Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Survived Week Two of MTC

Week two down! 
They say the first three weeks are like going uphill and the last three are like going down. I've yet to find any false information that I've been given about the MTC (other than I have not tried the orange juice or rice krispies, so I'll just have to trust that what I've heard about those is true as well) so I'm assuming that's true.

I don't remember this week...! It feels like P-day was only two days ago, but I don't know what I did in that time...

One of the dear sisters in my district, Zuster Twiggs, has been having major medical problems this week. She has had stomach issues for years, but she thought she figured them all out to come on the mission. It's been heartbreaking to see her in so much pain and worry over whether she will be able to stay or not. It's been strengthening for our district though, to realize that as homesick or whiny or tired as we get, we would never really want to go home, and we would never wish that on anyone else. Our district just wouldn't be the same if any of us left!! Zus.Twiggs is doing better these last two days, but we still pray for her constantly. 
My prayers were answered this week! (not an uncommon phrase as a missionary) I have been praying and pleading that I could just stop being so selfish and think more about others and find ways to serve better. On Sunday, my companion and I were called into a meeting with the branch presidency and they assigned us to be the new zone sister training leaders (zSTL's). I was so excited!! Our zone consists of Bel/Neth, Denmark, Suriname (cuz they speak Dutch), Sweden, and Norway, I think. There are some really great missionaries going to Europe. :) And all the girls are so sweet and dedicated and now I get to work with them all personally! And I can help all the new little missionaries when they come in! I love new little missionaries. A week in the MTC really makes you feel so much more experienced than the freshies, and you just get so sympathetic/empathetic for them on their first day because you know what that first week feels like. My district sisters constantly tease me because of an instance in which I was talking to a new missionary and I put my hands on her face and told her "you can make it!" I just have such hope for them! And if I can make it, they certainly can.

Hey, I was an elder once! (my comp loves this story) 
When we go to gym time, they have a big board of clear slots that you put your name tag/ID card in. When you're done working out, you put your tag and card back on (we always always have name tags on, even when we trudge to sack breakfast in our pajamas at 6 am). 
Sis. Manning and I were in a bit of a rush one morning, so we grabbed our name tags from the board and bolted to get a shower (waiting in line for shower=yucko), get ready, and get to class.
While sitting in class, I realized I hadn't written my entry date on my little pink sticker yet (us sisters put our "first day stickers" on the back of our name tags and write the date we entered the MTC on them. Oh the sentiments of sister missionaries). So I took off my tag to write it, and was sad to notice that my sticker wasn't there. :/ I flipped my tag over and realized that it didn't say Zuster Johanson! I had been Elder Matos for nearly 2 hours!!! I don't know how no one noticed that one....

Our new teacher, Sister Jiushau (tall, lanky, super funny), in a private moment with Zus. Manning and I, told me that when she was on her mission, she wondered why it was so hard to be a missionary. She realized that it's because you are constantly looking your weaknesses in the face, every moment of every day. This is so true! It is such a great trial because you can't ignore them; you absolutely have to face them and you can only overcome with the Lord's help (Ether 12). I heard once that when you are noticing more of your weaknesses, it means you're coming closer to God, because you are being perfected. So hard, but so good. :)

I love love love everybody! Thanks for reading my emails and for praying for me. I absolutely feel your strength. :) I pray for you and hope your week is wonderful!


Zuster Johanson