When I will leave the MTC! I'm taking off early early early tomorrow morning. I know I've been a little silent about my experience so far. That's because I have little to no time to think, much less email! I've found a wonderful group of missionaries in my district (class) here, and my teachers are wonderful, including one who used to be a member of my uncle's stake. Small Mormon world indeed.
This is my district in our classroom. My companion, Hermana Nava, is the one taking the selfie.
I've been living the missionary lifestyle, going to bed at 10:30, waking up at 6:30, and working the entire time in between. But this work is so rewarding. I have two weeks to learn how to teach the most important message they're ever going to hear; how to be a full time minister of Christ for the next 18 months. I'm learning how to find and focus on the needs of others, how to study the scriptures more effectively to answer my own questions and those of the people I'll teach, how to love your companion and thus demonstrate that we are Christ's disciples, and how to be the representatives that Christ wants. I love wearing my name tag. It's a great responsibility to have not only my name on my plaque, but also that of my Savior, and I'm only beginning to learn how to live up to that.
It's certainly been overwhelming, trying to figure out how to teach such important doctrine and saving truths in a language I'm only beginning to understand. And let's not even talk about just chatting with my classmates in Spanish. The vocabulary of teaching I've started to get down, but just talking with people? I do okay when it's just my district, but as soon as I start talking to my teachers I get too nervous and the wrong words start coming out. Oh well. I give myself 3 months. Let's see how I am after that.
This picture is all the sisters in my district dressed up (and all with curled hair!) and ready for conference. For the record, General Conference in the MTC is the best. It's like Christmas. It was the best instruction possible for two days straight. General Conference occurs twice a year when for two days, in the first weekend of April and the first weekend of October, the apostles and prophets of the latter-days speak to the church and to the world. 15 men who I sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators give direction and counsel to those who are listening. And watching conference with hundreds of other youth who have chosen to unselfishly consecrate their lives for the next 18-24 months to the service of Jesus Christ, who stands at the head of this church, was a powerful experience. We ate, slept, and breathed conference, and then when conference was over on Sunday, we had an MTC devotional with Vocal Point (BYU'S acapella group, all returned missionaries, AMAZING!) and then my district watched the Testaments in Spanish. The Testaments is a film that tells the story of the visit of Jesus Christ to the people of the Americas shortly after his resurrection and ascension into heaven, as is told in the book of 3rd Nephi of the Book of Mormon. It is a powerful story, and it is so beautiful to see the love that Christ as for all his people, and for the individual, as portrayed in that film.
Well, that's all the time I have this week. I'll have some pictures from Nicaragua next time I post, and I'll be experiencing a low of 71 degrees Fahrenheit starting tomorrow evening!
Farewell from the crossroads of the West and the shadow of the everlasting hills. :)