It is already my pday! Whoot whoot :) I made it safe and sound to the MTC. The first couple of days were pretty crazy here. Sorry I don't have very many pictures, I mean I have only been here 2 days. It was really nice to see some family right before I left. The ride on the airplane was a little long, but it was nice to go into the MTC rather quickly. Being so busy hasn't given me much time to miss home. Coming into the MTC on Wednesday there were 350 elders and 375 sisters. This is the first time in church history that there have been more sisters entering the MTC than elders. On Wednesday night we had our first "teaching experience" it was strange. There were about 50 missionaries in the room and then an "investigator". Some elders (who weren't newbees) started it off and introduced themselves. Then the floor was turned over to all of us. We were suppose to listen to the spirit and deduct what this person wanted to hear. HOLY COW.. this was hard. And frustrating. I watched all of the others struggle as they chose to attempt to answer the investigator's questions. One of the "investigators" was a sassy black girl, who was kind of aggressive towards the missionaries. By the end everyone's confidence was shot and everyone was frustrated. I think the exercise was to help us realize that we need to 1) learn the doctrine 2) rely on the spirit and 3) focus on the investigator's needs rather then focus on completing a lesson or planned material. Yesterday (thursday) was a crazy whirlwind of learning. We were busy all day! We did get to meet our branch president (who is awesome) last night. We had pretend trainer zone leaders and sister teacher leaders because our branch is brand new.
|Me and my Grandma outside the MTC|
I love my district. They are so much fun! I have loved getting to know all of them. It is cool because we all have different backgrounds, but we are all coming together for the same purpose... okay well I guess that our backgrounds are not too different. There are 6 sisters and 4 elders in my district. One of the elders, Elder Petterson is from California. Everyone else is from Utah and I actually think they are all from Nothern Utah. Elder Petterson sprained his ankle yesterday playing basketball during gym time. I played volleyball with the sisters. It was super fun, mostly just because we had the opportunity to get off of our butts, and thankfully none of the sisters got injured. It is so nice that it is nice outside. We haven't been up to the feilds yet, but I think we are going tomorrow for our exercise time with our district. The food in the MTC is a little strange. I eat mostly fruit (which lucky me they have a lot of!!) We actually got subway last night which was a pleasant surprise. The water is pretty nasty- gross utah water, but if you get your entire cup full of ice and then refill it like 20 times it is not too bad. It is not too hard to make "smart" food choices, because I have been pretty spoiled as far as it comes to good food and none of this food really seems that great. Although, I did have a pretty good spinach wrap for lunch yesterday.
My companion is Sister Blacker. We get along super well. We both take things pretty lightheartedly We love to laugh, a lot. She is 20 years old and from the Ogden area (she went to 2 years of school before her mission) She was actually suppose to report in January, but her knee surgery was a little more invovled then they originally anticipated and she had to be on bed rest for 3 months. She actually knows Elder Kraven in our district. They went to the same high school and graduated the same year. Elder Kraven is fun too! He was really involved in theater in highschool-- which I could have guessed because of how animated he is when he speaks. He was made our District Leader last night, which Sister Blacker and I totally called. He has been on us for the past couple of days on memorizing Our Purpose, which I am pretty sure our entire district knows now. He also tells me and Sister Blacker everyday about exact obedience. When we move from activity to activity or from a meal to the class, he is very sure that we are prompt and VERY on time. So not totally unexpected.
Yesterday I received an assignment. When we were interviewed by our branch presidency, I was asked if I could play piano. When I said that I could, and that I could actually play hymns, the member of the branch presidency who was interviewing me practically did a happy dance. I was pretty surprised that there were not more who were able to play, but figured it was no big deal. I was then pulled into a room at the end of our meeting with 2 other girls (my branch is comprised of 3 districts). I was assigned to be the Sister Teacher Leader for my district. This is a new assignment, as it has only existed for a month now. They found with so many sisters that the district leader was not really able to take care of all of their issues properly and that a sister might be more appropriate. So that is my assignment, basically district leader for the girls. When the branch president sat down and explained the assignment to us, he basically told us that our job was to love the girls and pray for them and help them through anything and with anything. It was interesting because it seemed to be almost exactly what my bishop said in January when I was called as Relief Society president. The branch president then explained to our entire branch that any of us could have done this job, but that the spirit prompted them who to give it to and that they gave it to the people who needed it most............. hahah so I guess I need it. I can already tell that it will make the rest of the time at the MTC easier for me. It will make my prayers a little bit less whiney and help me better focus my thoughts on serving others. Plus less time to worry about myself. Strange though, I am pretty sure that I have to train girls, I mean sisters how to do my job next week.
I am so glad that I went to BYU and that so many people are receiving the opportunity to go on missions, because I see someone that I know almost everywhere I go!! At dinner on Wednesday I got to talk to Mikayla for a few minutes along with Karsten. Just this morning I ran into Ashley Paine. I have seen several Elders who I know from school. Only problem is, that at least with the kids I know from school, I STINK AT LAST NAMES...... So many times I am like HEY! ummmmmm Ezra, I mean Elder (get close enough to stare at name tag) uhhhh Elder Anderson, promise I will remember your last name for next time. All the familiar faces have made the MTC fun!!
We have been mostly focusing on our purpose and applying that to our teaching the past couple of days. Before going on a mission I always talked about how missionaries convert people and how they teach investigators. Our purpose as missionaries is really rather different. It is to invite others to come unto Christ. As missionaries, our role is to help investigators learn about Christ and draw near unto him. Oh and the spirit should be the teacher, not us :) So that is a little different then what I understood before, but the more that I think about it, the more sense that it makes. In studying our purpose and preparing to teach our first "investigator" (he is really just our teacher Brother Plammer with the fake persona of Ed) Sister Blacker and I have focused on the first lesson, specifically on God and that he loves us and the atonement of Christ. We were struggling on how to help Ed really experience this love and help him be able to identify it in his own life. I came across the scripture Moroni 7:48 "Pray unto the Father with all energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he has bestowed upon all of us......" Whether or not this will help our "investigator" Ed, I am not really sure, but I know it helped me. It has been difficult and kind of overwhelming as we try to absorb everything that we are suppose to be learning. I know that I can be comforted if I remember to pray and that I can feel of God's love.
Sorry this is super scattered-- don't have that much time on the computer! And no crazy exciting stories either....... so thanks if you made it this far and read through my probably VERY boring message) Thank you also so much for the Dear Elders, it was exciting to hear form you and fun to get mail :) Sorry no pictures this week, but I will make sure to take plenty for next p-day! Thank you all for your support and I hope you are all having a fantastic week!!!
Sarah (opps! Sister Mumford)