Tuesday, November 24, 2015

MTC: Week 1

Hello Family & Friends!!

I've survived (hardly) the first week at the MTC... The first couple of days at the MTC were a bit rough to say the least. Within the first 20 minutes of arriving I was asked to say the prayer in front of over 300 missionaries. I have a feeling I'm going to get used to talking in front of a lot of people real quick! The holidays apparently mixed things up so we didn't even have a teacher for the first 6 days. I spent our 10 hour days studying and trying to teach to myself French. We finally told someone that we didn't know what we should be doing because we didn't have a teacher. He felt way bad because apparently we should have had someone helping us the whole time... So he FINALLY got us a teacher haha. My companions name is Soeur Brown and she is from Riverton. She took a couple years of French in High School. We have already taught two lessons (in French) to an "investigator." They didn't go so well considering we didn't know exactly what we needed to be doing. Plus it's kinda hard to teach someone something if you don't know how to speak the language. Now since we have a teacher things should start going much better.

My saving grace at the MTC has been the BYU creamery ice cream. You can get it from the vending machine and they serve it in the cafeteria on Sunday's. I basically have a baked potato or fries for every meal. I'm definitely looking forward to the food in Paris.

Our "branch" had about 70 missionaries until about 20 left on Monday for Paris. They already had visas before the attack so it wasn't much of an issue for them. They haven't given us any update on whether we will be delayed or not. They just told us that some of us need to go to the doctor to get some blood work done. Which means hat our Visa's are still being processed. They don't tell us much around here so we probably won't know anything until the week of. Out of our new branch of about 50 French speaking missionaries only 3 of us have never taken French... I'm regretting not listening to Randy and learning some French before I came. Our branch is full of missionaries going all over the world! There are about 20 of us that are going to Paris. It's going to be hard but I'm excited to learn French and teach the people of Paris!

This past week I've learned a lot about change. There has been a lot of change going on and it hasn't been easy. On Sunday we talked about repentance. In my opinion repentance is a perfect example of change. If we truly repent we promise to CHANGE for the better. We can't just repent but not actually change the things we are doing wrong. Even with being out only a short week I have realized I have many things I need to change. I want to develop more of a character like Christ. Elder Bednar talks about one of the most amazing characteristics of Christ is when everyone else would turn in.. he turns out. The Savior always turns out with love, compassion & service when we all (the natural man) would turn in by being self-centered, self absorbed and selfish. When we sin we are turning away from God. When we repent we are reTURNing to God. Repentance helps us turn away from self-centered sin. This can only be possible as we choose to use the atonement of Jesus Christ. He is the perfect example of selfless service. I have come to realize quickly that this mission isn't about me.. it's about HIM and the people of Paris, France. I hope that I can develop more of a character like Christ as I strive to change and repent when I come up short throughout my mission.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving. I will be thinking about all of you. I probably won't have as good of a Thanksgiving dinner as usual but Elder Dallin H. Oaks is coming to speak to us so that makes up for it. (I had to join the MTC Choir to make sure I get a good seat)

Soeur Johnson