Friday, December 13, 2013

{Week 1} MTC - December 13, 2013

Hello everybody! Greetings from the MTC!! I absolutely love it here! It is amazing. And I'll apologize now for the lack of pictures - I didn't have my camera with me when we went to the computer labs... my bad, sorry they'll come later.

All the Spanish speaking missionaries are on the West Campus, and it's awesome, because we're all speaking Spanish! Everyone you pass says something to you in Spanish, which is great :) So Friday is my P day... which I am very relieved for because yesterday was one of the longest days of my life! (more about that later).
My companions name is Hermana Gurley, and she is wonderful! She is from Georgia, so she rocks that southern accent, and is not used to cold or snow at all haha. She is so patient with me, because she studied Spanish for 3 semesters, her Grandma was in the church Mexican Colonies so she is used to hearing spanish around the houses, and she spent a couple months in Peru! So basically, she is miles ahead of the rest of us. I'm constantly pestering her to know what a word means (Que significa?) or how to say something (Come ce dice?) and she is so helpful! I'm definately bottom of the class in Spanish lol - everyone else had a couple semesters in middle/high school, so they all know basics, or are at least remembering that they once knew basics. I've had to start from scratch, and it hasn't been easy - but I'm figuring it out!
My awesome companion - Hermana Gurley
So yesterday (thursday) was really hard for me. We basically just studied all morning, and then continued with our language class, and I was so lost. I could barely remember what we'd learn the day before, and most of the others were contributing in Spanish and figuring stuff out, and sadly yes, I got so discouraged that I started to cry, so one of our teachers took me aside and we chatted and he cleared up some questions I had. I came to realize that I had always believed that if we trust in the Lord he'll help and guide us, but this is the first time I've come to really understand what that means. Ether 12:27 has been a big guide for me, that the Lord gives us weakness that we may be made strong. I really stink at Spanish right now, but in the last 24 hours my testimony about trusting in the Lord has grown so much! This morning we taught a lesson to an investigator (he's actually one of our teachers who will be teaching us later on - some elders who had been there awhile let that slip, it was supposed to be a secret!). Sister Gurley and I taught him how to pray, and although I could pick out a word here or there, I had no idea what the context was. Sister Gurley pretty much carried the lesson, and I added my practiced comments here and there, read some scriptures and offered the prayer. I've realized that it's going to take me awhile to get to her level, but that's ok! I believe that as I work hard and do my part, it will all work out in the end. The Lord wouldn't have called me to this mission if he hadn't known I could do it.

But anyway, our district is amazing! We have four elders and four hermanas. Elder Sonntag is our DL, and his companion is Elder Hixen. Both are from Arizona and are hilarious! They have so much in common it's crazy. Then there is Elder Koehler and Elder Gilbert. They're both quieter, but also have a lot in common. They have the same coat and shoes, which shows that they are meant to be companions! Then there is Sister Bennett and Sister Lopez, who are both a lot of fun. Sister Lopez has crazy curly red hair and is from Utah and likes to talk gangsta all the time... which cracks us all up. And Sister Bennett speaks Italian, which is helping her a lot with her Spanish, although sometimes she starts speaking the wrong language lol. Then there is Sister Gurley and I! Sister Gurley is the Sister Training Leader, which is awesome because she's the best :)
Our District (from left):  Elders Gilbert, Koehler, Sonntag and Hixen
Hermanas Lopez, Bennett, Gurley and Taylor
And our zone is amazing too! to welcome us on Wednesday night, they sang a rousing rendition of "be a man" from Mulan, which was hilarious and awesome. Other than the four sisters in our district, there are only 2 other sisters in our zone, and they were some of the sisters who were delayed (flights couldn't get out due to snow), but they leave in 3 days. All the missionaries in our zone are super helpful - they are constantly helping us know which word to use and giving us advice on lesson prep and studying. They're great :)

So today, Pday, we still had to teach in the morning, and then we weren't allowed to go to our apartments till noon, so we spent the morning in the classroom studying and chatting in extremely broken spanish. Then we finally got our mail - our district leader hadn't picked it up yet, and he had to have a paper, but it was in his apartment so he couldn't get it till noon. But anyway, I loved the letters! AND the hidden notes that all you sneaky people snuck into my luggage! Love you all! but back to P-day. So then, our district decided to hop on the bus and come to main campus for lunch, because we can do that on p-day. There was so much more selection! The food at West campus has been allright, but nothing spectacular. Main campus had SO many more options - like wraps! I had a wrap that was amazing.
And we enjoyed a marvelous conversation about our favorite movies. Almost all my district loves LoTR! Which was hilarious and a nice little break from Spanish. And now we're using the computers at main campus, just cuz we're here, so that's why I don't have my camera... If I don't use my whole hour and have time later on I'll go on and upload some.

I'm the only Canadian in my zone, and it's hilarious because they're constantly asking me how different it is in Canada, and singing "O, Canada", but then they stop cuz they don't know the rest. Today I told Sister Gurley about Loonies and Toonies, and Touques, not beanies, and Saskatchewan, and other such awesome things it was so funny, because she was like "forget Spanish, teach me Canadian!"

So we are living in a basement apartment. There are 3 bedrooms, so 6 people, but we only have the 4 girls in my district living together, so that's awesome! And our classrooms are just other apartments, with different districts meeting in different rooms. My district meets in the living room where we sit in tiny desks all day - seriously, all day. and we have a bajillion books and notebooks and papers, and it doesn't all fit on our tiny desk! I'll try to send a picture later...
Our classroom and Elder Koehler (he happened to be standing there!)
My desk!!!

We met our branch presidency last night, and they interviewed us then assigned District Leader and Sister Training Leader, and then we all shared our favorite scriptures. I shared Proverbs 3:5-6, and cried...again lol. But our Pres. Stewart (our branch pres) is amazing. I love him! He's the sweetest old guy, and he looks so frail, but isn't. He has a rule... we hug in our zone. but only with people of the same gender of course lol. It's so cute to see him hugging all the elders! I love him :)

And our teacher, Hermano Clifford is great. He's so energetic and is a lot of fun. Love him too!

Anyway... I can't think of anything else. If I send pictures later I'll also add more if I think of it.

I love you all! And I'll talk to you later!

Con amor (with love)
Hermana Taylor
Hermanas Taylor and Gurley


  1. Thank you so much for your newys letter!! Had me crying too, when you explained your language speaking challents (sp).. you will certainly learn to trust in the Lord like never before...
    Proud of you, Hermanas Taylor :>)

  2. It is exciting and you will catch on. I had to learn a little Spanish for my mission just because of all the Spanish people. Being emotional is just said good bye to your family and that is in you somewhere and needs to come out some you, be awesome, Auntie

  3. How nice to hear from you! The MTC sounds quite a bit different from when I was there - I think there was only a main campus then - and I loved the food, but there were no computers, and we were in dorms, not apartments. ANYway, I cried 3 times in the MTC (besides the spiritual moments, I mean): the first night when I lay in bed feeling over-tired and overwhelmed, a few weeks later when I was frustrated with the language, and near the end when I was sad/scared about leaving the MTC and my awesome district. He definitely takes us weak things and makes us stronger, though we have to go through a refining process first which is painful. You can do it! Lots of love to you. xo KQ