Hello!!! I love you all so much and miss you all so much! Saying goodbye was so hard but I am so glad that i can write you and that you send me letters! Thank you for all the letters, packages, dear elders. It means so much and i feel like i have the best and biggest support system. Thank you to you guys! Grandpa and grandma, scott and tiff, Jenny...all my friends...ward members. thank you thank you! it makes me so happy to get mail!:))
Well the MTC is amazing. The Spirit is so strong here and I just love it. I have learned so much already and i know the learning is accelerated here. i was nervous I would be overwhelmed here because we learn so much in 12 days, but i have felt very calm and peaceful while being here and it really has been such a great place! Sister Hardcastle in our ward said to me before i left..."remember that the mtc is a very sacred place like a temple...where learning and revelation are increased..." I love that and it's so true! I KNOW angels have walked with me here and have helped me this week. They say make it to Sunday here and you will be fine...yep thats true. I don't have tons of time but i want to tell you what I can! :)
My district is great! Elder Doug Fenwick is in my district. He is the zone leader and I'm a sister training leader. We were on VHS seminary council together. So that is cool! Sister Hochstrasser (Hoke-Straw-sir) is my comp. I see familiar faces all the time... From byu friends who are missionaries here to byu friends who work here...it makes me so happy. Sister Sam Hellewell lives down the hall from me. That has been one of the greatest things...its just a little bit of home. I love it. its crazy to hear her SPEAK RUSSIAN. what the heck!?!? can we pinpoint that? crazy!!!!! speaking of sam...nikki sent me a dear elder and a package! how sweet is that? just with two homemade scarfs! so sweet and I was so excited and one scarf matches sams! (so thank you Nikki). One of my friends works at the Bookstore here and when i was picking up my books the first day I noticed he slipped in a little note...just a little bit of encouragement and it made me so happy! Little things like that help so much! One person i love love seeing is JAY. she is the greatest and she's always so happy and cute. She came and ate dinner with me saturday and i just loved having here there. all of her missionaries come up to me and say you're so lucky sister stanford is your cousin. she is the greatest!! we all love her.
At our orientation the first night...I remet President and Sister Nalley. They can't say enough good about Grandpa and Grandma O. one of Pres. Nalley's counselors spoke to all the new missionaries. He said he was outside watching the new missionaries being dropped off and he saw a sister crying with her family saying goodbye to two teenage brothers..and a much younger sister and a mom and dad.....he said...(as he looked at me) "to that sister....D&C 100:1-2...I promise you that you and your family will be blessed." so that was cool. later that night me and Sister H were asked to teach an investigator in front of a group of about 50 new missionaries....I was freaking out.. I obviously was going to do it but I looked nervous I guess. The teacher looked at me and said..."if ever you are nervous look down at your tag, not only does it say your name but it says your Savior Jesus Christ." that was really cool and our teaching went really well for not even being at the mtc for 3 hours....
I didn't get any mail til friday but when i did I was so overwhelmed by how much love and supoport so thank you! so much! its funny my district says I have fan mail. hahah. I just love you guys so much and thank you so much for sending me so much!!! Mail keeps me motivated and helps me be so happy! i get so excited about it!
My teachers are awesome! they are Bro. Craft and Bro. Staley. It's weird they are BYU students and that they come back and forth to the mtc and I'm still here...hahah. our other teachers Bro. Sherk and Sister Cole are also very good and I really appreciate how kind they are. we are in the classroom for three hours of morning study then we have after lunch study and then night study and class. so we are in a class room for most of our day. its weird having every second of your day planned out by someone else but its good and keeps me busy and not miss home as much. I feel very productive and have learned so much. I have no idea how Tara learned Korean here or how she was here for 9 weeks. I just can't imagine that. I miss her so much. I see Emily van Weezip and i just go and hug her and it reminds me of Tara and how much I miss her.
We have two investigators right now. One is Shawn (he is played by our teacher brother Craft and someone Bro. Craft taught on his mission). We go in and role play with him. Right now he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying if it's true. Our other investigator is from TRC and her name is Barbara. The MTC hires members and non members to come and role play. we go to a certain building and knock on the door and its very real. Barbara is very funny and a grandma. She has a Brooklyn accent and when I talk to her she makes me laugh! I love it! she wants to be baptized and we are helping her prepared for that. They tell us that role playing is so effective if you are in the right mind set. They say that Heavenly Father can teach you certain things you can't learn any other way! I believe that!
I feel like I have learned so much but I have been pretty prepared from the ward Missionary Weeks and all that. Sam and I have talked about it all the time how that is the ONE thing that has given us a head start and that has helped us the most. Its weird at first praying for fake investigators and then you just get so into it..they are very real and I pray for them all the time. It's interesting to see how the Spirit works in the lessons...because it's real. I can't wait to go do this for REAL!!!:))))))
I miss you guys so much! but the one time I really felt super homesick was the temple walk on Sunday...it was right where I had been running and walking and everything when I was at BYU...because we would always go around there...and it was hard to come out of the MTC gates and look down the street-- just a block away and see campus and see everything... I just wanted to cry because I was so close, but then again I was in a totally different world; so that was the hardest thing.
I promised Dad a couple weeks ago that I would work as hard as I could and even when I didn't feel like working...I would still work. And I am keeping that promise. 18 months isn't that long and I feel like I have so much to do! I can't wait to get to TN and start!!!
I really have learned so much I can't believe it! It's a great day to be alive and I love this gospel so much! It's the greatest thing!!!!!! and guess what I have been studying the plan of salvation more in depth and it just makes me appreciate even more the Atonement and that families really can be together for ever because I just love you guys so so so much and miss you so much and just knowing we can be together forever makes me so happy and it makes 18 months away okay!
Ian: CONGRATS ON THE SOCCER TEAM I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!! YAY
Ang: how the heck is basketball and school? how is band and all the girls that love you so much? how is the new phone?
Gibbs: love you and love the picture you sent me. i showed everyone and I love you!!!
Love you Mom and Dad! Thank you for everything. For helping me be here today and for all the support and love and just thank you for all the encouragement. Love, Sister Olivia Oldroyd