I LOVE you all so much! And I miss you, but I love it here!
Thank you thank you for all the mail! It has been fantastic, I love reading about everything going on back home, being in the MTC you are literally away from the world. Like you can't even ever see cars. They planted the trees perfectly that you're basically trapped from the world. Which is totally cool, but when we go across the street to the field or to the temple we all joke that the 'real' world is too scary and they've given us too much freedom. But we always survive the scary, dangerous walk across the street, going from dedicated ground to dedicated ground.
Okay so I'm going to try really hard to answer all the questions I've gotten over that last week, and if I forget one just ask me again :)
The schedule is perfect,going to be different and strange because it's our first day of visitor center training so everything changes. I mean everything.... except the sisters and my companion thankfully. So basically the schedule has been: Wake up at six, District study at 7, breakfast, classroom instruction for 3 hours, lunch, classroom instruction for 3 hours, gym time, dinner, then different studies for the final 3 hours. Also our P.I. teaching would be planning during the classroom instruction, and our TRC would be right after dinner before studies. If you would like me to expand on any of that let me know. It's seriously been Go, Go, Go. One thing to the next. Which I love. The first few days were hard because I felt like I was inhaling my food because we're not given a lot of time to eat and most of that time is taken standing in line unfortunately, but I'm totally used to it now, feels normal practically. Which is why should be interesting because everything changes again. Yay for change. I'm excited though.
It is exhausting though! But then our district had this realization. What did Joseph Smith do after he had the Vision? What did he do after be visited by the Angel Moroni? What did King Lamoni do after he received a testimony of Christ? I could go on, but they all passed out from exhaustion. Spirituality is exhausting! We are studying the gospel for as Brother Hanson says "38 hours of the day". Which knowing there's only 24 hours in a day really tells you how much MTC missionaries study. A Lot! Everyone has told us though that it's okay to be tired, it's normal, which I was thankful for because I've been trying to be so close to the exact obedience thing that I didn't understand why I was so tired. But I'm pushing through and I'll survive.
Next question, Food. It's not horrible, actually the first few days is was great. Yet, we've been here long enough that the same meals keep popping up and it's beginning to taste like cafeteria food. Yay for being here another week. It's weird we've only been here for 12 days and yet we're the 'old' ones. Every missionary that arrived with usleft either yesterday or today so now we really stick out. I am so glad I''m not learning a language and would have to be here for 6 weeks.
I love it here though, the teachers are amazing and I've learned so much. We're no longer teaching any investigators right now, we'll get more probably starting. We'll hopefully get new TRC investigators, Teaching Resource Center. So basically TRC are real live investigators who work at the MTC. They get paid to sit for hours listening to who knows how many missionaries teach them about the gospel. Some one them are actually members, but the majority of them are not. Like Alex was a real investigator. Which was kind of scary at the beginning but now it's just normal, I mean it's what I'll be doing for the next 18 months. It's odd not having investigators though, Like I don't know what to do during study time, I feel selfish for studying for myself since for the last week I've been using every second I get to study for my investigators. So i'm looking forward to getting more people to teach.
I've decided thatis still my favorite day, I love my branch president, President Menlove. Brother Hanson, one of our teachers talked to us about Grace before . If you haven't read the definition of Grace in the Bible dictionary, please do. We were challenged to keep re-reading it and then think and ponder either something we were repenting of, or something we wanted to improve, and then really focus on that one thing during the Sacrament. My testimony grew so much from that experience, it made the Sacrament that must more special and it really opened up my eyes to just how much we as missionaries can only rely on Christ to help us be successful. If I had to use one phrase to describe everything I've learning since arriving it would be:
"This is not my work, this is not my mission. This is His work, and this is His mission, it needs to be treated as such."
Oh and want to know how our branch president assigns talks for sacrament? He doesn't. He expects you to have one prepared eachand then he calls an elder and a sister to come and give it. This weeks topic was faith. Want to guess who got called? Yep Sister Fluckiger. I was told it went great, It was an interesting experience, I don't really know how to describe it but I defiantly felt a different, almost stronger spirit with me as I gave it compared to when I gave my farewell talk. It was pretty cool, but you don't need to worry I am still the same klutzy, blonde, sometimes embarrassing girl as I was when I left. I had wanted to quote PMG (Preach My Gosepl) for my talk but I didn't write it out I just wrote "PMG pg61"...well I forgot my PMG, so instead of being smart and just ignoring it and going on, i freak out, and ask any one the elders on the stand if they had theirs, they didn't so then I decided I should just quickly run and get it from my seat. What was I thinking?! President Menlove saved me before I made it to the stairs, I used his and was able to share the quote. Talk about absolutely embarrassing! I don't know what I was thinking, but after talking to Sister Menlove, I've decided it's the Spirit's fault. She said that that quote was exactly what she needed to hear, and that she now really wants to study Preach My Gospel. She's been at the MTC for about 2 years now and hasn't studied it yet, and now she says she's going too. So I guess that's good. Didn't make it any less embarrassing, and for some reason afterward I just kept imagining either Dad or Colin just rolling their eyes saying in their minds "yep that's Alyssa, way to go"
Also fun fact, I am a member of the largest Relief Society in the world. No joke, it is the best thing ever.we had Sheri Dew come speak to us. It was perfect, she talked about the priesthood and how because we are set-apart missionaries we have direct access to the power of the priesthood. Super powerful!
I'm sorry if I'm bouncing all over the place today, but email time got cut short because of silly computer problems so I'm trying to make sure I get in everything important. WE had to say goodbye to everyone yesterday, our Elders left this morning for the Everett, Washington Mission. I know they will do fantastic but it's going to be weird not having them in class anymore. It was like a bitter-sweet goodbye. I was happy and jealous they were leaving for the field but sad because of the really spiritual experiences we've had together.
I was able to ask for a priesthood blessing last night before they left, and all the sisters decided that was a good idea so they all got one. The spirit that was in that room was unbelievable. The priesthood power is amazing, I wish I hadn't taken it for granted for the majority of my life. Elder Popp gave me mine, and this was actually my second. I had asked for one last Sunday as well. I won't share what was in the blessing because of how special the experience was. I do want you all to know that I know that this is exactly where the Lord wants me. I'm so grateful for all the support you've given me in this decision. And I know that when it gets hard the Lord is always with me. Always. And he's with you too. We're doing this together.
I am a member of the largest, youngest, modern day Army of Helaman. And I'm grateful I have been called to represent my Savior.
"Thou art blessed for thou shalt do GREAT things" D&C 35:4
Love you ALL
-Stomach is perfect, no need for essential oils (ick)
-My next door neighbors are going to portugal! I told them all to tell President Fluckiger that I say Hi :)
-Elder Burton from my district is from Star Valley Wyoming and knows Fluckigers-small world
-I have another p-day so look out :)
-Saw Andrew yesterday! :) So fun seeing him every once in a while. It's like a little piece of home here with me