Meredith’s first Letter from the MTC!

by theclosetnarnian

Getting dropped off at the MTC in Provo, Utah, Oct 29, 2014 1:30pm.

Getting dropped off at the MTC in Provo, Utah, Oct 29, 2014 1:30pm.

¡Hola Familia!

¡Feliz Halloween 10/31/14!

I am so sorry for not writing sooner!  I was sure that the MTC would let us write home a quick email on our first day, but I had my name tags & books and was in my first Spanish class in what felt like 10 seconds.  I got two name tags; one for Hermana Hanna and one for her Québecoise alter ego, Soeur Hanna.  Hermana Hanna is the tag I wear all the time since it is the language I am learning full time and that I’m expected to speak full time, even at my incredibly beginning level.  Conversations with other missionaries are spotted with “Muy bien” and “yo no sé” and “que suave” (a popular one among the elders).

On my first day I met my district:  2 companionships of elders and 2 of hermanas.  3 of the 4 hermanas are going French & Spanish speaking to Montreal, and the other (my compañera) Herman Rees is going to Panama.  Hermana Rees was scheduled to go to Mexico City for the MTC, but with visa issues was told 3 days before her flight that she was going to Provo.  Oh the vicissitudes of international travel.  The elders are all going to South America, except for one who is actually being transferred to the Mexico City MTC in 12 days.

The first day [of the MTC] consists of classes and orientations.  One of my teaching preparation classes was taught by that one elder from “The District” that I accosted in the BYU library and made take a selfie with me.  An orientation to the MTC preceded it.  Interestingly, when we sang the song “We are as the armies of Helaman” (I forget the actual title), they changed the words from “we will be the Lord’s missionaries” to “we are now the Lord’s missionaries.”  It gave a sudden realness to the fact that we are now in the place we had prepared for and dreamed of for so long.

A lot of people have told me that a mission is an emotional roller coaster.  Though all of the hermanas and elders say that once you get past the first Sunday you’re fine, you definitely go through a couple roller-coaster-esque highs and lows before then.  I do love the MTC, but it does not believe in introducing new material gradually.  Your teacher speaks in the language with no English for (usually) your entire stay, which for me is 6 weeks.  This frustration with difficulty learning the language is, however, offset by inspiring classes and teachers and by the wonderful spirit of the MTC.  Our district has gotten close through the adversity, and they are all great support as I struggle to separate my French from Spanish.

The other hermanas are all really nice, and we’ve become good friends.  Yesterday I was called as the Sister Training leader for our zone.  As of right now us 4 hermanas make up the sisters in our zone.  We were quite popular the first day and didn’t know why until the branch president mentioned they hadn’t had hermanas in 3 weeks.  We might get more next week, so me and my companion would have to give an orientation.  We also get a nifty little pre-set phone.( I am not allowed to know the number, sorry) to call the MTC office in an emergency, so that’s a little cool.  I mean, suave.  hehe.

There have been a couple times I’ve felt like breaking down, crying, and running out of the George Q. Cannon building and onto BYU campus.  But there have also been times more powerful when I’ve felt the importance of what I’m doing, and also so much love for the people I’m doing it for.  I’ve felt the spirit here in wanting so much to be a better person and to help and love others the best I can.  I want so badly to be a good missionary and take advantage of every second! I hope that I can and that I’ll make you all proud.

I love you all so much!

Bises,

Meredith

–because I love my name and love writing my name after being Hermana all day 🙂

P.S. I saw Elder Urbani in the cafeteria on my first day.  Talking in French with him definitely made me feel better after metaphorically drowning in Expañol.

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***Notes from Meredith’s mom who is typing out Meredith’s letters and updating her blog:

Each missionary has an email address, but Meredith doesn’t seem to have time to read/write emails yet.  So please use her physical address to send her letters.  She would love to get more mail!

Sister Meredith Anne Hanna
DEC09  CAN-MON
2009 N 900 E Unit 178
Provo UT 84602

Language Primer:  Hermana = Sister in Spanish

Elder Urbani is the son of Frederic Urbani, a dear friend from my mission in France.  Elder Urbani’s sister is in England on a mission while he is in the MTC in Provo preparing to go to Tahiti.

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