Friday, January 23, 2015

Greetings from the MTC

Hello Everyone!

I'm alive! haha. Well I survived my first two days in the MTC! I miss everyone like crazy but there is nowhere else I would rather be. I love it here! I was so nervous and had so many worries coming in my first day but the second they placed that name tag over my heart I just could not stop smiling! I love it! Every bit of it! They have kept us so busy that's for sure haha. You really don't have any time to rest other than on P-Day's. (which is Friday for me while I am here) But anyway, I met with my district and we are all great friends already! I LOVE my new companion. Her name is Sister Gomm. My biggest fear was that I would end up with a companion who didn't like me. But I can definitely testify that Heavenly Father knows us and each of our worries. Sister Gomm is definitely a tender mercy. I can tell we are going to be great friends! We already are. 

The rest of our district consists of two other Sisters and four Elders. One Elder was born in Samoa but has lived in New Zealand most of his life. And he is HUGE, haha but he is probably the sweetest guy I've ever met. His name is Elder Pule (Pool-ee) and he is 20 and a convert. His family disowned him after he joined the church and he was taken in by another member family and now he is out here on a mission. When he bears his testimony though and you see in front of you this huge, 20 year old, Samoan man crying because he loves the gospel so much...i hope that that alone would be enough to strengthen your own testimony. Because I know it has mine... you can just see the conviction he has when he talks about the gospel. Its incredible. Also one of my teachers, his name is Brother Rockwood and he served in the Roseville, Ca Mission. Small world right? haha. he said her served in the singles ward, and that he President Weston was his mission president. So we made a funny connection there. 

Hmm lets see what else...OH! Also my district and I leave for Philadelphia on Feb. 3...Sorry Natalie!! Ill miss you by just ONE DAY!! But I promise you will love it here you have nothing to worry about. And I'll also tell Christa to find you :) Speaking of which I also saw my sweet friend Christa Lahman, or Sister Lahman. We practically like tackled each other when saw one another! haha. And I also ran into Megan Murphy! It was so good to see a few familiar faces!...Oh and also Mom, I did see Carter Blaise who you said was my childhood bestie. I definitely recognized him but didn't say hi because i don't know him haha. But I also did meet his best friend Elder Greene who is in my Zone and we are going to the same mission. 

And well today we did have class today where we practiced taught, which was totally new for me. Where your companion pretends to be a nonmember while you have to actually prepare and teach them something. Well to be honest I thought the whole idea was just silly beacause I thought to myself how can I take this seriously when im not even talking to a real investigator?? Well, I can honestly tell you that I was wrong to judge it that way. Practice teaching has already helped me so much in the frist two days I have been here. Its incredible, really it is. The Spirit works wonders if you let it. And if anyone really knows me then you know that I always saw that I am not good with words. And so i was feeling so inadequate, but my teacher Brother Anderson quickly had me open up to Exodus 4:10-11. And in these verses the Lord is talking to Moses. And Moses is basically saying what I was saying. But the Lord loving reminds Moses that He was the one who created him. And simply put he has no reason to fear becuase the Lord will not forsake him in his time of need.  Im not the best at explaining things sometimes but when i just prayed to have the spirit with me it was the coolest and most amazing thing because the words seriously just came out of my mouth like I knew what to say. And I STARTED TALKING LIKE A MISSIONARY!! haha i know that sounds silly but its true. And I was only teaching my companion, so i cant wait to teach an investigator. 

Another thing that we were talking about today in class was really and truly understanding our purpose as missionaries. And something that Brother Rockwood said today that really stuck in my mind was just that he was explaining the "Line of Authority" I guess you could say, of preaching the gospel. He first had us read 2 Nephi 31(which i highly recommend and invite everyone to read over again)...and then he went on to explain how the Lord has called the Prophet, and his councilors and then the twelve apostles and so on. And that the word Apostle literally means "to go forth." And we all obviously have a mandate the take this gospel to the world. But the Lord cant be here right now to do it himself. And the Prophet and Apostles cant be everywhere at once. And so they have called, by revelation, full time missionaries to help take this gospel to the world. We are helping them to fulfill their apostolic duty. And we have the privilege of standing in place for them, and the Savior to take His gospel to the people of Philadelphia. Isnt that incredible to think??

Before I left I was reading a book given to me by a very dear friend. It was called "Return" written by Elder Robert D. Hales i believe. And in it Elder Hales was telling a story about President Kimball i think it was (sorry im not good with remembering!) But anyway Pres. Kimball was not in very good health but he made a trip to south america and attended a meeting where many members came from all over just to meet him... Anyway after the meeting Pres. Kimball stood up and started shaking every saints hand. But Elder Hales had asked him if he thought it was time to go and rest and that the saints would understand....But Pres. Kimball looked him in the eye and said, "If you knew what I know you wouldn't ask me that question."... I just wanted to share that because to me it is so powerful! The Lord truly is hastening his work! The work is going forward with or without us and I hope and pray that we will all be a part of it in any way we can!  

Anyway, sorry I like wrote you guys a book haha but there is just so much to tell and so little time! I love you all and pray for you everyday! I am doing very well and am happy here! i hope to hear from you guys soon! 

love always,

Sister Callaway

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