Week 1: MTC


HELLO EVERYONE! I'M ALIVE!

What a week! I have loved it! There is wayyyy too much to be able to sum it up, so just know there is a lot more than what I will be able to include here. Seriously so much happens every single day. I want you to know that I am praying for all of you and I can feel all of your love and support. I do not feel sad when I think of you, because I remember your smiles and everything all of you are doing.

First of all, if I had to say one thing about how i feel, I would say strength. There is an undeniable strength that I have been given from God. I know it is not myself, because this feels very different than anything I have ever experienced. I can honestly say I have only been frustrated/sad on one occasion this whole week, and it had to do with one of my classes. They were teaching about how to contact people on the street, and they were basically saying go up to someone, find out their problem, and give them the matching pamphlet from the church (they have things for unemployment, education, etc.) There was no love in it. I was so annoyed that they were just trying to find a window in someone to shove the church in their face. But other than that, I have not been annoyed, sad, frustrated AT ALL! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! I know that's a little early to say, because I'm not in the field yet, but I love that I have one purpose, and that is to invite others to come unto Christ. I am learning so much about this gospel. Personal study time is my favorite time of the whole day. I can just focus by myself on what I want to learn and read.

I am going to attempt to cover the main events of this week. I loved the Tongan sister who picked me up from the van and took me to my room. I see her all around the MTC campus and we always say each others names really loudly and give each other hugs. Her name is Sister Ulunga. She is very brave because her family was not supportive of her going on a mission, they are not LDS. she didn't even get to say goodbye the day she left because they weren't home. I admire the faith and courage of the Sisters around me, it is an amazing work to be a part of and you know the sacrifice everyone has made to be here.

My Companion's name is Sister Jenkins, she is from Northern California. She and I are the only two missionaries in the entire MTC that are going to New Zealand. She is 20 and has been to two years of college at Utah State. She has an older sister and two younger brothers, so we have similar families (two boys and two girls). We get along well and haven't had any trouble. She is very sassy and funny and very california. We laugh a lot. I wish I had been writing down quotes because she says lots of things that are so silly. She was in a sorority for her two years at college and was a little bit wild. I am proud of her for choosing to go on a mission because it would take a lot of guts in her situation. She has never read the Book of Mormon all the way through before and doesn't really know a lot about the Gospel honestly. She told me she wants to change her life so she started making more lds friends and felt like God told her to go on a mission. She just decided she wanted to in April. She asks me a LOT of questions and I happily answer them. She didn't know what the Urim and Thummim was (Sorry for spelling) and asked me about that haha. She loves to workout so we run and do the weight machines daily. I also play volleyball with my district. There are two other girls in our room named Sister Mossman (who is hawaiian and japanese) and Sister Taylor (the redhead). They are both from Utah. I have a lot more to say about them but not more time.

I have loved the devotionals/classes/ etc. The spirit is constantly here. I recognize everywhere in myself that I need to improve and where my strengths are. There is so much to learn and do. The devotional on Sunday night was a member of the seventy named Elder Kyle S. Mckay. He talked about teaching with the spirit and it was very insightful. I had the opportunity to sing in the MTC choir with 1000 other missionaries. We sang "Praise to the Man" and it was such a powerful experience. It was incredible.

I was called as the Sister Training Leader (STL) with my companion for my zone, which is roughly 50 missionaries. Yesterday, I did orientation for 34 new ones. I loved having the opportunity to welcome so many and teach them about the rules and get to know them. I wrote letters and decorated their doors which was so much fun. The branch president told me he had a very strong feeling that we were supposed to have this calling. I love that I can serve other missionaries right now:)

I found out I am here longer than 2 weeks, instead I leave on the 18th of September. My district is 12 missionaries, all english speaking. The others are going to Australia and Botswana. We are all very different but have bonded and shared our testimonies often. I'll put some pictures below.

There is so much more I could say about the individual experiences I'm having, but I don't have enough time. I want you to know that God loves you! It is such a simple truth but it brings so much comfort and peace.

I love you all!
Sister Alli Barker