I hope everyone had a great week! My week was AMAZING and the MTC is the best thing ever. I LOVE it here. Honestly I don’t understand how anyone could hate it…cask me that when I’m on week 6 though.. the answer might change. So my companions names are Hermana Greenburg and she is from Orem and going to Florida Tampa and my other companion is Hermana Tribe and she is from Bountiful, going to Santa Rosa, CA. The 2 elders in my district are Elder Johnson, going to the amazing mission Dallas, TX and Elder Creighton going to Arcadia, CA. Its so nice to have a smaller district because we spend ALL day with them so we really get to know each other pretty well. Our zone has 3 districts (including ours). The oldest district leaves next week and the other one is only a week ahead of us. Most missionaries in our zone are going to Argentina with a few to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Boston. They are all awesome and were totally surprised when we all came in speaking Spanish already because they all started as beginners and we are intermediate speakers.
My Spanish is actually coming along great! I love it. If I am speaking to someone in english, I find myself saying the words in Spanish in my mind haha, its kind of weird but awesome at the same time. I didn’t know any gospel terms before coming here so I am having to learn those as well, and my “language goal” is to learn 20 words and 7 phrases or questions a day, so it is coming along well. I will admit it now….I wish I payed more attention in high school! My comps did and they remember so much more than I do, but my teacher told me something that really changed my mindset. He said that if you are listening to a non native english speaker, you can get the jist of what they are saying, right? its the same thing with native Spanish speakers listening to me trying to speak Spanish. They can understand what I am saying and it doesn’t matter as much as I think it does to conjugate correctly.
My teacher is Hermano Barrett and he served in Tijuana Mexico. He is super cool and teaches us a lot of good things about what it will really be like in the field. Our investigator, (who we taught on our 3rd day here!!) Norma is great. She is really receptive and even though I know she isn’t a real investigator, I just want to share everything I can with her. We invited her to be baptized in our 2nd lesson and she said YES. AH it was awesome and you could feel the Spirit so strongly. We teach her once a day and right now we are teaching about the plan of salvation.
On a normal day in the MTC I wake up at 6:30 and get ready, then we study for about 20 minutes and go eat. Then its class until lunch, class until dinner and then class until its time to go back and get ready for bed. Basically class from 7:00-9:30 but with 45 minute breaks to eat and 1 hour to exercise. My zone is big into 4 square and its funny because I haven’t seen people that into 4 square since like the 4th grade. My district kind of hits a wall at about 3:00 every day but then we move around and get back into it.
Sundays are by far the best days. It is totally true that if you can make it to your 1st Sunday, you can make it through the MTC. We got to hear a devotional from Elder Allen, who oversees all aspects of the missionary department. He was in charge of overseeing all aspects of preach my gospel (the book missionaries use to teach investigators) like WHAT? He was awesome and said that we need to be converted before we can convert investigators which is totally true. Then we watched “Character of Christ,” a talk from Elder Bednar, given at the MTC in 2011. You can only watch it if you are a missionary at the MTC so it’s super special. He spoke about turning outward like Christ did and not turning inward like we naturally want to. It was amazing and every missionary in the MTC should watch it.
I forgot to mention dearelder.com! It's free to use these 6 weeks that i am in the MTC and you type up an email basically and every night we are allowed to read them because they print them off for us! As a missionary I can tell you, getting mail is seriously the best thing to get and you don’t understand how nice it is to hear from people until you get mail! So for these 6 weeks feel free to send me a dearelder, even if it is something short… I would love to hear about what is going on. (And i promise to answer you on my email days!)
Gracias amigos y familia!
Pic 1: Typical mission map picture
Pic 2: My Companions- me, Hermana Greenberg, Hermana tribe
Pic 3: My district with Zone leaders in the back– (its a bit blurry oops)
Pic 4: My zone at the Temple!
Pic 5: My badge and the temple on our temple walk
Pic 6: How did people take selfies before front facing cameras????