I didn't think that I would love the MTC (missionary training center) as much as I do. I'm on a campus with 2000+ people, who are all my age, and are really only focusing on learning and teaching about God. They are all like me! At BYU, I'm on a campus full of people not my age, and anywhere else, I'm around people that don't believe the same things I do. Both of these things have merit to them, but I really feel like I've finally found MY group of peers. I'll be here for the next three weeks, learning how the mission all works, and how to be better at teaching the missionary lessons.
We've been asked "Who are you?" "Where are you from?" "Where are you serving?" ten billion times already. When I'm asked, "Why did you decide to serve a mission?" My answer changes almost every time.
"I decided to serve because I've always wanted to be like the women I admire in life; my mother, my seminary teachers, my young women counselors all love God with their whole heart and most of them served missions."
This was what I said the first couple of times I answered the question. But truthfully, there are SO MANY things that happened in my life that helped me make this decision. There was the fact that I was in such turmoil over the fact that I would have had to serve my mission after I graduated college, but then God not only answered my prayers, but paved the way for me when the mission age change happened in 2012; there is the fact that I felt like I needed to offer God all that could after all that he did for me in life; there is the fact that I quite honestly felt like I needed that extra push to help me be more comfortable sharing the gospel... There really isn't enough to list them all down. But I think if someone were to ask me right at this very moment, "Why are you serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" I think my answer would be that, this is the gift that God's been waiting to give me. I could never have known, nor do I yet know all the blessings that I have/will receive. I was only fortunate enough to listen to His promptings.
I ended up in the ADL zone, which is the zone of International missionaries who speak sufficient English + some miscellaneous missionaries. Which means: My zone ended up being mostly from the group of International people I spent time with on the first day! YEEEE
For those who are unfamiliar: a zone is the highest group in the hierarchy of missionary organization (I think. I'm still new), and there's a group of around 10-30 ish missionaries. Then, you get a district, which is smaller, and that's the people you're in classes with at the MTC. And at the bottom of the chain, you have a companionship, which is just two missionaries who basically eat, live, study, travel together.
My companion is Sister Nunez (with the squiggly second N, pronounced like nu-niez), also serving at Temple Square, from Mexico City. She was one of the first sisters I met at the MTC, and am beyond glad that I ended up with her! My district is made up of two other sisters, Sister Rauta (pronounced: hau-ta) from Baie Brazil, and Sister Deschene (De-shen) from France (both who are also going to Temple Square); and two elders, Elder Sandum (San-doom) from Norway (going to Canada Calgary), and Elder Blosil from Orem, Utah (going to Paris, France, already fluent in French). I wish I could talk about how great all these people are, and how COOL AND INTERNATIONAL MY ENTIRE ZONE IS, but I'm really running out of time.
Sister Nunez and I have been really busy running around for doctor's appointments and dentist appointments and the bank since we're both foreign, but I think we manage it really well. She's adorable and we get along really well. Although we're in the advanced English track, we both decided to squeeze in a little bit of language study each day. She needs help studying church words in English, and I'm frantically trying to learn all the Japanese and Chinese church words I can. Also, I help her with her English and she teaches me a sentence in Spanish everyday. They gave us Temple Square missionaries a set of materials for English, and our respective native languages, because I guess they're expecting us to know it all for Temple Square... Class is pretty funny because we have Portuguese, French, Spanish, and Japanese all happening at once.
Someone forward this to Derek since I forgot what his e-mail is: Sister Deschene served in Paris for two transfers, waiting for her visa before the MTC. I asked her if she knew who Elder Lattin was, and her face lit up. "ELDER LATTIN? HE WAS MY ZONE LEADER FOR MY FIRST TRANSFER, AND NOW HE IS THE AP. HE IS GREAT AND WE TALKED ABOUT K-POP." Yeh boo Elder Lattin is out there being a star. I was very proud and touched on your behalf.
How is everyone else out there? I hope school isn't killing you, and that everything is peachy.
Spanish sentence of the day: Yo creo en Cristo!