We got an email home from Nicole today! Although Nicole misses home-cooked meals and the silliness of our family, she’s having a great time at the MTC. She writes:
The MTC is GREAT!!! The food is great, the people are great, and there are missionaries EVERYWHERE which is pretty GREAT!! My district is absolutely amazing!! I'll send photos next week because it's not working on this computer at the moment. My companion is a sweetheart and way strong in the gospel! I have learned so much from her. Working with a companion is SO HARD!!! I struggle all the time with it because we are so different. But, nonetheless, I know that God wanted me to work with her because of all the things I've learned from her! I'm so grateful for the people I've met at the MTC. They've changed my life and have really strengthened my testimony. Through priesthood blessings, and focusing all my time on the Savior, Jesus Christ, I'm able to apply the enabling power of the Atonement to strengthen me further!
I really love it here, but I miss home a lot too. There's something that happens everyday that makes me think of home. Though I miss ya'll and everything about Texas, I wouldn't change it for this opportunity. Being a missionary is already so hard, and I've only tasted a FRACTION of missionary life, but the blessings you receive are unexplainable! I love it here and the people are so awesome! The speakers and talks and messages that are shared everyday are so uplifting. Haha, funny story. I was in the choir for a devotional and the conductor was talking to us sisters about a specific part in the song. He goes "now sisters, this is the first and last time you will ever be told this. But, I need you to be more emotional!!" Haha, I thought it was really funny!
While being at the MTC, I've found myself extremely grateful for everyone in my life and all the things they've taught! I'm so grateful for the elders who taught me so much before I came. I'm thankful for all the ward members and the strength they've been to me. Lastly, I'm thankful for my family! I love ya'll so much and I thank God everyday for giving me such a great support group! I hope all is well! Love and miss you lots!!!”
After hitting send, Nicole realized she still had time left on the computer! So she sent another email.
“So...I have some extra time on the computer, so I thought I'd add more!!! The coolest thing EVER happened the first night here. All the new missionaries gathered for a devotional and our ending song was The Army of Helaman. The words normally go "we will be the Lord's missionaries..." INSTEAD we sang "we ARE NOW the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth!" How powerful that was! The Spirit was so strong and bore powerful witness that this is where I'm supposed to be! Also during the devotional, the speaker decided he was going to go through all the countries where the new missionaries came from and have them stand up to be recognized. When he got to the US, he did it by state. Each state had a few people stand up. It was really cool to see where all these missionaries were from. The last state he called out was Utah and 3/4 of the room stood up...haha, it was pretty awesome! Ooh..did I tell you I'm the youngest in my district?? My companion, Sister Nakayu (Nick I U), is 23, then we have Elder Fogle who's 22. Then Elder Williams is 20 and Elder Gentry is 19 and so is Elder Hunter. Then Sister Erickson and her companion Sister Mills is 19 too. So.....after actually thinking this through, I realized I'm not the youngest....oops. Looks like most of the people in my district are my age...oh well! My district is so awesome! Our elders and sisters are so sweet and their testimonies of the gospel are so strong and you can see that through their actions!
So, I'm not sure when my P-day will be in the mission field, but it probably won't be wednesday. It will most likely be Monday, but I leave for Washington Monday so you probably won't hear from me Monday...except you may!! I get to call home at the airport before I leave for Washington! I can't remember what time my flight leaves though.....I think it leaves around 7, but it may be around 8....I guess I'll just call when I get to the airport in hopes that someone is home and able to pick up. If not, I'll write next P-day and talk to ya'll at Christmas! If there's a certain number you want me to call, just send a Dear Elder with it. Thanks guys!! Love you tons!!(: