Saturday, January 11, 2014

{Week 5} MTC - January 11, 2014

The Map!!!  We're all heading to Mexico City Southeast!
Saturday/Sabado! We had our discussion on 3 Ne 27 with Hermano Hardy. He came in and asked us how much each of us had studied the chapter. When he found out that we had all read the chapter 4-9 times, and spent approximately 3 hours on it, he was dumbfounded. We all recognized that it could be a super spiritual experience, and we were all worried he'd say we hadn't done enough, so we put everything we had into it. He apologized because HE wasn't ready, so while we all studied Spanish for the next hour, he studied the chapter. Then we had our discussion. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had in my life. We all shared things we had learned and new insights we gained as others spoke, and the spirit was so strong!! I had gained an amazing testimony of the Atonement from my study, and as I shared that I pretty much bawled through the whole thing. It was a truly amazing experience.
Sunday/Domingo! Fast and testimony meeting!! It was so much fun and super spiritual to have all the missionaries in my branch and the other branch that meets with us share our testimonies in Spanglish. I loved it. And then after the meeting, our Branch President, President Stewart - who is pretty much the sweetest and cutest old man you'll ever meet - called me to be the new Sister Training Leader for my district. That means I'm also sort of the zone STL, when needed. So next Wed when we get a new district I'll get to welcome them. There were a lot of really good talks shared on Sunday. It was a very spiritual day.

Hermana Bennett and I in the Salt Lake City Airport.

Monday/Lunes!  Vegas!!  We got on our bus at 4:30, got to the airport in Salt Lake around 5:30, went through security, and then hung out in the airport till 8:30 when our plane left! There was 11 of us who travelled to get our visas, but one then continued on to her mission while the rest of us came back. The airplane was a lot of fun - but it was super short. We took off, levelled out, got our drinks, and suddenly we were descending. It was fun though!

Hermana's Bennett, Benson (Ingram's comp!) and I on the plane to Vegas.

The first thing we saw when we got to Vegas? Slot machines!!! Elder Greer, an elderly service missionary picked us up and took us to the Del Taco then the institute, where we hung out for a couple hours while he shared random helpful facts about Mexico. Then we went to the Mexican Consulate. We were there about 1.5 hours, waiting in line, then we had our pictures taken and gave our fingerprints, and that was it! It was fun to (attempt to) chat in Spanish with the people in the Consulate, and we talked with a ton of people in the airports. After the consulate, we went back to the institute and talked for a while more, before getting to the airport around 5. Then we hung out until we left at 7!! It's an hour flight, but due to time change we got back to SLC at 9, and back to campus at 10:30. It was a really long day, but we got our Visas!! and everyone else in my district will have them by the 15th. Elder Gilbert randomly has to go to Boise Idaho for his, and it's an overnight trip...
Las Vegas from the air.  It's a little blurry! lol
Every other day of the week!!! (it's all kind of a blur...)
I had an amazing experience as sister training leader where as I followed the spirit I was able to help others... but I can't really go into detail. It was awesome though!!! Follow the Spirit! It will guide in what to say and do!!
We've gotten to the point where our brains are filled with so much vocab, we've started making some funny mistakes in lessons. Hermana Gurley said that after you pray for repentance you can start sinning again (Jacob was like "what!! and acted out getting drunk" lol), Elder Koehler told Jacob that he was beautiful rather than his prayer, Elder Hixen told Jacob they had a massage for him rather than a message, and some of the new girls told their investigator that the Atonement is for their dead fish rather than their sins. We have some good laughs over those.
Our new teacher is Hermana Bair, and she's awesome! She's super bubbly, and very enthusiastic about everything. With her, we have a new investigator named Gabriela, and she's really sweet too. Hermana Bair is decorating our classroom right now as we're writing our emails. We love her.

Hermana Bair in the middle.
We've started something new called TRC (I can't remember what that stands for). It's when members and non members volunteer for us to teach them, but we don't know if they're members or not - they all fake ignorance. Hermana Gurley and I had the absolute privilege of teaching a beautiful old man named Jose from Guatelmala last week. He was one of the sweetest people I've ever met!! We only got to teach him three times, but he was wonderful. We taught him about Jose Smith, then El Libro de Mormon, then the Plan of Salvation. Each time the Spirit was so strong he would start to cry, and I'd get teary too. I truly love him, and even if he's already a member, I just want to help him come closer to Christ. At the end of our last lesson, he asked what he should do if he knew the Book of Mormon was true, and before I could even think, I said, "Debe seguira el ejemplo de Jesucristo y sera batizado" (You should follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized - roughly, my grammar isn't great lol.) And he said "ok, when?" It was a super amazing experience. But then we didn't know what to do after the lesson... because we didn't know whether or not he was a member already!! Apparently he is, but that's ok because I think we helped him anyway.

My zone on the way to the temple.  They're all awesome!!!
This morning we got to go to the temple!!! We got there, and they were backed up 3 sessions because there were so many people!! It was really packed, but I was so glad for the opportunity to go. I've missed it.

My companion and I at the Provo Temple
Thanks for the cinnamon rolls!!! I was going to tell you not to send food but I forgot. We have so much candy and junk in our apartment that was given to us by departing districts. But then the Schedule changed, and now we eat supper at 4:30, so by the time we get to the apartment at 9:30 we're all starving!! The cinnamon rolls provided a more substantial snack and were greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
There are some teachers here known as floating teachers - they don't have a district at the moment, so they travel around and help other districts. One who's been with us for a little while is Hermano Christofferson - D Todd Christofferson's nephew!! He's really awesome. He knows a lot about the gospel, the scriptures, and Spanish. He helps a lot. He also tells us some cool things about the 12 and First Presidency. He said that they are the happiest people you'll ever meet. He said the gospel is a message of happiness, and they all truly live it. He also said they are the funniest people he knows. He told us about how Pres. Hinckley used to play elevator tag with his security people, and they once lost him for 3 hours!! Smalls!!! Trivia!!! Who invented the whiteboard? - Robert D Hales!!
The MTC is awesome, but I can't wait to leave... and we got our travel plans!! We leave at 4:30 AM on the 20th. Our flight stops at Atlanta, then we head for Mexico City. The 5 of us going to SE are together, but the 3 elders going to N are taking a different flight together :( It will be sad to say goodbye to them all, but we're all really excited.  If I do phone from the airport it might be around 6 AM.... just so you know.... I'll let you know for sure next Pday!!
Hermana Prochello and I.  She's heading to the Canada Calgary Mission, Spanish speaking.
She's in my zone and is super sweet.  You probably won't meet, but if you do, say HI!
I love you all. I love MTC life. And I can't wait for Mexico City!!!
See you in 17 months!
-Hermana Taylor

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