Well today is my first and only P-Day here at the MTC! When you dropped me off, I guess I left rather quick because my temporary companion had to tell me to turn around to say goodbye to you. I really enjoyed getting your care package! I love them, so keep them coming! Also, I get the dearelder mail every day, so if you send it then I will get it that day or the next day...hint hint. I have ran into SO many friends here! I have literally lost count, but I will name a few of the ones you will recognize Nick Bjorling, Christopher Molinari, Jared Cordon, Emily Bell, a girl from the Rocklin YSA Ward, a girl from my old humanities class, about 4 or 5 friends from pageant. I never cease to run into friends! My poor companion has to meet all of them.
Speaking of companions, my companion is Sister Havens from St. George Utah. She is 21 years old and we get along great. We didn't quite click the first day, but I just tried my very hardest to love her and be super nice to her and well look at us now! We get along great! It wasn't that we didn't first get along but it wasn't as automatic. We have taught two investigator and get a new one tonight! I am very excited to meet him. Planning lessons is a lot of work but really is worth it. It is amazing to be able to feel the Spirit so strongly when we are teaching!
Something that I learned very quickly at the MTC was that missionaries work VERY VERY hard! They are always working, always moving! I had no idea how busy we would be here. I get up at 5:50-6:20 every morning and don't get to bed until 10:30-11ish, but it is so worth it. The sisters in my district (the same ones in my room) are amazing! They are so inspirational and everyone gets along great. We study, role play, get taught, all day long but we learn so very much. The first few days, I was exhausted, but that was ok because I was doing what I wanted to be doing, where I wanted to be. When you try your very hardest, the Lord will do the best. I quickly realized that I needed to trust that God would give me the strength do His will if I tried my best and he has!
The best advice I recieved at the MTC was from an old devotional that we watched given by Elder Bednar which was "It's not about you." That really helped me to not focus on me but on others. I am here to serve the Lord and teach his children. This changed everything! When I studied, I learned alot, but when I studied for my investigator I learned more. I decided that if I was tired, so what! If I wanted a break, so what! It's not about me. I know that when you start focusing on others before yourself that you will be so much happier in life!
On Tuesday, all of the MTC both the West and Main campus went to the Marriott Center where Elder Neil L. Anderson spoke to us. It was amazing when we walked in the room because everyone (roughly 3400 missionaries) stood up very quickly. As he walked in all the missionaries were singing "I know that My Redeemer Lives" while we waited for the devotional to start. I was able to sing in the giant choir for him! We sang "Lead Kindly Light." The devotional was broadcast to all of the MTC's around the world either live or by recording. He spoke about love and sacrifice how we love the things we sacrifice and sacrifice for the things we love. Then when it ended, we were asked to stay inside the building because there was a lot of rain and lighting, so we were trapped in the building with an apostle! Then Elder Andersen walked through the isles shaking hands. Then we all sang "Called to Serve" for him and the excitment was tangible in the air! While at the devotional I ran into Elder Bjorling and Cordon from pageant as well as Sister Lopez from the Rocklin YSA singles ward. It was great to see them!
On Sunday, we were able to have Brother Allen the managing director of the Missionary Department come and speak to us. He got the whole audience interacting and really spoke straight to us! That same day for Relief Society we had Sister McConkie, 1st Councelor in the YW General Presidency, come and speak to us. It was great! She also brought her husband, President McConkie. He shared this story with us:
When he was a young boy he was at his Grandpa's house in his study. He was looking around and found a Book of Mormon and on the inside cover he found about 50 dates. He tried and tried to figure out what they all were. He thought maybe they were birthdays, but there were too many. Finally he asked and found out that each time his Grandfather read the Book of Mormon he wrote the date inside of the cover. On his way home from Grandpa's house in the car, he told his Father about what he had found utterly amazed. Then his Father told him that next time he was at Grandfather's house he needed to look around is study and open up all of the other Book of Mormon copies that lined the wall and see what he found. His Grandfather had read and reread that book. President McConkie bore testimony that his Grandfather knew and loved that book as he does.
I loved that story! He committed us to read it more. We also watched the BEST fireside every given by Elder Bednar at the MTC on a Christmas Sunday entitled "The Character of Christ." You HAVE to read that devotional, it is all about the attributes of Christ. I will try and find it for you. In the fireside, Elder Bednar told us to get a cheap paper back copy of the Book of Mormon and read it with one question in mind and then when we were done right a half of page on what we learned. He said we should read the Book of Mormon, doing that, 400-500 times in our life! Crazy huh! I better get started!
Well, I love the MTC but I am ready and excited to leave on Monday for South Carolina! There are 25 missionaries in my transfer, 18 sisters and 7 elders. I am was put incharge of getting everyone through the airport and onto planes. We are going to have so much fun! I am going to bring cookies for everyone.
I love you all and am very happy here! I feel the Spirit strong so here and know that this is God's work! Love you and be good!