I haven't had a P-Day in over a week, and I'm finally in Arizona, so I have so much to tell you! I barely know where to start, so please hold for the next available customer service representative . . .
First off, the MTC. If I were to give any advice to a new missionary from what I've learned so far is this: ENJOY THE MTC. My last few days in the MTC were super memorable. First off, I had a conversation with someone. This is significant because this person was named Gladys and she only spoke Spanish. It was super exciting! I was waiting for someone to help me get a real life bottle opener, so I could enjoy the Lenin-ade my wonderful mother sent me. While they were off doing that, I started talking to Gladys. It was really a simple conversation: just where are you from, where are you going to serve, but this is a big deal for me.
The next memorable thing I want to tell y'all about is about the Sunday Night Devotional. Stephen Allen was the speaker (he does something in the missionary department), and he started talking about his son's mission to Russia. He showed a picture from the mission and then asked for anyone who was in the picture to please stand. Brother Allen's son was in the audience, and he stood, BUUTTTTT another missionary who was at the MTC also stood. The picture was the son with one of his converts, and the missionary in the picture was the 2 year old child of them. I thought it was so cool because holy cow! Missionary work has such a huge ripple effect, even if we don't see it right away!
The last night at the MTC was a very special night for me because I got to spend a little more time with the BEST MTC district to have ever existed. I grew so close to each of them, and it was really hard to leave them. I was glad I at least get Sister Sorenson and Sister Johnson and Elder Tolman here in Arizona. The next morning, we left for the airport. Elder Tolman was sad that he didn't have his elders there, so we decided that the sisters could pretend to be the Colorado elders to make Elder Tolman feel better. Elder Tolman assigned who each of us would fill in for. Sister Sorenson was fill in Elder Hathaway, Sister Johnson was fill in Elder Payne, and I was fill in Elder Robbins. I got to call home when I was at the airport, and it was so nice to talk to my wonderful family! I wanted to call my pops too, but the call card I had wouldn't let me make a second call even though there were still minutes on it . . . I was bummed, but I loved talking to my dearest Mother, Sarah, Hailey, and Tanner. (I missed talking to my favorite Katie Potato.) That evening I got to get aquainted with my bike, which I have named Micycle (or Mike for short). Micycle the Bicycle. We had dinner with a member family, and they were ever so kind to us, then we spent the night with another family. All the members are so kind.
The next day I met my new companion, Sister Sprouse, who will be my trainer. She's been a missionary for 3 months, so we are both still pretty new. I'm learning a lot from her. She's very artistic, and she can oil paint! She's super amazing, and I love her a lot! I say about half of my phrases in Spanish to her, but she is cool with it. I just have to remember to repeat what I was trying to say in English. One thing I did not realize about missionary work is how much time is spent finding. That night, we got to go tracting (we get to do a little tracting each day), and it was a cool experience. We were walking around, and there was this one street that I saw, and I kept thinking about it and how I really wanted to go knock on the doors on that street. Eventually, I did ask Sister Sprouse if we could go to it, and she was down with this idea. First house we knocked on was that of a girl named Toni. She had thought about being baptized a few years ago, but didn't know where a LDS church was in her area, but she's letting us come back to teach her! I love that the Lord let me have an experience with listening to the Holy Ghost on my very first day. We also had a lesson with another family, and they are super interested. I thought about asking for baptism as they came to know that what we said was true, but that scared me. Thankfully Sister Sprouse asked, and the daughter-in-law agreed that she would after she read the Book of Mormon!
Every day is not quite like that. We spend a lot of time visiting people and finding. Let me tell you a thing about Arizona. It is HOT! Sister Gasu, one of the other sisters that we live with, said that the thermometer in our car (which I admit we use sometimes, but we are also on bikes) shows two degrees hotter than it real life is, but it still said that at one point it was 122 degrees (Fahrenheit)! One person we've got to visit a lot is Carl. He's been an investigator for a LONG time, but he's pretty much our best missionary help in one of our wards. I need to get a picture with him at some point, so y'all can see him. He is very blunt, but it's absolutely hilarious, and he's just the sweetest old man. Plus, he helped me fix my bike, which I really appreciate. Whenever we go over, he knows that we have to start and end with prayer, and he is usually the one to remind us.
I've also run into people with interesting beliefs here. One lady kept telling us how Angel Moroni was an alien and all the pyramids and Moroni statues are sending signals back to the rest of the aliens and how we are all aliens trying to get back to Mars. She was real fun to talk to. I'm looking forward to all the people I will get to meet!
I'm so thankful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary! Some days are hard, but I learn a lot. I've learned that there may be mistakes that I will make, but because of Him, there doesn't have to be any regrets. Christ will help me as long as I'm doing my best. I'm working on talking more in lessons, but I learned that just because I'm not always talking, that doesn't mean I'm ineffective. Missionary work is scary, but President Uchtdorf has promised that "we are called to serve and to be successful". I love this church, and my favorite part of any day is when I get to testify that Jesus is the Christ. I love you all! Also, there is a video that I am low-key obsessed with, that everyone needs to watch. It's the Mormon Message, "None were With Him" by Jeffery R. Holland. Thanks for your prayers and your emails and your testimonies!
Sister Sorenson and I with my MTC elders