Hi friends and family!!! I have officially been here 9 days!!
When everyone says just make it till sunday, that is such a real thing, let me tell you. Once it was monday, time just flew by! i cant believe its already friday!!!
i am having so much fun!! the temple on my last pday was an amazing experience!! so cool to be there as a missionary. and have them literally pray for you there.
Saturday was a hard day. we had a hard PI lesson (teacher as investigator) and we got asked hard questions and then we were comparing to the other lessons. Anyway it was a frustrating discrouaging day in the morning, but what i learned is that whenever im feeling bad or anything, my comps are almost always feeling the exact same way. we were all upset and just had to have a good cry. also my teacher here, Sis Smyth is an angel. i love her so much. she talked to us and encouraged us and the rest of the day was amazing :)
Sundays are SOOO busy!! they are great but since we are STLs we literally went from meeting to meeting to meeting. then we have lunch, and then church ( which we almost all fell asleep hahah our branch pres voice was just too soothing!!) also all had to have talks prepared because they just announce who will be speaking when they step up to the pulpit. but they give you a topic so you have some direction. and its only a 3-5 minute talk. But we didnt have to speak :) tyhen we got to have our temple walk!! which was so fun. It was dang hot because it was in the afternon but everyone goes at the same time and you see and get to talk to and take pictures with all your friends and not worry about anything for a little while. its nice :) then we had devotional which was so good, it was all about how like pruning a tree we are stripped of everything, but we draw back to our roots and build off that and have a stronger foundation of growth. Elder Nielson of the seventy also said that your success as a missionary isnt measured in just the span of your 18 mo mission. it is measured in eternity because thats how god works. he talked about one man that he taught right before he left on his mission, who he later found out got baptized and served on a temple presidency and has all his posterity in the church and on missions. really changed my perspective. we dont come out on missions just to knock doors and share some cool stories, we come to change lives of generations of people and to prepare them for the coming of Christ and helping them receive the restored gospel (especially since im going to independence!).
Monday was amazing all in all becasue it was just a good day. me and my district are getting so close. all of our elders are THE SWEETEST. theyre all fresh out of high school and so humble and teachable and like our little brothers. we alll love each other. when we were having a hard day, our district leader said the closing prayer for class and he prayed for the sisters so that they would be comforted. It melted my heart. They are all going to salt lake south mission. Also we kind of stink as STL's that day because we are given a phone jsut in case we get calls about them needing some sister for something and we turned the sound down to waht we thought was vibrate (but it wasnt) but we were studying and having really great study but apparently our phone was ringing because the sisters passed and they were like uhh check your phone. we had 57 missed calls. The sisters told us it wasnt that big a deal so its not like anyone was dying but we were laughing so hard. we also felt SOOO bad and thought the zone leaders hated our guts. so we said sorry with jolly ranchers and now we are good. At dinner on monday, WE HAD CHICK FIL A!!! Literally me and sister bishop freaked out. Sis gudgeon hadnt had it before because shes from new zealand and stuff haha. But we had so much fun at dinner. Elder Sherwood is literally hilarious and we were all laughing so hard we were crying at dinner. We laugh all the time over anything and everything. but we also have the best study time :)
OH we started TRC tonight which is just training teaching with investigators (some real some fake) we have Diana who is the sweetest little lady from Ecuador, probably not too much older than us, but she has had such a hard life and felt like god abandoned her but we just testified to her of gods love and how he is always watching out for us. next was brooke who is SO CUTE literally like i just want to be her best friend. shes from california but going to byu and lives with her husband, her friend was a member and her dad passed away and she just wants to know if god is real. so we also testified of gods love for her and both committed to pray about it :)
We have great class time with Brother smith who tells us to "Faith it till you make it" haha he is a great teacher because we just role play all the time and practice teaching and he demos and he literally is a genius who talks to smoothly and has a wealth of knowledge. then sisters smyth comes and tell us she loves us and makes us so happy and excited about the gospel. they both are great. Tuesday was a good day (like everyday but i dont remember what happened much haha)
Wednesdays are always really fun because thats when we are no longer the newbies!!!! hahah also there were like 700 missionaries who came this week so that was insane. its so much busier than normal. AND they ahve all the new mission presidents here so we are not allowed to go in one of the buildings because that is literally where all the first presidency and apostles and lots of the seventy are there teaching. they say if we see any of them to not approach them, unless they approach you. security is crazzyy. sadly i ahvent seen Pres monson :( but probably wouldnt. haha we have seen some of the seventy though! sis T and sis J met Elder Packer's grandson!!
On wednesdays we get to say WELCOME TO THE MTC to all the new missionaries with dork dots ahahah. I SAW SYDNEY ISGETT!!! love her. Also a few more people from home lol.
We also had like the most celestial personal and companionship study of our lives. D&C24:8-9 spoke to my soul and made me cry. just what i needed to hear. and then i read Elder Hollands MTC address called "Miracle of a Misson" MOST AMAZING THING YOULL EVER READ. Then we had comp study about John 17 all about the intercessory prayer and we were cross referencing all over the place and the spirit was SOO strong it was awesome!!!
Sadly we did not get to teach our TRC lessons with brooke and diana and we were so sad. we had to meet with all the new elders and sisters in our zone and take them on a tour. it was fun though. 4 of the new elders are going to our mission!!! so we will leave at the same time!! yay!! they are all so fun. and the new sisters are so sweet!!
as we were giving our tour and walking back, we saw diana walking out to her car and she got so excited to see us we ran and gave her a huge hug!!! she said she was sad we couldnt meet with her, but shes excited for us to see her the next day :)) such a tender mercy!! made me so happy.
thursday (yesterday) was kind of a long day. we had like soooo many hours of study time and only like 15 minutes of class time with our teacher which is like unheard of so it was weird. but our elders a couple of them are having a hard time and so sis smyth was talking to them and helping them. but we had a mission president come and talk to us about understanding stress which was good. serisously in the adjusting to missionary life they have so many helpful tools just for life!! (mom you would really enjoy reading it :) ) The mission president was kind of boring though hahah they just had to practice teaching on us, but they were pretty monotone so even though it was good, they made us tired hahah. Then we had MORE study time after that. like 3 more hours worth and no class. but all us sisters got tired of sitting in the classroom all day, we were dying, so we went on a couple laps just around the mtc campus. (feels a little like prison sometimes)
Me and all the other sisters have so much fun together though. We love each other so much and are already SOOO close. we love to talk and learn from each other all we can about the gospel.
we also quote nacho libre like all day everyday. Sadly sis gudgeon has no idea what we are talking about because she's never seen it, but we die laughing always hahaha. We are all so close we are basically like a 5-way companionship.
Everyone here calls me Sister Bleak like Steak or Sister Steak because thats how i introduce myself hahahahaha its hilarious.
Also, you know you are a missionary when you are home in the residence, in the shower next to your companion and you guys are still talking about how to help your investigator. hahaha also i was so excited for PDAY because we can get on the computers and print out talks and watch mormon messages and stuff and i literally was so excited to have more personal study time. hahaha.
I have learned so much this week about how to teach the restoration in order and with power, and also about the plan of salvation and how we can recieve a witness of truth from reading and studying the book of mormon and everything. I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON AND PREACH MY GOSPEL. they are so amazing and seriously any question you have about life, and how you can make your life better, is ALLL in the scriptures over and over and over.
Truly the spirit brings all the scriptures to your remembrance. we always remember what the scriptrue says but not always where we can find it.... ha. we are working on that memorization too :) we are also practicing how to teach with your commitment at the forefront of your mind in a lesson. because you always want to think how is what we are teaching going to help them come closer to christ and actively seek him? so teach toward the commitment. its awesome and makes so much sense. Also study is so important and also planning because you need to show the lord that you are prepared and have studied it all out, so as one of the teachers or devotionals said, plan out the whole lesson, write it out. fold it up. and put it in your pocket. and then let the spirit guide you.
Last night we had the most amazing lesson of our lives. we taught diana about the restoration. she had quesitons about prophets and stuff, and so we taught her about joseph smith and taught the first vision. we didnt get into the BOM yet because we ran out of time, but the spirit was so strong i nearly exploded in joy and love. She is sooo prepared by God. it amazing. she hadnt ever heard about living prophets or joseph smith or that he saw god. she said it was all new, but it felt good. she accepted it all and wasnt questioning or weirded out! oh it was sooo amazing.
That right there, seeing the light of the gospel and of Gods love come into the life of someone seeking truth, is what makes everything that is hard and difficult about this SOOO beyond worth it.
i know why i am here!!! I wouldnt want to be anywhere else!!!!
The church IS SO TRUE. we say that all the time but lieterally like okay last night i said oh man i really just want some taco bell. AND GUESS WHAT WE HAD FOR DINNER LIKE 10 MINUTES AFTER I SAID THAT!!! taco bell. Church is true. god loves me. hahahah its the little things.
Being a missionary is DA BEST. I LOVE IT. IS FANTASTIC!!! (haha little nacho libre for ya :)
I LOVE YOU ALL!!! thank you so much for your emails and letters and boxes of krispy creams :))) hahaha we love them.
Maybe no more donuts though because im probably gaining weight. they also serve donuts with every meal and its hard to resist some days.... hahaha thank you though!!
Keep emailing and writing me letters please!!! i can check my email throughout the week just not reply. i dont check often because we are literally SOO busy and i dont want to get distracted. but sometimes we need a break from studying :)
Everyone, Jesus lives and he loves us!!! God does nothing but for the benefit of man, (2nephi 24:26 -- i think haha) The church is true. it is soooo true. pray to know for yourself and your life will be changed.