Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Week at the MTC

Yay! I've been so excited to write my first email! I love the MTC. I have had so many wonderful experiences, but I don't think I've had a harder week in my entire life! I'm emotionally drained and I don't think I've ever been so exhausted! I've never cried or laughed so much in one week!!! Change is difficult, and there is so much I need to improve upon! They stress that as set apart missionaries, we are the arms of the apostles. We are witnesses of Christ. How amazing, but it is an overwhelming idea at times. When I look at what I need to become to be the best missionary I can be, it can get overwhelming. But by turning myself over to Christ, all things are possible. I guess I just need to have more confidence and faith in that! And remember that it isn't me that will be doing the will be the Holy ghost! I also find comfort in remembering that Christ WAS the perfect missionary, and people still rejected him. But every now and then, Heavenly Father gives me a glimpse of his vision, and I can really see HOW IMPORTANT this work is too him and how much he loves his children and how HOW MUCH needs to be done prior to the Savior's second coming. If all members could catch the vision, I think there would be so many more missionaries willing to serve. I've been impressed with the fact that the restoration really couldn't take place until the latter days because the gospel cannot be spread with effectiveness to ALL the world without the media and communications technology we have today. I love seeing how my major (PR) and the gospel interrelate. That's why I love my blog so much!

This week has been HARD! My companion's grandmother passed away, and I have really been learning what it means to mourn with those that mourn. It is hard to see one of Heavenly Father's daughters hurting so much, and not knowing exactly what I can say. All I know is that we are both so grateful for the plan of salvation. Our lessons have focused a lot on that lately. We've met with nearly all the MTC Presidenency this week, but I feel so blessed to be an observer to their leadership! As I have watched them speak with her, I feel like I'm learning by example. I wish there was more time to explain.

My district saves me!!! Sometimes I wake up discouraged, but Elder Curtis is a little piece of sunshine every morning. He and the other Elders are hilarious! When all the other missionaries are practicing their language skills by greeting us with "Hola!" or "Guten Tag" or "Bon Jour!" Elder Curtis, just uses sign language and greets them with a traditional Indian "How". Elder Curtis has been in 23 foster homes, and was just recently adopted so that he could serve a mission. WOW! It's amazing to watch my district leader grow into a powerful priesthood leader. People can grow so much in just a week! These missionaries are amazing! Elder Miles gave my companion one of the most sincere and beautiful priesthood blessings I have ever heard in my life. But he likes to make fun of those of us who get a lot of mail. He likes to play the 50/50 chance game to make us guess who the letter is for. If you guess wrong, you don't get the letter. But really, we never let him get away with that.

Sister missionary gym is hilarious. It's the funniest thing ever. We play B-ball with the Palmyra sisters, and we just laugh so hard because we are so bad. But, I look forward to working out because my muscles get so sore from sitting in a classroom ALL day, and eating so much food and not ever walking around. It's weird to see so many from BYU at the MTC. Also, the intercom in the MTC residence hall reminds me so much of Charlie's Angels..."Good morning sister missionaries!" "Time for bed sister missionaries." "Quiet time!" It's a different kind of place. Also, the elders have been looking out for me. Sometimes my progress is discouraging, overwhelming and I begin to doubt myself. After leaving the call center one day, I kind of just broke down. Elder Reves asked if someone had yelled at me on the phone. I laughed and said no, and he replied, "Good! Because if someone messes with Sister Waters, we're gonna GET that guy!" It was pretty funny.

There is NO TIME to do everything that needs to get done. I only have 4 minutes left to type. But I wanted to tell you as many funny stories as possible. I'm growing so much! Growth and stretching and changing can be painful, but it is good. I KNOW Heavenly Father loves each of His children (that is EVEN more clear as a missionary). I wish I had more time to tell you all about the AMAZING meetings I've been to.

I love you all! Romans 8:16-17

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Courtney Arrives at the MTC

Sister Courtney Waters finally arrives at the Missionary Training Center ("MTC") on January 14, 2009.

Sister Waters enters the MTC doors. She will leave for Alburquerque, New Mexico on February 2, 2009!

Before the missionary orientation session started Courtney and her family had a few minutes for more picture taking.

By the end of the orientation, Sister Waters was excited and ready to start her mission.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The inspiration for this blog...

Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet
By Elder M. Russell Ballard
of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

There are conversations going on about the Church constantly. Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches. . .

All of you know that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are reminded and encouraged continually to share the gospel with others. The Church is always looking for the most effective ways to declare its message. Preaching the gospel of the Restoration has always been special to me. I loved being a missionary in England. I loved being a mission president in Canada. And I love my present calling, which allows me opportunities to share the message of the Restoration of the gospel to the world and to testify that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1820. Through Joseph, the gospel that Jesus established in New Testament times was brought back. It had been lost with the deaths of the Apostles of old. I can share with the world the knowledge that priesthood authority, the doctrine, and the ordinances of the New Testament Church are once again on the earth. This is the most important work that we can participate in. . .

Now, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true. You can download videos from Church and other appropriate sites, including, and send them to your friends. You can write to media sites on the Internet that report on the Church and voice your views as to the accuracy of the reports. This, of course, requires that you understand the basic principles of the gospel. It is essential that you are able to offer a clear and correct witness of gospel truths. It is also important that you and the people to whom you testify understand that you do not speak for the Church as a whole. You speak as one member—but you testify of the truths you have come to know. . .

Friday, January 9, 2009


This is where we will be posting Courtney's weekly e-mail updates and any photos that make it back home.

She will be heading out to Provo on Monday January 12th, and will enter the MTC on Wednesday! So Exciting!