Week 4! Jordanne entered the MTC 4 weeks ago today. It sounds like it was an exciting week at the MTC, with General Conference and such. Have a look at what she had to say... then write to a missionary - they can help you! ~Danielle
Today marks the end of my fourth week at the MTC - Aaaah! But still 5 more to go....
I know you are all waiting with bated breath to find out how Conference went here at the MTC. So I have to say that there are really not many places it could have been better to be for that Conference than here at the MTC. When President Monson announced the change in the missionary minimum age requirement, there were literally elders jumping out of their seats and cheering. It was amusing, though I was a little annoyed that it interfered a bit with my ability to hear what the prophet was saying! I am only a little disappointed that they didn't do this 7 years ago - because I was so stoked about missionary work then, I totally would have gone when I was 19 and then I would be all finished now! In fact, my MTC teacher, Hermano Piperato said that he was watching Conference with his fiancee and the first thing he said after he heard it was, "Oh man, Hermana Burgess is going to be so mad." But there is a quote (don't have it here with me or I'd write it out properly and tell you who said it) that says that "Faith in the Lord means having faith in His timing as well as His purposes" or something like that. And it's not so much that I don't have faith in the Lord's timing, I just don't really have very much appreciation for it. So my faith just isn't really all that strong in that respect, I guess.
I thought the overall theme for Conference was CONVERSION. What it is, why we need it, and how to go about it. I especially liked the talks by Elders Holland and Bednar and President Eyring. Oh, and Elder Nelson's, of course. "Ask the missionaries. They can help you!" We are betting that becomes a marketing campaign for the Church pretty soon. But we are also a little concerned about him going around making all those promises about things we are supposed to be able to help people do (in Spanish, no less)!
Downside to Conference at the MTC - no pajamas! The elders were even required to wear their suit jackets at all times during all 5 sessions. I felt very bad for them. I brought a sweatshirt, and Hermana Dalley brought a towel, to sit on/against in the hopes of not being miserable from sitting in those crazy-uncomfortable bleacher seats for 10 hours, but it didn't do much good. We were so tired of sitting we would lay on our stomachs on our beds, and our hands were SO CRAMPED from taking so many notes.
Upside to Conference at the MTC - all classes were cancelled for TWO DAYS. We could do basically whatever we wanted before, after, and between Conference sessions, as long as we still completed our daily personal study and stayed on campus (and like followed basic mission rules and stuff). Temple walks were allowed, but we didn't go because it was cold and we preferred naps. And on Saturday night we watched the Relief Society general session (we didn't get it last week because they wanted us to do it in tandem with the Priesthood session for the elders) and after it was over the MTC Presidency LET US GO BACK TO OUR ROOMS. AT 7:30 PM!!!!! It was really like an MTC miracle! That meant we had 3 FULL HOURS to write in journals, write letters, take showers, etc., and we even went to bed like 15 minutes early because we had everything done. If you have not been to the MTC you cannot understand this, but if you have, you can probably appreciate what a wonderful gift it was. But after that our meager one hour to prepare for bed just flies by now! Bummer.
Everyone read 3 Nephi 13. It has the verses about considering the lilies and I was very inspired by it this week.
We have three new sisters in our room/branch. So far we love them despite the tight fit in our dormitory. They are all headed to Costa Rica and think we know SO MUCH SPANISH (this is NOT the case). Their names are Hermanas Ogletree, Workman, and Hamblin. Hermana Hamblin and I are kindred spirits, as she almost exactly one year older than me, so we can relate on the being old thing.
One more thing about Conference - remember the awesome talk the Elder Echo Hawk from the 70 gave about the Book of Mormon? Well, just a few weeks ago we were sitting in the courtyard studying and along comes a member of the MTC Presidency with Elder Echo Hawk and his wife, and they call us over to meet him. He said he was nervous about his Conference talk, and it was cool to get to watch it with that in mind - because I thought it was really great. We also got to meet one other member of the 70 and his wife that day, but I don't have his name on my right now. But you know, just another day at the MTC, meeting 70s.
So, if any of you get bored or are having a bad day, I have a suggestion for you: write a missionary! It will make your day and their day better. And if you already wrote to me that day/week, our elders are really not feeling the love. They never get any mail and it makes us sad. So especially if you are a single young woman and you want to write to an awesome missionary, our elders would love to here from you (or anyone else, really). Mailbox number is the same, I don't know the mission code for three of the elders, but if you use DearElder that shouldn't be a problem. The elders going to Chile Concepcion with me are Andrew Archibald, Peter Morgan, and Rickey Shumway; and the other three, Chase Kunz, Tyson Andersen, and Jacob Stephens, are going to Madrid, Spain. So write a missionary - they can help you!
I have been reading the BOM from the beginning, and I am trying to read all the footnotes (including all the scriptures listed in the TG topics for each footnote) in every verse! I've been working on it during at least half of my personal study time for at least a week now and so far I haven't even finished 1 Nephi 1:1. But I think it is a cool project and hope to actually complete it in my lifetime. :)
Time is almost up - just want to tell you that I love you all and that this gospel is true and it is SO AWESOME! Please read the Book of Mormon every day, attend the temple whenever you can (baptisms too, for those without endowments), and PRAY ALWAYS. The Lord loves you and wants to help.
Something weird about the MTC is they get really creative about food here. It is so obvious sometimes that instead of actually following any kind of a recipe for what it is they are claiming to serve for that meal, what they do is just kind of use the leftover ingredients from other meals and call it good. Sometimes they randomly put like two pieces of unseasoned bowtie pasta on top of your spinach salad. It's very odd.
Anyway, email time is up. Write me
P.S. To anyone who is wondering or trying to help - what we REALLY want is to be able to make our own Rice Krispies treats. (We like to control the things we can, you know!) If you want to send us pre-made Rice Krispies, we will love you all the more and eat them with much gusto! But we have managed to acquire a stick of butter (an awesome story for another day) and think we can get the cereal from the cafeteria. So all we are missing now is marshmallows. Anyone up to the challenge? :D Love you all!