Wow! Week 1 is complete! How fast did that go? There is so much I want to write, but not enough time to do it! Thank you for all the love and just know that I appreciate every email and letter. Keep them coming, because I can't tell you what it does for my spirit. It makes my day ten times better. I'll try to email people personally next week. I'll be honest, the first day here was rough. Every moment was jam packed with things we had to be doing and I was feeling a tad bit overwhelmed. Not to mention saying bye to the fam was actually pretty tough. I had a good cry that night. My companion is Sister Huffman. She is almost 20 and is from New Mexico. She also was at BYUI and is an accounting major. Her and I are very different, but she is very sweet and nice and like the most obedient missionary ever (like, REALLY, obedient...which is good). I love seeing friendly faces here! I've seen Sis. Abernathy, Sis. Karren, Sis. Killpack, and Elder Birchall, and a couple others from Lone Peak.
So my district is funny. There is Sis. Huffman and me, and Sis. Caralini and Sis. Blas. All of us Sisters are going to Wisconsin. Then there is Elder Walker and Elder Taylor, and Elder Hall and Elder Lewis. They are going to Tulsa Oklahoma. This district is one of the most difficult things I've had to adjust to here. Three out of the four Elders have some learning disabilities and the other one is very shy and quiet. When our teachers are gone and we're all left to do our own studying is when things can get a little out of control. The Elders have a very hard time concentrating, especially because of their disabilities. Sometime I feel like I'm babysitting them, which isn't fun or very helpful for me, but I know that the Elders appreciate our help a lot. I was reading in my patriarchal blessing and it said something along the lines of "as you willingly make sacrifices for the benefit of others, your relationship with God will be strengthened". Our teachers, Sis. Murphy and Sis. Evans, are AWESOME. It's kind of interesting because they are the training coordinators for the new MTC teachers. So in addition to them, we have about 12 teachers in training that sit in on all our classes and observe the teachers. I kind of feel like I'm in a fish bowl, but they're cool and I've made connections with like half of them, so I don't mind that they watch us. I love meeting people here and hearing about everyone's experience and making new friends! I especially love the Polynesians. Sis. Blas does too, haha. That's another thing-- the Elders here are too funny. The other night Sis. H and I were reading in the lobby of our floor and and Elder and I got chatting about our missions and where we were from and when he got up to leave he slipped me his missionary email...woot woot! Haha, I was dying. Only in the MTC...
This mission thing is not exactly what I expected it to be. There is SO much work that goes into every little bit of our personal preparation, prep for our investigators, and lessons. I knew that I was going to have to work hard, but this is a whole nother level of hard work. The other day we were talking about just how up and down one day at the MTC is. Literally one hour I'm feeling on top of the world and the next I'm defeated. The struggle is real sometimes, but I can tell that even after a week I'm beginning to change. Bed time is the BOMB. 10:30 bedtime is great, especially when you have to wake up at 5:45 sometimes for our service projects. My mind is always going a million miles per hour thinking of all the wonderful things I learned that day and I can never seem to fall asleep before 11. Seems that the habit of staying up late isn't helping me much here...whoops. I will tell you that I would NOT be able to wake up at 6 every day if it were not for the Lord's help. I don't know how I got up all those years for early morning seminary. But it hasn't been too much of a problem here. I love going to the gym to play bball, okay, speed, I'm known around here as the champion. Kidding, but I do love getting to play and get to know humans that aren't just in my district and I love giving the Elders a run for their money ;)
Sunday night devotional was hilarious. Vai Sikahema was the speaker and he just made us laugh so hard. It was a nice break from the craziness that is the MTC. His message was that we all just need to infuse missionary work into our daily lives. One of the required things that new missionaries do here, is watch a devotional given by Elder Bednar on Sunday night. It was like life changing. He was talking about how the natural man tends to turn inward in their life. Why me? But Elder Bednar just made it clear that, like our Savior, we need to turn OUTWARD. We need to show love, service, and compassion and get over ourselves. And not only do we need to have a testimony, but we need to be converted unto the Lord in every single aspect of our lives. Alma 23:5 says something about that. If anything else, this week has taught me about patience and compassion. Having a companion is NOT easy. Especially for this very independant girl. I'm learning that I can't run faster when I feel like my leash is tightening. I have to just keep walking and learn to have a little more patience. There have been some moments here when I think, "what the heck am I doing here" and "I WANT TO JUST JUMP OVER THE FENCE AND RUN HOME". I know that I can't do anything (especially wake up early), without the strength of the Lord. This time next week I'll be in Milwaukee! Can't wait to teach real people about this incredible gospel.
Sis. Huffman (from New Mexico), Sis. Blas (who is my fave and from Idaho), Sis. Caralini (who is from AZ), me, Sis. Taylor and Pres. Taylor (who are from South Provo, but served as mission presidents in the Phoenix Arizona mission), Elder Taylor (who has no relation to the Pres and is from Oregon), Elder Walker (from Rexburg), Elder Lewis, and Elder Hall (from SLC). The Elders rockin' those glasses that turn into sunglasses...lol. Love it.