This first week at the MTC has been wonderful. I have two companions, Sister Munro and Sister Etherington. We are a 'Tri-panionship"! (Others refer to us a threesome, but let's be real here- tripanionship sounds waaaaay better than threesome. No innuendos). We are all headed towards Nauvoo, IL, and will be shipped out there on July 17th. Sister Munro (pronounced like Monroe) grew up in Maryland, but recently lived in Syracuse, UT. She goes to Utah State and wants to go into Equine Science, and is fluent in ASL because her parents are both deaf. As we have gotten to know eachother we like to joke that we are the same person; we have so much in common and have gone through so many similar experiences! She is wonderful, always enthusiastic about the gospel, and is a pleasure to be around. Sister Etherington is just a hoot. She is a little bit quiet when I first got to know her.... I think a better way to put it would be demure. She is just so proper and is this tall, slender, beauty. She is from Salt Lake City, went to East High, and currently is a Violin Performance Major at the University of Utah. Let me tell you, she is AH-MAY-ZING at the violin. She also happens to just be artistic in general and can do anything from painting to poetry. She is so funny with her expressions (the best) and also pretty much everything she says is just funny.
So we have been switched from ASL to English which is kind of bittersweet and complicated, so I will lay it all out for you. The first day I got here, I took it all the way to the top to find out if we three sisters could still be trained in ASL. I heard that if we wanted to we could go check it out, but it has to be an official change from the Mission President. From his perspective, two of us are already fluent in ASL and he needs us out there ASAP for the Nauvoo Pagent. It is a bit of a bummer, but we have gotten used to it. The only real bummer for the MTC is the ASL district here. They have two elders that are deaf, but the MTC did not know until they got here on Wednesday. There were only two other missionaries in their whole district that knew ASL, and so they were stuck interpreting for them the entire time since the MTC could not get any interpreters. Sister Munro and I were needed, but no one knew how to get a hold of us or where we were. I feel a bit bad about that because I would have loved to help, but what can I do I guess. Also in the ASL District there is only one sister missionary, and all these elders. She has a "Solo" sticker on her badge so that is it known that she is ok without a companion, and she rooms with some girls that she kind of knows, but are a bit rude to her. That would be so rough, and so we try to hang with her as much as we can. We would have been companions if my assignment had not been changed, so it is a bit bittersweet for all of us.
Now, for the upside on the assignment change! (Sorry, I don't want to seem like a Debbie Downer). The one good thing about not being ASL is the missionaries that are in our same district. Now "Districts" in the MTC are groups of missionaries that are learning the same language, or if there is enough, who are going to the same area. You have class together, eat together, and do pretty much everything together. Since only three sisters are heading to Nauvoo, we combined with the missionaries that are headed to Washington DC South to form a District. I just love these missionaries! All of the elders are young boys who just graduated from high school, but they are super great. They were all very quiet at first, but now we joke around all the time! The sisters are also super wonderful too. A full list of the missionaries in my district are.....
Elder Galbraith (Rexburg, Idaho)
Elder Jensen (Sandy, UT)
District Leader/Sacrament Coordinators:
Elder Richards (Erda? or something that sounds like that, somewhere by Tooele, UT)
Elder Alba (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Elder Lyman (St. George, UT)
Sister Missionary Training Leaders:
Sister Schramm (Wyoming)
Sister McKenna (UT)
Missionary Portal Trainers:
Sister Christensen (UT)
Sister Akin (UT)
Now I put them with their callings, just for clarification. Also I am sure you are wondering what my calling is. Well, turns out I am the only one in the whole zone (two or more districts that meet for church) that can play the piano. Of course. Just my luck. So of course my calling is the Music Coordinator. Let's just put it this way, I am happy to serve, just I would prefer to give a talk then learn a piece on the piano in half an hour.
But, the MTC is great! The people are great, it is so spiritual (we prayed 23 times as a group on Saturday. Kind of intense). It has been an adjustment but it has been wonderful. I love it all the time. The first "investigator" that we had was our teacher pretending to be one. But they are in a seperate room and we have to pretend like it is the real thing. This is when it is a bit hard to be in a tri-panionship because there are so many good ideas floating around, and it is hard to decide what to teach. It turned out ok, and we have taught her three times. Then we have an actor that comes in and pretends to be an investigator, and she is just adorable. We love her so much and her appointments go WAAAAAY better. Teaching her brightens our day :)
The MTC food can get a bit old. Last time I checked, the phrase was not, "A burger a day keeps the doctor away...". The MTC must have heard incorrectly. So pretty much I feel like I am becoming a rabbit becuse I eat salad and wraps all the time. Also our eating schedule is super weird, breakfast at, lunch at , and dinner at . Then nothing for six hours when we go to bed at . Needless to say my companions and I feel like this is a test to see how well we can function with less than 7 hours of sleep every night and with minimal food. So if you get a desire to send me food......... well, it would be appreciated ;)
That is really all of MTC life I can think about. It has just been wonderful. I love it so much. It's hard but it is worth it because of the people, what we are learning, and constantly having the Spirit of the Lord with us.
So now, here's the deal. I have only gotten one letter from Samantha Buckhave, and one email from Jessica. Hello!?! I have only been gone for a few days! I am not even in the field yet! Just go to DearElder.com and send me a free letter. At least it would be less awkward to have a letter when all of the other people are getting care packages and long letters from boyfriends, haha! But really, I would love to hear from you.
So, I guess that is all! The Church is true!!!