Thursday, January 15, 2015
First letter from the MTC
****Note from Mom (who is updating this blog): Janelle sent this email last Friday. It was a bit of a surprise as we were expecting a Monday or Tuesday p-day. I will do better at posting her emails the same day she sends them.****
before i begin, i need to let you know of a FREE (yes, free) way to write me while i am here in the MTC. it's called DearElder.com. using the information from my MTC mailing address, you can send me a letter or note that I will get that day! i will have to wait until p-day to write you back, but it can get it then and there!
i had originally thought that my p-days would be on mondays or tuesdays, but our zone's pday is going to be on friday. hence, why i am writing you today!!
so, how did the week go?
tuesday everything went super smoothly with airplanes and layovers. i didn't get everything i wanted to get done on the plane, but am i okay with the fact that i got some good sleep. i miss my afternoon nap. hahahaha there is a lot of information to learn in just a few short weeks, and they don't waste any time getting you into the espanol. by two o'clock on wednesday, i had already started speaking spanish and the instructor didn't say more than about three words at a time in english. total immersion helps the spanish.
wednesday was great! i got to see Sister Kah in the Ogden mission home, while she and her companion tried to get her companion's luggage out of the impound lot! i won't bore you with the details, but it really is a funny story now that we are a couple days away from it...
that night was a throw into the deep end of the pool in the hopes that we could swim. lots of spanish, and some amazing elders and sisters from the district headed out on monday, i was feeling a little bit on edge.
by thursday afternoon, i was wound tight with anxiety. the language wasn't coming back, i was exhausted, and i was anxious over our lesson that we have to teach in spanish tonight. thankfully, we got to spend some time in the gym, and i am feeling much better. it's amazing what exercise does for the body.
hermana garfield will be my companion while i am here in the MTC, and she's a cutie. she's from grands pass, oregon and is one of nine children. she's currently the senior companion, so i get to follow in her capable footsteps here in about three weeks. she, along with hma cornell and elder jungers will be going to the same mission i will, so we will all leave the MTC on the same day, visa's permitting. the other three elders and remaining sister in our district will be headed to the new york new york north mission at the end of these six weeks. they like to say that they got the lucky end of the draw because they don't have to worry about gross water, or living without certain first world comforts... elder jungers and elder muirbrook (our current district leader) are companions, along with elders rankin and jagneaux (pronounced jag-no). hma. cornell and hma. smith (the sister going to new york) are companions as well. i love these people already. we kind of have an advantage over the other districts because we are the coolest hahahaha
(me and my new companion, Hermana Garfield)
spanish. spanish. spanish. while we are in class, its as much espanol as possible, and we try our best to speak it outside of class as well. two days here and i can say a simple testimony and say most of my prayers in spanish. spanglish is getting easier to use, and they actually prefer you use it so that our teachers can let us know what words we want/need to know! we all get overly excited when the meeting is going to be in english, because it is mentally difficult right now to think in spanish. i just don't have the vocabulary any more. it's coming back, but it's definitely not what it was in high school (props to senora maldonado!) i found out yesterday that i have to have a talk prepared in spanish for sacrament meeting on sunday... no pressure! it only needs to be about five minutes long, and our district probably won't be picked on to speak because this will be our first sunday in the MTC, but they want us to have them prepared so that we can use them in the field. because heavens knows, that they will get used... many, many times. they don't announce who will be speaking until after the sacrament has been given and so you have about thirty seconds, or five minutes notice.
i know that this work is the lord's and that i have been called to do his work. there are people in nicaragua that need my testimony and i will do all in my power to be ready to teach those people. and when i am not enough, i know that the Spirit and the Lord will make up the difference. i know that as long as i am striving to be the best hermana graves that i can be, the lord will bless me to be the best missionary and servant of the lord i can be. this work is not for the faint of heart, but i can do hard things.
thank you call for the support that you have given me in making and following through with this decision. thank you for all of your amazing advice and your amazing examples.
best of wishes for the coming week,