Not a ton of time to write because y’all sent me SO MANY EMAILS. Please try to use DearElder if possible! I love you though!!! So great to have so much support.
First few days have been a whirlwind, but FANTASTIC. Seriously. I physically cannot wipe the grin off my face.
Elder Foreston(sp?) was on my plane which was very cool. I keep running into him too.
I was still crying a little when I boarded and the man next to me handed me a Hershey bar, which normally I wouldn’t have liked but wow it was amazing. Lupin is totally right. after that my sadness was over and I was just plain excited!!!! I know it’s a blessing straight from the Lord that I can love you all so much but not feel homesick at all.
Rita and I were able to go do initiatories which helped me feel totally at peace. I would say I was totally calm entering the MTC but I was basically internally bouncing off the walls to be back in this place that instantly (and already) felt like home. My host was an Hermana Fox going to Argentina so that was cool.
Our MTC presidency all served in Portuguese speaking missions, which is cool. I forgot my notes so I’m not going to be able to remember all the activities we did. The spirit is so strong singing with all the missionaries and I can’t wait for choir practice on Sunday.
Things that were harder than I thought:
- staying awake after 8:30
- not accidentally singing pop/rock songs
Things that are easier than I thought:
- sticking to a schedule/waking up
- staying organized
- having class be only in Mongolian
- eating healthy – told them I have allergies and there’s a SECRET CAFETERIA OF YUM
- pretty much everything I ever worried about
That first night we went in groups of 40 or so to teach “investigators” and we could raise our hand to answer questions/bear testimony taking turns. Good thing we only go 2 by 2 because we went all over the place topically. One of them was an Italian Catholic man named Chichu(sp?) whio loved music and had lost a wife and a child. He felt guilty because the child had never been baptized. I got up and sang Families can Be Together Forever and everyone joined in in the room and wow it was the coolest experience. I love hymns.
My companion’s Hawkins egch (Sister Hawkins) flight was delayed 10 hours from NY (I didn’t know this at the time) so I was in a trio with the other girls in my district (Tao egch from the temple and Harmon egch from Utah). There’s just us four girls going to Mongolia which is super cool. WE yell sein benuu at everyone walking around and baiyarthlaa when people open doors and they make strange faces and it’s great. There’s also one Elder Lamb who is solo so the first day ALL FOUR of us were told we had to be companions. Wow. Super hard to keep track of each other but now our district is super close.
Hawkins egch got in after we went to bed and I already got to be her host the next morning and check her in. She’s 23 and had a fiancee, a degree, a stable career job and an awesome apartment and has sacrificed so much to be here. She’s so prepared and has studied the scriptures and PMG and the language so thoroughly.. I love her so much!!!! We are super organized and love to plan everything out. I’m the senior companion but that doesn’t mean too much here and I definitely learn more from her than the other way around.
Our branch 14 is tiny but the coolest thing ever. We’re district c to Mongolia and then there’s 2 districts of advanced English missionaries going to the states. So we have Tongan, Korean, Burmese, African, etc. My favourite thing ever! My branch president is super wise and loving. He challenged me in our interview to finish the Book of Mormon before I leave and promised that the language would come easier even though I’d read in English. A sister from Zimbabwe is getting her endowment today and we get to go so I’m super excited. Like always I love all the international atmosphere here and somehow I’m no longer afraid to speak to anyone in any language I know even a smidgen of. I hope that sticks with me because it’s an awesome feeling. I got to have a short Portuguese conversation which made me super happy and I met an Elder form Indonesia whose brother served in my mission! The Korean missionaries are my favourite because I say things and then they say stuff back and I have no idea what it is and then they realize I don’t speak it.
I get lost constantly which is really bad and makes me late for everything but the good news is I have had to prep everything ahead so I leave myself time to go completely the wrong direction. I can’t see the mountains and all the buildings are exactly identical and the numbers are totally out of order. what. Getting better though and at least know how to get to food and class.
Yesterday we learned to bear our testimonies and we’re teaching our first lesson in all Mongolian tonight. Super excited and a tiny bit overwhelmed. We realized as we were preparing and gettting more and more worried that we forgot to open with prayer and as soon as we prayed we were calm and it came to us.
I’m probably writing more than you care about haha but I’ve had zero journal time so this is it. I ran into Sister Hendrickson who was my roommate (in Morgan’s room) and we didn’t even know we were both serving! How cool! She’s going to Brasilia. I ate lunch with Elder Blatter yesterday and he gave me lots of good advice. He already seems like 2 years older and it’s weird. The MTC ages you I guess “You think college matures you? No. The MTC matures you.” – Jared.
Sorry for typos.
Gym is like the best thing ever and also I made a free throw which I cna’t even remember the last time that happened if at all. So that was fun. My district is so so awesome. Everything is wonderful. I love you all so much!!!!!
To Konrad and others prepping for missions: READ the Book of Mormon before and PMG because your personal study time is all geared towards investigators. SO read it for yourself first. It’s amazing.
Also I’ll probably cut my hair soon because I have like negative 3480579 hours to maintain it and it’s driving me crazy.
Also check out the NY Times website 8 Million people…we watched some profiles in class and talked about their needs and they were lovely. Kind of like Humans of New York but audio with pictures.
Even doing laundry here is awesome. It’s just great to be surrounded by happy people who love the gospel and Jesus Christ. If this is a little bit like what heaven is like then sign me up.
I still love reading all of your testimonies so if you could DearElder me those I’d love it! Hopefully Elder Lamb (who is the district and zone leader all by himself and senior companion of himself) will figure out how to pick up mail soon.
Oh and guess what? No one in our branch plays a lick of piano so guess who got asked to learn hymns on Pdays…haha… that should be fun but at least it’s only like 12 people I’ll embarrass myself in front of.
Please don’t miss me too much and know I’m safe and having the time of my life!!!!! I love you all and can’t wait to tell you more in person someday!
PS to family: I wrote a super short letter with my testimony in Cyrillic so look for that.