This was our first letter received from Hilary on Feb. 8, 2012. Sorry it took so long to put up!
Hello my favorite family. I already have only 29 minutes on this computer, and this keyboard is not working well with my fantastic typing skills, so I'm just going to go all out and type everything I think and not go back and think about things and it's going to be crazy. So bear with me, and Taylor and Hannah - just feel free to edit anything you feel is inappropriate. Which I know you won't because I am all appropriate stuff.
Okay so thank you all for all the letters (except Trenton. wow.)! It made me so happy. So in my district we had to wait for a district leader to come and be assigned to get our mail, so I had a plethora of emails and a package of letters from the Glenhood on Friday. And then I got some more DearElders last night - even one from Aunt Kathleen and Brother Pace! So sweet.
Okay so life in the MTC. I'm almost scared to get out your letters and read them again so I can answer all your questions because honestly there just isn't a lot of time and we're trying to do laundry too right now. Basically I'll just try and tell you everything and hope that all your questions and concerns are answered. Okay? Here we go:
My district: The MTC is organized essentially the same way the mission field is. So there were a lot of elders and sisters that came in on my report date, and ten of us are all together in this group called a district. We have classes together and personal study together. I live with the 3 other sisters in my district and most of the six elders live together too. Some of us are going to the
St. Louis, Missouri
mission and some of us are going to
like me. So we'll fly out with these people which will be nice. We already love
each other so much! There are six elders and four sisters in our district. I
feel like we already have a super strong bond and no animosity which is a
blessing. Another blessing is that we sound really good when we're singing
which we were told isn't always the case haha. Of course - we're all assigned
English speaking, so as such we have lots of personal study time and lots of
teaching time and lots of class time since we don't have language study time.
It's nice. We normally have like 2 hours of study time spread out over the day.
It's be quite the blessing, and with us all desperate trying to read Preach My
Gospel, the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and our white missionary handbook,
there's quite a lot to fill those 2 hours with. Phoenix
Sister Crandell is my companion. She is adorable. A lot like Shea in that she's super bubbly and happy and just really passionate for the gospel. I love her a lot and have so much to learn form her. She will readily admit that she isn't very book smart, so we work well together because I have this logical and emotionless ability to remember scriptures and the discussions whereas she really goes by the Spirit and just immediately loves our investigators. I rely on her a lot.
The other two sisters are Sister Bailey and Sister Murdock. Sister Murdock as you remember is Katy Murdock who was my roommate this last Fall semester at BYU. So crazy. Sister Bailey is actually from the
area (like Sister
Murdock) but they never met until right now. They're really good companions
because they're so practical and smart and hard-working. Sister Crandell and I
have loads to learn from them too haha. We're heard that we're very fortunate
to have so many sisters in our district because some districts (like Dallas 's) don't have any
sisters at all. We have to agree with that - the dynamic of our district is
fantastic I think because we're all so different. For the record - the E and I
keys aren't working very well, so excuse my spelling is I decide not to go back
and fix stuff. Trenton
Okay the elders in our district are great. 3 are going to
Phoenix with Sister Bailey, Sister Murdock, and I while
the other 3 are going to
with Sister Crandell. They're great. It's hard not to treat them as little
brothers sometimes, but it's just because we love them so much. We have to make
Sister Crandell stop expressing her love all the time because it makes them
uncomfortable hahahahahahaha. St. Louis
Shout out randomly here to everyone who sent me letters, especially the Glenwood package I got - I literally spent 40 minutes before bed reading all the letters from my wonderful family and friends. Part of my worries (selfish) of going out on a mission were being forgotten by all the friends I was leaving behind, and that first mail check where I had more mail than anyone else (not that it's a contest - I'm just making a point) was positively fantastic. It made me so happy and made me feel so loved.
Oh my gosh I am so happy to be here. It honestly feels like I've been here for a year or so - that's how close I feel to my district and how much I feel like I've already grown. I'm working super hard on trying to think outside of myself - to really forget myself and go to work. It's hard! Especially since missionary work is not about memorizing lessons and selling our religion - it's about spreading a message of happiness to individual people that all need to hear a different aspect of the gospel that will improve their lives and help them come unto Christ. Honestly, there are so moments of the day where I question whether or not I can really do this (I mean you would think not having to learn a language would make this easier, but it's not!) but most of the time I'm truly grateful and SO HAPPY that I get to be here and be a missionary and feel so much love for all the people everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I used to get kind of annoyed when elders spent their entire letters talking about their testimonies, but now I totally understand - my life IS my testimony right now.
about once a day because our meal times are just 15 minutes away from each
other (therefore overlapping) and sometimes we see each other at meetings and
such. He looks so great, and I think he's going well with the language. He's
the only Trenton missionary in his district, but all
of them are state-side Spanish speaking elders. I think he likes them. Anyway
the first time we hugged in the cafeteria, everyone was freaking out and
looking at us. Salt Lake
was so embarrassed but slightly amused. I didn't even care - I hadn't seen him
in two days! I totally forgot to say bye to him when we parted ways at the MTC
dropoff. It was so fast. All of a sudden
I was hugging Ariel and shaking Caleb's hand while Trenton took pictures and them these two
elders took my bags for me and lead me away. I competely forgot about Taylor haha. Wednesday
was absolutely a blur and honestly I don't remember much of it without looking
at my journal (which I've been writing in every night!). Trenton
and I hug nearly every time we see each other just to freak people out. I got
permission from my Branch President to do this, but I don't think anyone
thought we'd be this committed to using our exception to the rule haha. Maybe
they'll change it after we leave. I just hope President Hollingsworth and
President Hancock will be satisfied since there wasn't exactly an opportunity
to walk in holding hands. Trenton
The food is fine. I don't know why everyone complains about it. It's exactly like the
Canon Center where
ate all his meals at BYU. Seriously - same trays and everything. Food is good.
I love all the choices and how much I get to eat. Trenton
Getting up has actually not too bad, and going to bed at 10:30 is a blessing!!!!!!!!!!!!! When we get into our room at like 9:30 or so, we are so ready to just be in bed, read our letters and write in our journals, pray, and hit the sack. But yeah we have personal scripture study at 7:00 dressed and ready in our classroom so honestly I usually get up at like 6:05 or so to be ready on time. Showers are designated for us by when we have gym time which actually hasn't been too bad. Sister Crandell loves to exercise so I hit the elliptical machines with her and then I do yoga with Sister Bailey while Sister Crandell does weights and stuff.
We get to go the temple today and actually do a session altogether as a district. I wish I could explain how happy this makes me. We got to walk around the temple grounds on Sunday. Tracie Farrell and Devin Sabin - I'm purposefully leaving the times out of this so you two don't stalk me. But Trace - I'll tell you this -
Pday is Saturday so I think he goes to the temple then. Just saying... Trenton
Okay sorry I have 2 minutes left and the computer won't save my email. Sorry this is so inadequate - I'll try and be better next week and find more time to write y'all during the week. I love all of you so much. Thanks for all the letter and support and letting me be here. I wish everyone had the opportunity to come to the MTC and learn what it feels like to love people and love the gospel so much. It's amazing.
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE,