Okay I only have an hour to email, but I want to tell everything, so bear with me if I jump around quite a bit! :) Also, thank you mommy for the package of healthy snacks and the box of cupcakes, you know me too well. :)
Sooo...Wednesday! After getting dropped off I got my badge and books and ID card and everything, and was then taken to my residence! I ran into my wonderful companion, Sister Rush when we were putting my luggage there, and BAM! Instant best friends! She's from Lehi! We both work really well together and have learned so much! Our first lesson was a little rocky, but we've most definitely improved since then. I'll get into that later :) Sister Rush is now the Sister Training leader and she does such a great job! Sister Burton and Sister Rigby are the other two sisters in our residence and district. All of us sisters are going to Edmonton, except Sister Rigby.
Our district is the greatest thing on this planet. There are 4 elders and 4 sisters, and the first day we didn't get to know the elders very well. It's amazing what sitting in a classroom for 9+ hours a day with the same people will do to you though. The elders are like my little brothers and we are all so close! They're going to Seattle Washington with Sister Rigby, and thinking about saying goodbye to them makes me want to cry. I just love our district. Our teachers are sooooooooo great as well. Basically everyone is great here, it's awesome. The other district in our zone is 6 elders who are gonig to Edmonton as well! they're great.
The food here makes me want to cry. It's great but awful at the same time...cafeteria food...hahaha it's definitely an adventure at meal time everyday! The first few days, everything I ate made me sick, but I've found what doesn't make me sick and am trying to lay off the desserrts with practically every meal (the chocolate chip cookies are ABSOLUTELY IRRESISTABLE, #sorrynotsorry). Now I understand how people gain so much weight here. There are some people who have to learn two languages, so they stay here for 12 weeks. 12 WEEKS I KID YOU NOT! I would die. I mean I love this place, but I would probably gain like 600 pounds if I were here that long.
Aside from getting locked out of our bedroom Thursday morning, it was a really great day! Luckily the Sisters in our zone who left this week were able to help us...they are seriously angels! The other districts who were in our Branch were all heading to Louisville Kentucky! They're amazing missionaries. We really miss them. Anyway, on Thursday night, we got callings and such, where they called district leaders, zone leaders, sister training leaders, and then found callings for all of the other missionaries (hahahah pity callings) but I was called as Branch Music Coordinator! Not too hard, right? Wrong. I'm in the process of getting together a "district farewell hymn" they call it. On the Sunday before you go, you have to do a musical number with your district. But I think we're going to do the Battle Hymn of The Republic! The only trick is to get the Elders to sing loud, but they're getting there. :) I also am the only one in our zone who plays the piano....guess what that means. I had to play for Sacrament meeting. I almost died of nervousness. But as we all know, Heavenly Father will qualify us for whatever we are asked to do in His name. I'm glad to say that I didn't mess up and ruin the spirit of the hymns! (I can thank Heavenly Father for that one).
Now to the really important stuff here! So, each companionship has two investigators. Our first investigator is called a PI (progressing investigator) who essentially is acted out by our teachers. But the people they act like are real people they know who took the lessons and did or didn't get baptized and such. They're really good actors, I honestly don't feel like they're our teachers while we're in there. Our investigator is Charlie. She has two kids and has been going through some really hard things in her life right now. We started off teaching her the Restoration (the first lesson) and felt alright about it. It was our very first lesson EVER, and Sister Rush and I had a hard time knowing who had something to say out of the two of us, but after teaching the second lesson, we make a really good balance! Charlie FINALLY prayed with us and is reading the Book of Mormon. We've been trying to focus on the Atonement with her, and we're not quite sure if she understands very well. It's amazing though how much you grow to love the people you serve and teach the gospel.
Our TRC investigators name is Olivia. The thing with TRC investigators is that they could possibly be nonmembers. . . CRAZY, RIGHT?? Most of them are converts who basically reenact their conversion, but some are just people who work here for money and who aren't members. We're 99.99999% positive that Olivia isn't a member in real life. She goes to BYU, but grew up in Montana. Her parents are atheist, and she was as well until the 4th grade when she started thinking that there had to be a God. 4th grade??? This girl is incredible. (female version of Joseph Smith) She has been church searching ever since, but her parents don't know. She truly has a desire to find the true church on the earth and she really has incredible faith in God. In our first lesson with her on Monday, we taught her the restoration, only to find out that she knew it all...hahaha embarassing, right? She is required to take religion classes at BYU, so she knows a lot about the church and what we believe, but she hasn't really taken the step to know for herself. Yesterday, Sister Rush and I had to go pick up 3 international sisters who arrived, and that made us like 20 minutes late for our appointment!!! We felt so awful and when we got there, Olivia asked if wanted to cancel, but I was NOT going to let that happen! This time we really wanted to teach the Plan of Salvation, but we wanted to make sure we weren't just giving her a giant review. We asked her what she knew about the plan of salvation, and she literally drew it all out on the board after saying she "kind of remembers it from an intro to LDS class at BYU"....it was nuts. So we just addressed the questions she had. We ended up talking about the Atonement a lot, and the spirit was so strong. When I say that, I honestly mean that I haven't felt the spirit so strong in a long time. She understood the concept of the atonement, but didn't undesrtand how to really use it. I just bore my testimony of prayer and the atonement and almsot started crying, and Sister Rush also bore her testimony of it. Like I said, the spirit there was incredible. After we bore testimony of it, Olivia just looked at us and said, "hmm...I'll give it a try." WHAT??? YES YES YES this was the greatest moment ever!!! She is so willing to act on the faith that she has in God to find out for herself. We are so excited to teach her again tomorrow to hear of her experience. I love her sooo much and I know God does as well! This Gospel really is the way.
Scripture of the Week!!! Ether 12:6 and Ether 12:12. Study it up. I've realized that God isn't going to just hand over blessings or growth, we have to take a leap of faith and show him that we believe for Him to help us out. He will help you when you have done all you can.
(also, I've been able to remember scriptures so well on the spot...I've definitely been blessed as a missionary)
Sorry this is so long...hahahah but really I have grown so much. I don't think you guys would recognize me.. I have changed for the better in so many ways!!! Classes are long, but it's fun when you're with your best friends learning about how to spread the Love of Heavenly Father to our brothers and sisters. There is no better feeling in the world.
Also, we leave for Canada on Tuesday morning...and we have to be at the travel office at 2:30AM...Our flight to Denver leaves at 5:45 and from Denver we head up to Edmonton! I honestly can't believe I'm almost out of the MTC..I kind of don't want to leave, but at the same time I'm so stoked to teach those Canadians the Gospel. :) Thank you all for all your support, I love you all!!!