April 2, 2013
I am realizing now why missionaries love mail so much. It is seriously the best part of the day.
So basically I LOVE the MTC. This past week has been amazing! I am surprised at how much I love it here! I'll try to give you as much detail as possible with the time that I have.
So Wednesday after you dropped me off at the curb they took me inside to get my name tags, books, etc. Then a host Sister took me to my room long enough to drop off my suitcases then she took me to my classroom. When I got here there were just my two teachers in there and one Elder but slowly everyone started showing up. We had some time to get to know each other which was fun. My companion is amazing. We get along so well and really work well together and I feel like we are best friends. Such a blessing to have her as a companion. My district is AMAZING! I love each and every one of them. There are 8 of us in our district. Three other sisters and I are all going to Melbourne. Then the four elders are all going to Fresno California. Their mission president is Larry Gelwix (the Highland Rugby coach). Oh and wanna know something crazy? One elder got his call 7 days before the MTC! Crazy huh? He only had a week to get everything done. Oh man, I can't even imagine how stressful that would be. He is our district leader and he is amazing. I consider him the gentle giant because he is tall and so kind and loving to everyone. And he is so helpful because he knows a lot because he already served a 3 month mini-mission in Las Vegas. Sweet huh? Our district and the district in the classroom next to us are all really good friends. We do stuff together a lot and we always eat together so it's really fun. The other district is four sisters and one elder all going to Melbourne. Then there's an Elder going to Fresno with the Elders in our district and two Elders going to Adelaide Australia. Anyway, I love each and every one of them.
So yeah, on Wednesday after we all got to know each other, we went to a meeting to meet the MTC presidency. Then we had dinner and then we headed to our first teaching experience. On our way there, I saw Sister Tanner and Sister Benjamin! [Lauren’s cousins] It was so good to see them! That was actually the first time that I got emotional all day. I have been able to see them every day which is so fun! They are getting bored here and ready to leave but it sounds like they are going to get reassigned. It wasn't until after it was dark on Wednesday that we finally got back to our room and got unpacked.
The spirit is SO strong here at the MTC! It's incredible. My companion and I talked about that it's so strong we feel like we can reach out and touch it—seriously, so amazing. We spend a majority of our time each day in our classroom either doing personal study or being taught by our teachers. Our teachers are Brother Adams and Brother Rasmussen and they are INCREDIBLE! I learn SO much from them every single day. I'm particularly grateful for Brother Rasmussen. The way he teaches makes it so easy for me to connect with him and he teaches me so much. He also is really good at calming my fears and helping me overcome what I consider to be weaknesses. If it weren't for him, I'd be really struggling here.
So two really cool experiences I want to tell you about.
Saturday morning Brother Rasmussen was having us role play and practice teaching about how the Gospel blesses families. He told us about an investigator, Amy, that we were to use for the role play. All he told us about Amy was that she was married, had a son, worked as an RN and that her dad had been a preacher but she didn't get along well with her family. So my companion and I were role playing- she was the missionary and I was Amy. She was testifying to me really beautifully about how the gospel blesses families and was about to ask "does that make sense?" but Bro. Rasmussen stopped her and told her not to ask that but to ask an inspired question. She paused for a minute or so and then asked Amy (me) "how have you seen the gospel bless your extended family?" I didn't know how to answer the question but I immediately felt the spirit so strong. Brother Rasmussen looked at us in shock and asked Sister Ricks how she knew to ask that. She said that she didn't know and Brother Rasmussen said, "you just received revelation." He then proceeded to tell us that Amy's husband was a member of the church but had been inactive for a long time but that his family was all really active and they would take Amy's son to church sometimes. Sister Ricks and I both burst into tears. I truly know that Heavenly Father will bless us with revelation that we need for our investigators.
The other cool experience happened yesterday. Yesterday was the hardest day that I've had at the MTC so far. We had two lessons with investigators that both didn't go the way that I wanted them to and I felt like I had failed. At one point I was in tears feeling so frustrated that I feel like I know so much and I want the investigators that we are teaching to be able to understand but I feel like my words get mixed up and I can't convey things the way that I want to. Brother Rasmussen really helped to calm those frustrations and I realized that I was being fearful. Fear is the opposite of faith. I realized that I needed to quit thinking about myself and that I needed to just have faith that Heavenly Father will bless me and put words into my mouth if I am willing to trust him. Even though yesterday was tough, I learned so much and I'm grateful for the hard day. It was really humbling and made me realize that I have to put my trust in Heavenly Father.
Easter here was amazing. Bishop Causse from the Presiding Bishopric came and spoke at our sacrament meeting. It was an awesome meeting. We also had a devotional Sunday night and Sheri Dew came and spoke. It was incredible. One thing that she said that I thought was really cool was "it takes the elect to gather the elect." I loved that. I really believe it's true. All of the missionaries here are so amazing and I learn so much from them.
This morning we got to go to the temple which was awesome. The Provo Temple is beautiful!
Oh and as far as Visa information. It looks like they probably aren't coming on time and that we will be getting reassigned—same with Sister Benjamin and Sister Tanner too. We are supposed to find out where we are being reassigned to on Thursday so I'll let you know. If they by some miracle do end up coming, we are supposed to leave Monday at 8:30 pm from SLC and then leave LAX around 11:30 pm. I don't really have any idea what's going on for sure so I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything.
I love you all so much. I know that this church is true. I LOVE being a missionary. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior I have experienced the enabling power of the Atonement. I can't wait for General Conference this weekend! Enjoy it. It's such an incredible opportunity to be able to hear from our prophet. Eat lots of noodles for me. Oh and since my P-day is Tuesday, I probably won't be emailing next week? So don't be alarmed if you don't hear from me.
All my love,