February 4, 2016
Well the MTC is truly a unique place. My district is made up of 3 sisters going to Boise and one who is going to Nampa. My companion is Sister Stone and she is from Loomis, California which is near Sacramento. She is a redhead and she’s wonderful. We get along really well because we both work hard and love the gospel. The other sisters are Sister Rice and Sister Mata. Sister Rice is from Canada and she’s actually a visa waiter so next week she heads to Canada instead of going to Nampa. Apparently US visas are hard to get. One funny story about Sister Rice. Dad has been sending the weather in Dear Elders (which is wonderful!) and I was reading it out to the district and like a couple of minutes later she was like “I’m really confused.” I don’t understand Fahrenheit and those numbers sound crazy. It was so funny because she is just so sweet. We all share a room and get along pretty great. The Elders in my district are going to Salt Lake City (just SLC no central or south or anything like that). They are a pretty interesting crowd and all VERY unique. Elder Kotobalavu is from Hawaii but is half Fijian! Yeah so actually he has spent time in Luke’s first area and has a whole list of people serving there. We totally had to practice pronouncing his name and most people just call him Elder Koto. Then there is Elder Reeder who is 6’8″ and from Tillamook, Oregon. Elder Cagle is from Texas and my favorite thing about him is that he was in band and he walks like he’s in band. He walks really fast but his head never moves and it’s super funny. His companion is Elder Jolstead who is probably the most patient person ever. at first the district was really quiet and reserved and Sister Stone and I were the only ones who ever talked. We are still the loudest and comment the most but the others have really opened up. Sister Stone and I are sister training leaders and are really trying to help the zone. Yesterday we welcomed a new district so that was really nice.
Oh one other cool thing about my zone. There were 4 Elders that are going to South Carolina! Yeah cool right. They left Monday. (I will send a picture of them as soon as I figure this computer thing out. Dad you can put it on the blog) But their names are Elder Bates, Elder Kempton, Elder Swensen and Elder Maxwell.
The schedule here is pretty cool and weird. I like getting 8 hours of sleep but it’s true that MTC time is super weird. Each day is really long but really fast at the same time. It’s hard to explain. I like my teachers and I really enjoy Personal and Companion study. It’s kind of weird though one day you’ll have like 6 hours of study and the next you’ll have like 20 minutes total all day. Sister Stone and I are teaching 3 TRC investigators and our teacher who pretends to be an investigator. TRC just means you don’t know if they’re a real investigator or not. We are making progress with all of them. Last night we invited one of our TRC investigators to be baptized and she committed. It was kind of weird because she doesn’t know very much at all but she felt the spirit so she said yes. We’re not supposed to use the phrase “we committed her” because you can’t commit someone else you can only invite and allow them to commit. Also our purpose is to invite not to commit or challenge. That is definitely something they drill into your head here.
So far we’ve had two devotionals. One from Brother Richardson who is the vice president of advancement at BYU. he spoke to us about what it means to be “real missionary.” Then Elder Zwick of the seventy spoke Tuesday on prayer. Both were really good. Praying here is super important because the realization sets in fast that no one here knows you (I’ve said “I’m Sister Smith and I’m from South Carolina and I’m going to Boise” more times than I can count) and if you want someone to listen to you that knows anything about you, God is your only choice.
I think my motto for the week has been “It’s not about you.” I’m not here for me and if I was I wouldn’t be here. Well a few last words about the MTC. I thought that the MTC would be beautiful and spiritual and wonderful. Well I’ve realized something- Satan really wants to impact missionaries here and just because it’s “holy ground” doesn’t mean Satan can’t affect us. Satan knows the impact we will have on good and he really will try to do everything in his power to keep missionaries from feeling the spirit by making them feel inadequate. He wants us to focus on how bad the food is (and it really is pretty bad) or how we can’t go to the bathroom alone or how we didn’t say the right thing in a lesson but the truth is that this work will go forth because Satan is powerless against God.
Image: Flight tracker showing arrive at SLC with Boise in the frame.