Oh wow, I miss all you guys! Thanks so much for all the e-mails! I'm really feeling the love and support. So, I guess they changed the rules for e-mailing and we have an hour (not half an hour) to write home every week. I thought you would like that, Mom. :) Also, just for future reference, my P-day is on Friday, not Monday.
My first day here was pretty intense. Scooter dropped me off with my friends Skjelse and Hilary, and it was pretty overwhelming getting dropped off at the curb and having all these missionaries wave hello and smiling at you. I started to tear up a little bit (probably because I had just got off the phone with you, Mom), but my "greeter" at the MTC was the sweetest sister, and helped me with all my luggage and showed me around. I definitely experienced a million different emotions on Wednesday (What did I sign up for? I love being here! Can I really learn this language? The spirit is so strong! I'm not cut out for this. Haha, my mind was all over the place). All in all my first day went smoothly and I ended the day on a really grateful note.
The MTC schedules every minute of your time here, so we are constantly moving and working. I thought I would be worn out, but honestly it's so great. Everyone is so motivated and united in purpose.
My second day was easier, just because I knew what I was doing and knew my way around a bit better. I felt really glad to be out here. My companions, district, zone and branch presidency are the best. I totally lucked out. Or maybe everyone here is just awesome, haha. I know I told you one of my biggest concerns was the disconnect with younger missionaries, but all of the ones I know have really stepped up to the plate. They're great, they work hard and are just trying to be their best. Language study is a little bit hard because no one else really has learned another language (except for two others in my district), so there are a lot of questions about what conjugating even is... I feel like these first few days will be mildly repetitive to what I've already learned, but the language is so complex, so it definitely is a good thing to be able to study the basics, again. It's a little bit weird to be able to say this already, but I genuinely love both of my companions. They're both so different, but they awesome, seem really ready to be out here and are great examples to me. One sister is 21, from Texas, went to BYU, and then joined the army, is a fitness FREAK (haha, she really is so motivating), is confident, goofy and always makes me laugh. The other sister is 21, as well, and she is a total sweetheart. She's from Auburn, California and has a boyfriend back home who she has been with for the past 2 1/2 years! So impressive for someone in the church. Her boyfriend leaves on his mission in August for Brazil, so they're both pretty excited that they can support one another on their missions. She has the biggest smile and is a little bit shy, but she is so encouraging and supportive. We all work really well together.
My teachers are both so sweet... I felt really bad for Brother Jacobsen (an RM who served in our mission and who's getting married in a month!) yesterday, though. There were a lot of silly and repetitive questions, because a lot of people weren't really paying attention, but he was soo patient with the class. He looked exhausted by the end of our class, though. *Sigh* He's a saint.
Mom, you'll be proud to know that I've worked out every day so far (at 6 am!). Every muscle in my body aches...So. Many. Lunges...and kick boxing this morning. haha. I've been trying to keep all the rules (there are so many to remember!)...although I did take a banana out of the cafeteria this morning which apparently is against the rules (woops!), but overall, it's super easy with a really motivated district.
This morning we went to the temple and did a session with my zone (the Slovaks, the Bulgarians, the Polish, etc. etc.) and it was really special. I really have already started to feel the blessings that come from being a missionary and I truly am glad to be out here.
I have just been amazed with the testimonies and courage of some of the people that I've met out here. We had a class on the first day and some of the other fresh missionaries bore their really powerful testimonies to an "investigator." One elder spoke about how he was diagnosed with cancer and battled with it for the past few years, and how he relied so fully and completely on the Lord. It was one of the purest testimonies I've ever heard in my life. I am in awe of the faith and diligence here. I have a lot to learn.
I really miss you guys! Thanks again for writing me! I'm attaching some pictures so you can see what my companions and other sisters look like. There's not too much else to report, but I love, love love you so much!! Give Steven and Skippy big kisses from me :)
P.S. Mom, my box number is 83 (and is also on the blog, which you know how to access ;) ). I loved your e-mail, thanks so much for keeping me posted on what's going on with you guys!
P.P.S. I'm so grateful you're going out to Grandma's service tomorrow. I've been thinking about Dad a lot and I know he thinks of us constantly and is proud of us. You're going to do so great on your remarks!!