Last Wednesday afternoon felt like a lifetime ago. My family tearfully waved goodbye as I, with a baguette in one hand, and a violin on my back, was whisked away into another world. The Missionary Training Center (MTC) is a truly fascinating place. I wish I could write all of the details, but alas, my time is short. I decided I would just start with the reasons why I love the MTC.
Why I love the MTC:
1. The Spirit. The Spirit here is real and it is tangible. I love the way I feel in this place. This was by far the best General Conference of my life. I filled HALF of one of my little notebooks with notes this conference. As one of my roommates said, "This is our revelation for the next six months." And what a crazy, amazing six months it will be. By this next October I will be a seasoned missionary living in France, one third of the way through my mission!
2. My district. The Elders and Soeurs in my district are all very different, and young. My district leader, Elder Bates is a tiny, redheaded, eighteen year old from small town Utah. But, wow, does he command a powerful Spirit. He always leaves me and the other Soeurs in tears. He will do great things. We have another eighteen year old Elder, Elder Stucki from American Fork. He is really great at French! His companion is Elder Ganjanankrit from Thailand. He is an inspiration to us all. A twenty-five year old convert, he left his native land to come to Utah and learn French while speaking English, which is obviously hard for him. Then there's Elder Eldridge (which is a pretty fun name to say), and he is hilarious! He said, our district is a family...and Elder Ganjanankrit and Soeur Hilton are the grandparents...because they are old. Haha! He apologized so much after that...love it. Then there are Elders Saffell and Turley. I consider them both just goofballs, singing Les Mis and laughing all the time. But those Elders have amazing testimonies... It's great to watch. Also, Elder Turley's girlfriend is here at the MTC, so that's interesting:)
3. My roommates. Wow these are some powerful women. Soeur Lefrandt, Soeur Elliot (my companion), and Soeur Smith are all nineteen, and Soeur Cameron is twenty. They are all very different, but our strengths and weaknesses compliment eachother. Cameron, who is from American Fork is very good at French and loves to run with me. Lefrandt, from Alpine, lost her dad a few years ago. She is so strong, and such a funny girl. Smith is the nicest girl I've ever met, she always puts others before herself. Today at the temple a lady in the celestial room was only informing us which side the women exit on, and Smith reached down and gave her the sweetest hug I've ever seen. She is a great example.
4. My teacher. My teacher is Soeur Cutler! (Emily) She was in my singles ward in Provo. What a blessing it is to see a familiar face everyday:) She's a great teacher and example.
5. My companion. My companion is the youngest in our group, and we are complete opposites. It has been pretty rough on her this first week, so keep her in your prayers. She has a strong conviction of the gospel and feels very deeply. I think that that will prove to be a strong attribute in the mission field.
6. I also love hearing people speak a dozen different languages. I can't help feeling like we are an army. Like it was said in General Conference, we are not any army going out to bring "world peace" but the peace of Christ, one person at a time.
7. FRENCH. I love love love the language and it is coming pretty easily. I felt on top of the world after my first lesson, which was in French, last Friday.
A big big thanks to mon ami Ryan Hansen. I really have a leg up, and I've ended up teaching the other missionaries on many occasions.
Next, I'll list the things that I could love more about the MTC, haha.
1. The food.
2. The sleeping schedule. Today I "slept in" until 6:30. Usually I've been up at 5:30 or5:45
Okay, that's enough complaints!
I really love it here, and I can't wait to go to France. Also, this Friday I am going to San Francisco to get my Visa! It will so fun to have a break. Can't wait.