Thursday, February 14, 2013

First Week Done!

Dear Family,
Boy what a crazy first week it's been here in the MTC.  I'm not gonna lie, the first couple days I hated it just because it felt like a giant EFY.  But now I'm loving it and feel so blessed to be here.  From learning so much everyday and trying to see how to express yourself in lessons I've learned that I didn't know anything before I got here!  Haha not that I haven't learned anything from you guys or from church or what not.  But just the idea that you have to actually communicate your feelings and put what you know into words.
We study so much here and it's overwhelming, but it makes me so much more excited to get out in the field.  So far we've taught "Adam" who is our teacher acting as someone else four times.  And then in the TRC which is with real people from the real word we've taught Michelle twice and Joy once.  The experiences in the TRC are so amazing because it's real life and exactly how it will be out in the mission field.  It's hard teaching them to know exactly what they need, but seeing them change is amazing. 
I think the biggest thing I've learned is that you have to open up and be vulnerable to others so that they will feel comfortable and open with you.  Also, you have to become truly converted yourself before you can teach others so I better get to work. 
I'm so glad to hear that you received my letter and all is going well.  So yes, my p-days in the MTC are on thursdays.  I guess I should've told you that in the first letter I wrote except I didn't actually get around to writing it down.  Just know that I'm doing well, learning, growing, staying obedient, and exercising my faith. 
My district is completely awesome.  There's four sisters and we're all going to Louisiana.  And then there's eight elders that are either going to St. George or Louisiana.  The elders going to Louisiana include Elder Mecham, Elder Gillin, and Elder Larkin,  along with Sister Ballantyne, Sister Paulson, and Sister Leiter.  And then the elders going to St. George are Elder Bradford, Elder Grover, Elder Dawson, and Elder Patterson.  It will be crazy to see how all of them change over the next two years, because really I can already see them changing in this past week.  From spending basically 24/7 with your district you learn to love and appreciate them all so much.  I'm really going to miss all of them when we get out in the field, except I'm so excited. 
Of course you want to hear every detail so I'm writing as fast as I can despite the fact that the computer keeps freezing.  On Sunday I gave a talk in church!  Haha I was so nervous because here's what they did, they told everyone to prepare a 3-5 minute talk on faith and then they'd ask a few missionaries to share it in sacrament meeting.  And so yes, I was called on with one other elder.  I was super nervous but it went well.  I talked about the brother of Jared and how he didn't need faith anymore because he didn't doubt.  It was cool because Sister Ballantyne said that when she saw me up there she pictured how confident I'll be at the end of my mission and how I'll be so different, in a good way. 
We got our flight information and we'll be leaving here next tuesday at 3am.  Our flight is at 6am and then we have a layover somewhere in Texas.  So my question to you guys is do you want me to call you?  I know it will be in the middle of the day when my layover is and I also heard the prepaid phone cards you can get here aren't working.  So I'm leaving it up to you guys whether or not I should call.  So please write to me as soon as you decide so I know what to do!! 
Happy Birthday yesterday Dad!!!  I hope it was a good one and I was thinking of you.  Along with that enjoy your valentine's day everyone and eat some delicious food for me.  But speaking of, the food in the MTC is actually pretty good.  Although I do have to say the best part is getting ice cream every wednesday because it's tradition to welcome in the new missionaries.  It does feel like I eat three dinners a day though because there's so much food.
We have six beds in our room right now with only four sisters in it so we thought we'd be getting more sisters yesterday except we didn't.  I hear that we're one of the first groups on the two week program instead of the three week regular program so everything is all crazy and mashed together.  It's hard to sleep at night because that's the only time we have to let our brains think and get caught up because literally every second is planned out for you.  But it's all so worth it. 
It really makes me appreciate the elders and sisters that have gone on before me because a mission is no easy task.  I'm so grateful for Dad and Andrew for their example of serving missions, and along with them Jed.  It's a lot of hard work and dedication, and walking in their footsteps I'm able to see that they really are blessed. 
Oh and before I forget, thank you for all the letters and packages!  I love hearing everything going on back home.  Haha some of the elders in my district say I get the most letters and packages and always wonder who they're from, and I always just say my awesome family!!  The Loosle's sent me a Valentine's Day card so please thank them for me, it meant so much receiving that!  Keep sending your wonderful letters. 
I love you all so much and look forward to hearing from you soon.  Sorry this email is so random, there's so much I want to say but not enough time.  Write me with any specific questions!!
Love always,  Sister Schmutz
p.s. since I'm arriving in Louisiana next tuesday you might not get to hear from me until the following monday.  But nevertheless, know that I am safe and doing well.  I hear that tuesday is Mardi Gras so we'll be spending a couple days at the mission home and going to the temple on wednesday, but we shall see!!    

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