I've officially been in the MTC over a week!!! What?!?! It's strange how time feels here. Some days seem to fly by and others drag on forever. It is strange to think that we are no longer the newbies here at the MTC. Saturday was incredibly difficult, it was our first day of 9 hours in the classroom (3 hours after breakfast, 3 hours after lunch, and 3 hours after dinner), and let me tell you... it starts to make you crazy! This schedule definitely has its ups and downs. On the upside, we get to know each other very well, we are continuously learning and growing in the language, and we always know where we need to be, on the downside, you start to get antsy in such a small room in a chair for hours on end, we don't have a window, and we start to wear on each other a bit I think. Saturday afternoon, we taught our first investigator in Mongolian! It is actually one of our teachers acting out one of the investigators he had in Mongolia, so it actually feels real. It went alright... we could tell him what we wanted to say, it was just slow, but we couldn't answer questions because we just don't have the vocab or grammar down yet.
It really is true what people say- "just make it to Sunday." Sunday is definitely one of my favorite days of the week! It's so nice to spend a day to be spiritually fed and not worry about the language. Our branch includes the missionaries going to Mongolia (the 9 of us), and missionaries who speak another language and some English and are placed in the advanced ESL. This means that we basically have an international branch. Listening to their testimonies was so powerful, even though their English is simple and often difficult to understand, their spirit is present and strong!
Monday, we had class, class, and more class! Missionary life is hard and exhausting, but so rewarding. We taught Choka again on Monday and it went better, but we are still struggling with answering his questions throughout the lesson. Mongolian is getting better, and we are beginning to build on what we know. Tuesday two of our roommates left at 2 am for their missions, so we didn't sleep much. We started our day with a service project; Sister Westover and I vacuumed the entire top floor and entrances of the main building! The hallways are lined with pictures of missionary work across the world though, so that was kind of cool to look at while we worked.
I am growing so quickly in this language!! It is amazing how much I can say and understand and read now, compared to what I could do a week ago. I know the Lord's hand is in this. There is no way I could do this without Him. We taught Choka a 3rd time and it went great!! We even were able to answer some of his questions and we explained prophets to Him. We taught Him the plan of Salvation and gave him a Book of Mormon.. he was definitely touched by the Spirit. Wednesday, a new batch of missionaries reported to the MTC, so we are now officially veterans, haha. It was so fun being the one to say "welcome to the MTC.” Our last roomie left at 2am on Wednesday, and we didnt get new ones, so it’s just the two of us in our room now.
Thursday we did another service project, so that was great! It’s always nice to wear some pants and a t-shirt instead of the Sunday best every day. We taught Choka again, and it was the best lesson yet!!! We even invited him to get baptized and he said that he wants to, but wants to learn more about the church first. So exciting!!!! Also, we got our Mongolian name tags... my name looks so funny in their alphabet :)
One of the strangest, but one of my favorite things here is how often we pray. I think I say around 20 prayers a day, and I can definitely notice the difference in my prayers since I've started my mission. I really pour out my heart and soul in my prayers now, and I can feel it strengthening my testimony of God and of this Gospel. I have seen so much growth spiritually while here, and I am definitely coming closer to Christ in all I do.
Please write me!!!! I love to hear from you and want to know whats going on in the outside world! Love you and miss you!