First P-Day letter
When Kathy dropped me off at the MTC, a host was there waiting for me. She took me to the bookstore to get my supplies (white handbook, planner, etc.) and to another building for my nametag, room key, and card. She then took me to my residence to drop off my suitcases and then to my class room. I did start to cry during all of that, but some of the older staff members helped me out. When I got to class, I met my companion. Her name is Sister Lytle (pronounced Lie-tull). She is from New Hampshire. I really really like her. She is 19 and went to BYU for a semester (studying chemistry) before leaving on her mission.
On Thursday, we met the Branch Presidency and their wives. They are all very nice to us. We then had interviews with the Branch Presidency and one of the counselors called me to be a Sister Training Leader with Sister Lytle! I couldn't believe it! So, on Sunday Sister Lytle and I had to go to Branch Council and then various leadership meetings during the week. Tonight, we are going to welcome in the new missionaries in our zone (Zone 36) and show them around the MTC.
Here is what a typical day at the MTC looks like: We wake up at 6:30 and do what we need to do before going to breakfast at 7:15. The food is pretty good, but I would stay away from the cookies and the grapes. The cookies taste like they have been cooked too long and I found a grape with holes in it. Anyways, we then have daily planning before we head to class for personal study and then companionship study. This is usually when Sister Lytle and I make our lesson plans. We then have more study time before lunch. After lunch we have class and usually teach an investigator (more about that later). After class, we have gym. I found out that Four Square is a big deal in the MTC! I also found that I am having a better time at gym than I thought I would. Yesterday, Sister Lytle and I found some jump ropes and had fun playing with those. Another sister in our district also taught me how to properly shoot a basketball! After gym, we have some free time and then we go to dinner. After dinner, we go back for more class and then go home. Quiet time is at 10:15 and then lights out at 10:30. It is a very busy day!
There are eight of us in our district (District 36-A). Sister Lytle and I live with the other two sisters in our district: Sister Pattison and Sister Bullcreek. They are great and the four of us have so much fun together (Sister Pattison is from Utah and Sister Bullcreek is from Idaho). As for the elders, I am not sure what I think of them. I mean, I like them, but our district leader's personality confuses me. I think that maybe I see the elders as a little immature too. My teachers are really nice too. I am with Sister Gwynn and Brother Call (I actually know his wife, Sarah, from when we did Savior of the World). We also have help from Sister Avery and Brother Weekes. They are so nice.
We've had some great devotionals here. On Sunday night, Sister Wendy Nelson (Russel M Nelson's wife) came and spoke to us. She brought Sherri Dew with her as her companion, because Elder Nelson was elsewhere (North Carolina?) organizing a stake. On Tuesday, we had two devotionals. We went to the BYU devotional where Elder David F Evans spoke about tenacity. That night, we heard from Elder Golden of the seventy. It was great.
We currently have two investigators: Cyndi and Kitty. Cyndi is our investigator that we teach during part of class time. Sister Lytle and I have taught her a few lessons and it is going well. So far, she has committed to prayer, reading the Book of Mormon, coming to Church with us, and baptism! Kitty is our investigator through the TRC (Teaching Resource Center). She has been hard to teach because she doesn't have a Christian background (she is Buddhist). We have to start with the very basics. In fact, we teach her tonight. I hope that that goes well. Sister Lytle and I are desperately trying to figure out what to teach her. We also practice working with members through the TRC. They just started teaching missionaries how to work with members, so we are some of the first ones to do member visits in the MTC. I think it is a great idea to teach the missionaries how to work with members!
Some fun things have happened as well. One, when Sister Lytle and I were in line waiting to get our food, two elders in front of us were wondering if they should order their food in French! So, I tapped the elder nearest me on the shoulder and struck up a conversation! Thankfully, this elder has french parentage, so I didn't completely scare him. He also said that I speak really well. I have met quite a few missionaries going French speaking, but that elder is the only one I have really talked to. Another time, when we were headed to dinner, some elders stopped us and asked if they could practice bearing their testimonies in Fijian. So, we let them. It was great. They then invited us to share our testimonies, and I bore mine in French. Only Sister Lytle knew that I spoke French so that was a fun surprise!
We also have service once a week (Fridays). We have to clean the building that we are staying in. As a former custodian, I love it! Sister Lytle knows that I was a custodian and sometimes she laughs when I notice things that other people wouldn't notice (lights that are out, smudges, etc.). While we were doing service last week, I ran into a girl who had been in my Mission Prep class at BYU-Idaho. That was fun!
On Sundays, we get to leave the MTC to walk up to the temple and spend time on the grounds. The Provo temple grounds are beautiful!
All in all, I am having a great time here at the MTC. Things are busy, and there are times when I am stressed, but I think of how I feel when I am teaching. The Spirit that Sister Lytle and I are able to feel when we teach Cyndi makes it all worth it! We feel so amazing when a lesson goes well. I can't believe that I will only be here for another week. Apparently, we're the "old ones" now because there are more missionaries coming in today.
Today, as it is P-day, we went to the temple. I have missed going. Although, the Provo temple is much bigger than the Columbia River Temple! That, or it is just taller. I was so excited to go (I had been looking forward to it all week!). Later today, we are going to do laundry and work on our lesson for Kitty.
Unfortunately, I will not have another P-day at the MTC. We leave on Wednesday, 12 November for the field. In fact, we have to get up at 3:30 a.m. to catch the shuttle. So, I don't know when I will email you again. Hopefully it will be soon. When I know when P-day is in San Jose, I will tell you.
Hope you are all doing well. I love you.