Well it has been a week already! Happy late Father's Day to Daddy :) I hope it was a lovely day. Dad, I did get your letter on Thursday or Friday and I read it twice and loved it :) How is everyone doing? Everyone doing alright with Lucy gone? I'm kinda glad I left before you had to let her go to the shelter. I hope she does get placed with a family. And Mom, I got your package on Monday! The raincoat got here just in time for the rain to reach us. I haven't had any other wisdom teeth problems, thank goodness, but I'm glad the mailman was nice. And having that little bit of Grandma Snow in that postcard was really special for me. Aubree, I just got your letter; it made me laugh and giggle and I shared parts with my companion. I'll write you back today!
First off: My companion looks like Natalie Portman. Sorry misters, she's a sister :) Sister Robinson and I get along so well! We had a nice little powwow on Friday where we realized that we have the exact same personality type (INFJ), which is apparently really rare, less than 1% of the population are INFJs. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father gave me someone for these first two weeks who totally understands what makes me tick, so we can figure out this whole mission thing together without driving each other crazy. She's from San Antonio Texas and say's Y'all. She likes to eat healthy as well so we've been hitting up the salad and wrap bar for almost every meal. :) She's awesome. She and I have been assigned to be the Sister Training Leaders for our zone, which means we had four leadership meetings to attend on Sunday and several spread throughout this week. There are only four sisters in the zone though, so our job is essentially to look out for and help the other companionship. Pretty easy.
I've realized that the MTC is basically like marine boot camp in your head and Disneyland in your heart. That's the best way I can think of to describe it. This week has felt so long simply because there is so much learning and so many new experiences that happen every day that it feels like each day is a week. I've wished I could email almost every day just to tell you about all of the exciting things happening! We spend 3 straight hours twice a day in class, studying the scriptures and Preach My Gospel, roleplaying, focusing on our purpose as missionaries, asking questions, and planning lessons with our mock investigators.
Sister Robinson and I are teaching "Emma," who is one of our teachers posing as our progressing investigator. She is one tough cookie! We had a humbling lesson with her on Monday where we realized that we need to love her and teach to her needs, not just teach her doctrine. The entire Restoration that we taught her went in one ear and out the other. So the next day, we backed up and really tried to get to know her better and find out what her struggles and questions are. Then we read with her from the Book of Mormon Alma the Younger's conversion story. We explained to her that through Jesus Christ, she could feel the same peace that Alma the Younger felt, "as exceeding as was [his] pain." That went over a whole lot better. The hardest thing for me is getting over my personal pride and learning to be tutored by the Spirit. While some missionaries come to the MTC to learn Russian, French, or Portuguese, I am trying to learn the language of the Spirit, and it's a tender mercy for me that Heavenly Father isn't asking me to do any more than that right now.
My absolute favorite thing about the MTC is the devotionals. When you have hundreds of missionaries in the same room, listening to a speaker who teaches with the power of God, the Spirit is in every crevice of the room. It's like chills up and down and peace in your heart and clarity in your mind and happiness that makes you want to do a little dance, all at the same time. You simply can't deny what you know to be true when you're in an MTC devotional! Sheri Dew talked to us on Sunday about grace and how it's essentially the same thing as power-- the Power of Christ. She gave us ideas of how to better access that power, and the best way is through prayer. We can pray to know what gifts of the Spirit we should strive to develop and how better to access that power. She told a story about a time when she was sitting in a nursing home with her dying father, praying that God would forgive him for the temper he'd had, and she literally felt any pain leftover from the backlash of his temper leave her body. Amazing!
We also had M. Russel Ballard come speak to us last night, and that was incredible. I sang in the choir and we sang "Consider the Lilies," hi Mom ;) He spoke to us about not being ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Even though things will come out in the news that don't paint the Church in a very good light, we know in Whom we put our trust and Who will eventually be our judge. He encouraged us to not just study the Doctrine of Christ, but to make it a part of us, and stand behind the prophet and his apostles because they will not and can not let us down.
We got to go to the temple this morning and that was my first time in the Provo temple :) lovely experience! We also went on a temple walk on Sunday morning and took pictures as a district. I will try to upload them and send them but I'm having some trouble with the computers here. Cross your fingers! :)
Well I love and miss you all! One request: Can I have Jeren, Lauren, and Nelson's emails so I can send them my family emails directly? This will most likely be the only time I write from the MTC as I fly out around 8 next Wednesday. Mom and Dad, I will be calling home from the airport around that time so keep your phones on ya. I've got a phone card that'll give me about half an hour. Have a great week everyone! :)
Sister Megan Browning