Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hi Family!

Thanks for all of your letters! I didn't get as many emails this week, maybe you forgot my P-day would be switched to Friday since I am in the Visitor Center training now. Anywho...
I did not win the most dear elders on a Saturday contest. For some reason Dear Elder hates me, and I don't always get them the day they are sent. I got all of the ones you sent on Saturday on Monday night, after the Elders had left, so I couldn't even brag about it hahah.

Laura, how much does my comp owe you for the stuff. Also, a CHI?!!!! Holy crap! That's awesome! I'm a little bit jealous. Thanks for th muddy buddies, they were exactly what we needed haha
Happy Birthday Jared!!!! And Casey tomorrow!!!

It sounds like Katie's birthday was a lot of fun! I wish I could see a video of all the kids dancing, especially Katie trying to dance in her chair. Hahahaha

I loved the pics from the Highland Fling!!! I'm glad you all got lots of candy. Thank you Michelle for even making sure I got some of that candy in that package haha Michelle, can you make sure that I have at least 150 in my checking account? I want to make sure I have enough money for the airport. Thanks!

Let me know in a dear elder what number to call on Tuesday morning. If it was possible for me to talk to the grandkids, that would be really cool! It would be easiest if you were all in one spot... Again, It iwll be Tuesday morniing between 8 and 930 ish. Sorry that's so broad.

So this last week has been great. Since the Elders left Monday morning, and VC training didn't start until Wednesday, we had our teachers to ourselves. It was AWESOME. Anything we wanted to talk about or learn about or go over they would do it. It was seriously so so so nice. Then on Wednesday we started the training. There are 22 sisters in our class so it's kind of crazy. A bunch of them are going to Temple Square, some to D.C., some to the Mormon Battallion ( they already got their pioneer dresses, I'm so glad that's not my mission), and then of course Winter Quarters. It is so much fun. The first day we just learned how to approach people or welcome them. Then we learned how to most effectively use the referral cards so it isn't so annoying when we ask them to fill it out hahah.

Yesterday we learned more about the Christus statue and how to introduce it. Then we played the recording and asked each other (role playing) what they thought of it. It was a lot of fun. Except I don't think that there is a Christus statue at WQ. Oh well. We got all of the information for what we have to know EXTREMELY well in order to give tours. It's pretty cool stuff and I'm excited to learn more about it.

Then we went around the main building and had to teach people using paintings. It's a lot of fun. It's a lot less pressure, and I feel like all I have to do is testify, so who wouldn't like doing that?! And last night we set up a visitors center and had volunteers come in acting like visitors and we gave them a tour. It was a lot of fun!

I cannot wait for Saturday! I am so excited to go to Temple Square. But the best part is, is that now I get to be a missionary on Temple Square! It's going to be SO SO SO cool! I'm actually really jealous of all the sisters who are going to Temple Square. I secretly wish that I could go there on my mission too, but I'm sure I'll love WQ just as much when I actually see it. Anyway, that will be very exciting.
I am getting along really well with all of the sisters in VC training. We all have so much fun together. Yesterday we all played soccer together. My team did really really bad. But, the one goal that we almost made, was from me, so that's pretty great. I think that tells you how bad we were that I was the one who was closest to making a goal ahhaha.

It is so crazy because we have sisters from Mongolia, Cambodia, Philippines, Mexico, South Africa, Chile, Hong Kong, New Zealand and then some from the states. It's so cool to hear their stories. Although sometimes it makes me feel like a selfish brat, because they all came on missions because their families are inactive and they wanted to show them a good example. And I just came because I finally decided to get over myself. haha oh well. Their stories are AMAZING. I love hearing how they got the gospel and what it did for them. It just testifies to me that it is true. I always knew that the gospel touched lives because I saw it around me all the time. But it was always with people in my similiar situations. It's cool to realize that some sweet girl in Mongolia can have her life completely changed because of the gospel. And just knowing that with how different her situation is from mine, the gospel still touches her the exact way it needs to. Goodness gracious, it's so cool! That just testifies even more of how true it is! When we were practicing with each other on how to fill out the referral cards, I was with the sister from the Philippines. She is the cutest, sweetest girl. I love getting to know all of them and the experiences we are having here.

Another fun thing about the VC training is that we have our own special classroom with a keypad to get in and everything. Inside are all of the pamphlets and resources we can use, then a bunch of kiosks where we can watch the videos that they will have at VC and a Christus statue cut-out. I was carrying it across campus yesterday and Reeve saw me. He was like, what the heck are you doing? hahaha Kind of a funny thing to see. Someone just walking around with a bigger than life cut out of Jesus. Too funny. Anyway, it has been a lot of fun.

I can't believe that I will be in Nebraska on Tuesday. Or that it's already been a month. It's crazy how fast, and yet slow at the same time it all goes. I have loved my MTC experience and I'm glad that I am going to WQ. It will be such an amazing experience.

Anyway, how are things going back at home? Did you get the back yard fire pit in yet? I hear you are going to Island Park next weekend! That's awesome! Someone be sure to push Isaac along in the river and then make sure his whole back side gets wet. For me :) Thanks! Hahahah oh man that's funny! Well I hope you all have a fun time!

AAHH I just remembered something. Will you all send me this back? Don't Dear Elder me on Monday, I'm pretty sure I wont' get them. But before then, or just email, or send them to Nebraska.

Anyway here it is:
How has _______________ helped you come unto Christ?
Modern Prophets
Book of Mormon
Tithing/Fast Offerings
Church Attendance.

Tell me how each thing has helped you come unto Christ. We had to do it for VC training and it was a really cool experience. So, I think it will be cool for you too. Also, it will help me know more blessings I can promise to people as I invite them to do things, which would be REALLY helpful. Anyways, I love you very much! I might be able to email again on Monday while I am packing, but I am not sure. I will talk to you all on Tuesday though! Remember that I love you and that I love my Savior. I know we would not be the amazing, close and blessed family that we are today if it wasn't for His atonement, sacrifice and love for us. I miss you all a lot and I hope to get lots of pictuers of Island Park! Please keep writing me lots, it really makes everything 10 times better when you get a letter. I love you and I thank you all for your examples, support and your love!

Love always,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hello, Hello, Hello

Life is still great here at the MTC I can't believe I only have a week left!! We got our travel itinerary and we are flying out Tuesday morning. I can call you from the airport. Probably between 8-930 am... let me know if you would like me to call. You might all have to be in one place. I can't talk for more than 30 or 40 minutes.

This morning our Elders left for South Africa. It was really really sad to say goodbye. They have become some of my best friends and it will be hard to not have them around. But we exchanged addresses and plan on writing each other and stalking each other on facebook when we get back :)
Visitors Center training doesn't start until Wednesday so this week me and my companions get our teachers all to ourselves. That will be weird, but good. We feel like orphans a little bit. Oh yeah, when I switch to VC schedule, it will make my Pday on Friday. So this Friday is my next and last P-day here. So feel free to email me by then.

I see Reeve a lot. We have gym together so sometimes we play four square together. I have become quite the force to be reckoned with when it comes to 4 square. The elders were all very proud. One time I saw Reeve in the cafeteria and their district does "part your hair days" and they all had it parted down the middle. It was really ugly hahaha.

Well, we have all been sick this week. It was the WORST. We think it's because our AC unit in our room was leaking water and we're pretty sure there was mold. So that was special. But, we moved rooms and are feeling a little bit better.

I got my first package from Casey!!! It was like Christmas! It was funny though because she sent it in a prepaid cell phone box so I looked like I was trying to sneak in a cellphone haha. Thanks Case!
So, on Friday we had in-field orientation. It was really cool and a total "PUMP YOU UP" for the mission field. Also, they started a new 12 week program for when you get to the field that also helps train you. I am kind of excited about that.

MTC choir is so COOL! We sing every Tuesday for devotionals. Last week we sang "Behold the Wounds in Jesus' Hands." such a good song.  Yesterday our district sang "Nearer My God To Thee" for our departure song in Sacrament Meeting. It was gorgeous. We all know how to sing, so it sounds SO GOOOD. Our teachers have told us we are the best singing district they have heard here. So that's way cool.

We are going to be at Temple Square this Saturday. That will really be a lot of fun. I'm excited. It will be weird to drive by Highland though.

OK. So enough about that.

The MTC is the coolest place. The other day, we were at the TRC with our investigator named Hely. She is from Guatemala and she is Catholic. She wanted to know why if we were so young we would come on a mission. I told her about how I knew the church was true and what not, then I talked to her about the BOM and how it had helped my life and how it could also help her life. She started to tear up and said I was speaking to her heart. Which is great, because it means that the Spirit was speaking through me. Very very cool. It is so cool what happens when you bear your testimony. Elder Holland said in a video we watched to never let your faith be too hard to detect. I like that a lot.

Another really really cool thing I realized this week was that without the restoration of the gospel, the Atonement would have been in vain. No one would be able to fully repent because they are not baptized by the proper authority and even the Sacrament where we renew those covenants and partake of the Atonement if not blessed with the proper authority does not count for anything. My mind was blown.It is so cool to be here because I learn more and more of how true this gospel is. I don't even feel like it's an act of faith anymore. It is true, it's logical, it makes sense, and I just KNOW IT! I am so glad that I can be here. A few days ago, we had a Testimony meeting with one of our teachers. It was really cool. He had us sing Nearer my God to thee and then we all realized that it wasn't US becoming nearer, but it's Jesus singing those words. That even though it's a cross that raises Him up, He is Nearer to God. It was really cool and makes the song so much more special! I am so excited for Jared to get here and to be able to feel the Spirit that I feel daily.

So, like I said, the Elders left this morning. This was my first freak out panic attack of the MTC. hahaha. I could not fall asleep last night because I was so worried that we would miss our last breakfast together. I seriously woke up probably every hour and just stressed otu about it. Luckily, we didn't miss the breakfast and we were able to say our goodbyes. They were really really great friends and will make amazing missionaries and even more amazing men. I will send some pictures home today so you can see them and my companions.

My companions and I are still getting along swimmingly so that's great.

I always write a list of things I want to write about, but then I get here and I spout them out and I don't know what else to write. Luckily for you, I do hand write that one that might make my letters a little bit better. So I"m sorry if my emails are super lame. It's just hard to concentrate when you ahve the time ticking down in the corner haha.

The other day we had a workshop where we practiced teaching people about the Atonement and what it could do for their lives and what it has done for your life. Right as I walked in I felt the Spirit so strong I just knew that I was going to end up bawling by the end of the night. And, obviously I did. It was so cool. It amazes me that God has this perfect plan. And the central focus of that plan was the Savior and His Atonement. So we could overcome both Spiritual Death and Physical Death. He loves God so much that He would do this. He knows how amazing God is and so He would do this for us, to help us get back to Him. But most importantly, he loved all of US individually, to not only receive the punishment for our sins, but experience everything that we experience so He could be the perfect comforter. It's amazing. it's really cool to read John 3:16-17 and replace the word "world" with your name. That is really special. That is what I focus on mostly with our "investigators." People's minds are blown when they find out how much someone loves them and did EVERYTHING for them. It's really cool. Like I said, I love this gospel and I know it is true.

It's really cool to teach things to other missionaries just role playing, but to feel the Spirit so strong when you are doing it. Even if we aren't saying the things that they need to hear, the Spirit speaks to them and helps them individually. really cool.

I am already amazed by the person I have become through this short time. I feel so much more confident and happy. I love who I have become because I was willing to follow my Savior.
I love all of you very much and I can't wait to hear more from you!

Write back lots!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week 2

Hi family!!!

Well, it's still going really well here at the MTC. I love it here, and I can't belive I am already half way done. It makes me sad to think that I won't be here, but i'm excited to go to nebraska and have real investigators that we actually follow up with. we have fake investigators here, but i'm excited to get real ones. Tell Claudia that I see Reeve alot. I got a picture with him today, but it takes a couple of days to print, so you'll probably get it and a bunch of other ones next week. Thanks everyone for their dear elders. It's actually kind of sad to go a day without one, but I guess I can't expect a letter everyday ;)

I keep hearing about some elusive package. That sounds nice. I need some no show socks like there is no tomorrow.

I have been writing down things throughout the week that I wanted to tell you, so here it goes.
EVERYONE loves my scripture case. They want Jared to make them one.

This one is funny. We had to all write on the board why the Book of Mormon was the keystone of our religion, and Elder Klumker wrote "Without it, the whole church is false." Then, he didn't like how that sounded, so he went back up and erased the "without it" and thought about what else he could say. So then, I look up and all I see is that someone wrote, "the whole church is false." baaah ha. we all had a good laugh about that one.

There is a creamsicle tree on this campus. No joke. You go up to it and smell the bark, and it smells EXACTLY like creamsicles. It's amazing. Also, sometimes when it rains, in certain spots it smells like cherry jolly ranchers.

Our teachers (who are AMAZING, ps) always pump us up for the mission. Brother Brown had us imagine when Christ came to the Americas, and they all shouted "hosanna" which means, save me or grant me salvation. Well, he can't come down right now to everyone, so he CHOSE us. He chose me, knowing my talents and my weaknesses, when he could have had anyone else, to help others find salvation. That was a really really really cool experience.

How's David doing?

I had a substitute teacher that knew Laura. Her name is Julia Carlson
Also, unless Jared has already bought a new pair of scriptures, they sell them here and you get a sweet discount on everything at the bookstore. A quad is like 30 bucks.

Oh, I got proposed to. By a Tongan. So I guess I'll be coming home pretty soon. hahaha. It was at the gym. He kept talking to me, and I kept avoiding him, since that's what we're supposed to do. And then at the end, he was like "You wait for me for two years?" And I was like, I can't, gotta go! and he just yelled, "I'm serious!" as I ran away. haha that was good. P.S. 4 square is really fun.

Dad, can you tell me that story about the sheep that you told at Grandpa Goodwin's funeral?

Have you shipped my bedding to NE? It needs to be there in 2 weeks?!

Jared, there is such thing as an inflatable tie. So you can use it for a pillow. Kind of genius. This Elder in my district has it. He reminds me SO much of Louis from Even Stevens.

We have to pack up tomorrow and move 2 floors down. Woof.

We had Mary N. Cook or something come yesterday to Relief Society and talk about Virtue. She wanted us to thank everyone in our lives who were role models of virtuous women. So, that would be all of the women in my family.So, Thank you. Also, could you thank Sister Holdman? Thanks
On Tuesday night, we had a devotional where the speaker talked about the purpose of missions and there are 2 reasons. 1. do the work of the Lord. 2. Sanctification of the missionary. It was really cool. He told us to pray every night to be blessed with the knowledge of who we really are and that we will be astonished. He said that Sanctification is the process by which we become what we've always wanted to be. That's really cool. I already see myself growing in to a better person, the kind of person that I want to become.

Yesterday, our Branch President and his wife gave us a departing lesson, since they won't be here next week when the Elders go to South Africa. They shared a story, and at the end it was pretty much have a mission where you don't want to take your tag off at the end of it. I started freaking out. I don't want this to end. I've only been here for 2 weeks, but I don't want it to end. I want to keep doing missionary work, and do the things that I am doing. I know I have a while to go, and I might change my mind a couple of times, but I know I will definitely be sad to take that tag off.

We are learning more and more about teaching people and not lessons. It is SO cool!!!! Something else that is cool, is that we have all of these fundamentals of how to be a good missionary, and they can all be found in Alma 18. It's so cool that we are patterning our curriculum based off of what the Sons of Mosiah did, and also Christ in 3 Nephi, who were obviously the best missionaries. Pretty great.

I love preach my gospel. Study it. It will make you a better person. Casey said she is studying it to teach her children. I love that idea. We learn more and more about how it was developed and how it will make us more effective missionaries. It's amazing.

This morning I woke up at 520. WOOF. we had to be at the temple dressed and ready to go at 630. It was really cool, and the Provo Temple is so pretty! Funny story, the elders in our district had to change their alarm to wake up earlier than normal, but for some reason it went off at 130 am. But they didn't even notice, so they got up and started showering hahahaha. That just shows how sleep deprived we are if 130 am feels the same to us as waking up early in the morning. hahahahah. they realized a little later and then went back to bed. haha. Luckily on p days we can take naps. I took about a 1 1/2 hour nap today which was AMAZING! I get so exhausted by the end of the week, that just helps me to make it through haha. I fall asleep way fast now. That's really nice.

Well family, keep sending me letters! One Elder got like 8 letters one day. I wouldn't hate beating him. hahaha. I love you all very much, and I miss you, but it helps that I have Sister Belka. She is so much fun and she helps me whenever I start to get a little discouraged- nothing huge, I was just sad when we went back to teach our "investigator" that it wasn't this huge spiritual experience where I was bawling like the first one. She told me they wouldn't all be like that and that it wasn't always our fault. hmm.. go figure. I probably should have figured that one out on my own. But I'm glad to have her. We have a lot of fun. It also helps that I love my district and I love what I am doing here, and the person I am becoming. This church is true. There is no doubt about it. Heavenly Father loves every single one of us PERFECTLY. He wants us to come back to him and to do what is right. He set up a way for us to come back to him through the Restoration. Way cool. Well, I only have 30 seconds left, so I better get this sent off before it gets deleted.

I love you all, and write me lots!
Love, Sister Martha Proctor