Hello everyone!! My first week has been so so so crazy! But also so great!! I have so much to say, so hopefully I have enough time to read all of my emails and also write! Thank you to all the people who emailed me!!! I hope I can get to all of them, but if not I'm thanking you here!! So my flight here was very long and very painful. JET LAG IS HORRIBLE. This time difference is seriously killing me, but I am slowly getting used to it! England is beautiful. soo soo pretty! I forgot that everyone drives on the opposite side of the road and that they drive on the other side of the car haha. My companion is very sweet! We are definitely very different people, but we get along fine! The first 3 or 4 days here I was pretty sick with a cold or something I picked up on the plane, or maybe just lack of sleep when I was flying for 2 days, but she was very sweet and made sure to take care of me! Getting sick in the MTC is awful, because you can't focus or fulfil your purpose as a missionary and you feel so helpless. But they have this magic english tea stuff and I was just drinking it like crazy and it totally cured me!! I love it here :) I think I've picked up more english slang than German haha. like hoover (vacuum) and lush (rad? thats the closest word i can think of haha) and chuffed (happy or excited). we all try and mimmick the teachers and talk with british accents now haha. sorry if this email is super scattered and ugly looking. im trying to rush now because all of my laptops are dying or logging out on me!! so there are about 40 missionaries total right now in the MTC, so we are all super close!!! especially the sisters! My room has 4 girls. The whole mtc is one zone. there are 2 or 3 english speaking districts going to england missions or scotland/ireland, and there is one ESL district, one greek district, and two alpine german districts. The greeks have been here for 6 weeks and they will stay for another 3 because greek is so hard! I admire them a lot because they speak greek everywhere they go and i think if they can speak that much in 6 weeks, then i can speak that much german in 6 weeks!! Everyone calls us the germans haha. Our district is the alma district, and the other german district is the helaman district. this building is super small, 3 floors and it's all just one long hallway with classrooms going off of them. the food here is good! i forgot about the carbonated water (they have a little dispenser of regular water in the back though for us americans haha). we have had a lot of english food! like steak pie... i can't think of anything else haha but it's a little different here! the UK elders here are troubleeeee so i just stay away from them. so the first day we just got to unpack and relax, and the second day they threw us right into the german!! but honestly it was so great! they only spoke to us in german, but i understood way more than i thought i would, and we learned how to pray in german the first day so i was already ahead! ;) but obviously that didn't last for long.
Missions are hard. let me just tell y'all that right now. like super super hard, but soooo worth it. i didnt fully understand that when alex and mallory were telling me until the second day i was in the mtc. like holy cow it is hardddddd. one of the hardest things at the moment is just time management, because i want to do all the right things like read my scriptures and write in my journal and have personal and companion study, but our schedule is so crazy and busy and back to back everything that i just dont have time!! and at night i am trying to be exactly obedient and go to bed at 10:30, but i also want to write in my journal every day!! So im still working on that. The funniest thing though is that my comp and i are always late to everything, but not because of me! Surprisingly enough!!! if you can even believe it, my companion is more of a late person than i am hahaha so we are definitely working on that.
The 2nd day of learning german, we taught an investigator in german, and again i was really surprised that it wasnt as bad as i was thinking it would be!! I mean the only problem was that he asked if we had a Book of Mormon to give him and we forgot to bring one, and we realized at the end we forgot to start the lesson with a prayer... but other than that it was good! Since then we have taught two other investigators in german and we taught one to pray and committed him to read the Book of Mormon! we still havent committed anyone to be baptized, but only because we can't figure out how to say it in german. My companion took 4 years of german in high school!! I feel like i am learning at such a slower pace than her... but as Sister Clayton told me: "comparison is the thief of joy!!" I get in trouble in class alot for speaking Spanish... i keep accidentally saying, "como se dice" instead of "wie sagkt mann" lol. and during a lesson one time i just said all of the words I didnt know in german, in spanish! because we arent allowed to speak english! My German teacher calls it EspanDeutsch (haha) so i guess i speak Espandeutsch. or Espandeutschlish. (hehe.) i feel so scatterbrained! i should probably start figuring out what i am going to write before i sit down at the computer because there is just too much to say!!
I have fallen asleep while praying at night at least 12 times, and one of the sisters told me that last night i was talking in my sleep so she videoed it to show me (haha.) this morning we went to the temple and it is GORGEOUS!! the session was beautiful and it was awesome because all of the MTC presidency and our teachers were the ordinance workers for our session! Afterwards, my comp and i found the temple president and started talking to him and we asked him if we could get a little personal tour around the temple and he said yes!! it was awesome, and it is so beautiful in there. Sunday was fast sunday and it was probably the best day of my entire missionary experience so far! If you know me, you know that i turn into THE HULK when i get hungry, so fast sunday is pretty hard for me, but this one wasn't at all. i was able to feel the spirit so much that day, and all of my problems and concerns were settled and my questions were answered. i just felt so peaceful and grateful. and i really felt the weight of my calling. i have probably gone through every emotion on the emoji keyboard this week. we watched a devotional from the provo mtc (i would highly suggest to try and look it up and watch it. it's from August 18, 2015 by Elder Andersen) and elder andersen talked alot about the blessings of sacrifice, the opposition we are going to face from the adversary, and the deliverance we will have if we are faithful. i think that in order for me to change, i needed to be torn down and built back up with an eye single to the glory of God, and let me tell you i have DEFINITELY been torn down. holy cow i was stripped to the bone, but i feel like the rebuilding process has begun. i am being strengthened through the Lord! built up as a tool for him to use for the next 18 months and i couldnt be happier! :) that devotional was honestly everything i needed to get me through the next couple of days, and it's just a testimony of how much Heavenly Father knows us so individualy. there have been plenty of times this last week that i have wondered what i am even doing here and thought "i dont have to do this." but i WANT to! i know this is what i need and exactly where i need to be right now. okay im so sorry for the long email, but it's time for me to go! :) i love you all and thanks everyone for all the support and wonderful emails!