Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well and you should know that I miss all of you. I have had an excellent week, which I am going to tell you all about. First off on Wednesday it was hard to say good-bye but what a blessing it has been! When we get out of the car, they take us to a main room where they have a whole bunch of little tables set up. Then they give you your welcome bag and then you move to another line and they put your nametag on you. What a cool experience having that placa placed on your left shoulder. The only downside is yes they still have the dork dots! Beautiful bright beacons of insecurity. It really made it official! Then it was off to another table to take a picture for your life card at the MTC and of course my picture is pretty much like stepping-back-into-the-7th-grade bad. Then you drop of the bags that nearly kill you trying to get up the stairs in the room and then off to get not 12 but 30 pounds of books! :) You are taken to a classroom, which at that point you don't know, but will pretty much your life for the next 9 weeks and have a cute little orientation movie on the MTC and gym time. Then you meet the companion! My companion is awesome! Her name is Hermana Pearson and she is from Colorado. Your companion enters the MTC the same day you do so we both had dork dots making us twice as noticiable. We are getting along great. We have had some comical moments even in the short week we've been companions. The rest of the day comprises classes, orientation from the MTC presidency, dinner and then you start right into a teaching simulation, which was neat. I was able to bear my testimony about forever families to one gentlemen (in english of course). Then it's off to bed right? Wrong, because if you're me you know you haven't been welcomed to the MTC until something goes wrong. That something was my placa. The story of the missing placa goes as follows. We were taken back to our room by a nice coordinating sister who was telling us everything will be fine and you'll love it here, and all of us are thinking what did I just get myself into. Then we get back to the room and as I am taking off my coat, my green magnet falls out but not my placa and I am thinking oh no! Yep I start looking everywhere and my placa is not in the room, so finally I tell the coordinating sister my placa's gone so she says no problem lets retrace our steps and look for it. We start walking and no placa. We are all kinda giggling at this point because we are trying to find a missing placa, and they are saying if we don't find it I'll have to go the office lost and found, when all of the sudden it hits me! My placa not only has my name letting the world know who lost it, but it also has a bright orange dot! In horror I realize that anyone who finds my placa is going to have the laugh of their life as they have this placa belonging to a new missionary. We went all the way back to the classroom and no placa and we decided it must have been picked up. My companion decided that it must be back at the room because while we were looking for it two elders needed to bear their testimonies so we were suppose to be out and about so they could find someone to bear it to. Sure enough when I got back to the room and started to finish unpacking there under a book and a scarf was my missing placa. I don't even remember opening that bag, but just goes to show the tender mercies of the Lord in sparing me the humiliation of picking up my dork dotted placa! All in all it was a great way to break the ice at the MTC. The other two girls in my room are Hermana Thompson going to San Diego and Hermana Farnsworth going to Argentina. Both are great and it's been fun getting to know them.
The rest of week was basically filled with studying spanish, studying the gospel, a little sleeping, and eating. Sometimes it feels all we do is study and eat study and eat, so don't ever believe any elder who says they are starving at the MTC because it is a lie! On Thursday I was also made to feel really old when the teacher (talking about when he served his mission) asked who was born before 1991 and my lone hand entered the air. He thanked me for keeping him young and I thanked him for marking me as old.
Spanish is going really well so far. It is hard and sometimes my brain hurts from trying to think and speak in spanish, but wow the results are amazing. I can now pray and bear my testimony in decent spanish. This truly is the Lord's work and the gift of tongues is manifest all around. Sunday was fast sunday and it went well. We had a missionary conference where the MTC president and others speak to us. Then we went to sacrament meeting and I decided to be brave and try bearing my testimony in spanish. I stood up and I said Yo tengo butterflies. The congregation chuckled and the branch president supplied me with the word mariposas. I thanked him and continued on without any other english incidents. Later on sunday we had a fireside and there is nothing quite like 2000 missionaries singing together. It gave me goose bumps.
You cannot be shy to be a missionary because you are teaching in spanish on the third day. The "investigator" we have was named Julio. We taught him and it was going great, but on the lesson about baptism right before I bore my testimony the spirit hit me like a freight train. I know that my savior lives and that he loves me. I knew that even though my spanish was simple the spirit was strong.
The rest of my district and zone are good. We have 3 sets of elders and they are definitely 19 year old boys. For example, one day in the lunch room they decided to have a half gallon chocolate milk challenge with not so great results. I mean really, these boys are going to teach the gospel?! Then they stand and bear their testimonies and you know why the Lord is sending them out. Powerful testimonies of Christ.
For all of you wanting my spanish humor to manifest, I have officially told my first joke in spanish. It is, que dice un libro de matimatica a otro libro de matimatica? Yo tengo problemas! ja ja ja ja :)
Today has been a great pday. Went to the temple this morning and what a beautiful spirit that is felt inside the temple walls. Then the hermanas in my district and I had what is dubbed celestial breakfeast in the MTC.
I love being a missionary already. This is the best feeling in the world. I get to wear the name of Christ at all times and my entire purpose is to invite them to come unto him! I have already memorized my purpose, the first vision and the baptism inviation all in spanish!
Ok well that's all I have time for so love you lots! Please Dear Elder me letters! Even short notes are good because the elders and their girlfriends are creaming us sisters in letters received. I love you guys so much!