Thursday, May 30, 2013

First Week in the MTC

Hello everyone!!!
The MTC is awesome!! The first few days are a little rough because it is a lot all at once but by Sunday we were all used to it. Basically if you combine aspects of church+college+efy+an international boarding school= you get the MTC. It's so cool meeting people going all across the U.S. and the world. Time is flying by. The days are long but the week went by fast.We are on the main campus because they are just starting to move people over to Raintree. On our first day 700 missionaries entered the MTC and there are over 3,000 here right now, about half and half elders and sisters. We leave on June 4th so I will only be here for 2 weeks, and the next time I email you I will be in Long Beach! My companion's name is Sister Dollins and she is awesome! She's from Clovis, New Mexico and she's lived in Lubbock so she is totally close to where we live. My teachers are amazing. They have taught us so much and really care about us and helping us to become better missionaries. It is also cool because since they are recently returned missionaries they can totally relate to the things we worry about and the things we can do better. P-days are awesome because all we do is laundry, go to the temple, and then after dinner we will teach a few investigators. That is somethings else I didn't expect. We started teaching an investigator the second day here and now we are teaching 3 at the moment. They are all church members who volunteer but we treat the situations like they really are actual investigators and they never break out of character. It has helped me so much being able to practice giving lessons all the time and learning to love these people. Our district is great too. There are two whole districts of missionaries going to Long Beach which is pretty rare (there are 23 of us!). There are 3 sister companionships and 3 elder companionships in our district and we are like family! Sister Dollins and I share a room with the 4 others girls in our district so having 6 girls in a room can get pretty crazy but we are all good friends. Some random facts to know about the MTC: 1) People sing everywhere- in the showers, in the hallways, and we have 4 opening songs for devotional 2) there are these red phones everywhere that you can use at anytime if you have a question and someone will help you out 3) Wednesdays are the best because they serve byu creamery ice cream in the cafeteria. Also this is when all the new missionaries get here and we we aren't the young ones anymore! We also get to tell everyone with an orange dot on their nametag "Welcome to the MTC!!!" We love doing it because on our first day it got annoying since people welcomed us literally like 62 times. 4) There is a tree on campus that smells like vanilla cream soda. Our zone leaders took us to the tree and said we had to smell it. Totally random but the tree smells like vanilla. (also our zone leaders are awesome too, they just shipped out to Washington DC and I miss seeing them) 5) We are getting used to the MTC which means that we feel super weird telling people our first names, we play games when we're bored  where we pick a random object and somehow relate it to the gospel, also the other day one of the elders from "The District" came to observe our class and we were all freaking out! He is like a celebrity to us since we have watched his videos in class a lot so it was great. 6) There is this striped skirt from Downeast that literally everyone bought to wear on their mission. We have already spotted 14 girls with this skirt and we are still counting. We also played kickball with our 2 Long Beach districts on the field across from the temple and it was a lot of fun! I wish that everyone could have a chance to come learn at the MTC because I have already learned so much more about the gospel and how it relates to our lives in just one week. I have never felt the spirit as strongly as I have at the MTC. As missionaries we have to rely on and learn to recognize the spirit all of the time so that we can be lead in how to plan and teach our investigators. Sometimes the best lessons are the ones where Sister Dollins and I end up teaching nothing that we planned but teach something that our investigator really needed to hear. Thanks for all of your support. It means a lot as a missionary to know that there are lots of people out there praying for us to be able to do our best. I know that this gospel can changes lives, I have already seen how much the gospel can be applied to our situations and how ultimately God loves us and wants us to be happy. This gospel is the way to find lasting happiness in life. I love you all!!
Sister Washburn 
Also some tips for future sister missionaries: Bring flip flops to wear in the showers, you aren't allowed to wear skirt extenders or high-low skirts (the ones that are shorter in front and longer in back) also tell your family about Dear Elder because it mails their email to you so you get it that day and don't have to wait until p-day to read their email :)
From the “missionary mom”- Sam mentioned “Dear Elder” this is a service that offers getting letters, etc. to missionaries in the MTC and out in the field.  While she is at the MTC, if you send an email through it before noon, it will be given to the missionary that day to read.  So if you want to send her a note through this at the MTC, do it before Monday!
Also, Sam mentioned “The District”.  This is a reality show put out by BYU TV You can go to this link or byu tv to view an episode

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