Thursday, September 19, 2013

Week 1 - MTC - Bienvenidos!

Hola Familia!!

First off, shout out to Emily for winning monopoly! I hope you had a wonderful birthday! I was thinking about you all day on Sunday! Love you!

Has it been a week already? I'm not convinced...But I've been so excited to email you so I wasn't gonna argue when they herded us here this morning! Every night I wanna call and tell you about what I've been up to because there's so much!! There's no way I can tell you everything that I would like to, but I'll try my best to get the most important things in:) Let's start at the very beginning ...a very good place to start! NAME THAT MOVIE!:)

Anyhow, the basics. After you dropped me off my host, Sister Aniel, took me to get my name tag, books, and show me to my residence hall and classroom. She's going to be serving in Tahiti. I think she leaves next week. She was really nice and is actually on the same floor as me in my residence hall so I see her all the time. The new missionaries are labeled by an orange sticker on the corner of the name tag, so everyone all day kept saying, "Welcome to the MTC!" over and over again. Let's just say, I think they do that so the new missionaries feel loved and not so depressed about leaving their family. I have to say it worked! My companion Hermana Kuhn("Coon") is amazing. She is going to Comodoro Rivadavia as well and so we've had that connection since day one. I don't really know how to explain it, but we've become really close this week. She's from Idaho Falls and did a year of School at BYU-I before her mission. She's the best. We have so much fun together and we have the same goals when it comes to missionary work and language study so we help each other a lot.

As I mentioned in my letter, I was in a trio companionship, but yesterday we got a new district of missionaries with four elders and one sister. The new sister, Hermana Baker, is Hermana Ward's companion now. So they're both solo missionaries...we don't really know how it works yet though so I'll let you know when I figure it out:) My district has 9 missionaries (6 Elders and 3 Hermanas.) Elder Scruggs, Elder Merenluoto(it took me a solid five minutes of staring at his nametag to remember his name), Elder Goodwin, Elder Jo, Elder Woodall, Elder Butts, Hermana Ward, Hermana Kuhn, and myself. It feels like we've been together forever. We all get along really well. We're all going to different missions in Argentina except for Elder Jo. He's going to be serving in San Fernando California. He's practically a celebrity here because we don't have any stateside Spanish missionaries at the MTC anymore. They all go to Mexico. He's so funny though and we're glad he's in our district.

My zone is just as amazing as my district. We had two districts leave really early Monday morning, so now there's three districts (including the one that just arrived yesterday.) Hermana Kuhn, Hermana Ward, Hermana Baker, and I are the only sisters in the entire zone! The oldest district has 10 Elders and they are all so great. I wanna be just like them. It's funny, because whenever we see them (which is like...30 times a day) they all wave and say hi. Their teacher told us that they haven't had sisters since they've been in the MTC so they're just really excited they have some girls to talk to. Too funny.

My teacher, Hermano Martinez, is so great. I love him. We found out yesterday that we are the first district he has ever taught at the MTC which is insane because he teaches with so much power and love and he always invites the spirit. I love listening to him. He is originally from Mexico and served his mission there too. I could sit in his class all day. We are the only district that gets a native teacher which is fun too. I am definitely ahead of the game when it comes to understanding him when he speaks because I have lots of practice thanks to all my native teachers in school. The rest of my district has a harder time. My Spanish is coming along really well. I have only been here for one week but I can say for sure that the gift of tongues is real. When we do our part the Lord blesses us. I get to study hard every day and then pray for God to help me with Spanish and bless me with the gift of tongues and it makes all the difference in the world. We are asked to pray and sing in Spanish all the time which helps so much with the language. I love it. Spanish is the best.

Anyway, on Thursday we learned about the importance of listening to our investigators, and as we sat in a class of 30-ish missionaries I could definitely tell how important it is to listen to the needs of our investigators. I think sometimes we focus so much on bringing our investigators to the Sacred Grove or the Garden of Gethsemane, that we forget to go ourselves to where our investigator is. I have learned so much this week it's crazy. I love the spirit that is here at the MTC. Being with hundreds of missionaries that all have the same goal and purpose is amazing. You can feel the love of God so strongly every minute of every day if you are paying attention.

My companions and I have been teaching our first investigator Melvin every day since Friday, with the exception of Sunday. We got him to commit to be baptized!! Yayyyyy! It seriously is the best feeling in the world to invite someone to come to Christ and follow his example by being baptized and hearing them say yes! I can always feel how much God loves Melvin. I cannot wait to get another investigator!! Next week I think...

Everyday, except for Tuesday, Sunday, and P-Day, we have scheduled gym time. My zone usually goes to the same gym and we play four square and volleyball. It is so much fun and you better believe that all that YW volleyball prepared me for the 50 minutes of gym time each day. The smart Elders all want me on their team:)

I don't have nearly enough time to tell you everything that has been going on. But I really do love it here so much. Don't believe anyone who says that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. They're lying. The happiest place on earth is right here in Provo Utah at the Missionary Training Center.

On Sunday we got to go to church for the first time which was neat. Our branch presidency came to meet us last Thursday night I believe. They're all wonderful. After church the sisters get to watch Music and the Spoken word. It was fantastic. Sunday afternoon we had our temple walk. It felt so good to be outside. The thing about the MTC is that world war III could have started and we wouldn't know. Emily was totally right when she said that the MTC is like a super secret community. It totally is. Hahaha:) Sunday night devotional was great too. One of the directors of 17 Miracles came and spoke to us. It was so cool. They just released a new film Ephraim's rescue I think. We got to see some clips. It looked really good. Sunday night at the MTC is MOVIE NIGHT! We watched a devotional given on Christmas at the MTC a couple years ago by Elder Bednar called "The Character of Christ." Wow. I don't have words to explain. It was absolutely incredible. Hands down my favorite talk of all time. I highly suggest you watch it. We went back to our residences at 9:30PM and got ready for lights out at 10:30. Next thing I know it's Tuesday. I honestly have no recollection of Monday. I'm sure it was a great day though.

So, Tuesday we had a normal day which consists of waking up at 6:00AM (or earlier...we have to be to breakfast at 7:00 and once we leave our residences in the morning we don't go back until 9:30PM), eating, sitting, sitting, sitting, eating, sitting some more, sitting, eating one last time (dinner is at 4:30 here for my zone so it's safe to say that when 10:30 finally rolls around we're all a little hungry) and then sitting some more, sleeping, wake up, repeat. Awesome. The point is we sit a lot. Our devotional that night was at the Marriott Center and it was a member of the seventy who came to talk to us about how to become a missionary. It was a really great message.

On Sunday Hermana Ward, Hermana Kuhn and I became our zone Sister Training Leaders. Basically we are like the relief society presidency. We just help out the zone leaders and keep an eye on the sisters in our zone...which until Wednesday was just the three of us:) One of our responsibilities is to hold a welcome meeting with our zone leaders (Elder Bean and Elder Smith) for the new districts that come to our zone so last night we got to do that. It was so fun. The new district only has five missionaries, but one of the Elders never showed up, so currently there are 3 Elders and 1 Sister. Elder Frandsen is one of the new Elders and he was in my BYU ward last year! Crazy! I was so excited to see him! :) he's great. We gave the new missionaries a tour of the campus and then took them to their residences.

As a zone, we have a goal to only speak Spanish. It is sooo hard, but it's the best way to learn. I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface of everything I have to tell you but I think i'm out of time. Just a few more things...thanks for the Dear Elders! I love getting them during meals! It's so fun to hear about what is happening at home, so mom don't worry about writing too often. Letters are the best thing ever! Miriam sent me a Dear Elder this week and I was really excited to hear from her as well. Today my zone gets to go to the temple and I cannot wait. It's been the longest and shortest week of my life. The pictures aren't working really well so I can't upload any, but I'll try to send some next week for sure.

I love you all forever and always and I pray for you everyday! I had no idea exactly how MUCH missionaries pray. It's crazy, but it's the best. My relationship with God has skyrocketed. It's the most amazing feeling in the world. I love it. I hope you're doing well and I always want to hear from all of you. I'll try to answer questions but there's so much going on all the time! Anyway, I guess I'll talk to you again in a week!!!

Con amor,
Hermana Heath

Oh!! I forgot to tell you that Elder Kruger has gym the same time as my zone so we play together. It's so fun seeing a face from home. I see him everyday at least once.

Hermana Ward, Hermana Kuhn and Myself :)

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