Oi from the Provo MTC!!!!
Wow, it is so weird to be on a computer emailing people! So awesome! There's so much to share, but limited time and so forgive me if this is all over the place.
|Ashlyn and Sister Runnells|
Let's start from the beginning. Wednesday, February 11th, I entered the MTC. Hermana Runnells was with me for a little while which was very nice. I was trying to hold back the tears the whole time but she helped with that! We dropped off my things in the residence hall and went straight to the classroom where we sat for three hours listening to Irmao Read (our teacher) talk in Portuguese. I understood like half of it, but I was so stressed! There, I met my companion and also the other sisters in the district. My companion is Sister Bredthauer. She is from Kaysville and is awesome! She is quiet, but hilarious. We love to joke around and laugh. We are complete opposites, but we work so well together. The other sisters are Sister Nielson (the one we saw earlier at the temple) and Sister Andrews. She is very similar to me. She is awesome! The sisters here are so close and we love all being with each other. Now the elders in my district... they are so fun and hard working! I really enjoy all of them. We all support each other and cheer each other on when it comes to lessons.
|Ashlyn w/ Sister Bredthauer, Sister Nielson & Sister Andrews|
Every day since Wednesday we have spent about 10 hours in class, mostly studying the language, and the rest of the time eating or sleeping or going to the gym. It's fun, but very hard! I've never been so busy in my life. The language is coming along. We have taught three lessons to our investigator Anderson and I can now understand everything he is saying to us. I just have a hard time saying what I want to say back. We are very simple here and teach the most basic things. I can now pray pretty well and also bear my testimony. We have taught about how families can be together forever, the Word of Wisdom, the Book of Mormon and other things. Tomorrow we are asking him to come to church with us and also explaining baptism. It's fun teaching, but also a little stressful because I can't say everything I want to say! I can speak and make simple phrases.
I've learned more here in one day than I did all in seminary. Knowing Spanish has been a huge help though. I am able to use that knowledge and understand things and then guess certain words. On Thursday we had a meeting with the Branch Presidency. They interviewed all of us and picked a district leader and a sister training leader. I am now the Sister Training Leader for our District, but all I do is go to more meetings and do more things with the President, which is cool! Our president is President Jackson who is one inspired man! He is the best!
|Ashlyn with her district|
Sunday was a little different. We went to sacrament, which is all of our zone. People are randomly called up to share a talk in Portuguese. I wasn't called up, thank goodness, but it was a wonderful meeting! The Portuguese language is beautiful! After that we went to relief society with a HUGE group of sisters and it was amazing! I can't remember who spoke, but it was an older lady. We also got to listen to music and The Spoken Word.
At night we had a night devotional which was by Brother Allen who helps create all the films and movies for the church. He talked about loving our companions and trusting in God. After that was movie time! We get to pick which film we want to watch so we watched Characters of Christ, which is a talk by President Bednar that he gave to the MTC a few Christmases back. It was amazing! It was about Christ's attributes and how He always turned outwards to help others. We have to do that. The work isn't about us but about God and Christ. He talked about how we all need to be converted into the church and not just have a testimony, but to know without a doubt and act on the feelings that the church is true.
We are taught many inspirational things here. I love it! It's the best feeling to be in a holy place where everyone is trying to do their best. I have felt the Spirit so often and have been able to learn more. It's wonderful! On the other side, it's also very hard! This week felt like years!!! We are all a little homesick, but we try our hardest to cope with it. We are constantly praying that we can have the Spirit with us and that we can be the best missionaries we can be, which isn't always easy. Sunday afternoon we got to walk outside of the prison gates! (That's the joke here.) It was so nice to walk around the temple. I loved it!
Thank you everyone for your support. I feel so loved here! The elders always make jokes about how many letters and packages I have received. It has helped so much to hear so many kind things from you guys!
This letter says a lot of how hard it is, but I want to tell that it is also so rewarding here. The sisters in my district have become some of my really good friends (so fast because I'm with them ALL DAY LONG). It's great! I have already seen blessings and have felt the spirit more than ever. We also laugh here very often! It's awesome because in my district there are people from Arizona, Texas and Georgia so we get a different perspective of things. We have tons of inside jokes and most of them are about the language and the funny mistakes we make. It's awesome!
I don't have much more to say besides that I love you all and that I hope to hear from you guys again soon!
WITH MUCH LOVE!!!!!