Ahhhhhh! I have so much to talk about. I am loving the MTC!! A couple days ago I sent you guys a letter saying how hard this place is and how I was really struggling. But the saying is, "make it to Sunday". And it's so true. The first couple days we're probably the hardest days of my life. Right when I got here they put my name tag on me, gave me a bag of like 20 books, dropped my stuff off in my room and went straight to class. Everyone in my district was already there because they were dropped off earlier. My teacher would only speak in spanish. :( I had no idea what she was saying...... I began to be REALLY discouraged! My district consisted of me and my companion Hermana Purnell, Hermana Hogan and Hermana Florence, Elder Davis and Elder Brambell, Elder Haper-Smith and Elder Porter. Everyone else in our zone has 10-12 people in their districts, so we're really small.... and we get smaller. On Friday my companion and Hermana Hogan got sent to do a language evaluation during class, and came back and said they have been moved up to the intermediate class. At first I was really said, but I now look at it as a tender mercie. Hermana Purnell was way more advanced with me in Espanol, so I kind of just leaned on her for the answers. So Hermana Florence and I are now companions. :) I love her with all my heart. When we first became companions it was really hard, because we had just built a bond with our other companions. Also, the day we became companions is the day we give our first lesson. Hermana Florence and I were so nervous to give the lesson, it has to be in Spanish, and we hadn't planned anything together. So we had two hours to hurry and plan our lesson in spanish.... talk about STRESS!! With the spirit we were extremely blessed. Our lesson was wonderful. Even though I couldn't understand a lot what was said I know the spirit was there with us. We basically bore our testimonies about the love of God and that he loves him (Mathias). We ended our lesson by having him give the prayer, and he was more than happy to. Our next lesson was the next day, and we started off by teaching him the correct way to pray to Heavenly Father. It was a BEAUTIFUL prayer that he offered. Though I couldn't understand a lot that was said the spirit was there, and i heard him say that he was grateful that we were there. :) We then talked to him about the lovely Book of Mormon. He read a couple scriptures for us and we gave him one and asked if he would read it and pray to know if it was true. He said yes!! Right after that the spirit told me to ask him if he would like to get baptized. Of course I was super nervous, one because I'm not used to being so direct with someone, and two I don't know the language. But I listened to the spirit and asked him in spanglish, thankfully he understood what I said. He told us he knows that baptisms is the right thing to do, but he wanted to think about it over the weekend and after reading some in the Book of Mormon. I will find out tomorrow if he is really. If he's not that's okay, but if he is PERFECTO!! ( That's spanish for perfect) jajajja ( that's spanish for hahah) :) The Elders in our district are teaching the same investigator and it's interesting to see how Sister's have more power.. ha just kidding. But seriously, we got him to pray for us, read the BOM and pray about it, and he's thinking about baptism, oh and he's going to church with us next Sunday. He want's nothing to do with Elder haper-smith and Porter, and he doesn't want to pray with Elder Davis and Brambell. I don't want to brag, but I feel like we are working really well with him. All we can do is pray for the Elders and hope that they can do the same.
I am so grateful for my district. I think of it as a blessing being so small. Only 6 people in a district is unheard of. That just means more one on one time for me and the teacher with the language. Which I need dearly. On Friday night I broke down in tears and feeling really discouraged with the language, so I got down on my knees and prayed in Espanol with my companion that we will be able to receive the gift of tongues through our faith. I can testify that the gift of tongues is there. I am soooo grateful for it, and I know that there is no way I would be this advanced in Spanish if it wasn't for the gift of tongues. I may not be at the level I want to be at, but the level the Lord wants me to be at. And I am more than okay with that. :) Because the Lords plan is the right plan!!
Sunday was the best day here!!!!!!!!! I feel the spirit everyday, but on Sunday it's a stronger feeling. Relief society was amazing!!!! And during the day all the missionaries walk up and around the temple.... FREEDOM!! The MTC really makes it feel like your on a different world. Honestly, I don't feel like we're on the same world. ha But we are :) I've seen Sister Ruppe and Sister Haslem up at the temple. There are 9 of us sisters going to my mission and we are all BFF's! We are with each other 24/7. All of our classes are in the same building and our Pday is the same. Hermana Johnson is not in the same district or zone but she's with Hermana Dorian, Scott, and Greene. All of these girls were on our facebook page.
I have so much to say, but so little time. I have laundry waiting for me :(
I have lots of pictures to send you, but the MTC makes it difficult to send them and I have to buy a card reader to send them.
I miss you Mucho!!
I sent the email above last week, but since I sent it with pictures it didn't send. I sent like 12 pictures last week, but I'm not forsure if you recieved all of them. The computers here are STUPID!! That was mean of me to say, but it's true ha.
The first week was super stressful as you can tell, but the second week has been HEAVEN on earth. I never want to leave, unless I'm going to Texas :) I would love to see you guys, but I know without a doubt that I'm supposed to be here. I've grown so much as a person and as a missionary.
Every Sunday and Tuesday night we have devotionals. And last Tuesday we had this really, REALLY awesome guy come, I don't know if you guys know him. His name is RICHARD G. SCOTT!!!!!! Have you ever heard of him????? Ahhhhhhhhhhh..... I was sitting a couple rows away from an apostle of God. If you want a good seat at devotional you have to basically skip dinner or eat dinner early to go stand in line to wait for the doors to open, and that's what we did. Best decision ever. There's not enough room in the auditorium any more so they have over flows in other buildings that they send missionaries to once the auditiorium is full. His talk was amazing! Every missionary you talk to will say that his talk was just for them, but obviously it was just for me. I felt like I was the only one in the room with him. Early that day my Hermana Florence and I were teaching Mathias, and I basically gave up during the lesson and got really frustrated with myself. I basically bore my testimony just to get the lesson over with. :( I was very upset with myself and just started crying after. Elder Scott's talk was on Communication With Heavenly Father. Being able to pray to our Heavenly Father any day, at any time is the best blessing anyone could every asked for. It really made me think about my prayers. Just like every other blessing God has given us he can take prayer away from us too. We would no longer have that communication with him. :( Are we sometimes taking prayer for granted and not truly, sincerely praying to our Heavenly Father and just praying because it's part of our everyday schedule? He also said that for everyone that is learning a language has been given a bigger challange in their missions. But the Lord has already created our paths for us. He's just waiting for us to be obedient and do the things which he asks us to do so he can help shine the light on our path and lead the way for us. Heavenly Father didn't send me here to fail! I know that with all my heart! The biggest thing Elder Scott talked on was how Heavenly Father answers our prayers. Let me tell you after I broke down crying after our lesson I told my companion that I don't know how or if my prayers are being answered right now. Elder Scott said that there are three ways God answers our prayers. 1. We feel the peace and comfort right away. 2. the unsettling feeling which usually means that we shouldn't do what we prayed for. 3. There's no answer, when he witholds answers he is teaching us to act upon his teachings with confirmation. Sometimes all we need to do is ACT UPON!!!!! When we act upon what he has asked us to do it is evidence that we have the fairth to keep enduring, and we trust him. Number three is something I needed to hear, because most the time I don't feel like my prayers have been answered. But since I've learned this I know that God trusts me with my decisions, and is right by my side if I'm to mess up, and what a blessing it is to have those times when we mess up. That we know how to improve, and how to become stronger!! I love that!!! God is basically turning me into a body builder right now. That's how strong I am. Or how strong I will be. He shared the scripture 1 Nephi 5:8, which basically says do not murmur, go and do. Remain confident even without all the answers. And I need to have faith like it says in 1 Nephi 4:6-7, the faith that he will lead me by the spirit. I saw this in my last lesson. I asked Mathias if he's been thinking about baptism like we asked him too, and he said yes, and then I asked him if he would get baptized in a month. HE SAID YES!!!!!!! I told him we would come by everyday and teach him more and more and prepare him for such a wonderful day. Even though he's not a real investigator it truly felt like he was :) The spirit really does work through you. My Espanol is horrible, but I'm not the teacher, the spirit is. I testify that that is true, and I can't go in thinking I'm the teacher. Elder Scott said a lot more, but I have tons to tell you still. So you'll just have to wait 18 more months to hear more about that story!! Oh Elder Scott also put a blessing upon all of us that we will learn the language and have help through all of our challenges. He blessed us with peace, and God will not have us do anything we are unable to do. Mom had some questions, and I'm going to try and remember, because I know how mad she got at Ross for not answering her questions. The language is HARD, but fun. I'm learning more and more everyday. I love praying, and saying my testimony in Espanol. I see vernalites EVERYWHERE. Elder Smith, Elder Marshall, Elder Casey, Sister Ruppe, Sister Haslem. And I see Hermana Johnson 24/7 we have our class in the same building :) and her district has 4 girls going to our mission and we were all friends on facebook before we came and my companion was too. I LOVE my companion and am blessed to have her. We are like BFFS haha. The food is flavorless......... and everyone has gained like 5 pounds but me. Probably because I eat really healthy. I only have juice like once a week!! Crazy i know!!! I usually just drink water and eat the meal with some fruit. I really miss your cooking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I talk about it all time. Elder Bramble has gained 15 pounds hahah he's going to be a FATTY! Umm I fall off my bed a lot, and Hermana Florence loves making fun of me. For some reason I can't stay on my bed. I've only been getting 2-3 hours of sleep each nigth. I don't know how I"m alive.... I'm now taking Melatonin to help and I'm not getting 4-5 hours. :) I actually don't get to sleepy. My body and brain are just wide awake and full of energy... it's the spirit! Seeing Cory was the best thing EVER!!! I was talking about him all day and really hoping to run into him and then he yelled me name and I screamed really loud, because I was so excited. It was really hard not to hug him too. OH!!! I sleep talk in Espanol!!!! ha I may not be speaking much during the day, but Hermana Florence says I do it all the time and get up and wonder around the room speaking Espanol. hahhahaha Best news ever!!!! Mathias has now become my second teacher. It's really weird having him be my teacher, because we had really spiritual expriences together, but he was a different person. ha Cheryl Esplin came and talked to us yesterday for Relief Society. She's the second counselor in the general primary presidency. And the new YW presidency was there too. :) The MTC is 44% sisters now!!! How cool is that. BYU Mens Choir gave our devotional last night, and they were very very good. I loved it.
Mom you asked me what I want for my Birthday so I made a list. Pink or red toe nail polish, lots of homemade goodies, mints, candies, colorful pens, pain medicine, a cute pair of black flats, and anything else you think I would like. Originally my birthday would be on Pday, but as of next week my pday will be on Wednesday :( sad day. Oh well my district said they will still through a little fiesta for me :) :)
Family and friends please use dearelder.com to send letters during the week. So I have something to read throughout the week and not have to wait till pday.
Love everyone!! I have so much to say.I love this Gospel with all my heart! Choose the right!!! Don't take prayer for granted.
Hermana Watkins :) :) <3