Friday, February 27, 2015
My time here at the MTC has been good. It is flying by. I can't believe that I leave this next Tuesday to AL. Things are about to get real! I've learned a lot while I've been here, thanks to our teachers and me studying the Gospel like I never have before! Some things that I've learned is that you have to teach by the Spirit, and you can't plan out every detail of a lesson. You need to let the Spirit guide you, and most importantly you need to meet the need of the investigator. They need to see how the Gospel can be personally applicable in their life. We've had two "investigators" at the MTC that my companions and I have been teaching. The first few lessons were really rough as we were trying to find the right balance. Finally, things have been picking up and our lessons are a lot better!
I've realized that I don't have the perfect testimony or knowledge of the Gospel. But I shouldn't get down about that. I have the opportunity right now to change or learn. I've always had the Gospel in my life but I feel like my real conversion is my mission. I'm looking at my religion and the Gospel in a way that I never have before. It's amazing how much room a person has to grow. My testimony is definitely growing. I'm trying to have a closer relationship with God.
I hope everyone at home is doing well. I miss you guys but it's good to be here, and my busy schedule has prevented me of thinking too much about home! Today is our P day and we're able to do laundry and pack up. Next time I write you will be in AL!
Till next time,
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Hello family and friends!
This is my third day here at the MTC. The drop off was quick, and as my tearful family drove off, I was rolling my luggage up the sidewalk with an escort showing me where to go. I went through a few different buildings to check in, get my name tag, books, and other items. Then I was shown to my Residence Hall. I am roommates with four other girls, and we are all going to Birmingham, AL! Instead of having one companion, two of those girls are my companion so we're in a little threesome. Sister Brown and Sister Johnson are my companions.
Our schedule is packed tight from 6:30am-10:30pm. We have meetings, classes, studying, meals, and exercise time. Today is my P day, or Preparation day, and we're allowed to email, do laundry, wear casual clothing, and take it easy. Although today we only have half a P day for whatever reason. It's really nice being able to take a breather. Classes or meetings can last for 2-3 hours at a time. Although they pass really quickly. It can be tiring having to focus and study and discuss so much, but at the same time you enjoy it.
Later today we have Classroom Instruction. This is where we will study within our district (us Sisters going to AL and a few elders going to Ohio.) Today we also have our first role play, where my companions and I will teach an "investigator" named Ann. We've prepared the basis of our lesson, and will study a bit more later to finish up our plan.
My first day, they had real investigators here that come to the MTC every so often. There was a group of probably fifty missionaries in the room, and the investigator would ask or answer questions with us missionaries. They pretty much threw us newbies, greenies, (or whatever you want to call us) right into the action! We talked with three investigators, but my favorite was Ciccio, an old Italian man that had a quirky personality and a great sense of humor. His wife had passed away, and his newborn son had also passed away many years ago. He was worried about where they were, and specifically since his 3 days old son wasn't baptized into the Catholic church, where he was. So you can only imagine the sweet spirit in the room, when some of us missionaries explained to him some of our doctrine concerning that. Ciccio got quiet, and was sort of in shock, but also was filled with joy. He was very genuine. He would ask, "How do I sign up?" He touched my heart in more ways than one. And he made me realize what being a missionary is all about.
Being a missionary is hard. You go into it having this ideal picture of a missionary in your head---being able to teach with authority and the Spirit, relating to the investigators on a personal level---but you're not going to be perfect. You have to practice a lot, and you have to put yourself into uncomfortable situations. I have a lot to work on.
The food here isn't too bad, it's really nice that they have lots of options. They also have different exercise options...a track, weights, basketball court, and other workout equipment. Yesterday for gym time my companions and I walked around the track and used some exercise equipment. Believe it or not, we woke up at 5:30am today and went to a 6am exercise class. It was kick boxing today, and I just about died. I definitely miss doing BeHot Yoga and bouldering. I haven't really gotten chance to do any yoga yet, so hopefully I can soon.
I love you all. And I'll talk to you soon. :)