Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Love the MTC!

Kamusta mga pamilya kag mga abyan?! (Hello/How are you family and friends?!

Oh my goodness, the MTC is so so wonderful! The Spirit here is so strong, and I'm happy, ALL the time! I can't believe I've been here more than a week. Sister Nally said the first day we were here that missionary time works like this...the days seem slow, but the weeks are fast, the weeks seem slow, but the months are fast, the months seem slow, but pretty soon that year and a half will be over before you know it. I already feel like that's happening! I'm one week in, and feel sad that that week is already gone!
Anyway, here's a rundown of how the week went:
Wednesday--after you dropped me off, I was escorted by a very nice sister to get my missionary badge and beginning packet. It felt so official when the lady showed me how to put on my badge. Eeek! Can't believe I'm actually a missionary! After that, we took my luggage to my room and she took me to my classroom. Two of my teachers, Brother Oldroyd and Sister McDonald, were there and spoke ONLY in Hiligaynon. We learned how to introduce ourselves, say where we're from, and other 'get to know you' phrases. It was crazy but so fun! After everyone arrived, we met our companions. I have two companions: Sister Nielsen, from Mapleton, and Sister Smoot, from Highland. I was friends with both of them on Facebook before entering the MTC so it was fun to actually meet them! So far the three of us have gotten along really well. We are so different from each other, but we work together very nicely and we laugh a lot together. I already love them so much! We found out we all have just sisters in our family, so that was pretty neat! After we met each other, we went to a "Welcome" meeting by Brother and Sister Nally, then had dinner. It's so cool because in the MTC, everyone bows their head in prayer before eating. You don't normally see that in a public cafeteria, but in the MTC everyone does it! It's so awesome! :) After dinner we had a teaching experience where we had three investigators and they would randomly come up to a missionary (there were maybe 75-100 in the room) and ask questions. The point of this activity was to understand that we must love the investigator, not just teach them. We teach people, not lessons. It was great! We met our Zone Leaders that night and our Sister Training Leaders. Sister Palmer is going to Hong Kong, and Sister Brown (fellow Aggie!! There aren't too many of them around here) is going to Cebu. They are seriously SO awesome and have really helped us get adjusted to the MTC and helped us feel loved. When the day ended, I was exhausted. It was like drinking out of a firehouse the whole day!
Thrusday: Okay, first off...if you're a sister in the MTC, DON'T shower in the morning, do it at night. I learned this fast. haha This day was nice because we were able to have a lot of personal and additional study time (probably to get a grip of everything that happened the day before). We had a few orientations this day, and I saw Sister Welling!! I was so excited to see her! :) She is doing well. In our Classroom Instruction, we were told that we'd have an investigator the next day, and we'd need to speak to him in Hiligaynon because that's all he knows. Uh...say wha? We only knew how to say, kamusta!! ha We just prayed and prayed as a companionship and personally that the Spirit would be there, because we had no clue what we were doing. We had a Branch Presidency meeting that night and met President Capik and his counselors. They are all so nice! I got to know my district a bit better during this because we all bore our testimonies and told about ourselves. Our district is huge...we have 13 missionaries, and we're the only one in the MTC speaking Hiligaynon. Our District Leader is Elder Winward. He is awesome, and is really good about making sure we're staying obedient. He also has a hilarious laugh. His companion is Elder Busselberg. He's pretty tall and was adopted when he was younger. He's super nice. Elder Schow (pronounced scow) is a hard worker and catches onto the language quickly. His companions is Elder Manu, and he's from Tonga!! He has an awesome accent and the love those two have for each other is awesome. Elder Manu will give Elder Schow a reaffirming pat on the arm all the time, and he hums Hymns all the time. :) Elder Templeton is from New Zealand and Elder Morgan is from Australia. They are super nice and Elder Morgan has a powerhouse testimony. Sister Van Slooten knows EVERYONE! Seriously, everywhere we go, and everyone we talk to on campus, she has some connection. It's a gift. She was adopted from Russia when she was a baby, and is the oldest of 54 grandkids or something like that. Her companion is Sister Livingston. She's the youngest sister, 19, and is tiny and chipper all the time. Sister Foster has the funniest dry sense of humor and has an awesome, quirky personality. Her comp is Sister Winward, who's going into El Ed at Utah State. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my district!! We get along so well and I can tell it's going to be hard to leave everyone in 5 weeks. :(
Friday: We taught our investigator, Marioneto Mancha, for the first time. We prayed with all our hearts that the Spirit would be there, and did our best with the language. As we taught, the Spirit was so strong, and we knew he could feel our love and Heavenly Father's love for him. As I gave a prayer of thanks afterward, I couldn't help but tear up with gratitude for the Spirit and guidance from Heavenly Father to help us communicate to Marioneto with the Spirit and with helping us with the language. Later we did TALL, which is where we heard words in Hiligaynon the way the natives say it. It's very helpful. Classroom language intstruction was a bit stressful this day, but I know it will come eventually! Luckily we had gym time afterward, which relieved my stress a TON!
Saturday: We taught Marioneto again today in Hiligaynon and I am amazed at how much Heavenly Father guides us as missionaries. Miracles really do happen! The language wasn't as hard today and I could bear my testimony a little bit and say part of a prayer! Oh, we ALWAYS say our prayers in Hiligaynon, and we start each class by singing in Hiligaynon, too. It's so neat! I saw Sister Natalia Fisi'inaua today, so that was a tender mercy.
Sunday: Happy Mother's Day!! I thought about you all day long, Mom. :) And I'm glad you had a wonderful day. I love you! And Happy Mother's day to all my grandmas, aunts, cousins, neighbors, teachers, etc. I love you all! We got to watch Music and the Spoken word and since it was the first time I heard music since Wednesday, it was all I could do not to sob. The spirit was SO strong as the Mormon Tabernacle choir touched my heart so deeply. Plus it was about mothers, so that made my cry harder. Janice Kapp Perry spoke to us for Relief Society, and she spoke about the power of music, so of course that made me cry harder. The spirit was so strong and I think Heavenly Father was looking out for me because he knows how much I love music, so it was a huge tender mercy. We sang, "The Sisters of ZIon," a new song to the tune of "As Sisters in Zion," that she wrote. We were teh first ones to sing it so that was neat!! We had a temple walk with our district, which was wondreful.
Oh my goodness, I have like a minute left, so here we go...
Read the Chracter of Christ by Elder Bendar. It will change your life. 
Elder Nelson came to our Tuesday devotional!! SO AWESOME!!
I saw Emily Regis and Nick Fowers.. tender mercies!
We truly learned our purpose as missionaries. The spirit was so strong!! Brother Oldroyd is an amazing teacher. 
Marioneto committed to baptism!!!! Oh my gosh, we were SO excited! The Lord definitely helped us there! I have come to really rely on Him.
Mom, will you send me my crappy pair of headphones? We can use them in the 2M gym to watch mormon messages. Will you also send my little Hymn book?
If I can, I'll write more later!
Will you tell Grandma her Dear Elder didn't work? Thanks.
My goal was to write my testimony in Hiligaynon without looking, but I literally have no time so I'll do it next week. 
I love you all sooooo much and pray for you all day, every day! You are the best! Thanks for all the prayers and support! I love you!!

Palangga (love), 
Sister Dixon :)

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