I know I start out every email the same but I am serious when I say that I love the MTC and I love it more everyday. This week was super special because of General Conference.
General Conference was amazing! I tried something new this conference, I went in to the first sessionmorning with 5 questions in my mind that I wanted to get answers for. To my surprise all of them were answered in the first morning session! So I had to come up with more questions! I loved asking questions. I made conference more enjoyable as I was actually listening with intent and not just listening listen. I would challenge you guys that next conference, in April, come up with personal questions and pray that you will get answers to them. It is amazing when you do get answers, I literally jumped out of my seat. In the MTC you watch every single session of conference in an Auditorium. There were over 4,000 missionaries watching it all together. It was amazing when one of the rest hymns was Called to Serve. Being surrounded by the "newest generation" of missionaries and singing that hymn was AWESOME!! Words can't even describe the chills that I had!
My favorite talks were, "Come Join With Us" and "Moral Force of Women" There were some other amazing talks but these ones stood out to me the most and I have already printed them off and I read them daily.
In the talk, "Come Join with Us", a quote that stood out to me was, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." Oddly enough this was an answer to a question I had. Many times in the MTC, because you are under a lot of pressure to learn all of the missionary lessons and learn them in a new language, I would often question my faith and if it was strong enough to support me on my mission especially when I was going through a rough time. When President Uchtdorf said this quote tears came to my eyes almost instantly. I couldn't believe it. I was in pure shock! My companion and I both looked at each other in awe, as the quote echoed in the auditorium. To any of my fristd that read my emails and are struggling with their faith or actually wondering if they should invesitgate the church, I want you to read this talk. If any of you have ever been offended by someone in this church and that is why you may not go to church anymore, I want you to read this talk. It is amazing. Seriously, "COME JOIN WITH US"
"Moral Force of Women" stood out to me because so often in the MTC many of the teachers tell the Hermanas that the Elders need us in each district because we bring a sense of calmness and maturity to the room. When Hermanas are present, Elders will act more respectful and they will stay more focused. "Hermanas are huge examples to the Elders," said one of my teachers. The quote in this talk that rang true to me is kind of long but part of it is, "We have enough vanity in the world, we need more virtue." This quote made me so happy to be and LDS sister and also a missionary. For the next 18 months I am putting aside everything of the world and thinking solely about serving Heavenly Father and bringing his children the joy and happiness that I have.
This week has been extremely spiritual to me not just because of Conference but also because of our lessons that we teach our investigators. O feel like my purpose as a missionary is becoming more defined and I am way more comfortable with my Spanish. My companion and I are teaching 2 investigators right now. Our lessons are usually about 30-45 minutes. Understanding and being able to speak the lanugage here in the MTC makes me so much more excited to be in Texas where I will meet real investigators and get to share with them the message of the gospel. It makes me so excited to leave! Don't get me wrong I do love the MTC and the people that I have met here are wonderful, I also have a lot more to improve but I am just so excited to be in Texas!
The oldest 2 districts left this week. It was really hard to see them leave. The hermanas left atmorning. Hermana Boyce and I woke up to say goodbye to them. The night before ( night) our zone and our "cousin" zone, has a tradition where we get together and sing "Hasta Ver" all together. (God Be With You Till We Meet Again) All the girls came to our room and we all sang the hymn together in Spanish, it was really cool! These hermanas were like older sisters to me, I miss them so much already. Our room is now silent at night, and there isn't nearly as much laughter and jokes, but we try to still have fun. We said goodbye to our Elders night at the devotional review. They are going to do amazing. One of the Elders, Elder Padgett, who is going to Colombia, is actually staying an extra week because his visa didn't come through. He has been reassigned to the San Diego California mission and he is so excited!! It is actually only an hour away from his house, but he is so ready to leave !
Because we lost 8 Hermanas and Elders this week, we gained 18 NEW MISSIONARIES!! THat is unheard of, especially because 8 of them are Hermanas. Our zone is now huge!! It makes it fun, but it is harder for people to all connect with each other when there are so many people. I do love meeting new people though so these last 2 days have been fun for me.
Funny moment this week:
Each class starts with a little spiritual message given by a member of the class and it has to be in Spanish. When I came into class, I saw that my name was up on the board and I started freaking out, it was the first day that our class had done this. I went outside to get a drink of water and I was nervous. An Elder came up to me from our "cousin" zone and said "CATTISSSHHH, why are you so nervous?" I explained to him my situation and to that he responded, "Well here is what you have to do, stand infront of the class and say this: El libro de Mormon es verdadero por que es verdadero. En el nombre de JesuCristo, Amen." (The Book of Mormon is true because it is true. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.) "And then CATTTISSSSSHHHHH just sit down." I just laughed at him because he gives the worst advice but he is so funny!
Everyday is a new adventure here at the MTC let me tell you! We actually had to explain to Elder Teio this week that he could wash his clothes and wear them again. He had been wearing the same socks for about 2 weeks now. He doesn't understand that you can wash the clothes and they will be cleaned. This was a really humbling lesson even for me. Elder Teio only came with the clothes that he had on his back and a little carry on. Each week the church gives some more clothes that he can use but he doesn't understand that you can clean them. I am guessing he just grew up not having very much. Hermana Boyce and I were crying when we were helping him do his laundry! It was such a cool expereince.
I love the MTC and I would love to hear from all of you! Send me a dearelder, email or even a letter in the mail and I will respond! I love you all and thank you for everything you have done. I am excited for my next big adventure and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me in Texas!
Have a great week and I love you all,
COME WHAT MAY AND LOVE IT!