Thursday, January 24, 2013

1st Week in the MTC

We left the MTC with joyful hearts.  She looked so happy!  She jumped out of the car and said okay I'm here!  (like put me to work)  So on Thursday Curtis and I received an e-mail that Elder Alex Giles our daughter in law's brother had seen Hermana Smith at dinner and she looked so happy.  Then Thursday I received a random telephone call from a very kind stranger that had meet Katelyn and her companion and sent me a picture of the two of them.  (Tender Mercies)  Then on Friday I get another  e-mail from Sister Davies (One of Katelyn's best friends)  that she is on the same floor as Katelyn and they see each other often.  (Tender Mercies)  So we've been so excited for her 1st letter home...and here it is.  Enjoy!!

HOLA my DEAR SWEET Family!:) :)  and Friends, :):)
Still have got my arms and legs, so... i'm doing FAIRLY WELL! :) :) :) :)
So sorry it's been over a week, but our P day is on Thursdays so we had to wait A WHOLE week before we have had the chance to email! Lo siento! But I did send a quick letter the day after I got here to let you guys know that i'm alive, so hopefully you guys have received that :) ...if not. Hey, I'm alive. :) Well I don't even know where to start! This past week has felt like 5 years. It honestly feels like i've been here my whole life. So i'll just start off at the begginning. The drop off, was hard! I think my mind was in about a billion places. I was anxious, nervous, exited. I wish I would have held on a little longer to you guys. Looking back now I so wish I did, because I MISS YOU! But I would not want to be anywhere else. I know this is where the Lord wants me to be! :) My companions name is Hermana Pendleton! She is about 5'2 long blonde hair, outgoing, chill, funny, she turns 22 on sunday, she loves diet coke just like you mom, she is from Kaysville and we get along so well. Coming into this she did not know ANY spanish! I'm so proud of her and the progress she has made. She makes me laugh a lot! My nickname for her is mi Madiposa bonita (my beautiful butterfly) yeah don't ask me why! ;)
They really do throw you right into it here! On Friday we taught our first lesson IN SPANISH with our investigator Erasmo. hahahahha. What an experience that was. We prayed before to have the spirit be with us, and we really did try our hardest. All that I really knew in spanish is the little I learned it high school (wish I would have payed more attention now ;) ). So pretty much our lesson was how are you?, flipping through our little red spanish books finding anything and everything to read, and the rest of the time was spent in a staring contest. ha. After coming out of that lesson, I am not going to lie but I was very discouraged . My companion knew nothing and I didn't really either. Talking with many different people here they say try to go in with the least amount of notes as possible and let the Lord do the rest. For me that was a very hard concept because I like to have everything planned out. But I have noticed with the less notes we go in with the better it goes. Our lessons have still been OH SO SIMPLE, but we are trying our hardest. Spang-lish and sign language might be a huge part of our lessons as well! ;)
The MTC really is a humbling place I can attest to that. It MAKES you search for answers, it  MAKES you rely on the Atonement. We cannot do this work without Him! I have had to drop to my knees many times each day when I feel like giving up.  This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life!!!! Thinking about that statement, in my life I have truely been so blessed . I have not had to deal with many problems. You guys are incredible and so supportive, and everyone is healthy! I know i'm so blessed. I don't know how to explain it though. This has been a different kind of hard. It's such an emotional roller coaster . One second I feel the spirit so strongly and then the other second I have never felt so alone. But I have learned in this past week that the Lord is always there no matter what! He has been my strength this past week , and  I couldn't have made it without Him. Seeing many of my friends here has been very encouraging. Having Kaitlin be in here doing this is so comforting. We were so blessed to get put on the same floor so I get to see her some nights! :) Through many breakdowns I constantly heard just make it till SUnday. And I did! Sunday was absolutelyl INCREDIBLE. Learning spanish the days before had been discouraging, but having the lessons and feeling that spirit on Sunday was incredible! :) Sister Wixcom the General Primary President spoke in Relief Society and it was incredible. That night we had a devotional and the family of the MTC president all got up and shared a musical number. It made me think of my amazing family! I LOVE YOU! :) We then listened to a talk called characteristics of Christ by Elder Bednar. That talk was DEFINITELY needed. The spirit spoke some very important things to me in that meeting. He said, stop complaining this work isn't about you. You all sound like the cookie monster... I WANT MY COOKIES NOW. I WANT TO LEARN MY LANGUAGE NOW...(Bednar does a great impersonation of the cookie monster). But it's so true. I need to stop thinking of myself develop Christlike charity and look outside myself. This work is HIS, not mine. I need to lose my self in others. As I have done this these past few days, I have noticed how easy it is to be HAPPY! :) My natural man wants to turn inward and give up, but I must press forward with firm faith in my Savior. I need to turn outward as the Savior did. The Savior always turned outward. Even after preforming the Atonement, what did he do? He healed the soldiers ear that was cut off. Only a minor superficial injury to what the Savior had just preformed. But the Savior didn't say woe is me. He healed and blessed and never once thought about himself. He was constantly doing the will of the Father. I want to develop this attribute to constantly turn outward . :)
Esopanol is muy deficil. But it's coming along. I can bear my testimony and pray (both in a very simple way) but still that's something! Every day we pray for el don de lengas. Our teacher only speaks in english for like 10 min a day! It's a little overwhelming, but I am learning. It's so hard to find time to study everything that they teach you! haha still trying to figure out time management. :)  We work out daily! My companion was the cross county coach at Davis high school so she is teaching me how to long distance run :) Tuesday night was also incredible. It was a devotional by Elder Evans of the 70. Our whole district sang in the choir. LOVE my district there are 8 Elders and then 4 of us Hermanas. :) We all get along so well. It was such an amazing opportunity to be in the choir and sing. We sang the song lead kindly light. Which is now one of my favorites! :) I will send the lyrics to you guys and tell you how I applied this song to me. Elder Evans talked about that we have the ability through faith to preform miracles. It was such an amazing talk that really strengthened my spirits. We must have faith. I have a testimony that who the Lord calls, he WILL qualify! I hope to become an effective instrument in His hands. I feel already like my testimony has grown SO MUCH here. I have needed to rely so fully on my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know this gospel is true. And I know the people in Chile are needing to hear it. I have felt your prayers. They really help!!!! :) So please feel free to continue. ;) I am praying for you guys as well. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!  Thank you so much for your love and support! :) :) :)
I haven't heard from you guys yet so hopefully ALL IS WELL! :)  I constantly have a prayer in my heart for you.  Listen to any sad songs driving away from the MTC mom?! ;) Let me know how your past couple weeks have been. Boys, I hope school is going well and Tron hasn't sucked you in to much! ;) MOM and DAD hope work and everything is great :) Austin and Laur hope my little Rhea is doing well ;) I have seen Alex lots here. He seems like he is happy and doing great :)
Please tell Christy i'm eating my veggies and fruits :) thanks for the advice, Tami i'm doing FAIRLY well still have my arms and legs ;) , Amy P thanks so much for her love, and the Bishops for there love.
There is not a lot of time to email. But i'll be sending more your way! :) Hopefully you are getting everything!
Things I need: Maybe like a shoulder bag purse sort of thing. Just cheap, I just need to have something to put my scriptures and notebooks in while walking around from classes to devotionals! :) That would be helpful. Also maybe some diet coke for my companion since it is her birthday!? Just like one?!?! If that's possible! I totally understand if not! :) :) I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I'll be sending you my journal entrys and i'll try to send some pictures today as well if I get the chance! I LVOE YOU ALL SO MUCH! I would absolutley love to hear from you. Letters are everything here! Dear elder is the best way to go because it gets here same day and we already don't have a lot of time to be on the computers to read emails AND write back. I LOVE YOU GUYS! Also if you could send me some peoples addresses--- like Taylor's, Jordan, Cassidy, our extended families... just cause I don't have any! IF you could send some just in a dear elder letter today or tomorrow that would be wonderful! Thanks so much! Sorry if this letter is a bit all over the place it's hard to try and cram everything that has happened this past week into it! :) My prayers are with you! HAVE AN AMAZING WEEK! Let me know if I can do anything for you guys. Yesterday seeing all the new missionaries It was so weird thinking that was us a week ago. So fun saying Bienvenidos a la CCM to all the NEWBYS!!!! ;) 
Love this gospel. Love being a missionary. Never knew it would be this hard but I know that with the strength of the Lord we can do all things. :) Not a coinsidence that the first day I got here my reading in the scriptures was Alma 32. ;) 
1st Night in the MTC 

Sister Smith and her companion Sister Pendleton 

 Walking to the temple
 Sister Smith and Sister Howell
 What you would do for your companions toes, Katelyn trying to warm them up!
 Sister Smith and her district 8 elders and 4 sisters

 The awesome map picture!
 What are they trying to say to me?  I'm not quite sure, but someday I will know!!
 Thank you Jordan!!!!!

Some of my district on a freezing Sunday!

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