Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week One

Our first email from Sister Willerth!
Family, loved ones, and all whom it may concern,
Woahhhhhhhh! WHAT! I'm here and it's been a week already! It's true what they say about the MTC - total time vortex. It feels like I've been here forever, but when I see the scared little Elders and Sisters coming in today, I feel like one of them, like I just came in this morning. Crazy. But they all say if you can get through Sunday, you can do it - and I've been here a whole week now! Boom! I can do anything!
Okay, in all seriousness though - this place is amazing. On my way in, I've got to be honest - I was ready to throw up. SO NERVOUS! What am I doing here? I don't know anyone! I can't even read my own name tag! What if I get bed bugs! (Stay tuned for a funny story). But as soon as I stepped in and they stuck that tag on me, I wasn't worried anymore. It really is like a forcefield that kind of keeps all your worries and self-concern away. (It also keeps you from hugging people and holding babies - gotta take what you can get.) It was such a miracle, I met my companions and my district and we got along so well, and I went to sleep feeling totally at peace. It just makes sense for me to be here. I know I'm where I should be.
Rewind - did she just say "companions"? Yes I did! I have two wonderful companions - Sister Schrecengost and Sister Rohrbaugh. Because this is my first email, and I do love them, I was willing to waste half my email time spelling out their names, but from this point on I think we shall call them Sis. S. and Sis. R. (No disrespect ladies - you know it's true.) Really though I love them SO MUCH. By some miracle we all have exactly the same sense of humor. I have not gone a single day without laughing til I cry. And our district doesn't exactly help that. I am CONVINCED I have the best district EVER! We are all like a tiny little family. We all joke and laugh a lot, (probably too much - I'm kind of worried that we'll never learn Russian) but everyone is here to work hard and I'm learning so much from them. I'm sure you'll hear much more about them in detail in letters to come.
Okay so remember how I decided to stop teaching myself because I figured they teach you here? JOKE'S ON ME. Put aside all your other lists people - the #1 thing they don't tell you before you go into the MTC - YOU WILL HAVE TO TEACH YOURSELF THE LANGUAGE! Well, I hear it changes a little bit after the first week, but for right now we're on our own, and it's HARD. You start teaching lessons your 2nd-3rd day, and you just have no idea what you'
re saying (and can hardly even read) but you say a prayer and go in and hope that they can even understand you when you say "Hello" (For some reason, Hello and Elders are the two very hardest words. Ha- those suckers.)
Really though, I've learned a lot from it. I still hardly know anything, but my reading is coming alone. Totally starting from scratch. It's so humbling, but eventually you learn that weakness is strength here. That's something we talked about at the Easter Devotional.
Yeah, Easter. SO GREAT. Apparently, 6+ hours of church doesn't seem so hard after spending 4 days trying to learn Russian. (Which reminds me. Linda always said the testing center was the greatest place because that's where the most prayers are said. FALSE. Everyone who wants to hear some VERY sincere and humble prayers should spend some time in the language wings of the MTC.) It was really a very spiritual day though. The devotionals here are awesome, and we spend all our time with our district so I'm constantly uplifted. I've been discouraged at times, but I've never felt alone. Thank you for all your prayers.
And thanks for the mail mom and Deana! It's the best getting real letters and packages here - and that's on top of how much you knew I already love mail. Seriously, thank you.
I keep wanting to type words in Russian, but I can't figure out how to change the alphabet yet, and I'm on an extra tight schedule because I have to go pick up a perscription.
Because you're worried now mom, I'll explain. When I got here, I started getting these weird red "lesions," as the doctor called them. Naturally, I was super freaked out - I jynxed myself when I said bed bugs would be the only thing I couldn't habdle. But never fear! They think it's just hives or some form of dermatitis. Anyway I'm getting some stuff for it today and it should clear up. Just a stress thing supposedly, but the sisters are starting to call me Job which is pretty cool I guess. Hopefully I don't get more of his lot though.
Also, Russians have the most awesome pride here. This is how it's Organized - The MTC is Hogwarts. Latin America/ Spanish speakers are Griffindor. Europeans are Hufflepuff. Asians are Ravenclaws. And Russians are Slytherin, because Russian is basically Parstle toungue. (Just kidding, I made that part up, but we really are the cream of the crop.) BOOM. Kiki would be so proud. Also English speakers are muggles. Sorry guys, but let's be real - you're hardly here two weeks, you don't really go to Hogwarts. Also, all the Russians eat together and call the little area the iron curtain. MTC/Russian humor. Once again, you take what you can get.
Okay I'll write more in my letters soon, but know that I love you all and I'm SO grateful for your love, support, and prayers. I really do feel them and I know that they are the reason why I've been so blessed with this awesome district and amazing experience.
I love you all so much.
Sister Willerth.

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