Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Letter from Ariel's MTC Companion - March 8, 2011

Hello dearest family and friends,

This week I don't really have too much to talk about because I honestly don't remember much of this week because my time here at the MTC has started to blur together... But I'll try to remember as much as I can! I usually make a list during the week of everything that I want to write about but I didn't this week because I got lazy... Oh well.

Anyway, though, I now have less than 3 weeks left here at the good ol' MTC!!! Can you believe it?? I can. I've been here FOREVER haha. I was talking to this elder the other day who is leaving the MTC tomorrow. He's been here for 9 weeks preparing to go to Spain and he was like, "Ya know, the first couple weeks at the MTC are really really hard, and then weeks 3 through 7 are just really great and they fly by and you enjoy everything about them and then once week 8 hits you just go completely nuts and your brain starts to turn to mush so by week 9 they just have to kick you out of here." And then he like paused for a sec and was like, "I have no idea what happens at weeks 10 through 12.... You're pretty much doomed." Haha! It was so funny. We were like wow thanks... But I kind of understand what he means about your brains turning to mush... Yesterday when we took a break from studying we played with a motion censor in the hallway for like an hour. It was quite entertaining. Oh the crazy things we do to entertain ourselves at the MTC :)

Also yesterday we moved out of our dorms and into another building. Our first transfer! It was kinda good because we got a chance to weigh our bags and see how much stuff we need to send home before we leave. Also it was really good because we moved out of the ghetto and into some 5-star dorms!!!! Well, not really 5-star, but they certainly feel like it after where we were living before... And the showers!!!! Oh, the wonderful showers in our new building. It's the most amazing thing... when you turn them on, the water comes out the temperature that you turn the faucet to. No longer will the warmth of my shower be determined by the flushing of toilets!! It's soooo awesome. I love our new dorms :D

Earlier this week my teacher Brother Porter, who served in Rostov, brought in a bunch of pictures from his mission for us to look at, so we got to see a lot of the cool places that we'll get to see when we get there! That was soooo sweet, but it made us all so anxious to get out of here! It's kinda crazy but next Monday we start our SYL (Speak Your Language) program where for the last 2 weeks at the MTC you speak ONLY Russian. So that's going to be an adventure... But we've started trying to speak Russian a lot of the time anyway, so that should help. Also next week we'll get our travel plans!!! WOOOOOOO!!!!! I don't have my visa yet, and I don't know if the MTC has my visa yet, but if there were problems getting it I'm sure they would've let me know already, so I'm not too worried about it. I'll probably get it NEXT WEEK! :D

Ohhhh! Also this week, I discovered a new talent that I have. I can sing! My companion has been kind of giving me singing lessons because the Sunday before we leave our district is planning on doing a musical number in sacrament, so since my companion sings, she's been helping all of us improve our singing and I am quite impressed with how good we all sound. We're singing the EFY Medley of Army of Helaman and As Sisters In Zion in RUSSIAN (my teacher helped us translate it) and there's this part that I pretty much have to sing by myself, which is TERRIFYING because I've never sung by myself before in my life, but it's gonna be cool. I think God has given me the Gift of Musical Tongues since coming on a mission, because I have discovered my singing voice since being here! Also, one fact that I am quite proud of, is that I discovered this week that I can hit the high F. I want you all to go to a piano this week and punch the high F key so you can just be super impressed by this little talent of mine that I never knew that I had. The Church is true.

Ummm... I think that's really all to report this week, so I'll just share a little spiritual experience I had actually before I even got here. It was the Thursday before I came to the MTC and I had taken the day to myself to spend some time alone before I had to spend the next 18 months with a companion, and I went by myself down to temple square and did an endowment session at the Salt Lake Temple and then walked around temple square for a while and then went a watched the Joseph Smith movie at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. But while I was in the Celestial room at the temple, I was sitting and thinking about how scared I was to go on a mission and how I felt so inadequate and like I just had too many weaknesses that would prevent me from being a good missionary. I remember saying a prayer and saying something like, "Heavenly Father, I know that you want me to serve a mission, but I'm scared and don't feel like I can do it. I KNOW myself and I know that I don't like doing hard things. I'm afraid I'll give up when it gets hard." And as I sat there in the Celestial Room of the Salt Lake Temple, thinking about every weakness that I have and every un-Christlike thing about me, and feeling afraid to serve a mission because I know how I handle hard things, a thought came into my mind that said something like this, "Mandy, the Savior knows you better than you know yourself. He knows that you have weaknesses. He knows that you're scared. But He also knows what you can become, and He's not going to make you do this alone." I remember sitting there and just feeling so grateful for the testimony that I have that this is true. That Christ knows me and that He won't leave me alone. And I know this is true for all of us.

The Church is true! I love you all :) Have a great week.

Love, Sister LeBaron


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