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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week Two: MTC Experience

Life at the Empty Sea (MTC) has been good. When Sister Melissa and I got here we were together the first night with all the international missionaries - from all over the world! It was crazy to hear all the countries represented in one room. The first night we were in a room with a sister from Hong Kong and a sister from some little Island that I can't remember. They were nice. The Island sister was awesome! She kept saying, "I told my momma not to cry because I'm hear to work." I slept good the first night, all things considered. The second day all the new missionaries arrived, there were 300 of us I think. There were six or seven Canadians - four being from Cardston, Alberta! Ya! We were all feeling pretty proud to represent Canada. Lots of people have connections with Cardston in general. I met one Elder who's dad was born in Stirling. 

About 1:00 pm on Wednesday I got my companion and moved to my new room. It was so hard to leave Melissa, we both cried, but we're trying to be tough. I told the host that I was sad because they just took my twin away from me and she says, "Well I would be sad to!" Anyways once I got my companion and got busy I was fine. I don't really see Melissa, we are on different schedules. Her room is just down the hall, but we aren't allowed to visit other rooms. I'm trying real hard to be Obedience so I can't go see her. However, last I just happened to be filling up my water bottle and she just was walking to the bathroom so we hugged and talked for a second. It was good. I run into sisters sometimes who act like they know me, and I just say, "I have a twin." Also lots of people get a kick out of us being twins and at the MTC together so we have fun. Oh and I love the gym time here. I run on the track. It's on the 3rd floor so I like to run on the stairs a little to. Feels real good. 

My district consists of 4 elders, and 5 sisters. We are all going to Mississippi Jackson so we are all pretty excited. I guess it's pretty rare for a whole district to be going to the same place. There's also another district that I met that has some Elders going to Mississippi. They all seem nice. My district is awesome. Most of them are from Utah, everyone here is from Utah! I'm getting pretty good - I can pick them out of a crowd pretty easily! haha My companion's name is Sister Brown. She looks, talks, and dresses exactly like Kalina! Sometimes I have to remind myself that she isn't Kalina! She also acts a lot like Katrina Sommerfeld so she keeps me laughing! She's 21 and has gone through a lot of trials. I love her. I am so blessed to have such an awesome companion! All my weaknesses are her strengths so I look up to her a lot. She's called to be our zone Sister Training Leader so she has a lot of responsibility. I help her when needed, but she's so good she doesn't need help! 

Thanks for the package and all the letters! Mom you are seriously the best! Everyone was jealous! The candy was so yummy. I was sitting on my bed last night eating a ton of it and each time I would unwrap another candy all the sisters kept would say, "Oh Sister Hartley, you and your candy!" haha I am already seeing many tender mercies from the Lord. I have had homesickness a little, but then I think of all the tender mercies and I am okay. Funny story for dad: Melissa and I were eating dinner and talking to some Elders, turns out these two sitting by us were each identical twins in the same stake, and guess what dad...they were from CALIFORNIA! haha, don't worry though, they weren't very tall. I love all my teachers here. One is named Brother Clancy, I think he's a twin to if I remember right. I always hum, "Clancy's Theme" whenever I say his name. 

The food is good. Last night we got pizza from "Papa Johns" I think they were trying to help us feel like an actual Friday night. It was fun. Yesterday was a fun day. I have this investigator named Angela, of course it's all role play. But I just love her. And I love teaching her. Oh I'm the music coordinator in my district so I have to play the piano and arrange musical numbers. If I'd known my piano playing skills would follow me everywhere I'd probably never learn how to play the dang thing! haha 

The spirit at the MTC is very strong. I feel it a lot. I'm not even missing country music because I love feeling the spirit. I am feeling very humbled. I always thought that I had a talent with teaching, but I'm quickly realizing that is not so when it comes to teaching by the spirit. I am trying really hard to improve on that. The Lord is helping me. One of my teachers is so good. She is so funny and enthustistic, but has the spirit with her. I want to be a teacher like her one day! We watched a clip from Elder Holland, "Everything that must happen to an investigator MUST happen to you first." I love that, I'm trying to become more converted while at the MTC. 

On the first night we had a group role play and one of the investigators was a guy who loved being out in the woods he said, "God is found in the woods. I think he's tickled by his handiwork. He's got good reason to be." I loved that! and wrote it down as soon as he said it! Another investigator that we saw with our group role play was a little cute spanish lady. I'm pretty sure she wasn't LDS. At the end she asked us so sincerely if we could pray for her daughter who is disabled. She said with tears, "I hear you represent Jesus Christ, can you please pray to him about my daughter?" She then knelt down and everyone in the room knelt down and an Elder offered a prayer. I think everyone was in tears after, even the teachers were touched. It was amazing! I love the spirit and the gospel! 

My teachers keep telling me to be more confident and firm in my sentences. They say I'm to casual, "Oh well prayer helps us communicate with God...." They say I need to be like, "YOU can talk with GOD and he CAN HELP YOU." They keep saying, remember sooo many people don't have a clue of the simple truths you have known you're entire life. 

Anyways I guess I'll end with that. I love the gospel and I love learning about how to be a good missionary. I can't wait to go to Mississippi and convert all the southerners! 

Love Sister Hartley

Scripture of the week: Words of Mormon 1:7-8
Southern talk: "Girl you can get glad in the same pants you got mad in."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Katelyn's Mission Begins, October 22, 2013

I have known I wanted to serve a mission since I was sixteen. Back then serving a mission felt like years away - little did I know that 3 1/2 years later I would have my call and be out before I was twenty. It's so amazing to me to see God's hand in my life. 19 came a lot faster than 21. I remember thinking that I should make it a priority to study Preach My Gospel in high school, I never did though - looking back I realize that I should have followed that prompting, God knew how little my preparation time really was. I received my call in June 2013 to the Mississippi Jackson Mission and I report to the MTC on October 23. It has been hard for me to put my schooling on hold to serve a mission. I love school, it was really hard to see all my friends go back to school and I couldn't. I know that I am supposed to serve a mission. I am very nervous, and excited. It will be hard, but I'll be on the Lord's errand and he'll watch over me and my family.

Grandma and Grandpa Hartley

Sister Hartley and Sister Bevans, A & W for the last time!

Sister Hartley with Kalina, Lunch for the last time

Grandpa and Grandma Neilson

Waterton Visit, Nate, Katelyn, Melissa