Sunday, 27 October 2013

My MTC Experience

The plane ride was good. It was a small plane. The flight attendant got talking to me and asked if I was going on a mission and it turns out she is related to Shelia Hall. Small world. Sister Hartley and I shed a few tears on the plane but we pulled through. We didnt have to push our luggage around a lot at the airport. We picked it up and then the shuttle was literally right there so that was a blessing. I guess international missionaries come early on Tuesday but this doesnt include Canadians. But since we came early to they just put us with them. It was crazy there was elders and sisters from all over the world. Most couldnt even speak English! It was interesting. Lots of them sacrificed so much to be here. Sister Hartley and I were together all tuesday and wednesday morning but when all the new missionaries came in the afternoon we had to part! IT WAS SO HARD! We talked about it before and said we werent going to cry but we did. Not long though and we were distracted with being so busy. We are both fine now. We see each other occasionally. Our residence is close together but we have completely different schedules so we never see each other. The other night she wrote me a cute note and slipped it under my door for me to find it! It made me so HAPPY. I met a sister who aprenatly sees her all the time so I wrote a note and gave it to her to give to Katelyn. I had such a hard time calling her sister hartley at first but we finally stopped calling each other by our first names. It was funny our first day everyone could easily see we were related because we were always together and had the same name tag and that we were canadian because we had our lanyards. haha everyone wanted to see and talk to the the Canadian Twins. It was funny.

I will tell you a bit about my district. My companion is Sister Pittman. I love her to pieces! She is so nice and easy going. She is 22 and mature so we get along well. She has had a rough life. Her Mom is kind of crazy it sounds like. Married a lot of times and everything and just wasnt a good example. Her family was inactive but she had grandparents that started bringing her to church in her teenage years and she ate the gospel up and just loved it. She never thought she would go on a mission but when the Lord asked she responded. She is such a strength. Despite all her family trials and other things she is so strong and I admire her. She also has beautiful red hair which I love and is also pretty tall. Our district is Sister Pittman and myself, Sister Fletcher and Sister Smock. Sister Fletcher is from Alaska so we have some good conversations. SIster Smock is from New York and you can tell. She is always in a hurry and has a big personality. She is such a city girl. One time I was talking about branding with an elder and I thought she was going to cry! haha Definitely a city girl! Our district also has a trio of Elders. Elder Rice, Elder Morgan, and Elder Favalaoki. The Elders and me are all going to my mission and the sisters are going to Denver Colorado South. We all get along well. Our zone is awesome to. Elder Thomas is one of the Zone Leaders. He is 6 6. Sister Smock asked if he was polensian ya cant spell that and he confidently responded nope I am black. haha he reminds me of Travis. Our Zone has amazing Elders in it. Almost everyone is the first in their family to go even though most are the youngest in there family. They are awesome. 

One thing I have learned is that God truly puts people in our lives to help us along. I have made so many connections with people here that make me not be homesick and give me motivation. Katelyn and I met a teacher that is Dr. Larsons grand daughter and I also have seen Ben Mennis Kikis husband. It was so good to see him. 

Sister Pittman and I were called to serve as Sister Training Leaders in our zone. It will be hard because I already feel like I have so much to do but I know I can do it all with the Lords help. It seems teachers are always committing us to do something and I just dont know how I will have time to do it all but it all has worked out. God is blessing me. 

I love our class time. The Gospel is amazing and I cant wait to get out and share it with others! We get to teach two different people as investigators five times each while here so I will get lots of practice. It is definitely hard but I know I can do it. I am so glad Katelyn and I went to the Temple so much. I feel that was such good preparation. 

The food is better than I thought. There is lots of variety and the salads and wraps are amazing. The oatmeal in the morning actually is edible to so that made me happy. Overall I feel good. We had PE time today for the first time and that felt SO GOOD because we really do just sit all day long. We went on the stair climber and lifted some weights. It felt so good. 
The other night at supper I got talking with Elder Anderson in our zone. He reminds me of Travis as well. He lives in Wyoming and his family runs a big cattle ranch. I asked if it was hard to leave the cowboy boots and wranglers behind. He just laughed and said you have no idea! haha it was priceless. We were both so excited to talk about home and the ranch life because no one else seems to understand. 

Anyways this is getting kind of long so I will wrap it up. I smiled so big when I read Dad got a dish for the black cat! haha He secretly loves them even though he doesnt realize it yet. SO glad to know that you made it home safe. I love you all so much! Thank you for all the love and prayers and support! 

Sister Hartley 

Bunk Beds at the MTC- Just like home

Sisters in my Mission at the MTC

Sister Hartley with Sister Hartley
My first name tag

My first package from home at the MTC

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Adventure Starts. Week 1, October 22, 2013

Well the adventure is about to begin! I will enter the MTC on October 23, 2013.  I am very excited to begin my service to the Lord. The nerves are starting to come, but I am trying to replace them with faith. It was very hard to say goodbye to my grandparents. I am so glad we took the time to get pictures with them! I know that the next 18 months will be hard. However, I know I will be in the Lord's hands and that he will watch over my family and I. I love Jesus Christ and his gospel so much and can't wait to share it with others. I wanted to share my mission scripture. It is Ether 12:41

"And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen."

I absolutely love this scripture! I can't wait to teach people about Jesus Christ and his atonement and share the difference this knowledge has made in my life and see the difference it makes in theirs. 

That past few week has been a good one as we prepare to go. We went to Waterton with a good friend--Natalie Bevans. Katelyn went to A&W one last time before she goes and we got to spend time with family. I am so blessed to have such great family and friends. 

                                                    Grandpa and Grandma Hartley Farewell

                                                 Grandpa and Grandma Neilson last visit

                                        Nate, Katelyn, and me visiting Waterton Park

                                                Last visit to A & W, Katelyn and Nat