Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Letter from the MTC



September 8, 2014

Dear FRAMILY,

Soooo many good things have happened this week that I can only write a highlight from each day in the email with my limited time on the computer!! First off I love you all so much and miss you soooo much.

Day 1 - Wednesday
The second I said goodbye to my family I was calmed, and all my nerves (which were very overwhelming in the car) went away immediately. I felt the spirit instantly. I could not stop smiling all day long I was so happy, happier then I have ever been EVER! And the second I met my companion we clicked instantly! Her name is Sister Brown and she is literally brown it is pretty funny. She is Tongan and Samoan and absolutely beautiful! We have the same exact humor and we laugh all of the time! Her tonsils are swollen so she has been sick and in pain all week but she is finally getting better!! We are so crazy together, but at the same time we focus so well! My favorite part about my first day was that the spirit was constantly with me. It was a different kind of spirit than I have ever felt. I never realized that the spirit was more than the big boom overwhelming feelings. For me this day it was subtle, calming, and constant. And it still hasn't gone away to this second. 

Day 2 - Thursday
Our first full day of classes and let me tell you it was loooong!!! We had a class about revelation. I never really understood this concept entirely and how it works. So it was such an amazing spiritual experience to realize that I have always been receiving revelation I just never knew what it really was. AHHHH so cool! Our teacher Brother Balzer (my favorite teacher) is so amazing. He invites the spirit the second he walks into the room not even joking! Our Progressive investigator is our teachers acting like their own investigator in their mission. So Brother Balzer plays the Role of Michael a boy 19 years old from Detroit who just moved to Tennessee. He asked god if he loved him and got the answer that God hated him...soo sad.  That next day he met our "ward mission leader" Ed who became his father figure over the past weeks. He agreed to meet with us so we would teach him the next day! I was really terrified that I only had one day to plan a lesson and figure out exactly what Mike needed to hear. The only thing I did know is that I loved Mike. It is amazing now that I am a missionary how much I can feel Heavenly Fathers love for people, it literally goes directly into my heart. 

Day 3 - Friday
WE finally had GYM today and it felt so good to run my heart out and stretch!! Sitting in a classroom is so awful without being able to run so it felt goooood! We learned how to invite people to be baptized today in a way that makes it not awkward for the missionary and the investigator! I am now comfortable talking to someone and inviting them to be baptized in the first 5 minutes of talking not kidding! It is because I realized that it isn't about baptism it is about following Christ’s example. Baptism is just a first leap of faith to the wonderful journey back to our Heavenly Father! We were challenged to ask for a miracle that we wanted to have happen for ourselves these next couple of days in the MTC and I want to have a conversation a real legit conversation with God...well it happened but I will get to that later! So we taught Mike right? And Sister Brown and I said a really sincere prayer before we knocked on the classroom door that "mike" was in! When we walked in he was so cool he gave us high fives and just totally was chillin with us! It was fun getting to know him! So our goal was to really let him feel that heavenly father loved him! So we started talking and it was awesome the Holy Ghost was so strong, and I got the impression that I should tell the story about Lindsay. So I told him how I felt like one day in my prayers that I wanted to ask god if he really loved me and was there. I felt nothing at all when I prayed and then the next week my cousin's life was taken the worst possible way I could ever imagine and I was devastated. I didn't understand why god would do this to me and why right after I asked him. But as time went on I realized how god's hand was really helping me through her death. He put me with my two best friends to fall back on and to just cry with for hours. He gave me a wonderful Mom that was there for me through the tears as well. And he made it possible for me to help my mom's side of the family by being there to listen to them. I realized that God did love me so much. After I finished my story He said that he thought he had heart burn, but he didn't even eat breakfast that day. I explained to him that nothing is wrong with him, but that the Holy Ghost was trying to let him know that God was there with us. It was so powerful, and we invited him to pray and ask god again and really let god know that he is trying to change is life. The only thing I would change about the lesson is that we forgot to teach him how to pray hahahaha!! 

Day 4 - Saturday we taught Mike again and focused on the Restoration and the Atonement! Honestly it started off pretty rough he was confused about prophets and he thought that we were prophets and everything sister brown and I said just wasn't helping until I did this uhhh I forgot what it's called but I had him put his fist out and then I put my fist over his and told him that he was his fist and my fist was god. Then I told him to close his eyes and follow god as I moved my fist...impossible right? So I got a white board marker and connected our two fists with it and told him the marker was the prophet and then he closed his eyes and following god was a lot easier. I then explained how we have one prophet to help guide and direct us with his direct communication line. TUDAHHHHH it made a little bit more sense. Then we went on and told the joseph smith story and then we finally taught him how to pray. We asked him to say the closing prayer and ask god the questions of his heart. Let me just tell you WOW! I have never heard or felt such a strong prayer, I was bawling and so was Sister Brown and I could tell that he felt the spirit and we asked him how that felt and he said that he had the heart burn feeling again, but that he didn't want it to go away so we meet with him again tonight!!! I am so excited! Great note to end a lesson that started off pretty bad! 

Day 5 - Sunday

I didn't really miss family until Sunday. It was really hard being fast Sunday in our Zone Sacrament meeting as people were baring testimonies, and I realized that I didn't get to hear my little sisters testimony and from there it was the domino effect...i was streaming with tears and it didn't really help that I was feeling the spirit from what everyone else was saying because then I just cried even more! Let’s just say I miss you guys....I mean BROTHERS and SISTERS. I have the hardest time not calling people guys, but the whole Elder and Sister thing is coming along! 
Moving on now! I really learned a lot this Sunday about myself and on how to be a better missionary. For the Movie night the girls and some of the boys in my zone watch the talk that Elder Bednar gave for the Christmas devotional in 2013. Hands down the best talk I have ever heard, and they only play it in the MTC so I am sad that none of you can see it unless you go on missions! I don't even know what to write about it because my whole mind is blown! The thing that stuck out the most is that he did a cookie monster impression! Just kidding, but he really did do that! He talked about the Character of Christ. He really emphasized on how most of us are pretty darn selfish when things go wrong in our lives or even every day, whereas Christ would only be thinking of other all the time. So when you feel like turning inward and thinking of yourself, make that an opportunity to be like Christ and lose yourself and turn to others, turn outward always. So I am going to lose myself in service for the next 18 months because there is nothing else I would rather be doing after that talk!

Day 6 - Monday (today fyi)
We were so lucky to be able to go to the temple as a zone and do a session! I have been so exhausted every day since I have been here so I will be honest I totally fell asleep during it...sadly. But when we got into the Celestial room I said a prayer I don't ever remember what I said, but I was mainly asking God to bless my family and some specific friends, and my special friend Brandon! But as I was praying what I asked for early this week happened. God spoke right to me and it honestly freaked me out a bit, but it was so amazing! He told me that he was really proud of me for how strong I have been, and that his love for me grows every day I am out here. WOW right?? I am just so in shock that it actually happened! 

I really feel like the MTC is a worldly heaven. I love it here so much, and I am happy all of the time! My zone has really become my family even after our first day. I guess when you spend 24-7 with these people you get to know each other on multiple levels! 

Mommy and Daddy-
My Zone bishop president person told me that I have to raise one of me. Someone that will have my heart and desire to bless people. I just want you two to know that you guys raised another you. I have realized this week how much I am like you two. You give me strength, and mom I am glad that I have your amazing heart!

Package stuff -
Dr. Pepper... I miss it so much not even kidding they don't have heaven's syrup here
Sour patch kids -  ask my companion I never stop talking about them
Muddy buddies - I saw someone with them and I could really use some muddy lovin
Bath and bodyworks sweet pea lotion - my legs are ashy and ugly they need some hydration
No show sock that you wear with flats- color black and tan - the skin on my toes is rubbing off from my shoes and they are about to bleed..nasty
My scripture highligher pen thing in the back pocket of my marina paisley purse
My New Jersey Flag
Anything else that you might think of! 

PS I love you all so much! A mission is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now and I am learning and growing leaps and bounds! It is amazing here! 

MOM- please forgive me for the grammar and spelling error aint nobody in the MTC got time for that

FYI this is my one and only P day in the MTC my flight is at 10:15 next Monday and it is a direct flight so I will call before then get ready!

Mission plack Scripture - John 8:29 it is amazing you all should read it! It really helped me this week

LOVE,
Sister Cooper




 MTC Zone Temple Day!

 Kaity and Sister Brown
Sister Cooper and Sister Robinson




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