Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My First Week in the MTC (the many roles of a missionary):                                             May 18, 2015

Well everyone, I made it to the MTC! Many people have asked me how my experience has been thus far. Let me use the wise words from Mulan to sum it up: "In a thundering herd, I feel a lot like cattle." Ha! But to be serious, this MTC adventure has been unlike anything I have ever experienced. Let me try to sum up the past few days in this e-mail.

Well, just as my luck would have it, my MTC experience started out with my Dad pulling my not completely zipped up suitcase out of the car, and my things spilling everywhere. On the bright side, there was nowhere to go but up from there! ;D  I had a few minutes to drop off my bags, and then I was rushed to a classroom (where I now practically live all the time).  There I met my district. I was wondering how I was going to connect with these people who were so different from me! But now I love them all so much!! Sister Hollingsworth is my companion, and she is actually the only sister in my district who is not going to Cincinnati. She is headed to Washington Federal Way. But both Sister Bluder (dark hair) and Sister Westbrook (blond) are going to Cincinnati as well! 

The Lord is mindful of me, because within my first day of being here I saw Elder Scott Gill, my brother Jake (who works at the MTC), and.... Sister Chelynn Petersen!! All of them are from Heber.  It was so fun! They seem to be doing great, just for all of you who know them!

I have not yet contracted a foot fungus, because I do wear my flip flops in the shower. I was surprised at how often they told us to do that.... I guess athlete's foot is a common problem here at the MTC or something!

My teachers are fantastic, and I have learned so much about teaching, and about coming unto Christ from both of them! Once again, it has been a testimony to me that God is watching over me and loves me! The only problem was that at first I could not get to class on time, because all of these buildings and outside hallways look exactly the same! But with the help of a very patient Sister Hollingsworth, I have overcome that challenge and now know where things are!

I have had to take on many roles as a missionary (hence the title of this e-mail) including, but not limited to: a learner, a teacher, a listener, a talker (you know me), a follower, a humbled soul, a leader, and even a Janitor. 

I have learned so much about the gospel, and have been humbled by the fact that I thought my knowledge was pretty good before I left. I have learned a lot about the Doctrine of Christ, and the purpose of a missionary. Elder Holland (through a Mormon Message) also taught me that I have to be my first convert, and so that is what I am trying to do here at the MTC. I have also learned the importance of exact obedience, and that it is okay if we don't succeed at that all the time, because we aren't perfect. We just need to strive to have exact obedience in our lives. I have also learned to teach. WE ROLE PLAY SO MUCH. But it is becoming so real to me now. I also pray, and pray, and pray again, and again. Did I mention I pray here in the MTC? Because I do. My testimony of the power and importance of prayer has grown so much, and I am so grateful to know that Heavenly Father hears and answers every single one of them. 

Well, I now have my days all mixed up, I will try to keep them in order better next week! Now for the Janitor part. On Friday morning Sister Hollingsworth got to vacuum 4 staircases. "Oh that isn't too bad" you are all thinking right now, but they had five floors each. That is a lot of stairs. On the bright side, we did look like Ghost Busters, so that was great. 

Sunday was a new experience as well. We had a bit more free time, and got to partake of the sacrament which was a great blessing! Later that night we heard a talk by Elder Bednar that is only available at the MTC (so all of you who are headed here soon, get excited.  For everyone else, I'll tell you all about it when I come home, because it hit me HARD.) He talked about the Character of Christ and how he always turns outward to others, when the natural man in us would normally turn inward. And I realized that that's one thing I was missing! Silly Sister Matthews! This mission isn't about me!!!! And that is a true PhD doctrine that we can all learn from.

Last but not least, I was called to be a Sister Training Leader my second day here. What a humbling experience. 

I love you all, and would love to hear from all of you, but I can't actually e-mail you if you don't e-mail me first so.... get on it :D  

Lots of love,

Sister Matthews 

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