Hello dear family and friends!!!
Well, I have 27 minutes to type this to you and who knows what happens when the time is up so here we go.
Everything is going great here overall. These past 5 days have felt like the longest 5 days of my life. I already feel like I have been here for 3 weeks, but I haven't even hit a week yet. I guess I am almost there though. The days are SO long, but then you realize that time is moving quickly. It is a strange time warp in the MTC. I am getting used to falling asleep at 10:30 but the first few days were so hard to fall asleep. I would just lay there and wonder if I was really a missionary and really at the MTC. I would wake up and turns out yes I am still a missionary and yes I am still at the MTC.
Some funny things about the MTC....
Everyone speaks to you in their language. And they continue on a conversation like they expect you to answer something back. I am just like ugh I speak English, then they mumble something in their language and laugh. Probably happens 3 times a day. It is cool to hear everyone walking around and feeling like you just had the cliff notes version of all the languages in the world.
Also the gym has movies playing. Kinda like how it would be at a normal gym, but instead of the news you watch the Restoration and The Testaments. It still cracks me up everytime I go in there.
Last random fun fact is that at night before I go to sleep it is freezing cold (I am at the top bunk, right by the vent) and then I wake up and I feel like I am in Tahiti cause it is so humid and hot. We can't figure out the thermostat still.
Okay so on to more important things...
My companions: Sister Carter and Sister Meredith. Yes I have two. A trio is difficult because it is working with more personalities and more ideas when teaching. We have had some challenges but we had a wonderful devotional last night on relationships with your companions and it was an answer to my prayer (really). I was so grateful for everything that was said and I think things will improve! They are wonderful sisters and we do have a lot of fun together despite our differences. Sis Meredith is going to OK with me and Sister Carter is going to South Dakota.
District: We have 9 missionaries total in our district. Half is going to Tulsa the other half to South Dakota. They are all great and love the gospel. I love district study because I learn so much from everyone!! We have a lot of fun too. Some of the elders keep me entertained during the day so that's good.
Teachers: My teachers are so good!! Every time they teach I am so amazed at everything they have to offer. One of them was actually in my ward last year haha. I guess that comes with being right next to BYU. Our teachers are actually our investigators that we teach when we do role plays. My investigators are Mike and Shawn. We have taught each of them once and I teach Shawn again tomorrow. At first I was SO nervous about role play because I remember in mission prep class I could not take role plays seriously. I didn't know how to feel the spirit during them and would chuckle because I was teaching my friends. But it is incredible the experiences we have had even already. In one of my lessons I was asked to give the opening prayer for one of my companions and as I was praying for the investigator I felt so much love for him. The love that our Savior and Heavenly Father have for them. It was wonderful to see the spirit preparing me for the kind of love I need to feel for the people I teach. It is also cool to see how when you truly invite the spirit in your lesson it can go another direction. You try so hard to get the lesson plan down and after you walk out you realize it went another direction. We have a lot to work on still and it will take a lot of time to learn how to truly teach by the spirit but I am grateful for the experiences I have already had these first few days.
The first time I walked out of the MTC was gym time on Friday and I was so weirded out!! It is crazy seeing the same temple I would go to at school, the same Y mountain but to not be a student or be able to walk down the street. Still getting used to that. Walking around the temple on Sunday and going to the temple this morning are the best parts of my weeks! I love taking a break for a brief moment and going to the temple. It brings so much comfort. I do miss the Vegas temple though :)
I see a lot of people I knew each day at the MTC. Girls from freshman year, and other years at BYU, I have seen Cameron Timpson more times than I can count haha. It is a huge comfort to see people you know at the MTC. It is nice to have my friends give me a hug and just say I love you and ask how your day is going. I love knowing that I have sisters not only here at the MTC with me, but around the world trying to be their best as a missionary.
Oh random but we have another sister in our room besides my comps and she is awesome!! She is my little guide around the MTC. That's one thing I thought would be different - more guidance about the logistics of stuff but you kind of just have to figure it out on your own. So having her as been a blessing since she has been here for 5 weeks. She is going to the Phillippines and is speaking Cebuono. So I am learning a few words. Be prepared to be wowed with that when I come home.
Sunday was incredible!!! We walk into RS and guess who is speaking? Cheryl Esplin from the Primary general presidency!! We are so blessed to have such wonderful speakers. It is just funny cause you don't know who is speaking and then they just put it on a screen and everyone gets really excited. It is amazing how every talk I have heard, there is always something said that comforts me or answers my prayers. Heavenly Father is truly taking care of me!
I have so many experiences I want to share but I will try to share a few. The first night we got here we observed a teaching session. We then had to try and teach (in a group of 30) this woman. We all were giving comments, trying to answer her questions and she finally said to stop. That she didn't understand anything and we were confusing. Then she said, "If Christ were here, what would He want you to tell me?" That hit me so hard. It really is so simple. We just have to let people know that Christ loves them. He loves them, their Heavenly Father loves them, and they want us to come home!! I will always remember that line throughout my mission.
Another experience was listening to a talk from Elder Holland. He talked about how hard missionary work is and how often we get discouraged because it doesn't come easy. We wonder why people aren't flocking to the font, etc. And then he said something along the lines of - Why should it be easy for us, when it was never easy for the Savior? I love that. I know that these next 18 mos will be hard, because these past few days have already stretched me. But I am honored and so grateful to be here!! I look down at my badge and still can't believe it. Elder Holland said this is the only time in your life you will have a calling that even comes close to that of being an apostle - a representative of Christ all the time.
Thank you for all of your love and support!! I love reading my letters after a long and hard day. It helps me keep going!! My district is jealous by how much love and support I get so keep it coming :)
I hope all is well at home. Know that I love you SO much and pray for you constantly. I can't thank you enough for your support.
I am almost to a week in the MTC. Woo hoo!!
Until next time,
P.S. Can't upload pics in the MTC. So sad right? But I might be able to print them out. I will figure something out. Or I can upload them in the field.
P.P.S. The timer is really about to go off. So much stress haha
I LOVE YOU!!!!