Friday, October 29, 2010

Somehow It Just Keeps Getting Better!

This week has gone by so fast. Actually, time has gone by fast since I got here to the MTC. I know I have changed though in that short amount of time. If nothing else, I notice I am having a hard time spelling words (in English) correctly. This usually is not a struggle for me, but I think it's the effects of learning Spanish. I will embrace it as a good thing for now.
This week was fabulous! On Sunday, Sister Denise Doxey who is on the RS General Board came and spoke. The part about this that was so wonderful is that she is my old roommate's Mother in law!  Chels and Dan came to hear her speak so I got to see them!!! I love Chels!!! Sister Doxey's talk was wonderful- she talked about how we are fighting a war right now. It is real and we have to give it our gusto.
This week Hna Salmon and I had a teaching evaluation appt. We signed up with an MTC teacher and did getting to know you in Spanish. It is to practice the initial meeting and sharing a bit of the gospel with someone. We thought it was going great until the teacher stopped us and said, "Frankly I just feel weird." Uh-oh. I guess he felt like we were conducting an interrogation. Which we were. It was really funny and a good learning moment. Sis Salmon and I are usually pretty capable English speakers, but Spanish kinda turns us around. I end up moving on when I do not understand what the person says. Not the best thing! But I am sure I will be learning more in Peru. I am excited for this!
Elder Richard G. Scott came on Tuesday night to speak to the whole MTC. This was an amazing experience. I could not believe how my prayers were answered. He said some very specific things for sister missionaries and I was SO thankful to hear them! Elder Scott expressed his gratitude for the sisters serving and said, I would like to make a suggestion. Actually, not a suggestion but a REQUIREMENT to the sister missionaries to watch your health! He said that there are times when we will need more rest and we should exercise wise judgment and REST. We do not always need to be putting in as many hours as the elders. It is not worth it to be sent home over illness if we could have just taken better care of ourselves when we needed the rest. I appreciated this sooo much. My health is very important to me--- without it I will not have the energy or the ability to share the gospel! Another significant moment was that Elder Scott said he had a personal witness of how Heavenly Father takes care of the Sister missionaries-- he protects them and watches over them. Then Elder Scott said, I would like to exercise the authority and power I hold as an Apostle of God and make an apostolic promise. He then promised that the Sister missionaries would have a shield of protection and no danger would come to us. He said that if we listened to the Spirit, we would be protected from any possible harm. There will be times when we will be prompted to choose a different path or change our plans and we should follow these promptings. What a comfort this promise was to me and to all of the sister missionaries! I felt so loved and watched over. I know I will be safe on my mission! I am very thankful for the knowledge that Heavenly Father loves His children and me! Elder Scott ended his talk by saying, "I know Jesus Christ lives. He is the personage of perfect love and our intermediary with the Father. He lives. I know this because I know Him." This was very powerful to say the least. I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ. The reality of His love for us is that we can overcome anything through Him.
I love being a missionary. There is so much I am learning about myself and about the Lord's work. I have still been going to the aerobics classes and these are fabulous. I love my companion Hna Salmon-- we still love laughing and talking about random things in Spanish. It makes everything more exciting.
Have a Spooky Halloween!!!!!!!!
Seeesta Garlock

A Bed Fairy in the MTC?

Hola Familia!
Well it has been an eventful week! I love the MTC. Still. I don't think that is going to change. Especially since I only have another couple of weeks here. We got our travel plans for the Peru MTC. We leave Nov 3rd in the morning and stop once in Georgia for a short layover and then it's straight to Peru. I'm not sure how much I should tell you about the MTC or if I should just wait to see what it's really like. I have heard some interesting things.... The most interesting being that this summer there was a lice outbreak and the Elders had to shave their heads. I'm almost postive the sisters did not have to shave their heads, but then again I haven't heard so no guarentees!
I have actually heard really good things-- it is a small MTC about 100 missionaries. There are 14 missionaries going to Ecuador and we are all going to the Peru MTC.  At the MTC, we will get to contact with the people there. This will be amazing-- we will get to actual share the gospel with people.
Speaking of sharing the gospel with people, Hna Salmon and I have our first teaching appt on Monday in the Teaching Resource Center. So a woman from the community who is LDS volunteered to come in and act as an investigator and we get to know her and teach. The first 15 minutes of the lesson were in Spanish and it was all just getting to know you. I're probably very impressed we could carry on conversations for 15 minutes. Don't be too impressed- there were plenty of pauses. It went well, except for when I accidently asked if she had a wife. OOPS! I meant to ask if she has a husband. I was just a little confused. And so was she. :) But she said she would read the Book of Mormon so she must not have been toooo offended.
Tuesday nights are devotionals and this week the apostle Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke!!! This was WONDERFUL!!! We had no idea he was coming but when he walked in, we were singing Prelude and all of a sudden everyone started singer louder. It was very powerful. His wife Sister Wendy Nelson came also and she spoke. They actually only spoke for about 35 minutes. It was fabulous. Elder Nelson began the fireside by telling us how much he and the Prophet and Apostles love the missionaries and our families! He ended the talk in the same way. He really expressed how much he loved our families. I was also very grateful for the promise he gave at the end of the talk. He invoked a blessing of health, safety, and protection. This was very reassuring to me.
Hna Salmon went to health training this week since she will be the mission nurse. And I am VERY convinced that the missionaries' health is a top priority. Guess what else we got in our packets when we first got to the MTC? A water filter!! Just like the one you had me bring mom. And that filter was made specifically for missionaries and now even the army uses it. It is so amazing that it will even take out caffeine from pop or safely filter the muddy water an elephant has stepped in. Pretty cool.
Sister Tanner (the past YW General President) came and spoke in RS this week. This was excellente. I learned a lot about the point of RS and how the sisters faith will bless the work of God. She said that RS was not intended to be a sewing club. Thank heavens!
I am having a wonderful time here. I wish I had more time to email you details...I will do my best.
Hna Salmon's and my favorite cookies are the sugar cookies. Delicious.
We also seem to have a bed fairy. It's actually me but maybe the other sisters haven't realized yet?! The beds are tricky to make so its a lot of work for the bed fairy, but she likes to do it.
Hna Salmon and I went to an Enhancement Class for sister missionaries. We actually did not know what this meant until we got there. Turns out it was our faces that would be enhanced. I will send pictures... Nothing too drastic. 
I love you! Thank you for your letters! 
Hma Garlock

1st letter from the MTC

Here I am at the MTC having the greatest experience of my life. Dramatic I know, but true. First, I love being back in Provo by the mountains! Second, I am doing what I have dreamed of doing-- serving a mission. And I love it.
My teachers at the MTC at Brother Barrios who is from Chile and Sister Smith who knows Amanda from their freshman year at BYU. She served her mission in Spain. So far, classes are fabulous. We spend time studying the gospel and then studying the gospel in Spanish. Surprise?! Not really... :) But I am learning a lot. Last night we had a zone training and we learned about planning and goal setting. Mom you would have loved it. It is like the Stephan Covey class missionary style. I was soaking it all in trying to figure out how to make the most of my time here at the MTC.
Oh by the way, I am leaving the Provo MTC on November 3rd to go to the MTC in Lima, Peru. I found out the first day here and I was SHOCKED to say the least. I say by the way because that was how we found out too. In an envelope they gave me on the first day was a slip of paper on it with my address and date I was leaving the MTC. It was fun to find out this way... It showed me how I am turning my life over to the service of the Lord and I will go wherever I am sent and whenever I am sent! I am very very very excited about it. It should help me learn espanol quicker and will be a very neat experience. I have wanted to go to Peru for a year now--- after hearing about some of my friends and Uncle Guy and Craig's time there last summer. I think the Peru MTC will be very different. I'm pretty sure they will not have the graham canyon BYU creamery ice cream that I am enjoying so much at this MTC. :) I am really looking forward to it and it has added motivation to study and learn and focus because soon I will be in another country learning the gospel.
My district is excellent. I am amazed by the elders. They have such enthusiasm for the gospel and for the work. My respect for valiant Elders has grown immensely. Elder Garlock-- I can picture you being in my district and LOVING it. Except for the fact that I don't think my district is very musically inclined! But overall we are all very motivated and are focused and fun. It is a great balance to the hermanas in the district. There are four of us. Hna Boyles is going to SLC, UT and Hna Hatch is going to Ventura, California.There are two other elders in my district going to the Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission also. They are awesome missionaries so I am excited about serving with them. Three elders are going to the Sydney, Australia mission! Any advice for them Dad? That is where our district leader is going-- I think you would get along great with him Dad... He's from a small town in WY I think and he is a BEET farmer. I should ask him to have his family send us some beets.... yum and so nutritious. I haven't found beets in the cafeteria yet but there is plenty of food I like here.
I have heard plenty of people say that living with a missionary companion is much more difficult that being married because when you get married you get to choose your companion.... I have to say I may disagree! I think Heavenly Father is MUCH better as choosing companions for me than I would be! :) I love Hma Salmon!!! Besides the fact that she doesn't like fish and I do, we have A LOT in common. I am loving getting to know her and have so much fun with her. There is a principle at the MTC known as Quiet Dignity. It is define as representing ourselves as the Savior would. We are trying to implement this into our companionship because we think we may have too much fun! We laugh all the time and are constantly smiling. We have not had any problemos yet, but I'm not expecting any. We talk about everything together- the gospel, dating, what we like, etc. It is so good to have a friend here.
The other two sister and hma Salmon and I go to the workout classes for the sisters in the mornings. They go from 6-6:30am. We also have the 50 min gym time later, but I am very thankful for the classes. I love them! It is such a good start to the day. Today was toning, Thurs was pilates, and Fri was kickboxing. I have actually gotten a little sore from them. The teacher is 5 months pregnant and does a great job. She says things like, "Sisters, today is going to be a great day, isn't it? I can tell. You aren't going to miss out on having that extra sleep at all. You will just be smiling and feeling great all day!" The classes are very similar to the classes I have been to at BYU except for no one cheers and claps during class. Probably because of the quiet dignity principle. Or maybe the class is just really early.
Thank you for your love and support. I am so thankful to be on a mission. It is a rare opportunity for sisters to get to serve and I am thankful I am here. I am learning and growing so much already.
I love you! Have a fantastic week!!!!!
Hermana Garlock