One week is finally under my belt. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love the MTC. It is so awesome! Everyday I see 10 people that I know and it just makes me so happy to know that we are all in here doing the Lord's work. There is so much power and strength when you are a missionary. Last night we sang Called to Serve as the opening song for our devotional. It is amazing the testimonies that everyone has here and I am so blessed to be surrounded by such great examples. I have grown so much already and it has only been one week- quick side note, time in the MTC is so weird. Sometimes I feel like I have only been here for one day and then other times I feel like I have been hear a year. Right now I am feeling like I never want to leave the MTC. I have never been happier in my entire life.
I seriously believe, even more so than I did before, that you are called to exactly where you need to be called. My district, zone, and companion are serioulsy the perfect fit for what I need right now to grow the most. There are some hermanas in my zone that have been here for 4 weeks and they are seriuosly angels. I am obsessed with them. I have never felt so much love from someone as I do from them. Best friends from the beginning for sure. My companion is amazing. Funny thing is, she is from Mesa! She lives near Liz and Eric. I think we figured out that she is only 2 stakes away or something ridiculous like that. She is also the most intelligent and well put together girl I know. She is a musical genius- full scholarship for cello. She is also making me work out a ton. I cannot tell you how sore I am. Ironically I will probably be in the best shape of my life by the end of my time here in the MTC. She also is really good about keeping up with my enthusiasm. I'm just going to emphasize again how extremely happy I am. There is nothing that I would rather be doing right now. I have been so blessed with such a focused and happy attitude. It has really made being away from family and friends easy.
My branch presidency is unreal. Our first counselor is actually President Monson's nephew! He basically has the whole Book of Mormon memorized- that really has motivated me to start memorizing scriptures in spanish. About every other day we have district meetings and we just sit and talk with someone in our presidency. The spirit is the most strong during those times.
I am still trying to figure out the most effective way to study here so that I can be ready for the mission field. Spanish is the most beautiful language and I have learned more in this week than I did my 2 years of high school spanish. I love studying it and speaking it. Singing hymns in spanish though is probably one of the best experiences ever. On our 2nd day here we already had our first lesson with an investigator. We do not waste any time here in the MTC. I think that has been the most important thing that I have learned here because it has really shown me that the Lord is hastening his work and how important my calling and setting apart as a missionary truly is.
The MTC is a craash course to become like our Savior. We are asked to focus on one new trait a week. This week I focused on obedience. I cannot tell you how blessed I have been because I have chosen to follow the counsel exactly. I feel like I am really being protected and taken care of just like the Strippling Warriors were in the Book of Mormon. I feel my Savior's love so strong here and that he is so happy that not only me but all the other missionaries are so willing to give up EVERYTHING for Him.
Along the lines of becoming like the Savior, I have learned just how important love and friendship is during the conversion process. When I walked in to my first lesson with V, I cannot even express the amount of love I immediately had for this man. Before we even said hello! Just looking at him made me want to tell him everything that I know to be true so that he can be happy and know that he is loved. I guess I was feeling similar to the scripture in 3 Nephi that talks about Christ appearing to the people in the Americas and going to each of them, one by one, and showing them his nailprints. He wanted each and everyone of them to know that He died for them so they do not have to be alone, they can return to their Heavenly Father and live with their families forever. I am so excited to share that message. It can sometimes be really frustrating in lessons because I feel like I cannot express myself in the spanish language but I really know that I will get there eventually if I keep trying. Elder Parry (Jake) told me right when I first saw him that fear drives away the spirit. And I cannot tell you how true that phrase is. You have to be confident. In order to do this, you must be your first convert. You have to love the Book of Mormon more than any other book. My time in the MTC is really converting me to more diligently be a disciple of Christ and become more like him.
I love you all and I seriously thank you for all the love and support you have shown me throughout the years. Last night, our district was talking about we asked the rhetorical question "who has helped you get you to this point in your life where you have felt ready and willing to serve a mission?" My mind immediately went to all of you. I know that I have the opportunity to be that for so many other people right now. It is crazy that the church lets 18-20+ year olds go anywhere in the world to serve a mission without very much supervision. But it is because the church knows how strong the testimonies are of these young people and He knows that we are trying to do everything we can to show Him that we love him.
P.S. Mom, yes, I can say my prayers and share my testimony in spanish now. How crazy is that?