Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Week One at the MTC

WOW OH WOW PEOPLE WEEK ONE IS ALMOST DONE!!! I arrived last Wednesday. I am going to try to not give too many details, but this is the first one, so I want y'all to know what is going on. The first day we had a devotional with the MTC Mission Presidency. The Mission President and his wife, The Nallys, are the cutest. We all sang "Called to Serve" and "We'll Bring the World His Truth" as new missionaries. The Spirit was so strong. We met our district. So basically, the people we are with all day is our "district" and a couple districts make up a "zone." Just so when you hear those terms you know what they mean :) My district is 4 Elders and 4 Sisters. They are all going to the St. Louis Mission, but two sisters and me are going to Sacramento. My companion, Sister Edgel, is headed to St. Louis. She is from Las Vegas. She just finished her junior year at BYU and is majoring in physics teachings. She is SUPER bubbly and outgoing. Haha so she can be a lot, but I love her. She is a MAJOR perfectionist, but she loves the Gospel with her whole heart. We adjust to teaching together every lesson, but I am thankful for her because she is normal!!!!!!!! We literally spend every moment with our companions because we can never be alone (except for the bathroom of course). The other two Sisters in our district are the ones headed to Sacramento with me. They both finished their freshman year at college. Sister Campbell is from Utah and attended Southern Utah Univ. and Sister Kandare went to BYU-I. We all get along so well, and it is only the 4 of us in our 6 person room. The Elders in our district are SO YOUNG! All just graduated high school. Haha kind of dweebs, but I love them. We tell them they are our little brothers. They are learning lots everyday. Our district is seriously so close and we are obsessed with each other. Every teacher wants to be with us because we all care so much and stress a lot (which isn't needed) but we just want to be good missionaries.The first day was overwhelming, but so spiritual and incredible. 
 Aunt Dottie, Me, Annalee, and Mychal when they dropped me off at the MTC!
The rest of the days are pretty much the same. We have class in the morning and afternoons. Gym time in the late afternoon. Lots of scripture study time. The MTC is like a little mini-college campus. On the second day, Sister Edgel and I were made the Sister Training Leaders of our Zone (Girl Zone leaders) for the rest of our time at the MTC. For you old people out there that served missions, they have added these Sister Missionary leadership positions. We are in charge of the Sisters in our Zone, but Sisters are responsible, so we don't really deal with bad behavior. We just love them all and encourage them. My afternoon teacher is Brother Kezele. He is the man. He is so so awesome. We had different subs in the morning class because our teacher was out of town. She just got back...Sister STandford. Apparently she is like the best teacher, so we are excited to learn from her. All day we learn in PReach My Gospel, the Scriptures, everything.  
I'm Official!!! The First Day at the MTC

Sorry if this isn't making since, I am like shaking writing because I have been waiting so long!
I want to talk about the 4th of July. The day was pretty normal, but the evening was INCREDIBLE. It probably was my first 4th not at the lake, and it was a little sad at first. But, at night we had a devotional from the MTC Presidency. They talked a lot the importance of this holiday because this would be the country that the Gospel would be restored. We had awesome musical numbers, and we watched 17 Miracles. For those non-Mormons out there, it is a movie about some of the Mormon pioneers crossing the plains. I sobbed through the whole thing. I had seen it before, but as a missionary, it really hit home. Sometimes we feel like so much is being asked and that it is impossible to accomplish it all, but GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES! I needed to see the faith of those pioneers. I love the early Saints of the Church so so much. We then got to go outside and watch the fireworks from the BYU Stadium of Fire. It was nice of them to let that happen!
Sister Edgel (My Companion) and Me

Sunday at the MTC is incredible. We had fast and testimony meeting, and then we had mission conference. So like a huge devotional all together. We then had Branch activities, and a fireside that night.   I saw Elder Slater!!! It made me so happy to see someone from home!!! He is on the West campus (that is where all the Spanish-speaking missionaries are). But they occasionally get bused over for devotionals. He seems to be doing great. 
My District on our Temple Walk... yes, we color coordinated. We are that obsessed with each other!

OVerall, the MTC is great. It is so so hard. This is the hardest thing of my life. Not the waking up, or getting a full workout in, or being tempted by the sweets at every meal, or the staying with your companion at all times, or the annoying 18-year-old Elders. No, that is not the hard part. The hard part is teaching investigators about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We know it and we love it. And all we want is for them to know it too. And, it is SO HARD to teach with a companion!!!! wow wow. So a lot during the day is teaching. Our teachers portray their investigators from their mission, and we teach them everyday and progress. Also, the MTC has the TRC (Teaching Resource Center) and we are assigned an investigator. Some are real, some are members portraying others, some are in-active members, or some are recent converts. We teach them throughout our stay at the MTC. Oh, and an investigator is what we call non-Mormons taking lessons from the missionaries, who want to know more.

The girls in my District! 
Okay this is long sorry, But this is the overview. I know my grammar isn't perfect...I literally am typing and thinking so fast. I am not homesick because we are so focused on our work. But it is fun to get letters at night from Dear Elder.com so PLEASE WRITE!!!!!! I love to hear from people! Also, if you wrote me and don't get an email back that means I ran out of time but I will handwrite you today and mail it! Because I have lots of time today to write letters. 

We love each other! 
I really am loving it, learning A LOT ABOUT EVERYTHING, and I cannot believe it has been a week. The Spirit is so strong. You really do feel different as a missionary. I love you all so much, and I cannot believe the journey has started. I know this Church is true because it blesses my life everyday. It is incredible how God trusts thousands of imperfect, dorky, and young adults to help with His work. 

Until next week,

Sister Hickman  
Woah...normal clothes?? I almost forgot what it was like :) Thank goodness for P-Day!

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