Just got this email from Terilyn today. She also sent pictures. I will attempt to add those too.
Dear family, you suck at writing me. Dear friends, I'd love to hear from you! Haha, okay, rant over. Just so you all know, my P-days are on Saturday while I'm at the MTC! I'll be having one more Pday before I leave to Maryland. We just got our travel info yesterday, so it's coming fast! Only 10 more days at the MTC!! Crazy!
So, missionary time is really strange. The days seem to drag on, but the week goes by so fast! All of the days seem to blend together, so it's hard to remember what day I did certain things. We are in a classroom most of the day and have little to no time to do anything for ourselves, including shower. My companion and I have been waking up early to exercise, which is great, because we don't have much gym time. Even on Pdays. I did have gym time yesterday and that was a blast! We got to play Volleyball and I just found out that there are high records for certain conditioning exercises including pull-ups. For those of you who know me, I can pop out 20 pull ups in no time and the record for the girls is only 11, so, Whitney, when you come to the MTC, look for my name on the record board!!
Okay, so the first day of the MTC was a bunch of running around and talking. I met my companion, who, by the way, is the coolest person ever. You know how you can give really good friends "The Look" after hearing something and it's just awesome because you both know what the other person is thinking? (Alexis and Leah, if you don't know what this is, then I've been giving you crazy looks our entire friendship) Anyway, within three hours of meeting Sister Hart, she and I shared "The Look" and we've been best friends ever since. I seriously feel like I have separation anxiety whenever we're apart! We've been told that we are "eternal friends" by our branch president and we definitely feel that way. I love her so much! And, I have so much that I can learn from her. She's just awesome.
Our entire district is going to Maryland, so that's something new. Most districts have people serving in different areas, but not us! During our orientation on our first night, we were told that we were part of more than 600 missionaries entering the MTC on June 10th and that it was the biggest group of missionaries our presidency has ever had (but not a record at the MTC). So that's cool.
Another cool thing! So, my companion and I have been called as Sister Training Leaders! When I first entered the MTC, I had no desire to be a missionary leader. None. But when we were in our Branch meeting, I just had the biggest desire to serve these Sisters! Luckily our Branch Presidency felt that and asked us to this calling. I love it! I get to love these sisters and serve them more than ever. My companion is great at it, too! We get to welcome the new missionaries next week and give them a tour of the MTC (which will be my companions job because I'm directionally challenged in that area). I'm so excited! My comp and I are like big sisters to all these sisters and it's just awesome!
The food is yummy and it's hard to eat very healthy here, but my appetite is still small like usual, so I guess that's good. I get to go to the temple today, which is great! it's going to be so nice to get out of the MTC for a while. And tomorrow my companion and I are going to start MTC choir! We'll only be in it for two Sundays because we leave on June 23rd, but that's okay.
Something that I learned while at the MTC, for those of you who know physiology and how the human body works, you'll know what a positive feedback system is. THE GOSPEL IS A POSITIVE FEEDBACK SYSTEM! If you don't know what that is, then you'll have no idea what I'm talking about, but if you do, IT MAKES SENSE! The more we put into the gospel and learning and trying, the more blessings we receive and the happier we feel. When we feel happier, we are more likely to serve and share our happiness with others, which is how we learn and try and serve; therefore, we receive even more blessings for the additional work we do. Isn't that awesome! It totally makes sense :) Oh, and Whitney! When you come to the MTC, pay attention to one of the videos during your first three days about Fundamentals. It shows Gymnastics! A certain gymnast whom I LOVE that hurt her ankle during the Olympics and competed on the vault anyway (and landed on one foot) (I hope you know who I mean! If not, I'll tell you next week) is shown in this video and it made my day!
I have so much to learn here! It's crazy! We've been teaching some "investigators" and one of them is really hard to connect with. She's very disinterested in everything and Sis Hart and I have struggled finding ways to teach her and help her feel of Heavenly Father's love for us. Yesterday was our first time teaching her and it definitely wasn't easy. My companion and I struggled for the longest time to feel the spirit directing us. We had no idea where to go with her after our lesson. Yesterday was definitely a learning experience. We were taught more about prayer and how we can teach and invite others to come unto Christ by helping them feel His love for us. We have done SO many role plays to learn how to teach better and be directed by the Spirit. After our lesson, our teacher asked us (as companions) to go into empty rooms with just our companion and do some individual prayer. We were able to kneel down and just pray, pour our hearts out to God, and listen to what He had to say to us. I think I prayed for about 20 minutes and when my companion and I looked up, we were both bawling. It was a hard day and we needed to feel of our Father's love and we needed to know that He's proud of us for what we are trying to do. I can testify to you that as long as you try, even though you will fail, your Father in Heaven is proud of you. He loves you and He wants you to be happy. That is the greatest message I can tell you right now. The Atonement is real and our Father loves us SO MUCH that He provided a way back to Him despite our imperfections. I just can't stress this enough. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES US! We should be jumping for joy! Ah, just such an amazing feeling.
Although I still have so much to learn, I know the Spirit will be able to teach through me and my investigators will be able to feel the Hope and Happiness that comes with growing in the Gospel. Seeing this change in people is exactly why I left.
Well, I will end with a quote I heard while in the MTC because quotes are what I'm all about!
"Everything in this conversion process must happen to you before it can happen to them." - Elder Holland. If you can become truly converted, then you can teach. Before that conversion happens, your investigators won't be able to feel the spirit. Pressure! But it's good. Okay, I love you all! I hope you have an amazing week and I hope I get to hear from you next week! Seriously! I'm desperate ;) OH! And if you know anything about DearElder.com (or not) please use it! Mess around with it, because I can get your letter the very next day at the MTC and it'd be nice to have something handed to me while the rest of my district gets their letters. Thanks guys! I love you all!