Tuesday, January 19, 2016

19 January 2016 - Is this real life?

Hello, all!

Week one is nearly over and I don't even know where to start.  I love the MTC SO much.  Everyone is so happy and united and focused and hardworking.  I'll catch myself thinking "Oh cool! Look! Missionaries!" when I see a couple of name tagged sisters walking by... then I remember that I'm one of them, now.  Weird.  But awesome.

My companions are great - Sister Anderson and Sister Whitehead. Apparently there was supposed to be one more sister in our district, so we'd have two duos, but she didn't show up.  But it is totally fine, because I love them SO much and we get along great. We teach well together and so far there's been no drama.  I think it's because we pray together all the time, set goals, and laugh always.  The weirdest and funniest things happen here. They are both going to Boston, though, so it'll be sad to leave them in a week's time.

We are in a district of 8.  5 Elders.  Three of them are going to Pocatello like me!  They are in a trio companionship as well and they are SOLID.  Such strong testimonies.  Two of them are zone leaders, and one of them is our district leader.  The other two elders are going to Boston like my companions.  Everyone in our district is extremely different.  One is a marine seargent who is older than most of us, one is a music major who can play all woodwind instruments, Sister Whitehead is a blackbelt in tae-kwon-do, etc.  We have a great time and get along well.  This morning the senior district in our zone left for their mission fields (aka we lost 2 of our roomies) and THIS wednesday, we get TWO NEW DISTRICTS.  Our zone is just a generic english-speaking stateside zone, so there are a lot of people coming in. 9 new sisters and 10 brothers.  Yesterday the MTC president and his wife sat with our district at lunch and they told us the elder to sister ratio right now is 5 elders for every 4 sisters in the MTC - Crazy.  But I love my district, we're all best friends, and we always are improving and working on goals so that we can have the spirit and be united and work well.  I'm going to miss the Boston ones.

Right now the three of us are Sister Training Leaders for the whole zone, which will mean a lot more once the new sisters arrive.  The first day seems so long ago, and yet I can't believe I've already been here a week.  I remember my first day and talking to OUR STL's it seemed like they were so old and wise haha.  Even though I'm older than all the sisters in our zone and most of them here... which is strange to me.

Right now we're teaching 3 investigators - Tino, Pam, and Leah.  Tino and Pam are actors, theyr'e our teachers posing as investigators, but they do a really good job and the more we take it seriously, the more we learn how to improve teaching by the spirit.  SOMETIMES I forget theyr'e our teachers and it's so real.  Both Tino and Pam are progressing in their faith and have agreed to be baptized next month, which was a huge step for us - and a cause for celebration.

Leah, however, is not a member of the church.  She's been coming to the MTC for over 3 years now to be taught, because a while back, she had a traumatic experience with some people who took advantage of her (so so so sad) and now has a lot of emotional issues and likes that being taught in the MTC means that it'll be very structured and safe.  Our roommates who left already taught her and they told us to just listen to her, and not be too aggressive with teaching.  Which we did.  She's the musical worship leader at her church and plays guitar, so I asked if she could play us some songs they sing, and she LOVED that.  We did, too.  We sang some of our hymns for her, talked with her, prayed for her and shared some scriptures.  She told us that in her 3 years, she's never had missionaries like us before, who actually seem to care about her.  That made me so sad, but happy we could help her feel cared for.  Please pray for her, she's going through hard times.

This past Sunday we had a devotional with a guest speaker - JANICE KAPP PERRY!! I was fascinated.  She has written so many beautiful songs and told some really incredible stories.  She has us sing them with her.  Very, very, very neat lady.

Next Monday (maybe tuesday...? I can't remember) the flight to Pocatello leaves.  Yes, we're flying.  Basically, the plane will just be doing a high-jump.  Or hiccuping.  40 minute flight.  It'll be a quick nap.

I've seen people I know here and it's the coolest thing.  Karoline Clark from Klein stake is here and her classroom is just a couple of doors down from mine.  We'll be on the same flight.  I've also seen a girl here that I helped when I worked at the temple! She even recognized me and gave me a HUGE hug when she saw me!! It was the sweetest thing ever, and we talk here and there when we cross paths.

I know this is kind of long, but I don't expect they'll all be like this.  It feels like I've been drinking from a fire hydrant hose (or whatever the expression is) and it feels incredible!  My praying knees have never gotten such a great workout, and my testimony has never grown stronger in such a short period of time.  I've truly learned SO much about what the gospel of Christ REALLY is and how it can truly strengthen the relationship we have with Christ.  I know my relationship with him has gown stronger, because I've been able to do things and say things here that I didn't know I could do and say so confidently.  I can't wait to go to Pocatello and serve the people there.  The gospel is so true and I LOVE talking about it.  It's the best thing to be able to help people come closer to Christ.

I hope you all are doing well!  I loved hearing from some of you!

Sister McIntosh

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