Friday, February 7, 2014

Keep Calm -- It's Only Your First Few Days in the MTC

Hey everyone!

So overall Wednesday went pretty well. My companion is Sister Richardson and I actually met her through Facebook before we got here so we're basically already friends. I have a district of 6 Sisters, and there are 6 Elders to make our zone. But we did meet two other sisters going to Macon as well so we know there are at least a few others in a different district.

Yesterday (Thursday) we had a teacher come in to teach our class besides one of our main teachers and he had me laughing so hard I couldn't stop crying. I love people like that and the personalities they bring to this work--I thought of a talk a couple conferences ago "This isn't missionary work-this is missionary fun!" It was so true in that moment. He was also the one to tell our class to just keep calm, it was only our second day in the MTC. Keep Calm and Carry On! After that class we went to dinner and then we got to meet our branch presidency. (Our branch is our district of sisters and the six elders). It was a great meeting and I felt the Spirit so strong-I love our leaders. As it went on, we were told all of the things that needed to be done by this Sunday; prepare a short talk because missionaries will be chosen randomly to give them in church, a lot of reading material, companionship inventory where we basically figure out our strengths and weaknesses as a companionship and set goals, and so much more that I still can't even wrap my head around. It was at this time that me and all the Sisters in my district just became so overwhelmed and stressed out. They pulled us all out for a quick interview and then assigned an Elder as a district leader, and a Sister as a Sister Training Leader, which is the same as a Sister District Leader. They assigned me to this position, and I feel like in that moment I needed it because so many emotions seemed to drown out the excitement I had to be a missionary but for some reason I started to feel like a missionary again. Most of you know how stressed I get over little things and now I feel completely overwhelmed, but we went to the temple and I do feel better. The temple is amazing, and it is absolutely vital in our lives. Go often.  Now I truly know why they say once you make it past your first Sunday things get easier. It's because things are HARD. But, Heavenly Father is on our side and I know He will bless us as He "makes weak things become strong unto us" (Ether 12:27). 

I want to share something quick that also happened at this branch meeting. President Meyers talked about the War in Heaven and how he imagined it. We read in Abraham how there are noble and great ones, people who have demonstrated exceeding faith and who were chosen for positions and callings and to be born at certain times before they were born here on earth. For the War in Heaven, he said how there was probably Heavenly Father on one side and His plan, and Lucifer on the other side. There were probably many souls, those noble and great ones with great faith, who ran without a doubt and just hugged Heavenly Father. There were also probably ones who ran and did the same to Satan. But there were probably also many in the middle, hesitant, not knowing which side to go to. As missionaries and people who deeply love and care for our brothers and sisters, President Meyers said that we were probably some of the ones who went to our brothers and sisters in the middle, wrapped our arms around them, bore our testimonies, and helped them come to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and literally be saved. WE HAVE ALREADY SAVED SOULS.  President Meyers said that our first love was indeed missionary work. With the desire I have had to serve, I know he's right.

One thing that happened Wednesday when we first got here--we were in an orientation type thing and we sang We'll Bring the World His Truth (Army of Helaman) and they made a slight change to the words. Instead of "And we will be the Lord's missionaries" it was "And we are NOW the Lord's missionaries." Coolest words EVER! I already loved that song, but I love it more as a set apart, full-time representative of my Savior.

There's more I could tell you I'm sure, but we actually only get half of a pday today so I'm rushing. But anyway, I've seen Moroni, or Elder Lopez-Cedeno a few times and I told him we need to take a picture to send home, always thinking of those awkward sister/elder pictures you see where there's a gap in between them and such. Well yesterday we saw each other and were in a hurry but stopped to take a quick picture and totally forgot about not being close. We stood next to each other and put our arms around each other and then were like "Oh crap!" Didn't mean to do that. And there was an older gentlemen (teacher maybe?) who let us know that. Haha. It was pretty funny. That man said there had to be two sisters and two elders in the picture, so if this will work, that's why it's not just Moroni and I. The sister is Sister Richardson, but I don't know if the elder is Moroni's companion. I don't think that is a rule to have two and two in pictures or if it was just this man's rule or if it's because we basically hugged each other. But I find it funny nonetheless. 

I'll try and get these pictures to work so we'll see! I don't know the order but one will be the picture of me and Moroni, and then there is me and Sister Richardson, probably in a couple different pictures. I haven't really taken pictures of much else. 

I hope you are all doing well and I will talk to you again next Friday! I really do love being a missionary, I love my badge that tells the world that I am here to stand up for my Heavenly Father's plan and help others come unto him. We are saving souls, I know that.
Oh ps one more thing--we group-taught real investigators and it was seriously incredible. I can't believe how great the Spirit was in those rooms, and I honestly think we converted someone. Someone who had no hope, didn't care, didn't believe in God and thought religion was just a cop-out make yourself feel good type thing. Well, it's not. And now he knows that. He came in as a big Polynesian guy with no emotion, and left crying after he opened up about his life and we gave him hope to rely on Christ's Atonement and be able to change. It was one of the greatest things I've ever been apart of. 

Sorry this is so unorganized, I'll work on that! :) Love you!

Sister Applegate

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