I can't remember what details I told you last week so sorry if I repeat anything.
First week at the MTC down, about 8 to go! It seems like this first week has flow by with all the stuff we've done but it also seems like an eternity since Rod, Jo, Steve, Shirley, Tom and the kids dropped me off. Anyway, here's a recap of what's happened since then.
Thursday we dove right into Preach My Gospel, in preparation to teach it in the TRC to a "fake" investigator on Monday. We studied and studied all of the principles and practiced teaching it to others. It's been a little bit hard to get used to teaching with 3 of us. At first we were dividing sections up but didn't really like the idea of that because we don't learn the whole lesson well. So one of the teachers, Sorella Cramer, came in and taught the most awesome lesson on teaching in unity. That's really the only way the spirit can be there when you teach. So I was really grateful for her lesson and from then on we've all been studying the whole lesson so that we can take turns teaching no matter where the last companion left off.
Friday was filled with more studying and also study of the language. To me, it's pretty slow moving, but I've learned to be patient while the others learn. I learn new little things every once in awhile that I never knew, like grammatical stuff, so that's good. I'm really blessed to have such a head start on the language. We watched a series of videos that told this story of missionaries and converting investigators. It was so awesome. That's what I love about being here. Before, at home, I'd get a "spiritual high" (for lack of a better word) maybe on Sundays or as I read the scriptures and then the week started and I'd get caught up in other things and forget to act on that high. But here, I get those highs at least once a day and am able to keep having them everyday and I am also able to put all my effort 24/7 to the work. I don't know if that made any sense but maybe those who've been on missions know what I'm talking about. Whatever.
I've seen so many people here that I know, it's crazy! It's like at the end of the movie "Big Fish" where people from all of his life are there at the edge of the river! I saw a girl I knew in high school, Liz Cannon who was in London with me, Jackie Larsen who I lifeguarded with, 2 girls that I worked at Aspen Grove with (Maggie and Kip), Miriam from when I lived at the Brittany Apts., Dennis and Tiffany (and of course titi) who were all in Hawaii, and a kid who always used to come into the Deli at Thanksgiving Point! So crazy! I've also seen the Hawkes and Aunt Kris a number of times. It's so fun to see people I know.
Fratello Fife is my teacher, Dad. I can't remember if I told you or not. He's really good. Also, I told Fratello Garlick that I'd say "Hi" to you so... Hi. Sorella Clayton isn't teaching right now, she's doing something in the TRC. But I got to see her the other day and gave her a big hug! She's the best!
One of the highlights of my days are gym time. We are free to do whatever we want and we don't have to stay in companionships. The first time I ran around the track. But the track here is small and you have to run around it 10 times to get a mile. I got discouraged because as I ran around for the 15th time, I would look out the windows annd I just wanted to go running outside wherever I wanted instead of in dumb circles inside. So I went downstairs and played 4-square instead. (ha, ha, I pulled my unified 4 square skills out! he he!)
Saturday was a regular day in the classroom. Sunday was filled with meetings and conferences and firesides. We had a little break so our branch got to go up and walk around the temple! It was so pretty and a good break. It was dusk so the lighting was awesome and they're finished re-doing the front so it's really pretty. We took some pictures so I'll try to send some in next week's letter.
Monday we pretty much just prepared to teach the 1st lesson on the restoration. The time came and it was a little nerve-racking! We taught this older couple and it went pretty well. I was able to remember scriptures to use and didn't really have any mind blanks so that was good. Our teacher said we did well, but of course there's room for improvement.
Yesterday, Tuesday, we started on the 2nd lesson and will study that this week in order to be able to teach it on Monday. Tuesday is devotional night at the MTC so yesterday we got to hear from Elder Tingey of the Quorum of the Seventy. It was awesome. He spoke on setting goals to baptize and opening your mouth when in the field. Lots of good insight.
And today is P-day. We'll do our laundry and also get to go to the temple which I'm really looking forward to.
Things in general are going fine. It really does take some getting used to to be with companions 24/7. I really like my companion Sorella Sarsozo. I get along better with her. It's easier to laugh with her and we just have more in common. She's funny. I love her. But I'm having a little bit of a hard time being the same way with Sorella Winslow. She's just different and sometimes that's hard. She's a great missionary though. She's just sort of high maintenance and everybody knows that's not me at all! They both are pretty quiet. I'd say I'm the most outgoing one. I remember Katy saying in one of her emails that she always found herself walking in front of her companions and having to slow the pace down so they could keep up. Ha ha. That's sort of how I feel. I guess it's the "London spirit" in us! But it's also only the first week so hopefully things will get better and there won't be so much of that awkward silence like when we're getting to bed, etc.
Dad, here's a question for you and I need an answer pronto! Like, within the next week. Say a missionary was really into Harry Potter. Would you let them read just a couple chapters a day on a P-day? Maybe in Italian? There's a really big Harry Potter fan coming to you in a couple weeks and she wants to know because the 7th book comes out in May or something, he he. I won't tell you which Sister cause she'll get mad. You'll just have to figure it out when they come! This next group coming to you are a great group. Especially the Sisters! So watch out!
Tom wins the prize because he was the first one to write me! Just like every other missionary, I've come to find how great it is to get mail. It's a big event when mail comes and sad when none is for you! So I'll say this once... WRITE ME! All you bloggers should print off your blogs so I know what's going on outside this chamb... I mean MTC.
I love you all and am so grateful to be here. It's crazy and sometimes lonely but most of the time it's way good. The spirit is always present and ready to teach me so much. I'm so grateful for this gospel and know that it is true.
Jessie Woods: I saw your friend Lyndsay who went to Zion with us! Oh how it made me miss you Big T! :)
p.s. Maud Squad, I don't have any of your addresses so you'll have to write first!
That goes for anyone really!