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

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