I really miss all of you and hope that you are doing well. This has seriously felt like the longest week of my life as well as the shortest. You feel like the days never end, but then when it's Sunday you can't remember the past 7 days going by.
Let me start at day one for all of you so you can see how things have been going so far! I arrived last Wednesday and I was the FIRST ONE... and had no idea what was going on. It was awkward because I was sitting by myself until the other new missionaries showed up, haha. Then we were given our badges (finally!) and got to put our stuff away in our rooms. Immediately following we were taken to our classrooms and the day started there.
In my district there are 10 people. 6 elders and 4 sisters. The Elders are going to Des Moines Iowa, and us sisters are going to Raleigh NC. We met our teachers Brother Stanley and Sister Runyon who are super awesome! They introduced everything we would be doing in the MTC in a general overview and then started teaching us the first lesson about our purpose as missionaries and what is expected of us.
We were all a little anxious and nervous but made friends pretty quickly. After dinner we were told we had our first three investigators waiting for us to be taught. We looked like deer in the head lights. WHAT THE HECK? Us missionaries only 6 hours old were supposed to teach people about the church? I was freaking out. Then we were told not to worry because we would be in groups of about 50. It went pretty well nonetheless:) This took us into the night and then we were shown around by our Zone leaders just to give us a little familiarity with where we were going to be staying for the next ten days.
The next few days that followed this were emotional and challenging! A lot of people were missing their families, didn't realize how hard it was to teach, and didn't know how to handle the new lifestyle. We were in our classrooms for 9 hours, studying every single minute, and having to role play all the things we were learning. By now we were given a PI (personal investigator that is usually a teacher acting as a non-member) and we had to plan lessons to teach them and get to know them.
The first day when we had a scheduled gym time... it was HEAVENLY. All of our stress and nervous energy was able to get channeled out. I usually run a mile, lift, then play volleyball with our district. This is something that we use to get through our days. Ha!
Wednesday our teachers were switched:( I really got close to sister Runyon! So, I was sad. She and I had a lot of good talks and shared a lot of stories. We are super similar. She told me I am the best teacher in our zone and had an easy time picking up what we were being taught. I felt like a dork, but appreciated the compliment! (But the new teachers are good as well.)
I have been able to see a change for the better in myself. I am growing and becoming a better teacher, listener, and missionary. It is hard work. You have to meet new people and get out of your comfort zone every day. But it is worth it.
The MTC feels like prison half the time, but the things we do here are preparing me to go out to Raleigh NC and I wouldn't be able to do anything without first being at the MTC. I don't really like the food, or the showers, or having to be with another person for 24/7. But I am getting over these things! Haha. My testimony has been strengthened and each day that I am here, I am becoming more solidified in this gospel and can feel the holy ghost more prevalent as I study the scriptures. I know that if you spend time in the Book of Mormon each day, your testimony will grow, your faith in Christ will increase, and the want to repent will become greater. I feel good with where I am at and welcome this new chapter in my life:) I so appreciate all the Dear Elder letters, letters, and notes I get. It helps SO Much.
I love you all,
Sister Mallory Golden