Archive | October, 2013

My First Full Week

26 Oct

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Wow, I can’t believe it has only been a week since I last wrote! It feels like a lifetime, but then again it went super fast! Crazy, right? They say here all the time that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. I think I’m starting to understand that! Oh gosh, where to even start! I’m not even gonna try to write chronologically because that would be way to crazy, Lol.
     

Ok, first thing I wanted to tell you about was one of the new things going on here at the MTC! They’ve started a new program called “Gold-tag Investigators”. Basically, we have regular people walking around campus with gold tags on that we can street contact, have a quick lesson with, or even set up appointments with! Of course we all asked if they were just actors, but they said that most of them are recent converts, but a few actually are investigators!! Each companionship is assigned one TRC Progressing Investigator that we get to teach twice. Our investigators name is Claudia. They have these mini “living rooms” on a couple hallways, so we go there and teach them! We had a great first lesson with Claudia on Monday. She has a great love for her family, so we taught her the principle of eternal families. We had another appointment for Wednesday, but she didn’t show up! 😦 We were so bummed. We left a note on her “door”, and hopefully we’ll be able to schedule another visit before we leave. 🙂 Ok, so yeah, we have what are called “progressing investigators” with whom we practice teaching just as we would in real life. One of our teachers, Bro. Gray, role-plays our main investigator, Kyle. Sis. Singson and I have learned SO much from these experiences. What I love is that they are real. The spirit is real, and what we are testifying is real!! We role-play a lot in class as well, and it is so great. It really helps me to understand the NEEDS of the people we will teach. We teach PEOPLE, not lessons!

Sunday was so wonderful at the MTC. It felt so renewing to take the sacrament! The sisters all got to watch Music and the Spoken Word, which was a really great experience. One of my favorite things about Sunday was that we got to go on a temple walk!

Our Sunday night devotional was great. We had Stephen Allen speak to us, the managing director of the missionary department. He was so funny! To “get to know” all hundreds of us missionaries, he had us stand up as different things applied to us. For example, if we were learning a language, leaving this week, etc. But then, he asked for any to stand up if they had received a Dear John/Jane at the MTC! One poor Elder just stood up in the back- we all applauded for him! So funny. Sunday night we got to watch an old devotional from Elder Bednar, called The Character of Christ. Find and READ THAT TALK! Seriously changed my perspective on Christ and what I can do to be more Christ-like. (Turn outwards, when the natural man would turn inwards).

Tuesday night we had another devotional from Lynn G. Robbins from the Seventy. He taught us how to be an “Open Your Mouth” missionary. What is really important is to open your EYES, and then your mouth. It’s about connecting with people, not just contacting! He shared a quote from Winston Churchill that I love: “Success is going from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm”. I have definitely already felt that failure in my teaching at times, but it’s important to distinguish between disappointment and discouragement. Oh, and Tuesday night I sang in the MTC choir for the devotional as well! We practiced on Sunday too. We sang “Consider the Lillies” and it was so great to sing with a choir again. Our devotionals are all “high-tech” and they had big screens like they do at Conference. Apparently, Sis. Singson and I were on the screen for a while! We didn’t see it, but that’s still cool. 🙂

Yesterday, we had In-field Orientation all day. 8 Hours of class….. bleh!! But it actually wasn’t too bad. 🙂 We learned a lot about reporting Key Indicators, working with members, etc. One funny experience from that: apparently piano skills are not as common as I thought! In our large class (about 300 missionaries), the teacher asked for a volunteer to play. I volunteered, but I never expected to be picked, but I was one of the few who volunteered! So I had to walk from the WAY back up to the piano. All the missionaries were cheering! It was so funny. I’m glad I didn’t completely suck at playing the hymn after the welcome I had received for playing. 🙂 Oh yeah, another cool thing! So my companion, Sis. Singson, is seriously so talented at singing. We auditioned for (and got!) a special musical number for one of the meetings on Monday! So cool. I’m accompanying her on “Where can I turn for peace?” So much fun!

This afternoon, we get to attend the TEMPLE! So, so, so excited.
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I can’t believe I’m leaving the MTC so soon! I feel like I have learned so much, but I have so much more to learn. I love teaching and helping people come unto Christ. Missionary work definitely isn’t easy, but it’s so wonderful to see people find that same happiness that I feel in their own lives. The church is true! I am learning to love my Savior in a whole new way. I have faith in Him, and I trust Him! I love you all, and I pray for everyone every single night. 

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First week at the MTC

18 Oct

What a crazy, but amazing past few days!! I love it here. SO MUCH! Where to even begin?! Wednesday I took the 8 am shuttle from the airport with some other missionaries. We bonded really fast and chatted the entire shuttle ride. We got to the MTC a little before nine o’clock, so since we were earlier than our assigned times, we kinda just got shepherded around all morning. We mostly just sat in a classroom and watched The District 2 as other missionaries arrived. Around 1 pm, we were taken to our rooms and we got to meet our companions! My companion’s name is Sister Singson, and she is wonderful! She has such a wonderful spirit and testimony and we already love teaching together. (But I get ahead of myself!) We had a big meeting with the new missionaries and got to meet the MTC Presidency. We sang Army of Helaman as the closing song, but they changed one of the lyrics to say “We are NOW the army of Helaman”. So powerful!! I think it was then that I really started realizing that I am a missionary, called of God to represent Jesus Christ! I feel so privileged to have this opportunity, and I want to be the absolute best missionary that I can be.

Wednesday night, we attended a “teaching experience” class. We split up into groups of around 40 and went around to different rooms where there were set up mock “homes” that we would teach in. In each room, we had a mock investigator that we taught as a group. It was such an awesome experience!! It was definitely a big wake-up call for all of us, because we realized just how unprepared we were for teaching.  One of my biggest take-aways is that as missionaries, we teach PEOPLE, not lessons. Every one is different, and we need to be in tune with the spirit to know how best to bring them unto Christ. I had a really special experience with the second room’s “investigator”. I was able to testify to the truths that he needed, right then, and the Holy Spirit was so strong. Loved that experience!!

The weather has been briskly chill, but not terrible. I sometimes wear the lighter jacket in the morning, but mostly my companion and I just hustle between buildings!

Yesterday we had our first full day of classes. The MTC has the BEST teachers!! My teachers are so loving and kind, and truly teach powerfully.  It seemed like it lasted for at least three days, but in a good way, haha.

I think I’ve adjusted to the missionary life pretty well. Sister Singson and I help keep each other accountable, because we are trying to be EXACTLY obedient to the mission rules. We were promised that if we were obedient,  we would receive blessings and miracles! We met our Branch Presidency last night and that went really well. I was assigned to be our Zone’s music coordinator! (haha, no surprise there!) They were really excited that I played the piano because they hadn’t had a pianist for the past few weeks. My companion Sister Singson was assigned to be the Sister Training Leader (The equivalent of a district leader, but for the sisters). She is going to do fantastic, and I hope that I can be a support to her in her assignment. We have been having really good companionship study and prayers, and I am so grateful for that.

We get our first physical mail today at lunch I believe. Elder Jones (who was assigned to be our district leader) will pick up mail every lunch and dinner I believe. Our branch president was telling us about one district he had that decided to only open their mail at 9:25 at night. I told Elder Jones that I would be perfectly ok if we did NOT do that, hahaha.

Right now I am in the laundry room, doing laundry. We have free time/study time until lunch today- whoo hoo! Then we have three hours of class, then dinner, then three more hours of class. Lots of class!!

I want to tell you all that I am so happy here. I truly feel myself changing, and changing for the better. I wish everyone could just come here and experience what I am experiencing! I feel the Spirit with me more than ever. I have already had more meaningful prayers and more meaningful scripture study than ever before, and I know this is only going to increase. I love this gospel, and I love serving my Heavenly Father. I pray for you all every night. Love you!

Quote

2 Nephi 31:20 …

3 Oct

2 Nephi 31:20
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

I love this scripture from the Book of Mormon! What an amazing promise that if we follow these simple steps, we will be blessed with eternal life.