My first week in the “Empty Sea” — the MTC!

¿Como Estan? So, I’ve officially been here at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) for a week and a day now. Our P-Day (Preparation Day) is on Thursday, only they don’t give you a P-Day your first week here.  It feels like I’ve been here for a month at least! Esta bien though. The MTC is a really good place to be.  When I arrived, I literally didn’t have time to cry any more than like two tears before I was surrounded by happy missionaries telling me that the MTC is the best place ever! Who am I to argue?  It’s probably for  the best.  There have been so many people around me constantly, and they rushed me off to get books and drop off my luggage and I went straight to class. I still haven’t fully unpacked…

I really like not being the youngest group of missionaries here though. It was so fun yesterday to say “Bienvenidos” and “Hola hermanas” to all those poor new missionaries with dork dots. It feels like forever ago that I was in their same position: just wanting to sit down and cry and feel sorry for myself and go home. It’s easy to forget that feeling here though because they get you right into working and serving and learning. The days are like weeks and the weeks are like days here, between the 3-hour classes, teaching investigators, gym time (my FAVE), and temple trips (we just got back from doing a temple session…so amazing!), it’s hard to find time to miss home.  But, I do.

Mis compañeras are so sweet! I am in a triplet companionship.  One of my companions is from Colorado Springs and the other is from the SLC area. Our room overlooks BYU and we can see the Harold B. Lee Library from our window!  We share a room with two other sister missionaries. They are so sweet, and it’s so fun that we’re all going to Tampa together! It was funny meeting all of them though because we knew each other from Facebook, so we already knew each other’s first names when we met.

My district is so sweet, and we have a lot of fun together….and we study sometimes too. The elders in our district are all going to Monterrey, Mexico East!  I’ve seen so many people I know here…it rocks!  I love it!  It makes me feel a little more at home. But it is SO HARD not to hug people. Okay Elders mostly. Hugging is a hard habit to break and you don’t realize how much you need those hugs til you can’t have them anymore! My zone is awesome too. They are all so fun and friendly and everyone gets along so well.

We’ve been teaching a fake investigator named Cristina, but we have to teach in all Spanish so that’s really hard. But, it’s really starting to come back for me. Yesterday we asked Cristina to be baptized and she accepted! It was our 4th lesson with her. One of the guys companionships didn’t go so well though, one elder said “Christ suffered for our fish” instead of “Christ suffered for our sins” in the middle of his testimony. Hahahaha poor guy!  Everything is funny in the MTC…

I hit my lowest point on Sunday I think. I knew there would be highs and lows here but I never thought I would want to just give up and cry. I mean the Spirit is here all the time, right? So how could you possibly have doubts? But the thing is Satan is working just as hard on us, and out of nowhere on Sunday I just got so down on myself and started questioning my reasons for being here. It was even harder because everyone was on such a spiritual high on Sunday (because Sundays are the next best thing to P-Day here) so I just felt lower than low. But then I had an interview with my branch president and he told me that when I pray next I should ask 2 questions:

1. Please help me to know that my work was satisfactory to you today.

2. Help me to find someone to serve today.

And then to wait and watch for people to serve and pay attention to how I am feeling. When I do that I will be able to see the Lord’s hand in my life and know that he is aware of me and loves me. I also made more of an effort to focus on the investigators and my companions and losing myself in the work.

That is the #1 lesson you learn in the MTC: When you lose yourself in the Lord’s work, that’s when you really find yourself. And it’s so true. How could you not be happy when you’re fulfilling your purpose on earth? Setting goals and being your best self? It’s easy to feel inadequate with all the amazing people that are here (they are seriously SO talented!) but everyone has something special to give.

We are told here to stay true to yourself… and not to lose your personality, because the Lord called you on a mission and you can reach someone in a way that maybe no one else can. I know that there’s a reason I’m going to Tampa. There are no accidents. The Lord has prepared those people to hear the gospel or to come to Christ, or maybe just so we can share a message of comfort in their time of need. It’s different for every person. But that’s what a mission is about. Spreading happiness to Heavenly Father’s children because that’s what he wants for all of us.

con mucho amor, Hermana Lewis

The night before entering the MTC.. our family went to Yogurtland after I was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.

The night before entering the MTC.. our family went to Yogurtland after I was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.

Our first temple visit with my awesome district! It was a great P-Day!

Our first temple visit with my awesome district! It was a great P-Day!

 

 

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