July 22, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,
I'm finally here! The MTC is great. It's overwhelming at times and we keep a rigorous schedule here, but it is great. The first day consisted in getting all of our study materials (which took all of 15 minutes) and name tag. It felt like a big moment, getting my tag, but in reality it was a 15 second event. Then we jump right into things. The first day focused on teaching us our purpose as missionaries and learning how to get to know our investigators and how we can help them. They took us into three different rooms, one after another, and had us ask investigators questions. It was a bit hard to do with such large groups, but I think we all learned a lot.
The huge part of day 1 was getting my iPad. I'm not entirely sure that this is the case, but it sounds like not all missionaries who are using iPads on their mission get to train with one at the MTC, but I am one of the lucky ones. What having an iPad means is that I am able to receive and read e-mail daily, but I can only respond to friends and family on P-Day. So if you have something to tell me, you can let me know immediately! Kind of cool, no?
Day one also consisted of seeing a lot of people that I already knew. The first was Brother Justice, who was one of my bishops. He helps oversee dining services and I was able to see him and he sat and talked to me and the sisters in my district during dinner. It also seems there may be some advantages to having a friend in dining services ;) I also saw my co-worker, Sister Delgado and that was fun. Today I saw two friends from the singles ward I just left.
Now a little about my district. It consists of 8 elders (4 companionships) and 4 sisters (2 companionships). My companion is Sister Pasikala. She is Tongan as well as Sister Mapa. Her companion is Sister Thomson. These are the people that I interact with all day every day and so far they all seem pretty cool. Most of our day is spent in one classroom, and this will be more true for the following weeks (we're still going through tons of orientation). These are the people that get to help us grow and see us succeed and fail. Our teachers are two girls and they are both really sweet and nurturing.
The MTC is an incredibly intimate experience, and just in the few days I've been here, I've been able to see how seriously the Lord takes this work. Emotions are raw and the Spirit is strong. We are all working hard and striving to do our best and we are blessed for it. Everyone who works here is nothing but kind and compassionate. Parents, if you have a child here - know that they are being well cared for. We are being pushed the hardest I have ever been pushed, but also in the most loving way I could ever imagine. I'm having a hard time describing the love I have felt here. I have also been surprisingly at peace. There are moments when I internally freak out and am overwhelmed with what I must do for the next 18 months, but I am trying to take it a day at a time and for the most part, I have been very happy. They say that if we can make it through Sunday, we're going to be okay, haha.
I think I'm going to wrap this up. You can either e-mail me or use dearelder.com (which is free) and if you get your letter in by 12, it will be printed and delivered to us at 9:30. Also, I was assigned to be the Sister Training Leader (I think that's what it's called) for my district. I'm not sure what that means yet. I was only assigned last night. Hopefully my letters can be more organized in the future. I love you all!