Friday, 21 September 2012

Last week in the Missionary Training Center

This week has been the best! Seriously. And I think that every week but it just keeps getting better and better. I know that I have been changing and growing a ton. Example. I have church songs stuck in my head 24/7. And random church songs too like "Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning"... and its not even Sunday. I am turning into a real sister missionary! Its mildly obnoxious, but mostly I love it. We are singing all the time and always happy!

On Sunday Sheri Dew spoke at our Relief Society. She is such a rockstar and I am obsessed with her. She gave an awesome inspiring talk that made me want to be bold and be "fearless in building Zion."  So cool. Anyway she stayed after to meet people but we had to go to this health meeting. Sister Ogletree and I snuck out and met her. She is from Kansas so we told her that's where we were going and she gave us a high five. We promised her we would rock it. Apparently I missed some really important info about washing my hands at that meeting. Pity. 

Thank you to everyone that has written me! I love the letters and packages and everything. So in order to repay you here are some shout outs... Thank you: Jordyn, Marin, Katie, Jake, Canon, Kierston, Maryn, DAD (finally!), mama, Aunt Jeanette, Peter, Betsy, the Ivey Fam, and the Stock fam. So if you want a shout out write me. I love you all.

We started Visitor Center (VC) training this week and I am SO SO SO EXCITED! Oh my gosh I am so excited. So most people think VC sisters are just there to give nice tours and look cute and whatever, but it is SO much more than that. Really it is like the Disneyland version of a regular proselyting mission. At the visitor center we get people from all walks of life coming. They all have needs, and questions, and ways they can come closer to Christ. We have to figure out what those are and teach by the spirit to help them have a real conversion experience where they want to go and DO something about what they felt at the visitor center, rather than just a feel good experience. We get to use all the resources of the visitor center and stories from church history to help people have that experience and to help answer their questions (that's the Disneyland part). So we get to teach using all these awesome resources. The tough part is getting to know them and meeting their needs in such a short amount of time, and with many people on a tour. I know that through the spirit we are able to do that. We are able to teach by the spirit and ask the right questions to discern what our Heavenly Father wants them to know. I love that as his missionary I can know that he loves them. He loves them so much that he won't let me screw it up that bad. So that's always a relief. I am so excited though to teach so many people and help bring them closer to Christ. Its a little overwhelming because I have lots to learn, there is SO much history to know. 

Another cool part of being a visitor center sister is that we get to be a part of the online mission. Every VC has shifts to online chat with people who have questions. You can set up return chats and calls and that sort of thing to help teach them until the local missionaries arrive. We started it yesterday and it was SO cool. The online mission is the highest baptizing mission in the world and people from all over are able to come closer to Christ. There have literally been people from every country in the world that have converted to the church because of the online mission, even countries where missionaries are not allowed. SO COOL! It's even tougher to chat online because we are trying to help people and meet their needs but we can't even see them! The online chat will be something that I have to get used to, but I am really excited to be a part of it. 

In other news, the choir director, Brother Brenchly, is the new VC director in Independence. We love him. He is a) hilarious b) so fun and c) so amped about the gospel. He arrives in January. 

We get to go to temple square tomorrow and teach people! I am so excited and kind of nervous. I often think "wait, I'm not ready for this, I'm not a real missionary yet." Wrong. So wrong. I have been a missionary for almost a month. It is crazy! And I am ready! Whoohoo! I got to see Sister Jarvie on Wednesday. It was so fun. She brought me muffin tops and everyone was jealous!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Week 2 in the Missionary Training Center

Sister Ogletree and I at the Provo Temple
I think the MTC is in a time warp because I feel like this past week lasted 2 days, but at the same time I feel like I have been here for months. The days have kind of run together.  On Saturday we went down to the west end of the MTC and listened to the BYU game. We sang the BYU fight song and Call Me Maybe and I loved it. All while studying our scriptures. Haha. My life. I love being a missionary! Our district leaves on Tuesday morning. I am going to miss them so much. We have really grown a lot together. Sister Wilson, Sister Ogletree, and I will be on our own for a day and then we have visitor center training next week! I am actually really excited. We will be on temple square in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept 19, and Saturday, Sept 22.  It will be nice to get out of the MTC bubble.  Hopefully, I will see my friend from home, Lauren Jarvie, who is serving a mission on Temple Square.

This week we had the funniest lesson in the TRC. The TRC is where people come and you teach them lessons. Sometimes they are members, sometimes they aren't, but you never know who or what you'll have to teach. So Sister Ogletree and I knock on the door and before we even tell her who we are she invites us in. Its the cute little Polynesian lady. Usually you have to ask some questions to get to know the person, but she just starts going off on her life story and how her brother died and Sister Ogletree and I are like, duh, we will teach the plan of salvation. So then we start talking about it and she is like "oh, you mean the plan of salvation, I wrote a poem about that. I actually have a copy for you both." And we were like wait? What? So the whole lesson was hilarious because she kept saying things like she was a member but then remembering that she wasn't supposed to be. Basically she just wanted to teach us and was rattling off scriptures she knew. We left with three hand crayola-ed handouts and a two page poem on the Plan of Salvation. It was the best.

I love being on a mission! I am seriously so jazzed about the gospel. We have the amazing opportunity to bear our testimony every day, multiple times a day. When do we ever get to do that? Never. And when you aren't bearing testimony you are studying the gospel. My testimony has grown so much. I've done a lot of really awesome things in my 22 years. I've gotten to live in two different countries. I graduated from college. I taught school for a year. I can honestly say that I know that my mission is better than any of them. Already in these two weeks I have grown more and progressed more. I have learned SO much and felt myself growing in ways I didn't even think possible. IN TWO WEEKS! I am grateful for all the experiences I have had because I know they will help me throughout my mission, but I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be here and to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It makes me so happy. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us so much. Because of this the gospel has been restored to the earth. We have a living prophet who leads and guides our church. I love the Book of Mormon. It can help answer any of life's questions and I learn something new every time I read it. I am so grateful for the power of prayer. We pray all the time here, because we constantly need the guidance of the spirit. I pray probably 10 times a day, at least. I love it! I know that Heavenly Father personally answers our prayers. I am so grateful that he loves us so much to have the fullness of Christ's gospel restored once again on the earth. It has given me every happiness that I have in my life.

We are all going to the Independence, Missouri Mission
My district at the MTC

Cleaning duty at the MTC

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

My first week in the Missionary Training Center

Week one is done and I love being on a mission! Seriously. Love it. I love it so much I get really spazzy excited some times.This week has been great! I can't even believe that I have only been here a week. It feels like forever. I have been learning so much it is almost overwhelming, but I love it. It is like EFY x 1000. So yeah. I love it.

My companion's name is Sister Ogletree. She is the perfect companion and we complement each other really well. She is from Dallas, Texas and went to BYU Idaho. She is going to Independence as well. She is super fun and funny and we have a good time. She is also really chill, which is helpful because I tend to spaz out a bit here sometimes. The other sisters in our district are also great. Sister Wilson is going to Independence with us and Sister Semones is going to Carlsbad, CA. All the elders in our district are going to Carlsbad. Their mission borders the Anaheim mission, which is really cool! We have an Elder Call in our district. He is this hilarious farm boy from Idaho. Sooo that always gets us a lot of funny comments.

The MTC has been super humbling, probably not too surprising because I wasn't super humble to begin with (look how humble I am admitting that!). Heavenly Father has really helped me understand my weaknesses and where I can improve in my teaching. I have been learning a lot because of that.

My teachers at the MTC are great and I am learning a lot. Mostly we have a lot of fake people that are looking into the church. We plan lessons for them and learn how to talk to people and meet their needs. It is actually really fun and great practice for getting to know people. We also study gospel topics and have a lot of personal study time to work on what we want. I have already learned so much about teaching and teaching by the spirit. I love it!

I was assigned to be coordinating sister for the zone. I was a little overwhelmed when they called me because it was our second day, but I am really excited now. Basically I am like the relief society president for our branch and I help look after all the sisters in the zone. I also help with zone trainings and such. I am really grateful for the calling because I think it will help me learn a lot. I have found that I tend to sit back sometimes in social situations here because we are with people all the time and that is my way of being independent. I know it will help me really think of the needs of others and will force me to get to know the sisters in my zone, which is a great thing. I know that Heavenly Father knew that I needed the extra help. We get three new sisters in the zone today, so today will be my first day! Its exciting!

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a really great day. It started out as my worst day here so far. I was getting homesick because we didn't get any mail on Sunday or Monday and was just feeling a little overwhelmed. We had a lesson in the morning and it was okay, but my perfectionist overachieving tendencies came out and it wasn't good enough. And then we had TRC appointment with an investigator that we had never met. I WAS A MUTE. Seriously. Luckily Sister Ogletree is a really great talker, but I said maybe four things and was freaking out because I felt dumb and didn't know what to say. It was pretty bad. And then I was pretty bummed. After that we went to gym. It was okay but I was getting really good at throwing myself a pity party. Then we had some study time and it was an answer to all my prayers. I was studying in Doctrine and Covenants about teaching by the spirit. I came across D&C 68:5 which basically says the Lord will give you what you need to say, and then I read verse 6 which says "wherefore be of good cheer and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, that I am the Son of God..." And I realized that I was being so fearful. I was lacking confidence in myself, which is the dumbest thing. This is the Lord's work and he will be there with me. I am not helping anyone by selling myself short and second guessing myself. I have learned already that this is His work. Heavenly Father loves all his children so much, so he won't let me fail and he will help me teach his children. Then we had this awesome devotional by Elder Kophishke and his cute wife. They just said everything I needed to hear. I went to bed so happy and so excited to be here that I almost couldn't sleep. I am so grateful for the scriptures and the peace and inspiration they give us. God is so good to us and blesses us so much more that we even deserve! I can't wait to see my testimony and the testimonies of others grow throughout my mission.

 Wednesday, August 29, 2012 -

katie and me

mom wanted to hear my voice one more time
Uncle Rog & Aunt Angie, Kylie, Kendall & Sadie take me to the MTC

Uncle Roger taking me to the MTC

LOVE this girl!
big hug!!!

I'm officially Sister Call

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


My Bestie Marin!! Enjoying Yogurtland with me!

Katie was my companion for the day and took me to Heber to see my students.

No, this is not Angelina in Africa, this is me at JR Smith Elementary
We had the best year in 2011-12!  These kids will go places in life!