Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Last Update from the MTC

Hermana G

Here are the weekly questions:

1.  How does it feel to have your visa and know that next week you will be going to Argentina?

Weird. So weird. So, last week we were getting really concerned about our visas. We hadn't heard anything about them, so we started to pray for them every chance we had to pray. We say maybe 13 to 20 prayers a day, depending on our stress levels – lol - and I started praying for them with every prayer. That same day we got our flight info! Everyone is sad.   One Hermana in our district is always saying how she doesn’t want to leave. I love the MTC and all, but I'm ready to go. I'll miss my teachers and the people, but I want to be in the field so bad.

2.  What are your travel plans? 

I have to be at the chapel at 6:00 am on Monday (Hermana K has to be there at 2:30, so it sounds like Hna. S and I won't be sleeping- haha). Our plane from Salt Lake leaves at 11:00 am to Atlanta (!!!!!!!!!) and then we have a five hour layover there. We're planning on converting the masses during that time- haha. Then at 9:16 pm we leave Atlanta  :(  to Buenos Aires (!!!!!!!!!!!!). We'll arrive in Argentina at 8:20 am on Tuesday. 

3.  Did you enjoy our phone conversation on Mother’s Day?

Yeah! It was weird, sort of like a dream. Something interesting, on the first night one of the Hermanas in my district had a homesickness breakdown. So that night we just told her that we're her family now. That’s sort of what has happened. I have my family at home, but lately I've been with my MTC family here. So talking on the phone was strange because it was like a mix of my two families. I LOVED getting to hear from you! And I'm serious about that "Start saying you love each other before bed" thing. DO IT. HAGALO (Do it).

4.  Elder Holland really was the speaker at last week’s devotional.  After all those false rumors in previous weeks!  What did he speak about?

YEAH, HE WAS!!! What didn't he speak about, ha ha, that’s the better question. He mostly focused on us. He told us that the Preach My Gospel handbook was made to help missionaries remain strong in the church. He pleaded with us to take every moment of this mission as a gift.  He also told us that it’s not easy to serve a mission and it was never easy for the Savior here on earth. That really struck me. I'm out here learning a little of what it might have been like for Him. I'm out here to teach people to be like Him.

5.  Are you ready for some humidity?

YEEEESSSSSSSS. There are two good things about dry weather.  1) I don't sweat very much and 2) my hair dries in like an hour out here.

6.  The weather forecast in Bahía Blanca next week says the highs will be in the mid 50’s and the lows in the low 40's.  Since Argentina is in the southern hemisphere, are you ready for more winter?


7.  What was the funniest thing that happened this week?

Ok, I'm just going to list a whole bunch of stuff that has happened that’s funny that I haven't told you about yet.

One time a bee got in our classroom. So some of my district screamed and some of the elders from next door came in and tried to kill it. One guy dropped his scriptures on it and the bee disappeared. So we were all looking for the bee, then the Elder opened his Scriptures and the bee was smashed inside the pages. He killed it with the Word of God. Sharper than a two-edged sword!

Hermana K accidentally got her name tag mixed up with an Elder after Gym (we have to remove our tags for gym, so that’s how it happened). So in the middle of class Hermano Day, our teacher, starts explaining to her the activity and stops and says "ELDER MARTINEZ?" She didn't even notice that she had the wrong name until then!

So, I totally sing in the shower, and it has become a thing to listen to me sing and sing along. I was singing "Mad World" the other night and after the chorus I stopped and said, "Eh, let’s sing something happier." The second I said that I heard a ton of laughter from the other room. They had been singing along and heard me say that.

8.  What was the most profound thing you learned this week?

Probably what I learned from Elder Holland’s talk. I've been reading in Alma about Helaman’s army and all the wars, and I enjoyed reading about that, too. I want to be like Moroni, who, if every person was like him then the powers of hell would be shaken forever.

9.  As you prepare to end your time in the MTC, what thoughts can you share about your experience there?
MTC advice to all future missionaries:

     1) The food isn't really that bad, don't be a wimp.
     2) Just because they offer ice cream every day doesn't mean you should eat it.
     3) If you’re learning a language, then just focus on bringing the Spirit to every lesson. It will be tough, but          don't get frustrated that you can't speak the language fluently after your second day.
     4) Love your companion and SHOW IT. DO NOT LOVE SOMEONE ELSES’ COMPANION                  MORE THAN YOU LOVE YOUR OWN. THEY WILL NOTICE AND IT WILL WRECK                    YOUR WHOLE DYNAMIC. (This hasn't happened to me, but I sometimes I think it happens to                other people)
     5) Don't be stupid.
     6) SING. Seriously, don't be a loser who is afraid to sing. There are four things that I can get comfort                from here. Prayer, the Scriptures, my companions, and SINGING. Seriously, that first week we were          going crazy with stress and so we stopped working and just sang hymns in Spanish for an hour. It                  helped soooooo much. Sing with your district, sing when you're upset. JUST SING.
     7) The MTC is cool, and the laundry at Raintree is the best for all you West Campus Warriors.
     8) Don't skip gym time to study. I promise that your lesson will probably be worse afterwards if you skip          the one scheduled stress reliever you have.
     9) Oh, and learn the words to "Come thou Font" Since everyone here knows the words and sings it all               the time.

Overall my experience here has been pretty great. There have been some bumps and some Spanish breakdowns, but the time flies so fast here. If you just push past the first week you will have the time of your life. Don't let that first day destroy your resolve. One of my companions wanted to leave that first day and confessed to me that she almost did. If she had left, then this whole experience would have been totally different, more stressful, and probably not as good for me. You're going on a mission for other people. You're going to want to think about yourself that first week, but remember that you are here for everyone else but yourself.

Every night me and my district (minus Hermana K because she's in the shower) have "Story Time". It started when I read them one of the weird dreams from my journal. So every night they demand a weird dream. So last night Hermana C demanded that I make up a story with all of us in it, so over this week I'm telling an awesome, lame, action-packed story so that everyone can go to sleep at night!

That's all - be safe and tell everyone I said hi!

Me and Hermana S

Me, Hermana K, and Hermana S - Jamba Juice!

Harold el Pato (the duck)

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