The First week at the MTC

by theclosetnarnian

companion in mtc room 10-29-14

Hermana Rees and Hermana Hanna

name tags

Two name tags: One for teaching in French, one for teaching in Spanish.

Hello my dear Family & friends!

It is crazy to believe that it has been a week since I arrived at the MTC, but yet here I am, in a sweatshirt, jeans, and pineapple socks, finally getting to send letters and read emails! Our Preparation Day is Thursdays, so we had to wait a whole week to answer all these lovely messages. The MTC is great as well as cold, but we spend almost all of our time in our classroom (which, ironically, is sometimes colder than outdoors). We have about 2 hours of instruction per day and then we have study time for the rest. For my dear siblings, and for all others who are planning to go on a mission, I would recommend learning how to stay focused in a hectic environment. We are left to our own devices to figure out how to spend time as the MTC places a lot of trust in us. My district is great so they are quite fun to socialize with. We have two hermana companionships and two (soon to be one trio) companionships of elders. There are a lot of girls at the MTC currently preparing to serve in Montreal. A couple were called only French speaking, two (that I know of) are fluent in Spanish and are learning French, and there are three of us who can speak French who are learning Spanish. They are all wonderful and I’m excited to serve with them in the field. The elders in my district are serving in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Mexico (though the one going to Mexico, Elder Bangerter, is leaving next week to be transferred to the Mexico MTC).

One of the main nuggets of wisdom that “older” (read: been in the MTC longer) missionaries enjoy bestowing upon newbies is “just make it to Sunday.” The first couple of days in the MTC are exciting, spiritual, and a small bit frightening. I was missing family and my old life, like many of the other missionaries, and it was hard to get used to the rigorous missionary schedule. Every Sunday we get the opportunity to watch films or old MTC devotionals, and so my district and I decided to watch the “Character of Christ” Christmas devotional by Elder David Bednar. Oh my goodness amazing. He emphasized that you need to focus outward and develop first a personal conversion as you help others learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Even still, on Monday I was having my fears and I was feeling quite inadequate, especially as I was called as Zone Sister Training Leader. During a coaching session with a teaching hermana I broke down in front of all the other sisters, and it was not too pretty. They were able to make me feel so much better, and I’ve been fine since (though, of course, the language is a struggle). The MTC believes in complete immersion, which I also believe in, though the first couple days made me feel like I was dog-paddling through the language rather than being immersed in it. The Spirit helps though, in so many wonderful ways. During lessons with our investigators (investigators are assigned to you on the second day, yes) I’ve been able to remember words in Espanol that I saw on billboards as a kid in LA, in phone books, or labels on food. Our investigators are either real or actors (we are not told either way), and their names are Hely and Yerick. They are both so kind and so patient as me and my companion try to explain gospel topics in broken Spanish.

I love you all so much!!

Meredith

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Editor’s Note:  The letter and photos were sent 11/6/14

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