First off, I love you all dearly! This has been the hardest and best week ever!
It started off great. My best friend Rachel (Sister Call) was able to be my host! As I stepped out of my parents car, I gave her a huge hug and walked away smiling and laughing with her as my dear family had tears running down their faces. Ahh tender moment.. But Rach sure made that transition a ton easier than I was expecting.
I walked around with her, got my nametag on me, put my luggage in my residence hall and then off to class! Just like that!
I am living ON the MTC Campus- they just opened up the Provo MTC West Campus. Those missionaries are allowed to come over here on P-days, but we cannot go over there.
I've seen SO many people that I know here! Sister Call, Sister Jessica Porter, Sister Lia Christensen, Brother Brock Minson and so many more! It's a huge party! Brother Minson and I are on the same schedule and so I see him the most and actually played some volleyball with him at Gym last night. It's fun:)
The food is not as bad as I was expecting! They have some strange meal items such as Sausage&Bluberry Pancake on a stick and last night we had some weird chicken sandwhich with ham on it.. I think they added the ham to make it seem more gormet.. but whatever:) The chocolate milk is the best! And i've been too nervous to try the orange juice.
Anway... Back to the important things!
When I first got here, Sister Goldsberry was assigned to be my companion! (She is the one whose farewell broke out in that fight.. It was fun to hear the story from her perspective) She's a cutie! But later throughout the week, she twisted her ankle and complications began to arise because of that, so after a few trips to the doctor and having some interviews, she was advised that it would be best if she went home, check to see if she needed surgery, and heal before she comes back. So I had to say farewell to her and hopefully I'll see her in Nebraska!
So after she left, it's been a bit complicated with me and companions.
One of our Sister Training leaders when we first got here (she's headed to Sydney Australia) was supposed to leave last week, but her visa didn't go through and so she's staying at the MTC for another week is my new companion! Her name is Sister Manwaring. She's aboslutely terrific and definately an answer to my prayers. She's 22 and she's was born in New York but she's from Ohio. There is no coincidence from this whole situation. She is with another Visa Waiting district during classes, but then she's my companion when we're out of class. It's a bit confusing.
While in class, I trio with the other two girls in my district (Sister Peterson and Sister McMaster) who are also heading to Omaha with me. So I go with them to teach investigators and work with them in classes. It's been interesting to be with all these different personalities and I've learned SO MUCH from these sisters. They are amazing.
Because I've been switching companions so often, I feel like I've worked with double the amount of investigators than most people get to in the MTC . Although we haven't gotten super far with teaching any of them, it's been great to practice teaching with all different kinds of people.
My favorite lesson that we've taught yet was with a lady named Belinda. She was a TRC investigator, which means that she is a volunteer that has come to the MTC and us as missionaries don't know if she is a member or not. They do this so that it seems way more realistic than us teaching "investigators" that are just our teachers. I taught her with Sister Manwaring. Before we met her, we talked with some other missionaries who had previously taught her and they said she was EXTREMELY difficult. Apparently she straight up yelled in some of these missionaries faces. I was totally nervous going ino it. But we went in, introduced ourselves and started. At the beginning, you could totally tell the tension and she felt like we were coming to teach her how to live her life. But NO. So we explained, and Sister Manwaring, being as AWESOME as she is, completely calmed Belinda down and as we taught, we totally had the spirit with us. She had already read the Book of Mormon, so we answered her questions, and invited her to pray and ask God for herself if this was true. We left and it ended up turning out REALLY good! No one could believe it!
As much as they teach us in the classrooms, I don't feel like learning really takes effect until you are in the room with an investigator. It's definatley "Perfect practice makes perfect." I've said things that I thought "darn! I shouldn't have gone there" But it all comes with practice.
Ahh I've learned a lot this week... and I wish I could tell you everything that has been running through my mind!
My prayers are 100x more sincere. I promise you that if you PICTURE God in your mind as you pray and truly express how your heart is feeling that it WILL make a difference in your life.
I LOVE the scriputres! NEVER have I had passages pop out at me during my studies as the have this week. It's amazing the things you learn from them when you're reading them with the intent of finding something meaningful that could help someone you are teaching.
It's been hard. Every day has SUPER high highs and SUPER low lows.. but thank you so much for your letters and love. I thought I loved letters before I came out here, but man, a lot of those came at times that I REALLY needed them and your support and encouragement has kept me going this week. You all are the greatest.
Funny stories of the week!!
YESTERDAY! Evening time! We were in the middle of class and our teacher Brother Davies was working with one of the Elders on a role play. They were sitting in front of the class having this super spiritual lesson when one of the Elders, Elder Poulsen, sitting across from me started falling asleep. His arm slipped and he jerked back awake and loudly said "I just fell!" In the middle of this spiritual moment. We tried to get back on track but I could NOT stop laughing. And then I would make eye contact with one of the Elders and just bust up laughing again. Haha even now, I can't stop laughing about it!
So funny :) Anyway, I need to get answering E-mails... so I love you all! I'm doing well!! And can you believe it?? In LESS THAN A WEEK I'll be flying to Nebraska.
Thank you for your prayers! I can totally feel them.
--Sister Checketts :)