Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mallory's first week at the MTC in Provo

So, hey family! First of all,  is great!! Please tell people that want to email me back to use that website, as I get the email in letter form the day it's sent. However, this is only in the MTC so be sure to tell people of that as well. It's crazy to think that I've been here for a week already! As predicted, the days are long and the weeks are short. We were teaching the third day in Spanish to our investigator, Oscar. Our first lesson was terrifying. We didn't know what to do or how to say anything. After a painful lesson of stumbling over words we felt exhausted and drained and were worried that we would feel that way after every lesson! However, as we taught each day after that and relied on the spirit and forgot the language it was amazing how much smoother things went! Instead of worrying about what we would say and how to say it in Spanish we relied on the spirit and felt energized and so full of love for Oscar afterwards. It was truly a blessing and a miracle. I love all of you so much! It was nice to see all the pictures from the swim meet; Go Emilie! Oh, and when I read Emilie's message in the letter I cried, so tell her she got me;)
I would send pictures today but our zone leaders told us we needed to buy a card reader here at the MTC so I'll have to try to send pictures next week. As you may have guessed, my P-day is Thursday, and will be for the remainder of my time here in the MTC. It has been a fantastic experience so far! Hard, yes, but definitely worth it. 

I'll try to type up some of my journal entries so you guys can have a better idea of what's been going on around here! Love you!

Reminder: Oh, and just so everyone knows, if you want to write me back while I'm in the MTC, which will be until August 20 something, PLEASE write through and I'll get it the day you send it. Thanks!! Much love to everyone! 

On Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 11:49 AM, Mallory Dickson <> wrote:
July 15
I just waved goodbye to my parents. I thought one of them would cry and make me cry as well; I'm thankful they didn't. I've dreamed about going on a mission all my life, but it came so much faster than I thought it would. I will love and miss my family, but after receiving the call in Feb I've been itching to cut the anticipation and leave. 
A lot of emotions have ran through me in these last few weeks. An overwhelming one at times was fear. I was afraid to go, afraid to not measure up. Afraid of change. But, oddly enough, now that I'm here, in the airport by myself without even a phone, I don't feel afraid. It's still overwhelming, but I'm tired of waiting and ready to get started. As I gave my farewell talk, mentioning in it Andrew, Collin, and Zane, I realized I couldn't afford to fear or wish I "wasn't" going. So many have fought so hard for such a short time to serve. 
I have been extremely blessed: things have gone so smoothly. I want to be, am Determined to be a strong missionary for their sake. Time to board soon. Provo here I come! ...Again;)

July 16
First day at the MTC! The spirit has been overwhelming. I feel already like I belong here. Janine and her little boy Sam dropped me off at the MTC. It was so strange to see the gates open, gates I'd walked by many times. We were met by an elder who asked where I was reporting to. I said Buenos Aires and he stuck a pink sticky note on the car, ushering us down farther in to the MTC. Janine helped me take my bags out and gave me a hug before my host, an elder named Elder Beard, took two of my bags and helped me walked them up to the main entrance. I left him with the bags and walked in. I was pointed to a room labeled "new missionaries".
The first sister I walked up to placed my nametag on my left side. I could feel the weight of my call as that tag settled on my chest. I was now a representative of Christ himself. I was led by several other sisters who gave me my Id card, key, and a green schedule. I was then led back to my host who walked me and my luggage to the missionary bookstore. Once inside I was handed a blue bag that felt extremely heavy. From there we were led outside, where a bus was waiting. Elder Beard, who had already loaded the bags into a nearby truck, said goodbye. I sat down near the front of the bus. Quite a few elders came on before a few sisters joined us. One of them was my companion. Her name is Hermana Johnson (Cloe). She's extremely kind and we have a lot in common! Not to mention curly hair ;) Finally, someone that understands me;) I also got to meet Elder Hall and another Elder who were both quite nice. 
After the bus ride we were introduced to new hosts who helped us take our bags to our room, which happens to be in Wyview housing. We're on the third floor. While dropping off our suitcases my companion and I officially met. After dropping off our bags we went straight to class. The man who initially led us in only spoke in Spanish, which was quite the shock! After dropping off our stuff and saying "hola" to Elder Roberts, our teacher, we were led to another room in which we learned the gym rules via computer. After that and taking a missionary questionnaire we went back to class.
 Hermano Roberts is a very kind, happy guy and will be a wonderful teacher I feel. He introduced us to some spanish and had us introduce ourselves in Espanol. Our district is smaller than I thought it would be, although apparently it's large as districts go. Everyone in our district except Elder Hall is going to Buenos Aires Norte which is amazing! I already feel like these Hermanas and elders are mi familia. We had the opportunity to sing the battle hymn of the republic in spanish. The spirit was very strong as we did so. Elder Roberts also gave a prayer in Spanish which we all knelt for. It was a beautiful prayer, and although it was in Spanish I understood a good portion of it. What touched me about Elder Roberts was how cheerful and happy he was as he was teaching. He told us that we were learning Spanish as a means to share the gospel and Christ. That was the sole purpose. The spanish itself wasn't important. It was what it enabled us to do. 
After class we walked to a main area where we took a bus to orientation. We began by singing "called to serve" which I found quite fitting. The spirit was once again strong as we listened to the Mission president and his wife. Two sisters also sang a duet of "I know that my Redeemer lives" which gave me the shivers as they ended. He has lived, died, and now lives for us. their song testified of this truthfulness. However, the spirit was equally strong at the closing song, "We'll bring the world his truth". What an amazing thing! I still don't fully comprehend it.
After the meeting we headed over to dinner. After H. Johnson and I got our food we took a seat next to the two sisters who helped us to our room earlier. As we were eating who comes and sits  by us but Elder Brennan Garrett, an old friend from fall ward at BYU! He seemed excited to see me and it was nice to see a familiar face. He's a district leader and has been here for 4 weeks.
After dinner we were led back to the chapel where orientation had been held. This time, however, we met in turn 3 "investigators", both actors and possible legitimate investigators, and helped to teach them. The first was Iaini. I was prompted during that portion to stand up and talk about Joseph Smith (JS). I just know that the spirit wanted me to get up and share the words he put in my mouth. We also met with Alex and Jorge. H. Johnson was about to help teach Jorge when we ran out of time and had to go catch the bus. I could tell she was quite disappointed and had been very ready to teach and share a scripture. I actually ended up leaving my shoulder bag in Alex's room so we had to wait to get it before catching the bus back to the West part of the CCM, where all spanish speakers stay. We then had the opportunity of meeting our Zone, of which Elder Garrett is a part of, before sending a quick email to our parents letting them know we had arrived safely.
(When Mallory was a baby I used to take her to the MTC, while I played the role of investigator and she proceeded to try to destroy the elders eye glasses etc. while they were trying to teach.  Of course, she wouldn't remember this!)
The elders in our zone walked us home before heading to their apartments. There are just four hermanas in the apartment, which is nice. The zone consists of all Elders and us four sisters, which I personally don't mind. Once we got back here we unpacked and got ready for bed. It feels wonderful to be in pants and to take off these shoes and painful socks! However, I already find it weird to not have on my nametag. 
I know it's normal to be afraid or to miss family, but I can't help but feel so strongly that this is Right. I belong here. This is where I'm meant to be. Christ has been so close today, my third companion. I am no where near adequate, I know, but I am not afraid. I will give this my all. This is where I am supposed to be. I love my Savior, and his love has never been far from me. I know with him anything is possible. Todo es posible con mi Senor. Just by looking at the Elders in our district, freshly 18 and just out of high school, it is a real miracle to see how mature they are. The authority they hold through the priesthood is evident. They seem far beyond their years. Oh the glory and might of this gospel. And we do it all for Christ. 

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