ok so right after i was dropped off i went through a missionary assembly line. Getting checked in, getting a mountain of Italian books, and of course the missionary name tag! As soon as they put that tag on, you just feel so much power. Like a superhero or a gold medal athlete! Its so legit! I then met my companion! Her name is Chloe Bray and we knew each other at BYU! She is from Gilbert, AZ. When we found out that we were comps we were so excited and were jumping up and down! She has blonde hair, blue eyes and cute style. EVERY SINGLE MISSIONARY here calls us the "twin companions". We seriously laugh all the time and make so many new friends! We are having a great time! It feels like BYU but you can only give handshakes, there are no exams, and I have to wake up at 6:30 am!
So I am sure you all want to know how the Italian is going! I will say that learning Italian is the most humbling experience! On the first day here we went to class and our teacher, Sorella Urban was only speaking Italian. The entire time I was thinking, holy cow how will i ever learn this EVER! On the 2nd day we had to teach a gospel lesson to a fake investigator in ITALIAN! With no notes, books, or anything. All i could say was Dio amore lei... God love you... Gesu Christo e salvatore.. Jesus Chirst is the Savior. I just kept repeating that... so hilarious!
Every day it gets a little bit better. I can give a simple prayer, testimony and lesson now. Sometimes I catch myself saying "how am i not fluent yet?" Then i remember that I have only been here one week!
One hilarious lesson was when we had to give a lesson on Joseph Smith. First off the Italian Bilbe formatting is different then the english one so we were in teh lesson and trying to find James 1:5 and we COULD not find it! I was flipping through the pages and Sorella Bray got the giggles. Which gave me the giggles. I found what I think is the right scripture and read it in butchered Italian. Laughing the entire way through. After we left we literally fell on the floor crying/laughing so hard for a solid 45 minutes! It was so funny and so pathetic all at the same time!!! Even though the language is so hard i know that the Lord blesses me everyday with the gift of tongues because in only ONE WEEK i can weave italian into my normal conversation! AMAZING!
Io Sono Felice! (i am happy!)
Even though the language is hard i am SO happy! Seriously the Spirit is so strong here it is tangible! I love being a missionary, I honestly feel like this IS the place to be! Everyone is so happy, fun, and kind all the time! I feel so much more meaningful purpose in my life and i feel MORE CONFIDENT here then I have ever felt before! I think EVERYONE should go on a mission. If you have a testimony at all then a mission is right for you. I can already tell taht deciding to go on a mission was the best decision of my lfie! I get sad thinking of not going. We hust always feel the spirit and have a blast!! I have seen so many friends since coming here.
Chloe Bray (BYU-AZ) going to Rome
Josh FAllentine(BYU-CA) going to Argentina
Evan Jensen(BYU-GA)going to Argentina
Jason Davis(BYU-AZ)going to Milan
James Otaini(BYU-CA)going to Japan
Calvin Quigly (BYU)going to Mexico
Naomi Rhondeau(bff for life)going to Mexico
Sarah Morgan(BYU-WA)going to Thailand
Philip Soleburg (cousins with the Madsens and the Gardiners-- he is in my zone!)going to Romania
Breenan Oglsby (SLC ward-- probably butchered his name) going to Florida
Harrison Young( he is from Austraila, I met him this summer with the Eyres. His family was living in the OC for the summer. We became FB friends but I never thought I would see him again. Until FATE at the MTC) He is going to the Marshall Islands
Elder Brown (my cousin on the Fuller side of the family)going to Mexico
the list just goes on and on!!
Besides Italian the daily struggle is keeping my heart locked! Seriously it is so hard because literally everywhere we go there are hundreds and hundreds of clean cut, hard working, well dressed, spiritual boys. Its like a dream come true gone wrong because as a missionary we can not even hug! Its a struggle! HAHA!
Another thing that is hard is that everyone becomes such good friends like siblings. Whenever I feel the spirit I just want to give every elder i know a hug but I can't. HAHA!
Food and exercising
I was really worried about exercising and food but it is actually really working out! I get a salad every day and its good. Have to be fit before all the gelato! Also there is a super nice gym here and there are tvs to watch conference talks, and mormon messages. One TV is on a constant Elder Holland talk loop, one is a movie about the life of Chirst, one is mormon messages on repeat, and the last is always a recording of Elder Craig Zwick speaking. I just laugh and think of our good friends the Zwicks! I think I will have his talk memorized by the time I leave the MTC.
I have already told you that I feel the spirit so strong. But last Sunday I felt the Spirit more then I ever had before! We had MTC choir practice and sang the most beautiful rendition of "Joseph Smith's first Prayer" I am a terrible singer but I felt chills the entire time. Then we watched a recording of Elder Bednar's MTC Christmas devotional tilted "Characters of Christ" It was all about how we need to stop turning inwards and turn outwards, like how Christ would. To always think of others! I have really tried to apply that in my life here at the MTC. It is super hard because when my companion wants to do something that I don't want to do, or I have a negative thought regarding others I have to catch myself and say "This is not about me". I am here to love others the way Christ loves them and to serve the Lord.
Wow! I feel like I have been writing forever and that is only a fraction of what has happened this week! I love you all so much! Owen congrats on being baptized! What a special day! You have made the best decision!! Jed, I am so proud that you are a worthy, preisthood holder who could baptize him! Lund, nothing makes me happier then hearing about SAB! Keep up the hard work! Mom and Dad thanks for the dozens of letters you sent me! NOT!! HAAHAHAHA! DearElder.com is a great resource. I can read those any day of the week!
Huge shout out to Aunt Janna, Uncle Mike and Sarina Vetterli! My first letters at the MTC! I love them so much! Also thank you Sister Ella Madsen, Unlce Greg, Melissa Cutler, Karalee and Scott Jennings, Emmy Gardiner, Kristin Hart, Alyson Freedman, Lindsay Riches, and Mom for the emails! I LOVE to hear what is going on! It makes me so happy!!!!! I felt so much love today when I opened my email! Tell me every little detail. Even boring details are exciting in the MTC. Dad will you please give me a brief summary of current events and politics and even some pop culture! I need to know what is going on out there!
Mom it would be great if you would send me some luna protein bars and healthy snacks from trader joes, Stews, and that store in Pound ridge! ASAP! My comp gets like 4 packages a day. I need to prove to her that you love me! HAHAHA
Ok I am seriously out of time!!