Week 2: MTC

Hello everyone!

If I were to sum up this week I would say: So. much. love.

I feel such a love for this Gospel, for new people, for God, for truth, for new sisters to take care of, for teaching, for scriptures, for knowledge.
I also have been the recipient of so much love from my family, from friends, from strangers, from God, from my branch presidency and teachers.
I sincerely want to say thank you to all of you who have lifted me up through letters, emails, packages, etc. It means the world.

A beautiful thing that happened was I was sent REAL food in the mail. This was such a blessing. I was sent peaches, avocados, tomatoes, blueberries, cashews!, a huge cucumber, and much more. I have never loved fruits and vegetables more in my LIFE. so good. I cut it all up and my companion and I had an indoor picnic for dinner because it was raining outside. It felt like the scene in the little princess (if you know that movie) Where they wake up in the attic and the indian guy laid out an entire feast for them. It was absolutely magical. Also there have been a few of you that have contributed to my candy addiction, thank you haha! I have learned that when you share candy with anyone in the MTC, you then have a lot of friends.

Once again there have been a lot of events this week and there is no way I can repeat all of it. This is a busy busy place full of good. Sundays are the busiest, There are things every hour and I had 4 meetings throughout the day as an STL. It is wonderful though! We also walked to the temple on Sunday and that was nice to just breathe and relax. At night, we had a devotional with another member of the seventy. It was really good and the speaker had a very intelligent way of speaking. I did have an embarrassing moment though, haha. I am going to tell you it so you know I am definitely human and because it was a little funny. Don't roll your eyes too much. During the devotional, my mind started to wander a little bit (I know, how could I do that?!) and I started doodling in my notebook. I was still listening, but not looking up. Suddenly he says, "Will the young lady next to the mic in that aisle please stand up and read this slide?" My companion nudged me after a second and said, "Sister Barker He's talking to YOU!" Ahhh! moment of panic as I set down my kit kat and stood up to the mic as the ENTIRE missionary population of the mtc watched me. Eeee! I read the slide (surprisingly well) and then sat down. God knew how to shake me awake. You bet I listened to every single word for the rest of that devotional haha. I didn't doodle any more pumpkins.

I have spiritual impressions constantly here, because that is what we are focused on. The other night in class, we were talking about the atonement and the spirit was very strong. Ever since I came to the mtc, I have been asking myself, "How well DO I know Christ?" personally? How can I know Him even better? I had a thought as we were talking that was a powerful connection for me. It sounds simple, but it really was enlightening. We hear all the time that Christ knows how we feel. But do we understand the magnitude of that statement? Every time we hear it? He knows EVERYTHING. He has felt everything you have felt. Therefore, there is no one that knows you better than Christ. So when you think you don't really know Christ, remember that you actually do. Because He knows you, perfectly.
Also, Elder Holland gave a talk that they play for missionaries on Sunday movie night. It's called "Missions are Forever" and He talks about how becoming a disciple isn't an 18 months or a 2 years thing. It is a lifetime of choosing to be one. He also said (roughly) that we have the most important truth on this planet, so why are we afraid to declare it?! This is salvation we are talking about. This can...This will change someone's life for eternity. I am grateful for Elder Holland's words, and many of the other devotionals, classes, etc. that have made me so excited for missionary work.

I was able to be a host for new missionaries entering the mtc yesterday. I picked them up from their parents in the parking garage and took them to their rooms with their luggage. It brought back a lot of the same feelings I had the day I left. I really liked doing it because I could be the first excited, energetic missionary that the new sisters would see. It was really fun but also emotional for them. I also did orientation again and welcomed two more districts to our zone. It's getting big and there are a lot of sisters to help! Sister Jenkins and I are almost pros now at doing this.

I have received my travel itinerary! I will fly to San Francisco, California on Monday the 17th at around 5pm. Then I will leave from there at 10pm to go to New Zealand!!!!! Here I come!!! I will arrive at the Auckland Airport at 5:30am their time, Wednesday the 19th.  Wow.  Also I am traveling entirely by myself. Not going to lie, I'm a little nervous about that. My companion's visa didn't go through so she will be serving in the LA, California mission for her first transfer. The other missionaries in my district are going to Australia and Botswana on the same day.

Have a good week everyone! Remember that God loves you!

-Sister Barker