Wednesday, November 22, 2017

MTC Week 1: Accomplished


It feels like it’s been so much longer than a week.

I guess first things first: my companion is great.  Her name is Hermana Lund, she’s from Bountiful, and she’s 6’1” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚  I really didn’t think I was that short, but it seems to be unanimously agreed on that I am the smallest one in the district.  Hermana Lund and I are seriously best friends. She’s loud and crazy and so fun!  We are the fun ones in the district and everyone says they appreciate our energy.  She and I are really close with the elders (there are 5 sisters and 5 elders total in our district) especially the district leader Elder Jensen and his companion Elder Stites. We share a room with the other sisters and we all get along for the most part.

So much has happened that I definitely can’t go day by day.  The language is so much harder than I thought it’d be and most of us are really struggling with it.  But the gift of tongues is real!  Yesterday we had our fourth lesson with our first investigator (who doesn’t speak ANY English) and Hermana Lund and I were able to commit him to be baptized! Hermana Lund has never taken ANY Spanish in school or anything, or any other language so it’s AMAZING how quickly she’s picking up on everything. She’s also received six packages since we’ve been here since her family lives so close πŸ˜‚ they send her contraband Dr. Pepper and ramen and Mac and cheese. They’re also sending root beer for me in their next package ❤️πŸ˜­πŸ˜‚

Sunday was really different.  We’re in a small Spanish branch that includes all of our floor and we split up into several classrooms to meet for Priesthood and Relief Society and then all come together in a chapel style classroom for sacrament meeting. We are all asked to prepare a three minute talk every week in Spanish because we don’t know who will be called on to speak until after the sacrament has been passed. After Sacrament meeting we split for teacher training, leadership training, or study time.  Hermana Lund and I are teaching Relief Society this coming Sunday so we had to go to teacher training.  After that we have lunch, then study time, and then a Match the Message meeting which apparently used to be called Dress and Grooming. They just talk about modesty in that meeting.  More study time after that, then dinner, and then a Sunday night devotional. The devotional was good, but after it we stayed and watched a “movie”, which was really just a recording of an Elder Bednar devotional from the past, and it CHANGED MY LIFE.  In it, Elder Bednar suggested getting a copy of the scriptures, writing a question in the front of it, and then marking every scripture that answers that question as you read.  He said the goal is to have shelves of copies of scriptures by the time you’re his age so you can look back on all the spiritual journeys you’ve taken. 

I’ve been having a little trouble feeling the Spirit here. Everyone always says this is the most spiritual place, but I’ve sort of just felt numb mostly and so I’ve been trying to find ways to invite the Spirit more. A member of my branch presidency challenged me to re-read the Book of Mormon, 4 chapters a day and I had just started that on Friday so I decided to use Elder Bednar’s idea and start from the beginning with the question of “How can I invite the Spirit into my life more?”  My studies have been so much more meaningful and I love looking back on the pages I’ve read and seeing them all marked up. I’ve been feeling the spirit all the time since then, especially yesterday in our Tuesday devotional.  Gifford Nielson came to speak and brought Janice Kapp Perry because we sang the EFY Medley and the choir sang a new song that she just wrote and it was her first time hearing anyone sing it. After we all sang the EFY Medley (which was the coolest thing ever, by the way) Elder Nielson invited her to comment on it.  She walked up to the microphone and said “I’d like you all to sing that at my funeral.”  She then proceeded to talk about how much she loved Elder Nielson when he was a football player for BYU.  She even pulled a football that he had signed out of her bag and tossed it to him as proof.  We were all cracking up and Elder Nielson turned to the MTC President and essentially said “She’s going rogue! What should we do?” And the MTC President just shrugged and let her keep talking. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

My fingers are getting tired of typing... πŸ˜‚ 

So today is P Day, of course, and the Temple will be closed after 10am. So as a district we decided to go before then. Well, some of the other missionaries and I have appointments about our immunization records at 9am, so to make sure we would make it, we all decided to go to the earliest Temple session. Our branch presidency told us that was a great idea and that the first session started at 5:30 in the morning and that a lot of the other districts had decided to do that, too. So we set our alarm for 4:30, woke up, bundled up, walked our cold, groggy group up to the temple in the dark, made it there by 5...and were told the first session didn’t start until 7. Some of us did not find as much humor in that as others πŸ˜‚ my fingers are still trying to thaw, but it’s all good. Those of us with appointments headed back to the MTC while those without stayed behind to ponder in the temple for a while and then head in for the session. 

The food is hit or miss here. Hermana Lund hates it but she has Mac and cheese and ramen in our room so we still manage to feed her. πŸ˜‚

We always take the stairs to our classroom so that we don’t gain the MTC weight everyone talks about. We’re on the top floor. And we are currently in the process of getting matching MTC sweats so everyone knows who I belong to while I watch her kill it at basketball during exercise time. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜‚πŸ˜Š 

That’s pretty much the highlights.  I’ve seen a few people I know from home and from Allen, so that’s fun and it’s so easy to make friends here. Some days are hard but I’m having a great time. 

Yo sΓ© que Dios es conmigo y que Γ‰l me ama. Estoy agradecida por mi compaΓ±era y por esta opportunidad yo tengo compartir el Evangelio y yo sΓ© que es verdadero. 

❤️ Hermana Thunell

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