Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 1: "My Dear Bilbo Bennetts"

My dearest family,

I LOVE YOU ALL! I think you come to appreciate that more and more as a missionary. I feel as though I need more emails though! Keep them coming!

Two things I can tell you right now.

1. The MTC is hard. And stressful. 

I have so much to learn and grow as I try my hardest to become the best missionary I can be. I've learned so much! The best way 100% of the time, is to learn through the spirit. You also learn through having fun! AND last but not least (because it happens all the time), you learn through making mistakes. :P And saying the wrong thing. FOR EXAMPLE, my very first "mock" lesson with my teacher (Brother Weber) he was a playing a character named Dan that we've been teaching almost every day. The very first lesson we had gone in just having learned the importance of inviting others to be baptized, and so after our first lesson about prayer, I popped the question! And "Dan" was like, 'you mean, you want me to be Mormon?' and I replied, "Yupp!" Ha. I've learned a bit more about teaching since. 

My district is amazing. We all have such a love and care for each other. We get along so well. These are honestly some of my best friends. And our teachers are fantastic. The best ways to learn is not for people to tell you things. The best way to learn is for you to figure it out yourself. Our teachers are really good at facilitating our discovery process.

Speaking of friends, I LOVE my companion Sister Willard! We have so much fun together. She's from just out of Vegas, and she wants to work so hard! We had to come up with a list of 50 things we love about our companions, and it was easy to go beyond that. I love it. She's an awesome missionary to work with. We're both going to Boise, so hopefully we'll see more of each other. :)

I've been busier than I've been in my life, but I'm a little extra busy now because I got called as a Zone Sister Training Leader. I guess Heavenly Father has a thing or two to teach me. I absolutely love the girls in my Zone.
Oh, so in the MTC there is a sort of simulated teaching program. in which members (who are exceptional actors) or real investigators come and get taught by the new missionaries. It's called TRC. Lucky for sister Willard and I, both people we taught were real investigators! I'm a lot less nervous to teach than I thought I would be. I think it's because I realize I'm not perfect, and that it's ok if I make mistakes! As long as I try and improve and love the people I'm teaching and try to have the Spirit with me, I'll be ok. The Spirit works miracles!

It's important to have fun too. And I've had a ton of that. I get made fun of all the time being Canadian. And I'm not drinking the orange juice! Only once! And I'm keeping to my one chocolate milk a day quota, thank you very much. And I'm eating relatively healthy. I feel like I've been completely myself while I'm here. So nice. 
Time is crazy here! Two days could have passed, a month, it's all the same. I can't believe I've been here for a week.

A general authority is coming to visit us tomorrow for Thanksgiving! I get to sing in the choir for him. It's going to be great, I can't wait to find out who it is. Oh, and I auditioned for a solo! I sang "Oh Lord, My Redeemer." The two sisters in the MTC presidency that were there loved it, but they couldn't have me in any programs since I leave on Tuesday and the program for the Sunday meeting is already set. They want me to sing it in my Zone if I can. That was a cool experience. I felt good about it. I think one way I can share the gospel is to share my talents. :) My district told me that they're going to miss my singing.

I feel like I've only told you a small portion of everything I've experienced here, but time is of the essence, so I must depart. I love you all.

Sister Rachel Bennett

P.s. My first and foremost piece of advice - seek personal revelation! It's amazing how life changes when you strive to make Heavenly Father center to what you do. 

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