Friday, June 28, 2013

First Letter from the MTC - Heading to France in less than two weeks!

So these past two days have been absolutely crazy. I'll tell you everything that happened and then you can choose whether you want to believe it or not...

The flight and shuttle went flawlessly! I got right on my plane and then I only had to wait for about 10 minutes for my shuttle. As soon as I got to the MTC I had absolutely no time to be nervous. There were about a million missionaries waiting to welcome us! Right off the bat I saw Meg Wright! She's doing very well!! I have pretty much seen everyone that I know here, minus Leisl...sorry Neilsens...

Anyway! I got here and got all checked in and got my missionary name badge! Then I went straight over to my class. There I found out that I had been put in the advanced language program and would only be here for 2 weeks. I would also not speak a single word of French while in the MTC. Hearing this, I almost broke down in tears, but my teachers were so kind and had so much confidence in me even though they had never met me, or ever heard me speak French! All of the people in my district are from foreign countries and speak English (the language that they will be serving with) FLUENTLY. The only other girl at least sort of in my situation is in my zone (which is composed of 3 districts from my branch). She is American and grew up speaking English, but she lived in Korea for like 8 or 10 years or she's most likely fluent as well. I was feeling EXTREMELY inadequate. I actually thought maybe they had put me in the wrong group. So I went and talked with the front desk, and sure enough, they think that my French is good enough to be in the advanced class! It really is crazy, especially since I will be in France in about a week and half...but the Lord will provide!

Just when I thought that I was swimming in this fast track and not knowing even knowing how I would handle it, the Lord decided to humble me more and called me to be a Sister Training Leader (kind of the equivalent of a Zone leader). So next week I will be in charge of the new missionaries coming into our branch! It's going to be very hard, so please pray for me!! But I have to have faith that I can do this!

The spirit in the MTC is INCREDIBLE. I feel the spirit all the time and I know that everyone else does too! It's amazing to see all of these missionaries together, all of us having the same beliefs and desires to serve the Lord!

I am pretty confident that I was blessed with the best district EVER. We have 2 elders, Elder Huhane (from Tonga) and Elder Gledhill (from Ukraine). My companions are Sister Quiroz (from Mexico) and Sister Liza (from Peru) (TRIO COMPANIONSHIP! I absolutely love being in a trio actually!). And the other 2 sisters are Sister Oliveira (from Brazil) and Sister Rios (from Peru)! I get a heck of a lot of sarcastic American jokes from my district...but I just love them! Our elders are pretty much the funniest people I've met in my entire life and they have such strong testimonies! And neither of them are afraid to cry in front of us! Our teachers are amazing as well! I am SO blessed! We have Brother Matthews, Brother Smith, and Brother Palmer (although I think he was just filling in for Brother Smith yesterday).

It is true what people say that the days here feel like they are two days! The time really does slow down so that the spirit can teach you everything that you need to know! I have had incredible experiences with teaching already. I have been extremely humbled as the teachers have counseled us to follow the spirit and not try to teach everything WE want to. Brother Palmer gave us this amazing advice from Elder Nelson: "If you don't focus on the spirit while you're teaching, you will be giving them information rather than offering them salvation." How cool is that!?!? Although I have only had one full day here at the MTC, I have learned so much about myself and about teaching! This isn't about teaching the perfect lesson, it's about following the spirit and trying to get the investigator to feel the spirit as well.

I am doing all I can do to be the best missionary I can be, but I need your prayers!! The Lord has placed a LOT of confidence in me (way more than I ever expected) and I need His help if I'm going to do this!

I love you all and I do miss you, but I have a greater work that I am called to France to do! We are promised as missionaries that our families will be protected and I pray for you!

Je t'aime ma famille!

Soeur Everett

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Heading to the MTC!

At the airport curb saying goodbye to the family before catching flight to the MTC.  Traffic was heavy on the 405 heading to LAX this morning.  The traffic was even heavier at the Southwest Airlines check-in!  Heartbroken at the prospect of not seeing Jessica for 18 months, William can be seen lurking in the background...