Friday, December 18, 2015

What a week!

What a week! I survived the first week at the MTC. One week? Probably the longest week of my life! Well... at least the first half of the week was.  To properly express my feelings I wrote a poem on Sunday night titled, "LONG."

Sitting in the MTC
It already feels like year 3.
The days are long. I do not know
How long before I'm in Idaho.
I love it here, don't get me wrong,
But why are these days just so long?!

-Sister Carling to Bryn Johnson
December 13, 2015

But! Each day gets better and better and am really enjoying it.  So much has happened since I walked away from my family, I don't even know where to start!  First off, walking away felt...empowering. I was doing it! I felt so ready. 

The first day at the MTC:
It was great.  No tears were shed, and I was all full of smiles and joy!  I found out I will be here for 3 weeks instead of yes, I will be here for Christmas.  That news was saddening, but I am getting excited to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity for Christmas. My district is so fun.  There are 5 elders, and 6 sisters. 4 of us sisters are going to Boise, and the others are going to Canada or California.  My companion, Sister Beauchamp (Bo-shamp) is the BEST! I have been so blessed to have her.  We are so similar, sometimes it's unreal.  We laugh a lot, she knows all of my movie or song references, we both love taking pictures, and we just have lots of fun. :) We are best friends, and we teach and learn well together.  I seriously couldn't have been blessed with someone more compatible with me.  

I have had some incredible learning experiences here.  Most of the learning and teaching at the MTC is roll-playing and teaching investigators, but also learning how to find their needs.  if there is anything I have learned, it is the importance of listening and teaching by the Spirit, rather than by my own knowledge.  It has been such a humbling experience.  Yesterday was the BEST  day yet.  Sister B. and I had our first discussion with an investigator, Erika.  Most of the "investigators" at the MTC are roll-playing, and you can usually tell that they are Mormon.  It feels like a real experience, though, but at the same time, not quite 100% real.  Erika really really was a real, legit investigator though! Once I realized that she was the real deal, and it wasn't a roll-play situation, I felt the strongest desire to help her! She has been investigating the church for 2 and a half years now, and working at the MTC for 2 months.  She hears from so many missionaries every week, so I knew that if I wanted to help her, I would need to be different.  She has a genuine desire to try to get answers bu she never feels that God has answered any of her prayers.  I wish I could tell you her whole story, but time isn't on my side anyways, I knew the "normal" thing that most missionaries (especially MTC missionaries) would say to her: "Pray. Have real intent. Listen carefully..." yada yada...It's all good and true, but she's gotten those answers dozens of times.  What would I say differently to her that will help her?
People.  Let me tell you--this was the coolest thing of my LIFE! For some random reason, the attribute of service came to my mind.  Erika needs to serve.  This was the most different, random challenge she has ever been told, but I challenged her to serve.  We all know Mosiah 2:17: "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." But we usually neglect the first line, (myself included, until I opened it to read with Erika) "I tell you these things that YE MAY LEARN WISDOM!" Erika needs to serve and turn her heart outward, and she will learn wisdom!! I knew that the Spirit told me that is what Erika needs.  It was the most random thought, but I felt it was right.  After walking out of that discussion I felt on top of the world! The Spirit spoke to me and I was able to recognize it.  I literally cried tears of happiness because I new how right that was.  I could not wipe that huge grin off my face.  That joy that I felt was incredible.  I am learning great things here and cannot wait to teach people in Idaho!

It snowed here and I love it! Well....Granted, I'm only outside for a total of 1 minute at a time walking from building to building, but it's so fun and pretty. haha I'm always admiring it and eating it. (Me, eating ice? What else is new;)  My companion from Detroit, Michigan finds it entertaining.  (I actually tend to entertain her all the time because I'm so weird. ha)  

I would LOVE to get mail from anyone! is awesome because it's free for you, and I get the letter on the same day you send it.  Snail mail is wonderful too. ;)

Thank you for your love! I love you all and I would love to hear from you!
I am so grateful to the Lord and how He has blessed me.  I am crazy blessed!!

From the MTC to you,
Sister Carling

I can't figure out how to attach hopefully next week I will be able to send some!

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