Tuesday, March 1, 2016

First Week in the MTC!

Hey everyone!
It seems like I have learned so much my first week in the MTC (missionary training center)!
I wish I could tell you everything, but I'm just going to try to give you a few of the highlights from each day! 
Flying into Utah on Tuesday was so cool! The mountains really are gigantic, it's never going to get old seeing them so close. There was the brightest red orange sunset behind the mountains I could see from the plane too, it was so nice!
When I got here I was greeted by so many amazing people that have in some way helped me in my journey, and brought me closer to Christ. I felt so loved, and so blessed! 
The first day here I had a harder time than I expected. Not so much because I was homesick, but more so because I had to learn some hard things. I realized that I am not very selfless, and I am selective in who I love, neither of which are Christ like attributes. I realized the first night just how much this mission was going to change me for the better. I know that it won't be easy, change isn't, but I am so ready! 
I felt the Spirit so much more the second day! We had a lot more class time and time to study the scriptures! For personal study I studied Alma chapter 5 in the Book of Mormon, and Mark chapter 5 in the Bible! I think I got more out of those chapters, and learned more from the Spirit than I ever have studying scriptures before!
Also, my companion, Sister Johansen and I got called to be the STL's (Sister Training Leaders) for our branch! 
"There is little growth in a comfort zone, and little comfort in a growth zone." That quote has stuck with me, this is definitely a growth zone! I learned that I am my harshest critic, and I just need to learn from my mistakes and move on so that I can continue to focus on the spirit! 
Today our teacher, Brother Harper shared an analogy with us, that I really liked. He said he was watching his nephews soccer game, he's about 7 or so. He said that the ball was on the opposite side of the field, so the goalie ran out in an attempt to help his team score, but the other team got the ball, kicked a long shot and scored. The goalies intentions were pure, he was trying to help, but he wasn't where he needed to be. This relates to us because it is only our job to invite others to come unto Christ. As long as we are doing our job, God will do His. He is the only one who can truly bring people to Christ through the Holy Spirit. 
Valentines Day in the MTC! I didn't even realize it was for a long time haha! We didn't have much time for personal study, but we had a ton of really great meetings! My favorite part was the devotional by Richard Heaton, and watching "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. 
In the devotional He talked about baptizing converts, and how baptism is only a single event in our journey back home to God. Missionaries can be a big help, but we really only want to help them develop their relationship with God, and try to remove ourselves as much as possible from the situation so that when we leave that doesn't change, and they continue to have a good relationship with God. 
The talk by Elder Bednar was so good! I learned that the Character of Christ is to always look outward, and our character as humans is to look inward. He gave so many good examples from the scriptures! One of them was that even after 3 of Jesus's apostles had fallen asleep while he was in the garden of Gethsemane suffering for our sins, and one of them had betrayed him, and he was being arrested, Peter cut off the ear of one of the people arresting Christ, and Christ still looked outward, and healed his ear! After all that He had already been through, he still looked outward, even for something so superficial! I want to develop that kind of selflessness. 
He also said that when we know things are true through the Holy Spirit, that is having a testimony, but being a true convert requires living and acting on those things you know to be true for the rest of your life! We all have a long way to go :)
Today everyone in the class wrote down a list of things we know are true, so that we can come back to those truths when things get hard in our missions, and remember why we are here. So that we can act on those truths :)
It is so amazing to be here, sharing a room with 5 other girls who all love Jesus Christ so much, and want to serve Him! We are getting closer and it's getting a lot more fun. :) 
We got to go to the temple this morning for P-day (preparation day). It was a lot of fun, it was strange not having to drive 7 hours round trip to go to the temple though! It was only a 5 minute walk! There are 20 new missionaries coming into our branch today, 10 of them are sisters! So our roles as STL's really start tonight! Were going to have to find a bigger space to fit 16 girls for our nightly devotional, our room isn't big enough! 
I love you all so much and am so thankful for your support! I miss you all but I am so happy to be here! I know this is where God wants me, and although it may hurt sometimes, I am so ready to be molded into the person God wants me to be, clay in the potters hands! 
Also, there's a website called dear elder that you can write a letter with online, and it  will print out here and I'll get it! It will only work while I'm here at the MTC, until 2/22/2016. After that I'll be gone! :)

Sister Kirkpatrick

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