6 May 2009
My dear family,
Hello from the MTC! I can’t believe I’m finally here, but I am and I love it! It’s been a really awesome day today! It’s such a cool experience to be here–to be completely, and I mean completely surrounded by missionaries. Orientation & everything has been really good; in some ways I really wish that y’all could have been here to bring/drop me off, but at the same time, I’m kinda glad you weren’t. It cut down on the amount of crying on my end at least. It was definitely a bit overwhelming getting here as I’m sure you could tell from the picture/video I texted you (hopefully you got it!) I was really fine until my last goodbye on the phone with Mom sitting in the Tustian’s Surburban in front of the MTC. Then again when Bro. T. put my tag on me and a couple other times as well. And it wasn’t so much because I was scared or sad or homesick or anything like that, it’s just a really overwhelming feeling to get her and realize that this is it–it’s for real, I’m officially a missionary! I didn’t really cry with the final goodbye though, thank goodness.
OK so the fun details I’m sure you want to know. My companion is Sister/Hermana Amber Gregersen from Provo UT. Yes, David, she’s hot! Just terribly off limits! ; ) in all seriousness thought, she’s adorable, very sweet, very excited and seems to know everything about this place . . . well, at least an awful lot. We’re both going to LA Spanish, so that’s really cool. We have two other roommates (also a companionship, of course!)–Sis McBride & Sis Westover. Both are really sweet, & I’m excited to be sharing a room with them. Sis McBride is going to Mesa Arizona and Sister Westover is going to Tampa Florida. We’re all Spanish-speaking of course. Sis. Gregersen has been called as the Coordinating Sister for our district, which is kind of the female counterpart of a District Leader, but just for the Sisters, kinda. In all honesty, I’m really not totally sure yet, but hopefully by the time you get this, I’ll have things a little more figured out! I was assigned as Sr Companion, so I have a lot to figure out quick to understand what I’m supposed to do.
This seriously is such a great place! I know that I really have no idea yet, but from my first day at least, it’s great! Our neighboring Hermanas just stopped by to say hi, & they’re great! SUPER excited & peppy & encouraging! One of them is going to LA too! Maybe we;ll end up being companions someday. One of them shared a quote from Elder Holland & part of it went something like this – “Love your mission. Make it part of your soul. You will have struggles & challenges, but they only put you in league with Peter & Matthew.” Cool, huh? I’m sure I butchered that, but you get the idea, & if you really want, you can just look it up.
Well tomorrow is a full day (just like every mission day) & I need to get ready for bed, write in my journal & head off to sweet dream land!
I love you all so much & miss you, but I’m doing great! A few quick thoughts form some of the awesome counsel we received today:
My 4 main purposes here at the MTC are to:
1. Learn to work with the Spirit.
• We must be worthy, be willing & exercise our agency in order to do so.
• We must seek, ask & learn.
2. Master Preach My Gospel.
3. Learn the lessons I’ll teach.
• You set your own limits.
• You must work at it steadily and be dedicated.
4. Learn the language.
• You (I) can learn a new language because you (I) learned your (my) first.
• Go to work, be humble & keep trying!
• Seek & accept correction & just keep trying!
* Promise (from the 2nd Counselor in the Mission Presidency): if you will work hard & apply yourself, you will teach anything & everything you want to in your new language in 5 months. So cool, huh?!
Alright, for real this time! I love you! I love being here! The church is true! I love being a missionary!!!!
Hermana Sallie Wilson
PS There is currently a “no handshake” policy in place here because of the swine flu. It’s really weird to be a missionary & not shake hands.
PPS About half of the Elders in my district are also going to LA!
PPPS I can hear Sisters in the hallway & most of what I hear is “Hola Hermana!” & some other Spanish. It’s so cool! I can’t wait to be able to speak & understand it too!
PPPPS Sorry, I keep forgetting things! In our orientation, Pres. Smith (the Mission President) had us stand up & say where we were from (by area/state - not everyone spoke). When all the Utah missionaries stood (there were a ton!) He told them, “Stay humble. Remember Utah was the Lord’s Fifty choice for Zion! SO FUNNY!