Wednesday, February 22, 2012

First week recap

An email from Laura (edited, because I can't help it):

Sorry I didn't get to write earlier in the day, my email wasn't working so we had to go get it fixed and then it was temple time.
So the MTC. Basically, we work all day long. It feels a lot like EFY sometimes, but with no breaks or laughter or secret flirting.We have classroom instruction with either Brother Nate or Brother Pinnock for about 6 hours a day. Then we have Zone teaching, where we are currently playing investigators for the other, more experienced zone members. Gym time for 50 minutes (more on this later). Meals at ridiculous times considering we don't really get more than water and bathroom breaks. Personal study, companion study and planning. It's insane, but the busy-ness makes it easier. I haven't had time to think about being homesick until basically today - though I do think about you all constantly.
My companion is amazing. She is so full of love and forgiveness and the Spirit. She is helping me become a better person - more friendly and a bit quieter. (Nobody else gets to talk in our class... oops.)
Throughout the week, when something reminds me of you I put them on a list of things to tell you...I love lists <3
  1. I broke a bowl. I picked it up quickly to get some cereal course (after dinner) and it hit the sneeze shield and flew out of my hand. Better luck next time.
  2. Dad, I want the list of scriptures you were challenged to memorize on your mission - I think it would be really helpful in accomplishing my goal of being able to cite my sources. I don't want to just say things and not have anything to back me up. If an investigator questions me, I want an answer from God, not me. If that makes any sense. I've been writing down the ones I come across in my tiny notebook and trying to memorize the gist with the reference as I have a spare moment here and there.
  3. The sister missionaries are special and we get 6am optional exercise. Monday is step class, none on tuesday :( , Wednesday is aerobics, Thursday is yoga, Friday is kickboxing, and Saturday is Pilates. I love this part of my day. It is the best way of waking up. The elders don't have any special gym time, but that's probably cuz there are a lot more of them. Regular gym time is at random points throughout the day, which makes for awkward getting ready in the middle of the day as well as the morning. The way the gym is set up the track (10 laps to a mile) goes past the elipticals, and so I crank up the resistance on the eliptical and my companion and another sister in our district run around the track and we memorize things. I give them a line, then they run a lap and then repeat it to me. So far we have gotten the missionary purpose (PMG 1), the first vision account (shortened in PMG), part of D&C: 4, and most of the Articles of Faith. What a great use of time! This is also when I get my personal scriptures down. There is also another gym in a different building where they do P90X and have TVs with General Conference or Mormon Messages running. They have free weights there.
  4. My district doesn't get the need for cereal course or PB. I have PB with every meal (mostly because the meat here scares me a lot of the time, but I need my protein and fat and I love PB). They also think I'm weird for mixing cereals, but so do you. Editor's note: I don't know why she thinks this. Our family is KNOWN for mixing cereal. I am especially fond of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch mixed with Cheerios.
  5. Ashley, the hynmbook has been so wonderful. It is getting "Sister Benning" on the front and I use it multiple times every day. We sing a lot.
  6. Tea please!!! Peach and apple cinnamon spice and raspberry, whatever we have in the cupboard. Also some Chocolate Chips. We had a lesson on how the fundamentals of the gospel are like the chocolate chips in a choco chip cookie. Without them, it isn't a choco chip cookie. I want some to share with my district. We are planning to send some herbal tea and chocolate chips later this week.
  7. Along with PB I also love the wrap bar. They have all kinds of options for innerds for you to wrap and it is very happy :)
  8. Our District Leaders are going to Finland. They are fun people. One of them says "anyong" for 'Hi.' (If you caught the Arrested Development reference, you are right on, though I did have to guess the spelling)
  9. Al Jazeera did an interview that will be airing in April with some of the missionaries. I'm not on it, but possible in the background as they were filming in the cafeteria as we were eating.
I have learned so much!!! My faith and testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his Atonement have been strengthened tenfold and will strengthen even more. As I was in the temple this afternoon, I was hit with the amazing feeling it will be when Christ welcomes us with open arms and says, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
My challenge to you all this week is to read the Book of Mormon and sincerely pray about it, for it is through the Book of Mormon that we can know of the truth of all things and of the fullness of the Gospel of Christ. We have been working a lot this week on helping investigators understand and relate the BoM to their lives. It is an amazing book, with so many truths your mind will explode. This sounds a bit messy. I wonder if they give missionaries rubber gloves to clean up the mess after they blow the minds of investigators...
Also, I challenge you to family prayer - both these challenges apply to everyone, not just my LDS readers. In 3 Nephi 18:21 Christ commands us to pray with our families that we may be blessed. There is nothing more beautiful than sharing the experience of kneeling in prayer with those you love the most and humbling yourselves before God so that he may bless you.
I love my family - your personal letters are on the way. Wow, 30 minutes goes fast. I just had to write this (rather lengthy) email and I'm running out of time!
'Til we write again,
Sister Benning
ps I love signing my letters like that!

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Laura won't be able to read these until she returns in 2013, but you are welcome to leave comments.