Friday, February 26, 2010

MTC Week 2

So this week was great. Yup, every day still feels like a week and a week hasn't seemed like a day yet. But it's in a good way, because I'm learning a ton and definitely really happy.

For the record, we've started getting along with the Elders better, but I still wouldn't say SUPER well. There are definitely times when we feel like friends, but it seems like every other district is so close and we're not. But anyway, the Hermana-Elder relationship has definitely shaped up. There are some funny Elders. We laugh A LOT. I can't remember if I wrote about this last week, but my companion, Hermana Nielson, has a very similar sense of humor to me in some ways and we laugh HYSTERICALLY pretty frequently. The other girls in our district, Hermanas Steiner and Kimball, said they've laughed more in the past two weeks than probably in the month or two before they came to the MTC. They love us.

Also, some really hilarious things have happened. So, one of our teachers, Hermano Ammons, is kind of a nerd in some ways. Also, he's married. And sometimes really sarcastic with us. Admittedly, I'm pretty sassy. In class and always. Anyway, on Thursdays he teaches us starting at 11:15 and ending at 2:30, and during that time we go to lunch. I was curious about if he was going to eat in the cafeteria, because I know teachers are allowed to, or if he had another plan for the 45 minutes that we'd be at lunch. So, I asked, en espanol of course, "Are you going to eat lunch in the cafeteria?" Apparently he thought I was trying to ask him to eat lunch with me or something because he got really uncomfortable and was just like "Maybe..." I didn't really notice and just thought he was being weird until later that night Hermana Nielson explained it from her point of view. Hilarious. So embarrassing. Now we always joke about how Hermano Ammons probably thinks I have a crush on him. So awkward.

Also, another time this week we were playing a game in class with Hermana Decena. We have eight desks around two walls of this tiny room (wherein we spend ALL of our time, by the way) so they are pretty close together. It was a race to the board type game, and it was my turn, so I tried to stand up to take my turn. Unfortunately, in the three inches of space between my desk and my companion's, where my foot had to go so I could stand up, the strap of my bag was perfectly positioned so I inserted my foot into it, and then tripped as I tried to get out of the desk. I was SERIOUSLY in danger of flashing the whole room of Elders and Hermanas, so I twisted and tried to keep my skirt down and land on the ground as appropriately as possible. I'm pretty sure no one saw anything, but everyone laughed SO hard, and then tried to make me feel better by commenting on how "gracefully" I fell. It was compared both to ballet and a basketball fall. Pretty sure it was just ridiculous. Also, I always bring up hilarious things by saying "Remember when...?" and one of the Elders has taken it upon himself to start saying to me very frequently, "Remember when you fell?" Apparently it's still hilarious because everyone still laughs. Whatever. I feel good about my decision, considering the circumstances. So, those are the funny stories of the week.

Now for the spiritual stuff. I feel like I'm growing SO much every day here. I talked to Hermana Decena about it this week, and I told her that before I never really felt like I was working on my testimony, but now that's basically all I do. And it comes so easily in this environment, the desire to work on my testimony, to study and pray and be edified. I had a really cool experience the other day when I was reading my patriarchal blessing where I just felt the Spirit guiding me, and realized that I never took the time before to be silent, to ponder, to study for long periods of time without distractions, in order to feel the Spirit. If I don't learn ANYTHING else on my mission, if I don't teach or baptize or reactivate a single person, it will be worth it that I came on my mission just to learn how to use the guidance of the Spirit in my life. That has been such a huge blessing.

Tuesday nights are General Authority devotionals in the MTC, and tonight I'm singing in the choir, like Dad suggested. Luckily H. Nielson is a really good singer and has been in a million choirs, so she's helping me not feel like an idiot. The guy teaching us the song on Sunday night was hilarious. I'll let you know how it goes.

Also, will you send me a picture of Milo? I miss him. How is he doing? Does he miss me? Does he look for me? Is he huge? Also, Kriste mentioned that all you do in the MTC is roleplay. She was right. But so far I haven't minded it, it's cool to still be able to teach with the Spirit even when it's to someone who already has the gospel. I like teaching because it gives me a chance to feel the Spirit guiding me. That's the best.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My first week

After several e-mail mishaps, I'm in! They made this username for me, don't judge. But, the great news is that the new myldsmail is like gmail. I've heard horror stories about the old one, so this is great. It automatically saves a draft every few seconds, so there should be no losing of emails. You can probably tell by now that my p-day is Tuesday. This has been a SUPER long week. Also, don't judge me, there is no way to start a new paragraph, aka the Enter button doesn't work, so this is going to be one big blob. Hope you enjoy. There was definitely no time for a nap on Wednesday. They must have changed the schedule, because I was herded from place to place until I ended up in my classroom with my teacher that only spoke in Spanish. There are 4 elders and 4 sisters in my district. My companion, as you already knew, is Hermana Nielson. The other two sisters are Hermana Steiner and Hermana Kimball. Hermana Kimball transferred into our intermediate class/district on Friday, so the frist two days Hermanas Nielson, Steiner and I were in a threesome. The Elders are not really our best friends. Maybe they have the sister missionary misconception, maybe they feel weird because we are definitely better at Spanish than them, or maybe they just really don't want to be friends with Hermanas, but we don't really talk. Most of the other districts sit together at meals and play games during gym, but we definitely don't. I don't know, maybe it will get better, but maybe I'll just be friends with the Hermanas. Wednesday night we had a teaching simulation thing that was WAY cool. Basically immediately, I felt the missionary mantle come over me and I just wanted to share the gospel with these really good actors-playing-investigators. As they always say, the Spirit is SUPER strong here. I feel it all the time: in class, in personal study, in devotionals, in meetings, etc. Everytime I pray for it, I'm filled with it immediately. I thought I would be way lonely, depressed, nervous, sad, want to go home etc., at least at the beginning, but I've just been happy to be here and felt myself growing a ton. The schedule is still hard. I'm way sleepy all the time except at 10:30 pm, so it takes me forever to fall asleep. Hopefully I get used to that soon. Also, I eat way too much for sitting in class ALL THE TIME. I run a mile a day on the track, and do some weight lifting, but it's way hard to make myself run more than that, especially because I'm always dead tired when we go to gym and I want to just lay down and stretch/sleep. Okay, I don't ever actually sleep but I always want to. Someday I'm hoping for an increase in energy. So far here I've seen a lot of people I know. A girl I used to work with in the library came in the same day as me, she's going to Romania. I saw Rod Miller's nephew, Elder Miller, who is going to Mexico. We talked about him for a while. I sat with some kid, Elder Bush, who used to be on Chase's soccer team. While I was going out for Temple Walk on Sunday I saw Kelsey! I guess she was going to the RC or something. But they are way, WAY serious about not meeting with families and friends at the temple on Sunday or p-day so I literally just said hello and kept walking. A girl who works at the RC, Kelsey Beeston I think, said she knew McKay because they got hired as teachers at the same time. I've also seen a guy from my ward last semester a few times, and we talk a lot. I thought I wouldn't know that many people here but I've run into more people than I thought. It's always nice to see a friendly face. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for the flowers and the cookies! They really brightened up my Valentine's Day. How was New York? And McKay, thanks for the letter. It's one of only three I've gotten so far, so it was really appreciated. Everyone in my district thinks I'm obsessed with the mail, which is way embarrassing, but it's just because I keep thinking I'm going to get letters and I only did one time. But we didn't get mail Saturday, Sunday or Monday (because of the holiday), so I'm wondering if that's why. Also, per our branch presidency's orders, we only get mail at 9:30 pm, and if I get a slip for a package, I can only pick it up the next morning. So I haven't gotten mail since Friday. It's kinda been a long time. But I'm hoping for some tonight. I don't have Chase or Tagg's e-mail addresses, so can you forward this to them and then tell me what it is in your letters so I can send it to them too? Also, we only have 30 minutes for email in the MTC, so instead of emailing me so I'll have to use my time to read them, you should send DearElders by Monday at noon so I can read them Monday night and then respond on Tuesday. Hmm, what else? My teachers are Hermana Decena, who served her mission in Boston, and Hermano Ammons, who served his mission in Spain. He is REALLY organized and loves that we all know that. He also speaks in super rapid Spanish all the time. Hermana Decena is much more willing to slow down and speak in English if we need help. Last week's classes were kinda rough because they seemed to drag on FOREVER and there is a specific curriculum for first week missionaries. We never knew when the long periods of sitting in class were going to end. But both classes yesterday (Hermana's and Hermano's) went by much faster because they put a schedule on the board of what we were going to do and probably because we're getting used to the schedule. Also, it's not just endlessly watching videos of people and trying to determine where they are on their spiritual journey. Also, to be honest, I've probably just gotten more focused, more dedicated, etc. since then. I definitely trust in the judgment of the brethren, who determine what the missionary curriculum is, but it's a hard adjustment. Anyway, I've grown a lot in this last week. By the time the new missionaries come in tomorrow I'll feel SO old in my mission. Hilarious. I love you guys so much! I wish I had more time to write you. I wish I had more time for EVERYTHING. I'll see if by some blessed miracle I have time to write letters before we go to dinner, and I'll send them. I hope I'll hear more from you guys this week! Thank you for everything you've done for me. There's more about that coming in a letter. I love you guys and I'll write next week! Don't forget to DearElder me. Love, Hermana Coppins.

Please write to me!

Kami's mailbox is

Sister Kami Coppins
MTC Mailbox #344
CHI-ANT 0413
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604

Feel free to send her mail or goodies (but you have to use a delivery service like UPS for deliveries - they won't let you drop stuff off there).

HINT: It is very easy to use www.dearelder.com . You can send a letter for free through that service by just typing in the letter on their website. They print it out and put it in the missionary's mailbox.

I'm sure she would appreciate hearing from you!

Thanks,
David