Today's my first P-day!! It feels like I've been here an eternity, but at the same time it's gone by so fast!!
I freakin' LOVE the MTC!! I've met so many people that I'll definitely remember for the rest of my life. My companion, Hermana Higgs, is one of the sweetest people that I've ever met in my life. She's a lot like me and is in to the same sort of things, so I know that we were meant to be companions here. We've helped each other adjust to the different lifestyle and with the language. The other two hermanas in my district and room are Hermana Morgan and Hermana Luna. They're some of the sweetest people I've met too and all four of us just have a blast all of the time. The elders in my district (Elders Tanner, Ainge, Cunningham, and Palmer) are some of the coolest people I've met too. Elder Tanner reminds me a lot of Matt and Joe (looks, interest, and personality). Elder Ainge is the son of Danny Ainge (aka the GM of the Boston Celtics and BYU Basketball player!!!). Elder Cunningham and Palmer are pretty awesome too. Hermana Higgs and I are the only two going to California in my district. Hermanas Morgan and Luna are going to Peru Lima, Elder Cunningham is going to Texas, and the other three elders are going to Chile. My district is unique because we're the only intermediate spanish class that entered the MTC on the 8th! The rest were only beginner! This definitely boosted my confidence, but at the same time put a lot of pressure on us because everyone thinks we're so much better than them.
My teachers, Hermana Heinzen and Hermano Savio, are really nice and have definitely helped out a lot with learning the language and effective ways in teaching the gospel. Sometimes it can be a little stressful learning Spanish so fast, but overall, I can defitniely tell that I've improved so much! I can already say a prayer, bear my testimony, and teach multiple lessons in Spanish without too many problems. My accent is also coming along pretty well and I don't sound as white! :P It's amazing that I have the opportunity to feel the spirit so strong everyday here. One of the first things that President Nally told us was that the MTC is an extension of the temple and that's why we're able to be so productive and accomplish a lot in only six weeks. President and Sister Roach (aka the former Chicago Mission president and his wife) are in the MTC presidency here and I totally didn't even realize that until a few days ago!! It's crazy to think that I've actually met them before coming here!
The first day that I came here, it was a little rough and I teared up a little after I left mom at the curb. I struggled until I met my companion and the other hermanas in my district, but most of my issues disolved when I met Hermanas Boyd and Lyons. They're the other hermanas in my zone and they welcomed us like they were our own mothers. They have such strong testimonies and hilarious sensese of humor. I'll definitely be bummed when they have to leave next week to go to Chile, but I'll be happy for them at the same time.
I'm living in the actual MTC, not Wyview or Raintree, which is an absolute blessing! I did, however, see bunkbeds in my old apartment at Wyview which was really weird!
For Relief Society on Sunday, Janice Kapp Perry came and spoke to us!! She talked about the power of music and being a missionary. We sang a medley of a lot of her songs that she wrote for the Children's Songbook and the Spirit was so strong. We conclude the meeting by singing "The Sisters in Zion". This was the same tune as "As Sisters in Zion", but she rewrote the lyrics to apply to missionary work. I teared up, but the song helped confirm that serving a mission is what I'm supposed to be doing at this time in my life.
For our Tuesday night Devotional, Elder Russell M. Nelson came and spoke to us!! Janice Kapp Perry AND Russell M. Nelson in one week!! He talked about the power of the spirit in our teaching and how we need to look in to the souls of our investigators to figure out what they really need. One scripture he shared was D&C 126:32. It talked about how we need to humble ourselves and ask of God for any help we need or answers to any questions we may have. At first, I thought that this would apply directly to future investigators that I'd have, but then I realized that it directly applied to my life. Sometimes I forget that prayer is the most powerful thing that I can do in my life to help me become closer to God and receive help with problems I have. We can't do everything on our own and we need God's help to get through this life.
We started teaching our first "investigator" on Friday!! At first, it was really nervewracking because we had to teach him in spanish on our third day there, but the spirit helped out and everything went well. We had our last opportunity to teach him yesterday and we didn't end up getting him to committ to baptism, but we did finally get him to pray. The spirit was so strong in that lesson because we finally realized that we had to point out that the good feelings he's been having are from the Spirit which are from God and God wants him to know that he loves him.
Most of our days are spent sitting in a classroom learning spanish, but when we aren't in the classroom, we get to eat, go to the gym, do personal exercise, or other various personal things. Normally I don't like going to the gym, but here it can actually be a lot of fun!! We play knockout or volleyball most of the time and I'm actually getting kind of better!! The food in the cafeteria actually isn't that bad, but I've been told that it's essential you stay away from the orange juice, scrambled eggs, and the beef. I haven't tried the orange juice or the eggs yet, but the beef IS NASTY!!
This morning, we went to the temple. It was such a neat experience because it was the first time I went without mom and went only with people that were my own age. It's amazing to see so many young people in one room knowing that all of them are worthy to be there and are working towards the same goal. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be able to go to the temple every week here on P-day.
My branch president, President Johnson, is nice, but he's kind of intimidating at the same time. I know that he means well, but at the same time I try to avoid talking to him if I can! I haven't met the Slingerland's yet, but I have met the Harris' and I love them a lot. They're super sweet!