I saw that they actually had my favorite part of Thanksgiving Dinner! 

Sister Murray and I also decorated our classroom with all the fun things you guys sent me and everyone LOVED it! All the Elders loved the balloons. They want you to send more.. They like to beat each other up with them, and I like to watch them beat each other. (; I really did LOVE my package mom and dad! 
The pecan pie made me so sad and happy at the same time (it was literally the weirdest emotion I have ever felt)! 

After lunch the MTC did a huge humanitarian project by putting together over 357,000 meals for hungry children in Utah. I was the biggest project the MTC has ever done (I don't know if it's a good thing or not that we made that many meals for hungry kids, but oh well. Hopefully there aren't really that many kids starving every night in Utah). The project was a lot of fun! I honestly love my zone..! We have such a fun time together. 
​Budge, Walsh, Morris, Thomas, Dumm, Sister Murray

After dinner we watched 17 Miracles. I had never seen that movie before so I really enjoyed watching it with all of my friends for the first time. the movie made me really excited to see what miracles I'll see while I'm on my mission. 
Thanksgiving Dinner

Then! After all of our Thanksgiving devotionals and movies, the MTC Presidency wished us all a Merry Christmas and told us all the Christmas lights were on! So we all went outside and took lots of pictures to start of our Christmas excitement! There's this giant and tall tree that was just lit up with white lights, and I'm pretty sure it's what the Tree of Life would have looked like. It was BEAUTIFUL! 
Elder Davis

Earlier in the week, I got my travel itinerary! My whole zone, except for the four that got here after I did, are all flying to the Manila MTC! The 15 of us that all arrived at the MTC the same day get to spend two weeks in the Manila MTC! I'm so excited for that! The only downside of all that is.. We're all split up on flights. I pretty much don't fly with any of my really good friends till we're in Hong Kong flying to Manila. And yes.. You read that right! I'M GOING TO CHINA! WHHHHAAAAATTTTT!? I get to spend two hours in China! I will forever be able to tell people I've been to China now! 

On a different note.. One of the Elders in my District tore his ACL while playing volleyball and had to go home.. I was quite heartbroken having to say goodbye to him. When we were saying goodbye he said "Since I'm already being sent home, I'm going to hug you" and gave me a side hug. I wasn't mad, but I didn't give him any kind of hug back because I didn't want to get sent home too. (;  He went to Davis High school, so.. Sydnie do you know a Cole Edgley?  

ALSO! I LOVED seeing Brayden and Chance! At first I was a little worried it would make me homesick but it didn't at all so it worked out almost perfectly! The only thing missing was Sadie.. I couldn't ever find her. BUT I WILL THIS WEEK! Look out for me you three! My zone always sits on the third table up (towards the salad bar) from when you walk through the doors. 

AND! I can't wait to see you Trace! It'll be so fun being here with you for 9 whole days!

And best for last.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I'm sorry I can't be there to crash yours and dads birthday dinners, but I'm moving on to bigger and better things. (; 
​Half of Taylor-Jenson, Davis (pink tie),
 Budge, Garrett, Morris (orange tie)

You're the best mom I could have ever asked for. I'm also SO grateful that you and dad love each other so much. It's hard knowing the rough family situations that a lot of my missionary friends come from. I'm also VERY grateful for all your handwritten letters, emails, and packages. Even everyone in my District believes I have the best parents ever. (; 

Sudweeks, Walsh, Thomas, Sister Murray

​"Boys will be girls, and girls will be boys" Elder Walsh (Left)
 (He's also from England ) and Sudweeks
Elder Sudweeks, Elder Thomas (sunglasses),
 Sister Murray

Use this one for the Christmas card!
Or this one.(;

Garrett, Morris, Davis, Taylor-Jenson, Edgley, Budge
Murray, me, Mathis

Garrett, Budge, Edgley (gold tie)
 (this was when we said goodbye).
 Davis, Morris (blue tie), Taylor-Jenson
Sister Murray, me, Sister Bates
 and sister Mathis (They're my teachers)
Elder Tedrow, Sister Romrell (From rigby)

Walsh, Andon (beard), Thorsen (White Japanese 12 year old) Leishman, Hingano

It snowed this morning! 
Kelsey's Brother Brayden

"Hi Sister El Bano."

November 21, 2015

I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU SENT ME MUNCHERS! [deep-fried cheese potatoes we used to get at the Menan gas station] I about cried I was so happy! And even the half n' half packets! I've already used two. (; I got a lot of weird looks from my zone, but I was so happy I didn't even care. Then they all got mad I wouldn't share with them (; I love you parents of mine SOOO MUCH! THANK YOU! [at the Pop Stop you can get creme shots added to your soda]

So! I'll start off by answering your questions. [Is your companion/district all going to Urdaneta?] My companion is not going to my mission with me (which actually really sucks). There are six Elders in my District and three of them are going to Urdaneta with me. I really like those three, but they're actually the three I talk to least.. They're all SUPER nice though so I am happy they'll be in my mission. There's a sister in a different district (but still in my zone) that's going to Urdaneta and I really like her so that's pretty sweet. 
Elder Wu, Elder Cook, and Sister Calica.

[What is your schedule?]My schedule is usually pretty much the same everyday. We have two three hour classes where we learn how to make sentences in Tagalog. You would think they'd teach us how to be a missionary and how to teach with the spirit or learn doctrine/principles.. But no. We just learn how to speak Tagalog. And you would think six hours a day of Tagalog lessons would be helpful, but I don't think it is.. Haha. I mean, yes it helps but the teachers only speak in Tagalog so more than half the time I have no idea what they are saying. Luckily my companion, Sister Murray, has been picking up the language pretty good so I can ask what the teachers are saying. If we're not in class we're either doing personal study for an hour, companion study for and hour, and then some personal language study for an hour. 
Thank you SO much!

Tuesday's we have devotionals by people high up in the church which are super awesome! Sunday's are really good too. We have sacrament meeting with the zone and our Branch Presidency and then Relief Society with the sisters in the zone and the Branch Presidency's wives. My Branch President also requires my whole zone to be in the MTC choir, so every Tuesday and Sunday nights we have practice and then sing at the Tuesday night devotionals. I actually really like choir practices, it's just a time to have fun but also feel the spirit very strongly because of the songs we sing. 

[What is the MTC doing to celebrate Thanksgiving? Anything special?] I'm not sure what we're doing for Thanksgiving.. But my guess is that we'll have a turkey dinner type thing the day before or after Thanksgiving because I doubt that there's anyone that will be working that day. Hopefully we'll have a devotional of some kind though, that'd be really nice. 
A surprise text from Brother and Sister
 Ron and Shauna Peterson

[How is the language coming?] I'm not sure how the language is coming.. I'd say I'm one of the slowest learners in the class. Elder Taylor-Jenson whose in my District took Tagalog for four years in high school so he's pretty much a champion and likes to help me out. I appreciate that a lot more than he realizes. I'd say I'm having a hard time memorizing vocabulary because when Sister Bates (my teacher) asks a question or what a word is, someone will yell out the answer before I can figure it out. So pretty much I'm just always given the answer so I'm not doing very good at learning. So.. Don't cheat in school kids. You won't learn anything. (; 

[Any advice for Trace Barney? (Going to Alaska via the MTC Dec. 2nd)]I don't have any specific advice for Trace.. But make sure he realizes that it's mostly sitting in classes. I'm sure it will be a lot less stressful and more fun when he doesn't have to learn a language, but no one ever gave me a heads up on how much sitting in class it would be. But when we do have free time, it is SOOOO much fun hanging out with everyone in your zone. Also! After you get past the first week life gets SOO much better. 
(Left to Right) Elder Budge, Edgley,
 Morris, Garrett, Taylor-Jenson, Sister Murray.
This is my district minus two Elders.

With that said, I'm really enjoying life at the MTC now. I don't get homesick at all anymore, which is super nice. I have a lot more fun now. I also saw Chance at breakfast the other day and that was so fun! I'm bummed Brayden and Sadie weren't with him but oh well. So! Funny story.. I'm pretty sure everyone has heard about someone mixing up two words that sounds the same in the language they're learning to speak. Well.. I totally did that in a lesson with my investigator. We were have a very spiritual lesson (and these lessons are all in Tagalog too) about the Plan of Salvation and I went to say something like  Alam ko po na totoo ng ebanghelyo ("I know the gospel is true") and instead of saying "ebanghelyo" I said "el bano!" and oh my gosh.. I literally lost it! I've never laughed so dang hard in my entire life! Even Ignacio (the investigator) laughed so hard that he cried too! Oh man, Sister Murray and I literally died! And then to make it even better.. The next day (a complete surprise) "Igancio" became my District's new language teacher and when he walked in to say hi to everybody he shook my hand and said "Hi Sister El Bano." I lost it.. Oh man, I will never be able to live that down! ;D (el bano means bathroom)
Budge, Taylor-Jenson, Edgley, Murray

Also! I laughed really hard at the 1/2 tree getting the last laugh! That was super funny! I could just imagine the whole thing perfectly. ;D I'm really excited for Tyrel and Morgan there's lots of fun stuff coming up for them (: [So Faylynn Barney and I decided to get her future daughter-in-law a fake Christmas tree for a shower gift so we looked them up on Amazon and  "We started laughing at what we found.  Get this...they now sell 1/2 a tree!  They look so funny! They're fake trees that are flush so you can push it up against a wall.   So anyway, we found a tree and ordered it on  So I look up the email to confirm the details only to find that I accidentally ordered one of those retarded 1/2 trees!!!  Haha!  Dad thought that it was so funny that Faylynn and I were mocking the 1/2 tree only to find that the 1/2 tree got the last laugh when I stupidly ordered one.]

And dad.. I LOVE YOUR JOURNAL LETTERS! Keep that up, those are my favorite. I love you guys a lot more than you'll ever know! And thanks for all the letters and packages from everyone! Telisha sent me a box of Krispy Kreme and I about died.. :D And Sister and Brother Wood sent me a very generous card. And the Rockwell's sent me an MTC survival kit that was very appreciated! I just love everyone so much. (:  
Chance ran into Sister Fivas while at work at the MTC

Kjar (Light blonde in the back), Goodwin (Other tall blonde in the back) Aquino (front row with the scarf), Piutau(gang sign (;)Aguustin, Calica (black dress), Romrell, Murray (blue skirt),
 Sulunga (flowery dress). These are all the girls in my zone.

Welcome, Sister Fivas, to the Provo MTC!

"​Sister Murray is in yellow
 and Sister Sulunga.
November 14, 2015

Hi guys.. I've been doing super awesome! The first two days I absolutely loved! I just liked how everyone would say hi to me and my companion because we had our little pink stickers on our name tags telling all the other missionaries to welcome us to the MTC. I'm sure some people think it's annoying, but I liked all the attention. (; 

My companion's name is Sister Murray and she is so fun. She's from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She's a little older in life than me even though she's only 20. I just graduated high school this year and she just finished her 2nd year of college at BYU. I don't know a whole lot about her interests and stuff like that, but our personalities go together really good. We definitely have a fun time together. (: We're the only sisters in our district which is actually kind of fun. I like hanging out with the Elders. 

My zone is awesome too! I pretty much just get a long with everyone really well, and they all think I'm funny which makes me really happy. (: Also! My Sister Training Leader is actually one of my friends that I went to school with up in Rigby! How awesome is that!? I automatically had a real friend when I arrived at the MTC. I must be living right or something. (; 

Well.. Like I said, the first two days were great! But yesterday it finally hit me that I absolutely hate sitting in a dang classroom literally ALL day. And it doesn't help that EVERY single class is 100% in Tagalog. I know that'll really help me in the long run, but it's a little frustrating spending my whole day "learning" in a language I don't understand yet. It's all good though because when it's lunch and dinner time I always have a blast. You know me.. (; 

The food is pretty good as far as I can tell. [Kels lost her sense of smell and most of her sense of taste due to her head injury in August] There's this macaroni salad thing that I really like and luckily it's something they have pretty much everyday for lunch and dinner! Woo! Of course my favorite food is one of the most unhealthy ones. (; I never go for seconds though so hopefully that'll keep me from gaining any weight. 

[Did you get your shampoo? haha] I got your package with all the soaps and toothpaste in it.. THANK YOU! Those were things I kind of needed. (; [she got her liquids taken from her carry-on at the airport. oops!] 

[Are you getting enough sleep? [Her head injury required extra sleep in the healing process] I do get enough sleep to function all day, but by the time it's 10:30 I'm ready for bed big time! 

[How is your language class?] Like I said earlier language class is class.. Haha. Honestly it's all language study. Even when my teacher Sister Bates is teaching us it's never about how to teach lessons. It's mostly how to form a sentence and memorizing words. I'm having a really hard time memorizing words but I'm sure I'll get better at it eventually. Yesterday I had my very first lesson with our investigator and I really enjoyed it. I mean, he "didn't understand" most of it, but I liked what we were able to say in Tagalog and how we prepared for our lesson. Sister Murray did most of the talking and she didn't love that, but now I know to talk even if its not in Tagalog to make her feel more comfortable. 

Today my zone went to the temple and I really liked that! I thought it was a lot of fun, I really did. We ate there at the cafeteria and I didn't like that because I had to pay with my real money when I could have just eaten all I wanted for free at the MTC. But whatever, my omelet was good. While we were walking back from the temple there were two bucks walking through the MTC soccer field. It was so bizarre! I tried to take a picture but it wasn't the best. 

I really am having a great time here though! I haven't been getting homesick which I am SO thankful for! Heavenly Father really does answer prayers. If he didn't I'd be like a crying baby wanting my dang parents. I still do miss you mom and dad, but it hasn't been causing me any problems which is so good because that means I'm staying happy! Also! I've seen lots of friends from home here too! I've seen Sister Selina Handley  and Sister Kylie Park and Sister Madeline Miller from Tooele! And Elder Shawn Justesen and Sister Lindy Romrell (my Sister Training Leader) from Rigby! (: 

[Do you need anything?] And.. So far on my list of needs is a short extension cord so I can use my fan, a water bottle (preferably the ISU one with the straw thing in it, if not anything else works), and my patriarchal blessing. I love you guys so much and I hope you're all staying happy! Especially you Abby.. Miss "Graduated From High School!" You go Glen Coco! 

I can't figure out how to send pictures.. Sorry. I'll try and figure it out though! LOVE YOU!

P.S. Oh! And yes! I have hand, mouth, and foot disease. There's nothing I can do about it, but my sore throat is gone and that's all I really cared about. The sores on my hands have gone down a lot too, but they never really bothered me a whole bunch. (:

Provo MTC Drop-off

November 11, 2015

At 6:30 am Bruce and I drove to the Idaho Falls Regional Airport to put Sister Fivas on a plane headed for Salt Lake City. Her Nana and Papa Andy picked her up and drove to Provo where they met up with her brother Brayden and sister-in-law Sadie for brunch before taking her to the Missionary Training Center.