First off, I'm alive. Glad we got that out of the way, I'm sure not hearing from me for a week was a little odd for some people. But on to the main portion of my update. I'm loving the MTC, It's a great place to be. I'm not going to lie, the first 3 days might have been the most boring, tedious, and somehow mentally tedious days I've ever experienced. From what I've heard from other missionaries, this is an extremely common thing. After you get over the shock of being here, and the shock of having to teach strangers, it gets fun; really fun. Let me describe a normal day.
I wake up at 6:00 AM, because the required time of 6:30 AM wasn't bad enough for me. I get suited up and ready for the day, then we go to breakfast. The meals here are good, I can understand how some missionaries gain 10+ pounds here, there's a doughnut, cake, or cookie with every meal. Fortunately for me, I have enough self control to avoid those, most of the time. Right after breakfast we're in class with Sister Crawford, a lovely teacher, albeit strict about being on time. By the time we're in class it's 7:30 AM, and we're in there until 11:30 AM. Yes, that's right, 4 hours of solid class time and studying.
Then we go to lunch for a bit before we go back to class, from 12:15 PM to 3:15PM. Yay...3 more hours of studying. After that class we have --wait for it-- MORE STUDYING. Another hour of personal study when the teachers leave, although how much studying gets done is up for debate. So it's almost 4:30 PM and we have dinner, which is usually really good. After dinner we have studying. Is anyone noticing a pattern here? We study in our classrooms from 5:15 PM to around 8:15 PM. Let's count up the hours really quickly. Four hours int he morning, 4 in the early afternoon, and 3 more in the evening. That's 11 hours that we're in our classroom (18M 437 represent). That's more time in class than I get sleep. After all that studying, we've started to go a little stir crazy, so we normally have gym time where we can lift weights, run, or play sports. That's usually the best part of the day, because we get to completely unwind for about an hour. Gym time is over at 9:15 PM, and we're normally back in our residence halls at 9:30 PM. We have about an hour to iron clothes, write in journals, read letters, and do whatever we need to do in our residence halls. Then it's lights out at 10:30 PM. The cycle begins the next day with an annoying series of beeps from an alarm clock, and the cycle begins again. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Being here has been a mixture of awesome and exhausting. But I'm extremely glad to be here. I know my Mom is posting this to a blog, and I would like to share a short message with whoever will read this, whether you are a member of the LDS church or not. It's meant a lot to me since I've entered the MTC, and I've turned to it many times in lessons and general study. This passage comes from the introduction to the Book of Mormon, and I've used it almost every time I teach a new person.
"We invite all me everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if this book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost"
My purpose as a missionary is to invite all to grow closer to Christ, whether they are a member or non-member. I still have my sense of humor and sarcasm, and I'm the same person you all remember, but I've grown closer to Heavenly Father by following the above invitation. I would love to hear from anyone that would send me an email.