Wednesday, April 3, 2013

First week in the MTC

Hello familia!!

Thank you for all of the letters and dearelders. It seriously made me so happy to get all of them. Thanks for your spiritual thoughts, Kory. I loved them :) I shared them with some people. You are doing great preparing for your mission!!

I seriously don't even know where to start... just like everyone says, the days are super long, but the weeks go fast. One week down!! I've learned more this week then... well, I don't know, in a very long time :) I don't have too much time and I have so much on my mind, so I will try my best to tell the top moments and answer your questions.

So to start out, I don't think it actually hit me that I was going on a mission until Wednesday night, which was the first night at the MTC. Not gonna lie, I had a couple breakdowns the first couple days. I try so hard to be tough, but man, Satan was working hard on me. I found out I was going to be in a trio. Which just means 3 girls are paired together, instead of the normal 2 missionaries. That was another little challenge at first...trying not to leave one out. I kept asking questions and trying to get to know them. One is Sister Smith and Sister Clark is the red head. It was really tough trying to work with each other...I was made senior companion. .. so we sat and talked about things we don't like and do like....that really helped us. I've honestly gained such a strong love for them already this week. I learned it's really better to love someone because if you do that, you bring out the best in them. Then you grow stronger together and work better together when teaching. It's amazing! 

Also before I forget, the very 1st person I ran into when checking in was Ho'oNani Enos. So we stuck together for a bit. I see Adam Ostergar, Scott Goldie and Alex V quite a bit. I also see Nicole Hawkins, Rebekah Schaff, Michael Witham, Parker McPherson and Jessica Willard. I feel like i'm forgetting some. I seriously LOVE seeing familiar faces that remind me of home. I felt like running up and hugging them all every time I see them, but I just shake the guys (or elders) hands for a long time haha, or give a hand hug. haha

So, you asked what my days are like... I wake up every morning at 5:45 and go to sleep at 11 or later.... We should be going to bed earlier, but we never have been able to because we end late in other meetings and things. We have a main teacher. His name is Brother Elton. Okay, this guy is CRAZY, but I'm glad because I can never zone out in his class. If he see's on person zoning out he makes us get up and do the chicken dance or the macarena.  Not cool, especially at zone meetings with everyone. haha. He is kinda blunt, but an AMAZING teacher. He has a gift. Both of my teachers are my age... so it's kinda nice because I am definitely the oldest missionary I have met so far. They are all so's crazy because the Lord has really prepared the generation coming in. The youngest ones know so much and you can't even tell that they are 18.
We have a district... we are like a little family. We go everywhere with each other. Three of the people in my district have heavy southern accents. One of the girls sister Peterson is obsessed with the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, so we recorded Elder Lavneczek and Sister Peterson saying, "Why would you wanna kiss me anyhow?" And she said, "So I can kiss you anytime I want". haha Don't worry they didn't say it to each other. It was hilarious though. I guess you just had to be there... We have so much fun. We are always laughing in our district. I love it. Another one of the elders made it a district rule to compliment a sister everyday. haha So this morning at the temple he said... "Sister Johnson, I like your hurrr". I have too many stories :) We have to leave the room though sometimes because we are laughing too much...and we need to focus. The elders leave on Monday, so it will be sad when they leave, but then we will be learning all the church history and learning how to be a tour guides next week!!!

Oh you asked about working out and if I have time... yes we do, but my companions and two other sisters don't really like to all the time... .they would rather sleep.  I begged my other companion, Sister Smith, to go with me and we ran stairs. It was amazing! haha I was laughing so hard because she just kept screaming, "are you trying to kill me??" haha it was a good short lil work out.

We also have been teaching a girl named Olivia... the first lesson was okay and the second lesson was awful. We got discouraged and brother Elton was telling us to stop thinking and trying to be successful. We were more focused on the lesson than what she was actually saying. We weren't listening to the spirit enough. She doesn't feel that Heavenly Father loves her and we have been trying to tell her, but nothing was working. Then yesterday, we just prayed that we could really focus on what she was saying and prayed that we would be guided and it was amazing what things we started to say. Things we never even thought about. The end of the lesson was amazing because she said... " wow, I really need to find out for myself". The spirit was so strong... we started crying. We already have such a strong love for her. We teach her again tonight...

Okay, I have learned so much this week, I can't even pick a good part... but mom, you will be jealous. Sheri Dew came to speak to us on Sunday. Everyone kept saying... just get to Sunday and it will get better because we were all having a hard time adjusting and not having our phones! We were all having withdraws... I honestly didn't think it'd be that hard. I just wanted to tell you guys everything that was happening. It's become soooo much better though everyday. Anyways, after Sheri Dew spoke, we watched a talk by Elder Bednar. This talk was life changing. I am pretty selfish. We learned in the talk that we need to focus on others and we will be happier. The fact that I was homesick was showing how I was just thinking about myself, we need to turn ourselves outward. He told a story about how the Relief Society President in the ward called him and told him that three young woman were in a car accident. She said she needed Elder Bednar to come and identify the bodies. He heard through the phone while he was talking to her, that she was on another phone talking to the nurse at the hospital, he heard the nurse on the other phone tell her that one of the young woman were killed and that it was the Relief Society president's daughter. Her very FIRST response was... we need to find out who the other two girls are so we can tell their families. Her first response wasn't even about her daughter. Yes, she was devastated  Yes, she was hurt, but she knew it wasn't ALL about her. Then on the way to her daughters funeral, a lady in the ward called and told her how upset she was that no one brought her dinner when she was sick with a cold. Instead of even INFORMING the lady that she was on her way to her ONLY daughter's funeral, she went and brought her some food. Can we even imagine if we were all that selfless? It is easy for us to turn inward and look towards ourselves, but that is what we are striving to do...we are striving to REMEMBER to look outward and be as Christlike and selfless as we can be. To be truly converted is not just to go to church and be a good is to live as the Savior lived and apply the atonement in our lives every single day. There would have been no atoning sacrifice without the character of Christ. If you can find this talk... It is called, Character of Christ by Elder Bednar in the MTC on Christmas. It was life changing for so many of us!

I have soooooo much more I want to say, but I am out of time. My p-day is next Friday and I think we are going to the temple for the 2:00 pm session I believe.  I am excited. :) Well, things are good here...rough the first little bit, but we have all stuck together and I know that this is where I am supposed to be. This will be such a growing experience not just for me, but my family, my future family and the people I teach. I can't wait to get out in the field!!!!!!

I miss you all so much and love you. Thanks for being who you are. Remember to keep saying family prayer and reading the scriptures. <3

Talk to you next week!

Sister Johnson

ps- I can call you at the airport:)

"When we have a vision of what we can become, our desire and our power to act increase enormously."  Dallin Oaks

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