Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Arrived in Spokane!

Guess where I am? ..... Nine Mile Falls, Washington! It's remote and beautiful here! I made it to Spokane just fine and we had a training all day yesterday. We were up at 3am to get to the airport, like I told you on the phone, and we were trained until 9 at night. No nap. It was a   v e r y  long day. Sister Brown and I spent the night at a member's home. Pres. Mullen told us we could sleep in until 8am just this one time. I'm not kidding you guys. I was so happy I cried! It was so glorious! (even though I still woke up at 6:25- I fell back asleep easily). We ate breakfast and went back to the church for another mini training and then to be set up with our new companion/trainer! My trainer is Sister Melinda Wood! She's from SLC, 20, went to Utah State, and is also a redhead- I'm hoping it'll draw enough attention to us that people are willing to talk with us. Nine Mile Falls is like 30 minutes northwest of downtown Spokane- Not too far from Gonzaga.  I'm over just one ward called the Nine Mile Ward. It's supposed to be a decent size. The town is small though- and the ward boundaries are reeeeaaally spread out. So many hills and trees and rivers and lakes! It's beautiful!!! I know I'm going to love it here! And my trainer is great! We only have 1 investigator right now so we're gonna be working hard to get member referrals and work with less actives. We live with an adorable old widow in her basement. I will tell you more about this place on my p-day on Monday. I've only been here for a few hours. I just wanted to check in and let you guys know I'm alive and well and so so so anxious to get out there and get working! I have this antsy feeling that I NEED to talk to everyone! I'll send pictures Monday- I love you all!
Sister Metcalf

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

First Letter From the MTC

You guys. My first and last P day at the MTC! So crazy! Next email will be coming at you from Washington or Idaho or Montana.... or Canada? We shall see! I miss you all tons. But I hope you aren't offended when I say that I am so immersed in learning more about the gospel and how to best teach it that I forget about you all until my evening prayers. I've never prayed so hard or for so long or so often in my life! It's incredible. I'm learning how to have this incredible love for people who I don't even know. And it's hardly even my love, but Christ's love for them coming through me. We have some practice investigators who we practice the discussions and what not on. One is actually one of our teachers who is more "prepared" when we teach them. They're very receptive but we still have to work so hard to figure out what the Lord needs them to hear for them to better come unto Christ. The other is (I'm pretty positive) meant to give us a dose of the real world. It's so difficult to teach that one. They either don't care to hear about the gospel, don't believe in God, or want to argue. Mine just talks and talks so we can never get a message in, and she doesn't care about God or much else. But we finally figured out what we need to do to soften her towards the church- we're going to invite her daughter to come to mutual to make friends, etc. I can tell you now that I have never in all my life been pushed this hard, spiritually speaking. Usually things from the gospel come naturally to me. My testimony gets stronger each day and I can feel it really just fusing to my core. I am loving everything about it. I am struggling way hard with teaching by the spirit though. I get so stuck on getting through a well organized lesson plan that I have tailored to the investigator that I don't know how to listen to the spirit and let it guide the lesson to potentially different topics. SOMEONE HELP! Nathan? Aaron? Anyone? I'm struggling over here. I actually broke down about it after one of our appointments because I am praying so hard for it and trying so hard but it's just not coming. That's really the only thing that's given me a hard time.

Apparently I lucked out with my companion. Her name is Sister Madison Brown. She's 21 and from Provo and very much like me. Similar sense of humor and work ethic. We really mesh well together and have had no problems yet. And we flow well when we teach. She is incredible at teaching by the spirit- so I'm trying to pick her brain,  but it's hard for her to explain. We definitely get along great. I heard Breanne's companion is a handful. I pray for her so often. I hope she can push through this for one more week. And I hope it doesn't detract from the wonderful things she can learn here! I ran into her a few times and it was wonderful. The first time was Monday morning. I woke up with the stomach flu and my companion and I were waiting for the health clinic to open up so I could get some medicine. Normally I would have been out of the cafeteria 20 minutes before that. And in walks Breanne. I'm not gonna lie, I'd already thrown up twice that morning and was feeling weak. So when I saw her I just cried! She was so strong and asking if I was okay or homesick (that's what I'm supposed to ask her!!) I'm convinced that I was sick that morning so that we could run into each other! (or at least that makes me feel better about it). The nurse told me to sit out for the day, but after taking a nap and medicine and a shower I couldn't take it anymore. I felt like I was missing out. So since I didn't have a fever I went back to class later that afternoon. I got to see her again at the fireside on Tuesday night. You guys! I love it here! This place is indescribable. I know that even if I didn't serve the next 17 and a half months- the MTC has changed who I am. I miss you all and hopefully I will get to write more next week! (only half an hour for email.... what??!!)

I'm sorry this is so short. But know that I love you and that our Father in Heaven does as well. I just want to hug you all. You guys! The Book of Mormon is so amazing! Please promise me you'll all try harder to read it a little more!

Until next week!

-Sister Metcalf

p.s. I'm positive I left some people off the email list. If you can think of anyone at all who would want this email- please forward it for me!

p.p.s. Apparently I have an hour for emails- so I'm just gonna add a few things I left out.

p.p.p.s. My zone is super young. 8 boys (going to Seattle and Lubbock) are FRESH high school grads. Little babies! And two sisters also going to Spokane who are newly 19- one whole year of college and real world under their belt. Luckily I'm companions with a 21 year old. She only has a semester of college left. My district is great though. No one weird or crazy (there's a few of those around here). Also, I want to impress upon you that fact that my little breakdown happened after a teaching appointment on the day that I was sick. It was just a "weak" feeling day for me. I am completely fine and working hard and focused. No home sickness yet! Also- I just wanted to brag a bit that I dominated my district in knockout. I can't play basketball with them unless another sister guards me (which no one wants to...) so that was our way around it. No joke. Reigning champ right here. Free throw practice really payed off. Thanks coach Murphy ;)

One last thing- I am getting used to the sleep schedule, but I am soooooo exhausted each night. My head hurts, and my body just wants to sleep! Which is great. I wish I could stay awake longer to write more in my journal. But truth be told, by the end of the day it feels like its been weeks and I can't quite decipher what I learned today and what I learned the day before. And I grow so much each day. So most of my journal entries so far are like a paragraph a night. All of them ending with "I'm exhausted" haha. So I'd say that if I left anything important out of my email that we could just refer to my journal. But in all likelihood there won't be much more in it. That's one of my goals this week- to be better at writing more in my journal. I don't ever want to forget what I've experienced here. I wish you all could come to the MTC and study and learn like this for just a little while. Twelve days will be way too short (but also, too long if you know what I mean-Nathan, Aaron, Dad?)

Okay- this is my final farewell!.... again! Love you all so much! Keep praying for me and the people of Spokane (as well as my fearless sister, Breanne!)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mission Farewell

Breanne and I gave our farewell talks today in sacrament meeting. They went great! We also sang a medley of "As Sister's in Zion/ We'll Bring the World His Truth". Here is a link to my talk for anyone who missed it. It's mostly just notes, as I free styled most of it (but you'll get the gist)

Farewell Talk on Faith

Afterwards we had some family and friends over for lunch. I should have designated someone as the photographer. I was so busy visiting with people that I forgot to take pictures with most people! Here are a few that were taken.

Breanne, Dad, Mom, Me

Me, our cousin Lauren, Breanne

Me, Aunt Sharon, Lauren, Breanne, Uncle Dennis

Brittany, Me with my nephew Mason, Jessi

Breanne with Mason

Me holding Mason, and Breanne
It's practically like you were there! :) 

Future Missionary

It's hard to believe that in just a few short days I will be a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I took this picture with my newborn nephew, Mason's, tag. It says "Future Missionary"... I'm SO excited!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Farewell Info.

Breanne and I give our farewell talks this coming Sunday. It's crazy to think of how soon everything is coming up, but I'm just taking it all one day at a time. One week from tomorrow I will be in the MTC and one week from yesterday we'll be driving up to Utah. I feel like there's still so much to be done. I'll have to sit down and make another list of what I need to do (I lost my mental list somewhere in the chaos of my head). This is the announcement that we are sending out to family and some friends to come to our farewell! Everyone is welcome to attend though- it's at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 3979 Township Ave. in Simi Valley from 11am-12pm.