Saturday, August 10, 2013

First Days in the Missionary Training Center

Hey guys! I mean, Elders and Sisters!

You would not believe how busy I have been! There is so much to learn!

It's a P day today, but only half - we were supposed to do a service project this morning, but they have so many missionaries that they didn't need us!! :) (Uh, I mean, I'm so sad I didn't get to do a service project).
I'm still a little sick, which isn't bad except that I'm sniffling and sneezing all the time. Oh, also, on the first day, I wrote the fam that letter but I forgot something awesome: So when we got in and got with a bunch of other new missionaries (it was only a third of the new ones, and there were so many!!) we all were talking and getting to know our new companions and everything, and then they started playing the piano really loud and we all sang "As Zion's Youth in Latter Days" and you guys, it was the most powerful thing I have ever heard!! Everyone was singing out so strong, and I was like, YES! THIS IS WHERE I NEED TO BE! There were speakers (Mission president, etc) and then in the middle we sang "If you Chance to Meet A Frown" and it was way funny. And then, AND THEN at the end we sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth" and I just cried because they changed some of the words. You know in the chorus it says "We will be the Lord's missionaries" but instead we sang "We are NOW the Lord's Missionaries" And I'm just tearing up thinking about it because it was so powerful sing with my fellow Elders and Sisters and proclaim that we were messengers of God to bring the world His truth!

Also in the orientation meeting, I had a very humbling experience. They had a special musical number (apparently they have a lot of those) and I kept thinking, man, I wish I could have my harp. But then I realized that the reason I wanted it was not to share the Spirit or my testimony, but to show off. I'm grateful that I had that because I have time to humble myself and have the desire to play for the right reasons instead of to show off my talent.

So Sister Richins and I have a new investigator that we are preparing to teach! I'm not sure if it will be tonight or tomorrow, but I'm pretty nervous. We had a big planning class yesterday where we learned what to plan and how to plan for a meeting with an investigator. The teachers are awesome, by the way. A big part of that was repeated over and over: to see our investigator as Heavenly Father sees them. And the thing about that is that Heavenly Father doesn't exactly see our potential. He sees us as we are, totally and completely, because time isn't relevant to Him. Does that make sense?

Honestly, the first day was awesome, and I was like "HECK YEAH I'VE GOT THIS THING." But day two was a lot harder. There is so so much to learn, and so so much to grow, too. I was feeling discouraged and like I wasn't adequate enough to do this work. I was almost in tears for the last half of the planning lesson. I was just feeling scared and frustrated. I'm not a scriptorian. I feel like I didn't prepare enough. So I said a prayer while we were saying the closing prayer, just asking for help and comfort and support, and almost immediately I received an answer. These teachers are truly inspired. I'm so grateful that they listen to the promptings of the Spirit. In the Zone meeting, Brother McClaine promised at the end that if we take time to ask Heavenly Father, "How can I live the Doctrine of Christ?" then those that are proud will be humbled, and those that are feeling inadequate will be lifted up. I carried that promise with me and it gave me courage. After dinner, we had a meeting with the Branch President and that was spectacular. I couldn't tell you how many times he stressed that we can choose to be average missionaries or we can choose to be exceptional missionaries. EXCEPTIONAL, EXCEPTIONAL. By obedience, he said, we can have blessings. But by strict obedience, we will have miracles. He taught some of the little things (which add up to be big deals) like how to stand (elders, suit buttoned, hands out of pockets, etc) and I could see the change in them immediately. Then he had all the new missionaries in our branch/zone stand one by one and tell their name, mission, and a short testimony. It was so powerful and wonderful to see each of these 20 missionaries stand and bear witness that Christ lives and they know it! I've never felt the Spirit so strongly in a testimony meeting before. As one Elder said, the veil is a little thinner here. It's so true, I can just feel it.

I'm so grateful to know that Heavenly Father answers prayers when we need them and listens and loves me, His daughter. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and bear the name of Christ!! I LOVE WEARING THIS NAME TAG!
A couple of interesting things about the MTC:
  • All of the teachers love it here and are so passionate about teaching us.
  • Brother McClain is freaking hilarious. He says the weirdest things, and totally wins the line of the week: "Oh, you did NOT just open the refrigerator door where the peanut butter is, we are gonna go to TOWN!" and all of us were like, "Uh, what?"
  • Our district is made up of four sisters (Me, Sister Richins, and the other two in our room , Sister Stokes and Sister Heger) and six elders. We met up last night and were finally able to talk! We decided we are going to start meeting up as a district for meals and get to know each other better, to come closer as a district and I'm way Stoked! (Gettit? Like Sister Stokes? heeheeheehoohoohoo)
  • Friday is Pday, but I only have two here in the MTC and then it will change when I get to OKC. Also, I can send letters anytime I want during the week, But I don't know if they only pick it up on a certain day? And I can only get letters/packages on Fridays.
  • Everyone says "Elders" or "Sisters" and not just "Guys". I think it brings us closer.
I love you guys so much! And it's so good to know that you are praying for me. I'm praying for you too! :)
Love love love,
Sister Clark

BTW, my correct MTC mailing address is:
Sister Alyssa Kaylee Clark
2011 N 900 E Unit 271
PROVO UT 84602

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