Sunday, July 26, 2009

5 weeks down!!

We've been here longer than we have left, and it is hard to believe. There is still so much to learn! Yesterday morning 2 of the sisters in the oldest district left, and this morning their companion left, so I am really tired from all these early mornings, helping them take their stuff to the shuttle at 5 in the morning! Another district leaves next week and then we will be the oldest district in the zone. In fact, we should be getting our travel plans soon! I can't wait to get to Mesa and start teaching. Since we are going to the visitors' center, our last week here is spent in VC classes, practicing the tours and all of that. Aaaannnd... We get to go up to temple square! On the Saturday of our VC training we go up to temple square and get put with a sister up there and start teaching and contacting people! I get to be a Temple Square sister for a day! I am really excited; I know that it is going to be a great experience.

Hna. Cochran and I are going to try and speak mostly in Spanish from now on, since the sisters we were really close to have left. Speaking of Spanish, we taught in the TRC in Spanish for the first time yesterday. We go to the TRC once a week and teach a full lesson to an "investigator" that volunteers here. We have to answer their questions, extend commitments, etc. The first 4 weeks were in English, but from here on out it is in Spanish. Yesterday, we taught the older sister that left this morning, because there weren't enough volunteers for all 4 companionships in my district to teach. I think it went really well, but I need to learn how to talk less and let my companion talk more. When we have VC training we will be doing the same thing, but with the VC tours. Supposedly there is a secret room in one of the buildings that you can only go to with someone in the VC class at the time, and it has pictures of exhibits for us to practice giving tours with (we met some of the sisters that left for Temple Square today and they told us about it). I can't wait! With the 3 sisters leaving this past weekend, it has been really exciting to think that soon that will be me. Soon I'll be on a plane, heading down to Arizona! Oh, something just popped into my head that I can' remember if I've ever mentioned. My companion is from American Fork and her dad has been a Branch President here at the MTC for a few years, so we see her parents at least 2 times a week, Sundays and Tuesdays. We eat lunch with them on Sundays and sometimes some of Hna. Cochran's other family members come with her parents. Her mother is really sweet and really tries to make it feel like it is my family coming to visit too, which is really kind of her.

This past Sunday was probably the best Sunday I've had in the MTC so far, which really is saying a lot. Sister Madsen (wife of the late Truman G. Madsen) was the speaker for Relief Society. She spoke about prayer and it was really beautiful. Then the Administrative Director of the MTC (the one over all of the learning, housing, teaching, eating, almost everything except ecclesiastical things) spoke to us. The topic: prayer. We had even talked about prayer in class last week, so it really was an apparent theme. I learned a lot, and I can think of only a few times previously in my life during which my prayers were as meaningful as they are every day here. I am learning a lot about not only accepting Heavenly Father's will for me, but learning what it is in the first place. I think that if we are listening and worthy, the Spirit is a lot more straight foward than we often might think. On Sunday nights they show movies such as the Testaments, the Restoration, and Legacy, etc, and also recordings of talks and lessons from general authorities. My favorite are the ones by Elder Holland. He has a great love for missionary work, and shows that really powerfully. On Sunday night we went to a recording of a devotional he gave here called "A Mission is Forever." It was really powerful, even though he had everyone laughing most of the way through it. I want to always remember my mission as fondly as he does. He says that there might be one day, somewhere since his mission, where he didn't think of it, but if there was he has no idea when. I hope it is the same for me. He also said that if we come back to "real life" normal, then we didn't get it, because the mission is real life and should change us forever. So everybody, I'll definitely be coming home as a weird returned sister, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

That is about all that I have time for today. I know that this gospel is true and that what I am doing right now is exactly what the Lord would have me do. I encourage everyone to really study prayer and learn to pray with the Spirit, it makes a remarkable difference. One thing that was said on Sunday is that an underlying theme of the Book of Mormon is prayer. Read it and study it, because it contains the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and testifies of him on every page! I love you all and you are in my prayers. Please keep me and everyone else involved in this great work of the Lord (and that should include all of you too!) in your prayers as well!

De Provo Con Amor,
Hermana Ladd

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