Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Best decision ever, I'm so grateful to be here.

Hey well no one emailed me so I have to guess who to send this to, cuz guess what I'm so intelligent I didn't bring any addresses or emails. True story. So I'm not writing anyone who doesn't write me first, which let's be honest, I wasn't going to do anyways but now I have an excuse. But I hope one of the emails is yours Mom!

But how are y'all?? The MTC has been so fantastic, seriously I feel like everyone should come to the MTC even if you don't serve a mission, I'm being overloaded with everything I'm learning and the amazing spirit here. I really love it, and I'm getting so excited to hit the field! I just got back from the temple, which ROCKED, and I got to eat the fantastic cafeteria food in the temple, which was the best breakfast I've had since getting here. Totally worth the 5 bucks or whatever I spent.

So my district has 12 people in it, 4 sisters and 8 elders. 7 of us are going to Toronto, 2 are going to Nashville Tennessee, and 3 are going to Houston! Including the other companion of sisters, who I adore. Unfortunately they're going to the Houston South mission so you'll probably never meet them unless you're hanging out in Galveston. But they're seriously hysterical, they kill me. Sister Lewis always makes fun of me cuz I tell her like 10 times a day "You are out of control right now!" and Sister Holmes like to make fun of my use of y'all. I'll send you pictures in an actual letter of them. My companion is Sister Beasley, she's going to Toronto as well. She's awesome, I love her. Not gonna lie, she's not the kind of person I think I'd usually end of making friends with, but I love her so much she's perfect for my companion. You'll be happy to hear we're the nerdy squares of our district, we're the ones always studying and focusing when everyone else is talking, and I can only manage to do that because she helps keep me focus so I'm so grateful for her.

I have 4 other roommates, 2 of who are learning Spanish and two of who are learning Mandarin (I lied about that in the note I sent home). I love when everyone says companion prayers at night cuz there's 3 different languages being used, but we're all still communicating with the same God. It's super cool to listen to. They're all hilarious too, and since they're learning languages and have only been here 3 weeks Sister Beasley and I will be leaving before them, so they'll be my roommates all 3 weeks.

Okay, this might seem really obvious and dumb, but we pray aLOT in the MTC! I'd say I easily pray 20 times a day, and that might be an understatement. I'd list all the times but I only have 20 minutes left and I think that would take up all my time, so I'll just say I have a whole new appreciation of saying a personalized prayer. I have to make sure I'm not getting repetitive and am being sincere because I pray so often it's super easy to start to fall into a routine. But I already feel my relationship strengthening with my Heavenly Father because of it! I've also got a whole new testimony that the training for missionaries is divinely inspired, because it's not at all how I expected, no person would design it this way. Instead of learning the lessons and memorizing scriptures to teach people, we seem to be learning things backwards. I'm already teaching 3 investigators and we only just started learning what to teach in the first lesson. It kinda feels like everyday I learn the way I've been teaching is totally wrong and I have to start over, it's super humbling. But I can already see how it works, I feel like I've progressed so much in just a week (but I still feel no where close to being ready to go!) BTW, just FYI my investigators are not actual nonmembers, they're teachers and volunteers in the mtc, but it's taken so seriously I feel like they're real investigators! My roommates says she even puts hers on the prayer role in the temple lol. It's a really cool way to practice.

It's also super humbling to get in here and realize NOTHING I do in here it's for me, it's all about our future investigators. Even yesterday when we talked in class about how to deal with stress, our teacher said "We aren't teaching you this because the mtc is stressful and we want you to feel better, we're teaching you this because if you're stressed you won't be as effective of a missionary." It seems kinda harsh but it's so true, every second you waste thinking about your self in here is a second you're wasting because the Spirit can't inspire you as to how to help your investigators. Even personal prayers and personal scripture study are so you can prepare to teach your investigators, and to strengthen your testimony so you can share it more effectively. NOTHING is about me, which is hard cuz I'm super selfish, but it's improving.

So those are probably the biggest things I've learned and am working on so far. Here's some cool facts I thought y'all might be interested in: We currently have about 4,000 more missionaries than originally anticipated to be in the MTC! The amount of members serving missions is going in up drastically every category, which is crazy cuz in conference they talked about how we need more. Salt Lake just asked them to build a new 7 story residence hall, originally the MTC wanted to build a 5 story one but Salt Lake said it wasn't enough. My branch president told us the work is really taking off and we haven't seen anything yet!

Also, we had a fireside about how basically everything we do in the church is null and void without tithing, it totally changed my perspective on it. He talked about how it's a principle of faith, not money, and it's the only part of the baptismal interview you can't do until you're baptized so whether you pay it or not really shows if you're willing to endure to the end. If you don't pay tithing you aren't worthy to enter the temple, so without tithing honestly you can't receive the full blessings the Lord has promised us. It was so cool to think about! So I decided the anytime y'all put money in my card, please immediately pull 10% back out and pay it to the ward. I don't ever want to to miss out on paying tithing again!

So time's about up, but I love y'all so much!! I'm writing everyone actual letters today so sorry I didn't answer that, but I'm so grateful for all my letters! I've gotten 7, my district leader was blown away. So look forward to mail this week, there probably won't be any pictures just yet but I'll send some soon. Love you all, miss you but I'm so happy to be here it's worth it! I can't believe it's been a week and I'm 1/3 done, this experience has been fantastic. Someone tole me it was like EFY but EFY has NOTHING on this! Best decision ever, I'm so grateful to be here.

I'll talk to you in a week! Bye! Write back now, y'all hear?

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