Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Missionary Training Center

Dear Family, 

It's hard to know where to start, it seems like I have lived here for years and years! I am still absolutely LOVING the MTC. Even since the first couple of days, I have gotten so sad when I thinking about leaving this incredible place. (But I'm so excited for Idaho!) I've made so many great friendships and had so many life changing experiences in the short course of week. I guess the best thing to do would be to go through it day by day. And, by the way, there are some elders in here speaking Japanese. Love those little tender mercies. 

As Mom and Nathan know, I was a little ball of stress and anxiety the morning before they dropped me off. I was going into something so unknown. I told myself that I would love it and there was nothing to be afraid of, but, you know me, always worrying. And of course, I was right, this experience is nothing to be stressed about. After saying goodbye to Mom at the curb and walking away with my host, all that anxiety was washed away. It might have been due to the whirlwind of getting checked in, receiving my name tag, going to class, and meeting my district, but I think it was mostly just the abundance of the Spirit here. It is so real. I went to class right after dropping off my luggage, where I met most of my district. I LOVE my district so much! We have all been so blessed to be put together. But more about them later. First, Sister B. Sister B. is my beautiful companion. 

Our favorite study spot.
She is from Honeyville, Utah (cutest name, I know) and we are seriously so similar. We are both kind of introverted and enjoy not exercising. Don't worry though, we still exercise, which honestly feels so good when you sit in a classroom most of the day. Sadly, Sister B. is not going to Idaho. There are two other sisters in my district (who we room with and are best friends with of course) and all they are going to the California Irvine mission with Sister B. I am going to be so sad to leave them, but I know they are going to bless so many people's lives in California. We have four sets of elders. 3 of the elders are going to Irvine, 3 of them of going to the Ohio Cincinnati mission (woot woot!), and 2 of them are going to Nampa. So at least a few of the elders are going to Idaho with me. 

The best district ever

Sisters of District

My teachers are Brother A. and Sister G. Brother A. went to Puerto Rico and is now attending Utah Valley University. Sister G. went to Taiwan and is going to BYU. She was pretty jealous when I told her my family might be going for Christmas. They are both super great. I decided as soon as I met Sister G. that I want to be a teacher at the MTC after my mission. I think it is a good goal to reach for. After class, we had a meeting with all the new missionaries. When we walked in, President Burgess (MTC President), shook our hands, so that was pretty neat. We see him and his wife a lot and they are super good with the missionaries. We heard from most of the MTC presidency in this meeting. The special musical number was "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", another tender mercy. Then at the end, we sang "We'll Bring His World His Truth", and there is this one part where we sing, "We are now the Lord's missionaries" and it was just so powerful! Definitely one of my favorite moments of the first day.

So I have already spent way too much time talking about the first day, so I am just going to go through my favorite moments this past week. Sister B. and I have been teaching two investigators. I am just going to write about J., because this email time literally flies. We have met with her twice and I have learned so much from it. She is from Korea and she took a pass-along card from the missionaries in the subway because she felt bad no one was taking them. Then she moved here with her husband to learn English. When we first got in there we asked her if she believed in God, to which she answered no. We were kind of shocked, most everyone here that we practice teach has somewhat of a religious background. So we talked about how you can know God is there through the Holy Ghost and shared with her Joseph Smith's first vision. I did not feel too great about it, but we did ask her to pray to ask if God was there. When we went back yesterday she said she did but didn't really feel anything. She then explained how, most of the time she prays, she is just doing it to fulfill her promise to all the missionaries that teach her. But, she has every once in a while prayed "deeply", as she beautifully puts it, and she feels that same comfortable feeling she gets at the MTC, and when she watched conference a couple of days ago. So we read with her Moroni 10:4-5 and talked about how, when she prays with a sincere heart and real intent, she can receive an answer. It was a really great lesson, I think it was because we were focused on teaching by the Spirit, not just teaching the lesson we had prepared. I am excited to teach her again tonight!

Wasn't conference great?! I absolutely loved gathering together with all of the missionaries and listening to the prophet and apostles of the Lord. I can't wait to dig into these talks the next few months, though I don't really have time now. The biggest surprise about the MTC is that I don't have nearly as much time as I want to study. But we are just so busy all of the time studying and teaching, I am not sure how that is possible! It was so fun to see the MTC choir, everyone was so excited and kept shouting out when they saw people they knew. Then standing up and singing "Called to Serve" was the best! On Sunday, after the afternoon session, we had a devotional. Vocal Point came to talk about their missions/life and of course sing to us. It was super cool! Though we were all hoping Elder Holland would pop buy so that was a little bit of a disappointment. Then, on Tuesday, Sister Linda K. Burton came for the devotional! It was incredible, obviously. Her husband spoke first, and he called up their granddaughter to join him, who is here preparing to go to Korea. It made me miss grandma and grandpa so much! I wish I could write more about what they said, but you all with just have to read my journals when I get home, which will like never happen cause I want to be missionary forever.

Not only is this the most spiritual experiences I have ever had, it is also the most fun! That is mostly due to my awesome district. We were kind of awkward on the first day, but by the end of the second day we were seriously all best friends. This is great, but it is also bad when we have to be focusing on something and we just want to talk and laugh together. But my favorite moments are when we are just together as a district in our class talking about the gospel. We have had such great conversations and every single one of them brings their own unique talents and perspectives.

Also, I went to the temple today for the first time! It was so uplifting. I loved being there with the district, all dressed in white. Then we went to the temple cafeteria afterwards and that was also very uplifting after all the MTC food.  

Temple + Fall=Happiness

The rose bushes are the best.

My Favorite mountain!

I love you all so much! I have like ten minutes left, so I am so terribly sorry if I don't reply to all of your emails! I just want to end with a plea for you all to take advantage of the gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It will truly bless your life by bringing you peace in this life, and eternal life in the world to come!

Sister Jensen

Sister Peacock and I. She is teaching me to sing alto.

I found Val! She was my roommate in college.

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