Monday, July 29, 2013

Chrissy's First Email! (with awesome photos!)

At the airport in Atlanta (on their way to Utah and Missionary Training Center), Elise and Chrissy ran into Brother David L. Beck, Young Men General President, and his wife, Sister Robyn Beck, who were both very supportive!

Michael and Chrissy grab a bite with good friends Andrew Jensen (from Mike's mission to Thailand) and Kayla Cook (from back home in Florida...she served a mission to Hong Kong) before Chrissy enters the MTC. 
The incredible Braytons take Chrissy in as one of their own the night before she enters the MTC.  Steve Brayton and Bob met their first day in the MTC almost 28 years ago, and they've been best friends ever since.

What could be sweeter than a loving big brother dropping off his little sis at
the Missionary Training Center?

 The great sisters of Chrissy's MTC district

Chrissy's awesome MTC district

Companions Hermana Grover and Hermana Adair, studying diligently at the Missionary Training Center in Provo.

Chrissy's Email:
Hola, familia!!
Como esta?? Life has definitely changed quite a bit for me over these last few days, I want to hear what's going on with you guys!
First off, I am very, very happy/ healthy and I'm working hard and LOVING every minute so far. So, Mom, don't worry :) Also, I get an hour on the computer every P-day, so I get a little more time now than I probably will in the field for emails. No complaints there!
Ok, now for the nitty gritty.
My companion is AWESOME. Hermana Adair and I get along amazingly well, and we teach really well together. She studied for a year at SUU and is 19, like me! She has a strong testimony and she works really hard. We both want a lot out of our MTC experience, so that's made goal making/ keeping super easy with her. We're the only two in our district going to Madrid (that's one thing that's unique to our district. We're all going to Spain, but all to different missions! And, in our zone, most companionships aren't even going to the same missions! We're all together just because we're Spanish-speaking). We've gotten super close as a district already. I love everyone in there. We don't have any "duds," haha, and all of us are working super hard. One thing that I didn't expect, is how much of my Spanish has come back from high school! I think Heavenly Father knew that I would need a lot of preparation for this time in the MTC, so not only did He tell me I needed to serve a mission back when I was eleven (so I was able to grow up watching the missionaries closely and going out to teach with them often), but He also had me take Spanish classes. Also interesting - the things that I really studied hard in my Spanish classes has come flooding back, but the things that I remember learning, but didn't work hard at, it pretty much gone, haha. Remember this kids: study hard. Haha, you never know when you'll need it later.
But I've been able to help my district with their Spanish, which I definitely didn't expect. It's been so great to have a purpose in that class! I understood everything that my teacher said for the first two days, and I'm so grateful! I know it won't stay this easy. It's going to get hard, but I can't tell you how grateful I am that Heavenly Father's blessing me with this confidence and ability right up front so I can be at ease and enjoy this place.
Ok, sorry this is so scrambled. I have so much to say! But I have to tell you that I really didn't expect to love it here. When I would teach with the Sisters back home, I loved it, but my spiritual endurance usually maxed out after a couple hours. By then, I would just want to be on the couch watching a movie with mom, haha. But here - TOTALLY different story. We sit in a classroom for four hours at a time and I WANT to be there! I want to be working hard, and I feel so satisfied when I use more Spanish than I was able to the day before, and when I receive revelation when I study. It's been amazing! I honestly don't know why everyone told me it'd be so hard. It isn't. I know it will get hard, but I love it and I know I'll be able to use all of these spiritual confirmations later when I need them :)
What else, what else...
Oh! Hermana Adair and I taught our first lesson entirely in Spanish yesterday!! We were soooo nervous. We studied, prayed, rewrote the lesson, and practiced so many times! But it went so incredibly well. This church HAS to be true, because God very clearly cares about us and our success here in the MTC. We were so blessed. I understood the "investigator," Juan, through the entire lesson. I was even able to converse when he went off-subject about problems he was having with his job and car, etc. Hermana Adair and I couldn't stop smiling and laughing when it was over. We committed him to pray to feel the Holy Ghost and to ask his boss if he could take Sunday off to go to church. I know it won't stay easy, like I said. But I am so grateful that it's going so well for now!
There have been so many evidences that Heavenly Father knows and loves His missionaries- that He knows me and cares about my success! Yesterday, Hermana Adair and I were sitting outside to study (we had just finished our lesson with Juan - we had to say a prayer right after to help us channel our excitement into assessing our lesson and writing goals for his next lesson on Monday, haha) and we were trying to decide what to study next. We got on the subject of P-day and emailing our families, and totally lost focus. We couldn't get it back! So, when we had finally succumbed to just zoning out, and after sitting there like that for a minute and a half TOPS, these two Elders come out of nowhere and ask to share a message. We said they could, and they shared Moroni 9:6. Read it, haha, it was perfect. We committed right then to pray for help if we ever lose focus again, because, clearly, he knows when that is and he's ready to help.
Anyway, I love the MTC, and it has been so fun seeing SO MANY people that I know! The other two Hermanas in our district (Woolley and Hubbard - Hubbard just got her visa yesterday and she heads to Spain on Tuesday! She submitted her stuff during the first week of April in case you want a reference for when I might get mine) are fantastic. We all love each other so much, and we're the only four in our dorm! Es perfecto, haha :)
That about covers it! I know I'll think of everything I should have said as soon as I walk away from the computer, haha, but I want you all to know that I know that Heavenly Father is watching us and wants the absolute best for us. He's going to make us fit for whatever task He has given us, if we just keep the right attitude and work as hard as possible! I have loved learning about my purpose as a missionary, and what I am expected to do to fulfill it. Any doubts that developed this summer about needing to serve are GONE! I love having this little nametag on, I love the schedule of everything here, I have yet to feel sad/ scared/ homesick (knock on wood!!!), I have loved going on runs every morning, the food is good, the beds are comfortable, and I'm officially a missionary!!
I had no idea that people weren't saying I'd come closer to God in the MTC just to say it. It's so true!
I love you all so much!!!
Hermana Grover
PS- the whole district gives permission for names/ photos to be published on the blog :)
PPS - I have seen so many people that I know and love here! Elise and I must have the same schedule, because I see her EVERYWHERE. Mariah Jackson as well. I can't even count how many others I've seen from the stake and my BYU ward. It's so fun!
PPPS - One more! Haha. I got Wendy's note with our first batch of mail. Thank you!! Also, Mom, I got your letter yesterday. That Google translate was pretty funky, haha, but I love you too!

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