I'd like to give a special shout-out to my college girls who picked me up from the SLC airport and for letting me stay the night with them before I entered the MTC! Also a special congrats to my dear Sarah Carlson for getting her mission call to the Albuquerque, New Mexico Spanish speaking mission! You're gonna kill it, girl.
I'd like to preface this email with this: I'm terrified of change. Coming on a mission was a difficult decision to make, but I'm so glad I did! As I flew out, I prayed that God would give me comfort, someone to help, someone to befriend, someone familiar that I could talk to. The answer to this prayer started with my layover in Denver. I noticed a young man in a suit who looked a little bit lost. I felt prompted to ask him if he was headed to Salt Lake. He was. I then asked, "Are you gonna be an Elder?" He said yes! We talked about missions and where we were headed and just fun things. We helped each other find our gates and I felt at peace. But the blessings didn't stop there!
I came to the MTC, and it was a struggle from the beginning. There was a miscommunication and I was given an Elder to give me a tour. This is a problem because as a Sister missionary, I'm not supposed to be alone with an Elder!! Apparently they were expecting an Elder Turner rather than a Sister Turner, so that was a fun thing to fix. I eventually got a Sister to take me around the facility, and lo and behold we had taken a class together at the Y! I meet my companion, Sister Petersen, and she is the sweetest human alive. She's quiet, but when she's led by the Spirit, she's one of the most powerful beings probably ever. The other two Sisters I share a room with are Sister McGuire, who is also an oldest child and loves Disney, and Sister King who is a recent convert and lived without electricity for most of her life. What?! We go to a few orientation classes and just walking around the MTC, I see friends from college, friends from El Paso, friends from social media. All of them recognize me and love me and I was so overwhelmed with joy and comfort. Then the best thing of all happened.
I was having a pretty crummy day on Thursday. I wasn't feeling well and I was so stressed out with all of this new information. Leaving the cafeteria for lunch, I hear my name called out (my new name is Sister Turner) and I see Sister Kucharek, one of my best friends on this earth. I saw her and literally started weeping. We have class in the same building so we see each other every day. Her district already knows my name and recognizes me!
My district is pretty rad. It consists of two companionships of Sisters and three companionships of Elders. One of the Elders is a Marine, most of them have played sports, and every single one of them is obsessed with my Bath and Body Works hand sanitizers. Their favorite scent is Vanilla Berry Sorbet. We all get along so well it's ridiculous. We've had several testimony meetings where we're all in tears and we feel the Spirit so strongly. I've never been so happy and stressed and frustrated in my life. We have this thing in our district where the Elders will try to annoy the Sisters as much as they can, and there'll be nothing we can do, so I've coined the term "if I could hit an Elder, I would." It's all in good fun of course... Most of the time ;)
They have you start teaching almost immediately here. We were here for TWO DAYS and my companion and I taught our first investigator! We teach them face to face AND over Skype! It's kind of stressful, but it's pretty rad either way. One of my weaknesses is that I like to have a plan for a lesson and stick to it, but sometimes things don't go the way you planned. I had an experience yesterday where we were Skyping with a member and sharing a message, and I tried finding a scripture to share, but I couldn't find the one I wanted to give! My companion all of a sudden finds a random scripture and reads it and the member is silent for a moment. He opens his mouth and I freak out a little. He says, "I really needed to hear that." That proved to me that the Lord knows what these people need to hear more than I do. I have to learn to trust in the Spirit and to follow it regardless of what the lesson plan is.
For the record, this will be the only P-Day email I'll be sending from the MTC! I fly out to California August 25, so please send me a Dear Elder while you still can! I've been getting a letter every day for the past few days and it makes me so happy. (I've received two while I've been writing this email!!! Special thanks to my ma and my best friend, Stephanie!)
We have class for over 6 hours a day and we don't have any free time. We have less. Than an hour. Of free time. A day. And it's scattered in between classes and meetings so there's nothing you can do! But I'm loving every second. I would never trade this experience for anything. God is real. He loves you. He knows you. You can rely on Him for everything.
Hugs and kisses forever! I looove you!