Oh my dear family and friends!
I have WAY to much to tell all of you and WAY to little time. So please excuse the typos and what not as I try to type as fast as my little fingers can go.
I leave for the field in T-minus 4 days, I report to the travel office at 3 am and go to the airport sometime after that. Craziness but thats okay! :) I'll land in GA around noon on Tuesday and go to the mission home for a pow-wow and what not. So exciting.
We are teaching a lot, which is so much better than sitting in class all day. My district has even been chosen to teach extra volunteers and investigators. Which is a HUGE deal because most districts have been getting theirs canceled because there just arent enough resources with the HUGE amount of missionaries coming in. The week I entered the MTC there were 600 missionaries coming in the same day, this wednesday 850 missionaries came and in two weeks 1,300 missionaries are coming in. The MTC is growing so big! So big infact that KSL is doing a special on the MTC and growth of missionary program.
After service on wednesday Sister Dickerson, Blaylock, and I went back to the room to get ready to shower and for class. (My comp and I were split into tripanionships so we could get more service done). Anyways we were in our room and this woman just barged in haha and asked if they could film our room so they could show what it looked like having 6 girls in a room. So we agreed to clean up, nothing too exciting. Well during lunch our name came over the loud speaker and we were told to go back to our room because not only did they want to film our room, but they wanted to interview us! So cool!! So my room got chosen to be interviewed by KSL for their MTC special. We did a bunch of interviews, they filmed us walking, doing companion study, and all sorts of stuff. Kind of fun ya? :) I'm stoked. I'll send a picture to prove my story.
Last funny story of the day before I change gears. So there is this one elder.. I dont know his name, he has told me a few times.. but I never remember.. oops :) Anyways, not important. So I see him everywhere, becuase we have our meal times the same and he got here the same day I did. Well on Saturday I was getting my food and he just walked right up to me and said "SISTER! I see you everyday, and I always tell everyone around me how I think your hair is the best, so I decided today that I was going to tell you. So hey! I really like your hair, its awesome." HAHA So that was funny. Now every time I see him he tells me how much he loves my hair. Wait.. it gets better. Yesterday we had In-Field Orientation AKA death by meetings. We had meetings from 8am-5:30pm. Such a long day! And they split you up from your district and assigned you to random rooms. Well Elder 'I like your hair' was in my room. We were in the big meeting in the mornign and my companion said "Um.. Sister Hamilton.. there is an elder trying to get your attention" I look over and there he is smiling and waving. So I said hello, nothing weird. Then He is in all of my classes, I walked in and we were going to sit at a table that happened to be next to his and he smiles and says "SISTER! Here! theres a seat next to me" I just smiled and said "Oh thanks elder! But I need a seat for my companion too." And sat down.. haha He's funny. And he pops up everywhere and comes to talk to me. Its so random! And hilarious, oh little elder. I think its funny so it doesnt bother me, but it bothers my companion. haha
Okay. So to end my letter this week I want to type up a part of one of my journal entries this week. It was the most powerful experiences I have had here in the MTC and I will always hold these two individuals in my heart.
"Today Sister Reese and I taught a couple in their early 70s who were just amazing. James and Joney Saxton have been married for four years now, and are both inactive members of the church. The lesson began just as all lessons do, asking a little bit about their backgrounds and needs. No unusual amount of information was shared. Joney loved that I was from the bay area as well, and so she asked me a great question "Sister Hamilton, why are you here? Why are you on a mission?" I usually answer that question with the scripture John 21:15 so I went to reach for my bible and I saw my "ANGELS FOR ATTICUS" bracelet. Then the thoguht came, "you are here to help families be together forever." So I began telling her of how much my family means to me and that eternal families was a lesson my familt was taught by our Angel Atti. Joney, first silent, looked up and said "My angel Jonney died 3 years ago, he was my oldest grandson." As I talked to her of her expectations for this visit she said "I want to be sealed to my wonderful husband, can you help me remember how?"
James, being quite the character gave Joney a hard time. But we could telll it was a sincere question she had. Sister reese taught powerfully and gently of the pwoer of the atonement. I kept wondering how how we could get James along to ask what his concerns were when all of a sudden his phone rang. Joney ended up taking the call outside and we knew it was our chance to talk to him. James explained some of his concerns and asked "Can I be sealed to more than one woman if I get sealed?" The spirit of discernment is real, it all made sense, he was concerned about being sealed to his lovely wife Joney when he hadn't been sealed to his wife who had passed away. We taught him taht God is all knowing, merciful, and loving, and that He would not want James to live with out all those whom he loved. Right at that moment Joney came back in and we taught about the importance of going to church and lviing all aspects of the Gospel. God gives us great things, things that make us happy in this world, and only asks that we follow him. We must choose between the good, better, and best. The best being the gospel of Jesus Christ and our families.
Almost out of no where James broke out of his joking, funny character, grabbed his sweathearts hand looked her straight in the eyes and said "Joney hunny, I know we need to be sealed. I dont ever want to say goodbye to you." Words truly cannot describe the love and joy which filled her eyes and the room at that moment. My heart was full as I knew of his desire to live with her forever, and I remembered all of my family and felt so thankful for the gospel and knowing that I can live with them forever. No sooner did he finish saying that than he turned to us and said, "But sisters, for the superbowl, I'm choosing the 'good' and perhaps not best" Oh what a great man."
That was by far my most treasured lesson of the MTC. Never have I seen strangers and wanted them to live with each other in heaven so badly than I did at that moment. I am sure that desire will only increase as I continue to be a missionary for this wonderful Church. The gospel is nothing unless we can enjoy the blessings it offers with our families. I will give this mission all I have hoping and praying everyday to teach Gods plan of Happiness for families. And God willing, bring at least one family to the knowledge that they never have to say goodbye. That is what this mission is about, and that is what I desire to do.
I love being a missionary, and can't wait to get out into the real world to go and preach the gospel to families. I love you all so much. Read the scriptures, they will bring more joy into your life than thought humanly possible. Hold your family close, and don't let a day go by that you dont tell them how much you love them.
You are all in my prayers.
Thank you for everything. Dont worry about me, I'm on the Lord's errand and He is taking very good care of me.
P.S. The picture is of me with the camera after being interviewed :)