Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Beautiful District - First Week in the Missionary Training Center

My beautiful district! Anziano Robertson, Anziano Gunderson, Anziano Lemmo, Sorella Baer, Sorella Ervin, Sorella Holloway, Sorella Haslem, Sorella Bollwinkel, Sorella Pace, and Anziano Axson
Hey everyone! So basically the MTC is amazing. You might think I'm kidding, well guess what . . . I'm not! My companion's name is Sorella Baer, and she might possibly be the cutest thing you have ever seen. This is a fact. First day was pretty intense. After I received my nametag (officially a missionary), I dropped my stuff off at my dorm and went to my classroom. Our teacher is Fratello Carrington and he rarely speaks English. Which is ok, because Italian is pretty rad. I met my dear companion and the others in our district. Sorelle Bollwinkel, (best name ever! am I right?) Pace (basically our mom), Holloway (I love her-end of story), and Haslen (super sweet girl) and Anziani Lemmo (an adorable little Californian with the greatest sense of humor), Axlan (a mezzo gigante from Canada), Gunderson (our dear district leader), and Robertson (this boy gets more precious every time he opens his mouth). I love all of them and can't wait to tell you about the crazy things we get up to. Anziani Gunderson and Robertson are going to Rome, but we love them anyway. Our first night we taught three lessons, basically we had a ton of missionaries in the room teaching one investigator. There is obviously a reason we teach two by two.
Our Board. I feel like our board should have Italian on it . . . oh well, this is just way more awesome. BTW Fratello Carrington is our wonderful teacher.

Second day we woke up early to go to yoga. Best decision we've made yet. We are so blessed they give early morning classes for sisters. We also learned tons of Italian and had a beautiful testimony meeting with our branch. It's made up of fifty Italian missionaries and three Romanian elders. The spirit that filled that room was incredible. We all had specific reasons we chose to serve missions and every single one was inspired of the Lord.

On Friday we taught our very first lesson as a companionship . . . in ITALIAN! Let me just say, I am so blessed to have Sorella Baer as my companion; she speaks enough Italian to push me along.  Our investigator is Nico. Seriously such a sweet person. When he prays, you can feel the spirit well up inside of you. Almost every lesson we've had since, either Sorella Baer or I have cried because of the beautiful spirit in that room.

Saturday our wonderful Fratello Carrington gave a beautiful spiritual thought. All ten of us were crying. I then got a bloody nose. Great way to start a day.

Sunday might have been the best day of my life. So basically what everyone says is true, if you can make it to Sunday, you can do anything. Sunday was emotionally and spiritually exhausting, but in a good way. Moment after moment there was something else happening that was beyond belief. I'm pretty sure I filled a good ten pages in my spiritual journal because of it. As sisters we're able to attend Music and the Spoken Word. I didn't know how much I missed music until I was able to listen to the sweet music from MoTab. Afterwards we had Relief Society with all of the sisters in the MTC. We then had sacrament meeting in our branch, and a dear sweet elder sang a beautiful rendition of I Know that My Redeemer Lives. Thank goodness for him. Devotional that night was fabulous. The head of the missionary department spoke, and every word he said was inspired. Last we went to a recorded devotional by Sheri Dew. I love her; she is amazing.

Monday was incredible. We had an amazing lesson with Nico about the plan of salvation. Love that lesson so much.

Tuesday was a service project day. Cleaning the bathrooms has never been so fun. We took this hose and connected it to the sink with some crazy acid cleaner. Basically we were ghostbusters, no big deal. For the first part of my day, I had a companion exchange because my beautiful comp was in SLC. It's ok though - I love the other girls. We also had a devotional at night. Crazy good.

Companion Exchange
Wednesday was fabulous. I was able to escape the MTC for the morning. A few of us Italian missionaries had to go to the Consulate in Salt Lake City in order to get our visas. So basically we just slept in the car. Oh my goodness, it's been a week, and I already miss naps.

Escape from the MTC. So we escaped the MTC for a day! We had to go to the Italian Consulate to get our visas. Basically amazing. The short dude between Haslem and Holloway is Anziano Hillyard. The two beautiful girls at the end are Sorella Nelson and Sorella Roth. Love them! The extra two Anziani, I'll let you know their names if I ever find them out. Ha ha.
There were many new missionaries arriving, and their excitement is infectious. Sorella Baer and I prepared a lesson for Nico in which we were basically going to just read the Book of Mormon and have him pray about it. We had taught him all of the basic lessons (can you believe I've already taught six lessons?) and the only way he was going to progress was by knowing for himself whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. (It is by the way, I promise.) First of all, Nico slipped up and was wearing an Italian CTR Ring (most beautiful thing I've ever seen, hint, hint)  We were going to ask him about it after the lesson, but he took it off during the last prayer. Sneaky Nico! I was trying to ask him how to say ring, and he just ignored me and stole my pen. The boy doesn't break character for a minute! Which is fantastic. During the lesson when Sorella Baer and I bore our testimonies, Nico started crying. I should tell you this kid doesn't ever show emotion on his face. It was incredibly spiritual. Beautiful day.

Today was P-day, meaning I've been wearing pants almost all day. So wonderful! After laundry, we were able to go to the temple and let me tell you, it was much needed. I already feel refreshed and rejuvenated and cannot wait to finish out the day with language study! Go Italian!

Computer Time! Anziano Lemmo being awesome.
I wish I had more time to write, but alas, I don't. I love you all and cannot wait to tell you more about this wonderful experience I've been having. The Church is true!

Mom I love you! Please fix my typos. I think I forgot English.

Temple walk on Sunday.

Another picture at the temple.

Picture at the temple.
Look who I found! The dear Sister McGinnis, serving in the Ukraine, Russian speaking!

Templo. Just a normal day in the district.

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