I've survived my first three days at the missionary training center! Provo is beautiful and the temperature is really nice during the day. Wow. There's so much I want to say but I'll try to keep it as short as I can. I was lucky to fly out of Phoenix on Wednesday with about ten other missionaries, and then we took a shuttle from the airport together which was nice. As soon as we pulled up to the curb, there were elders and sisters already waiting with huge smiles to help us with our luggage and show us where we needed to go. We got our name tags first thing and I keep looking down in awe/disbelief that it's really real! On your first day you get an orange sticker on it aka the dork dot which basically says "Hi I'm new and freaking out because I have no idea what I'm doing!" It's cool though; everyone is SUPER nice and friendly and I think I was told "welcome to the mtc" at least 5719231 times. It stills feels like I'm in a dream, but when all the new missionaries met at orientation we sang Called to Serve and I think that's when it finally hit me. My companion is Sister Hutchison and she is awesome! We are so much alike it's crazy. There are two other sisters in our room that will also be going to the Winter Quarters visitor's center; Sister Orton and Sister Chappell. We call ourselves the Nebrasquad. Our district meets in a classroom on the 5th floor every day at least twice and if I don't have nice calves by the end of these three weeks I will be greatly disappointed! My teachers are Sister Lyons and Brother Wright; they are the flipping best! Bro. Wright has a lot of weird sayings and one of them is when he talks about something he really likes he "loves the garbage" out of it. I thought that was funny! He also told a story about how on his mission he met an investigator with a difficult past. Apparently he had committed a serious crime and had never told anyone except for the missionaries right then and there. They taught him about repentance and told him the way to get a clear conscious and forgiveness from God was to turn himself in. After that lesson they stopped hearing from. A couple months later, Bro. Wright received a letter from the state penitentiary. The man had turned himself in and was sentenced to fourteen years of prison. Although he was behind bars, he said he had never felt more free in his life. He was reading the Book of Mormon and had a change of heart. He's looking forward to the day he is released so he can be baptized. This is just one of the incredible stories that I've heard! We have been crazy busy with lessons learning about everything from daily planning to extending invitations, and how to relate to investigators to our purpose as missionaries. We're already planning a lesson to teach to a fake investigator tomorrow and it's only the third day! My goal before Sunday is to memorize our purpose which is "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement. repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
Yesterday morning the Nebrasquad and the other two sisters in our room (Sister Costly and Sister Moulton - we call them our grandmas because they were our trainers' trainers) woke up a half hour earlier to take a yoga class! That was greatly needed and a nice start to the day. Tomorrow morning we are going to take a jog around the temple. We also met our branch presidency last night, President Laney is hilarious and kept cracking jokes during the entire meeting! He reminded us that it's good to smile. :) I want to say so much more but my time on the computer is almost up! I want to wrap this up by saying this is definitely an experience like no other. I feel like I've already been here for sooo long. They say the first couple of days go by really slow..they aren't kidding. I've never been this tired in my life, but I've also never felt the spirit so strong. I'm learning so much left and right, I feel like a little sponge (shout out to Buren for that analogy) just trying to soak up as much as I can and taking as many notes as possible. I know I'm here for a reason, I may not know it yet but one day I will. I know that Heavenly Father knows us personally and loves all of us with an infinite love.
I am so excited to see what the near future brings! I love you all and hope everyone at home is doing well!