From the perspective of her friends the Strong's

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April 18, 2013 - Yayyyy!!!

First letter from Zoe at the MTC.........

I am so so so so so entusiasmado (excited) to e-mail you! For starters, I love and love you all.
Okay so the MTC is truly (aside from the temple), the greatest place I have ever stepped foot on, in my entire life. I can hardly express how this place feels. You just have to be here. You have to feel this! Half of the time I can hardly seperate heaven and earth. It's incredible. Elder Richard G. Scott expressed my feelings exactly, (he spoke at my first devotional on Tuesday) when he got up to speak, after the choir had sung, he said, "I feel as if I've died and gone to heaven." That is how I feel. I cry for the day when I have to take my badge off, and can no longer serve full time. I could stay here forever! The MTC is, for the most part, a piece of cake. I mean, you have your entire day planned out for you, but it is up to you how you use that time. For my district being comprised of 18 year old boys, we do pretty well with focusing. We study for, depending on the day, about 12 hours total. Wednesday was so rushed and crazy. Thursday was just so much fun, getting to know everyone better. Friday I can't remember. Saturday can't remember, Sunday was incredible. SO so so incredible. Sundays are by far the best day, everyone thinks so. P-days are overrated and don't last long. On Sunday, all of our meetings are spaced out throughout the day, and we have meals and study times in between. But we don't have to prepare lessons, so that is our "rest". The sisters alone get to attend the "Music and the Spoken Word" broadcast every Sunday before Relief Society, and the speaker every Sunday for Relief Society is a general authority's wife, or women like Sheri Dew and Elaine Dalton. It rocks. Every Sunday there is a devotional. Bro. Greg Droubay (man in charge of the church's missionary media) spoke to us about the projects they are working on in the UK, and what they have already done in NY. It's out of control. The church has tunnels and tunnels of subways COVERED in stuff, as well as buses, and half of Times Square. The NY project ran from Christmas to New Years. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY THAT WOULD COST to cover Times Square in billboards about the Savior?? DURING New Years? Gosh, our church is so cool. Monday was a blur. Tuesday was obviously great because of Elder Scott.
Okay so my distict is great obviously I love them. Four elders, five sisters. Three of the Elders are supposed to be in Peru, bu their visas haven't come, and one is going with us to WA. Most of the district went to school together, all from AZ, and were friends. Like...close friends. Two of them were even best friends. How weird is that? Do you know how many districts there are?? There are like 5,000 people here! So for the exciting part....drumroll....I have two companions! Haha I'm in a trio. And I love it. We weren't supposed to be, but the other sister, whoever she is, was too smart to be with us or something, so they moved her to an advanced class before we arrived. But I'm glad she disn't come. Mastering the qualities needed to be in a trio is really cool, and challenging, and wonderful, and I will be so grateful I get to learn how to do it now, so that if it ever happens in the mission field. I will be set. Because it is hard enough to keep track of one person and their needs, and work as one. Try working as one, with three people. Haha. We do a pretty good job though, because we really love each other. Hermana Robison is from Lehi, UT and is a little fashionista hipster who has the same sense of humor as me, so she thinks I am HILARIOUS, which I like. She is very sweet, and attentive, and the oldest, so she is the "mother hen" in the group. Hermana Villalobos is from Chandler, AZ and is a bonita Mexican that couldn't speak a word of Spanish until now. She is really fun. She kind of has the personality of a dude (not super self-aware, or sensitive), so that doesn't always rub me the right way, but 98% of the time, we do great, and love each other. Her boyfriend just got home from the Carlsbad CA mission, English speaking, so that was cool for us! 
As far as Spanish goes, we had to teach our first lesson to an "investigator" (she will soon be our teacher, but they choose someone they know or taught on their mission, and pray to be able to simulate the event as much as possible, so we treat her like a real much as we can) anyways the morning after our second day, we had to teach the lesson we planned 100% en Espanol. SO they don't waste any time here. But I can totally speak Spanish haha. Not fluently obviously, but I can pray completely in Spanish, and have been tempted this whole time to write half of these words in Spanish, but that would probably be annoying for everyone.
I haven't been having a hard time, so don't worry about me. In fact, while eveyone had their breakdowns in this first week, I stayed too stubborn to cry or to feel upset in any way. Which I eventually realized that it was because I was too scared to feel so deeply about all of this, that I went for the neutral route. And so I talked to my teacher about it, and he told us that whatever our capacity to hurt is, is equal to our capacity to love. But that when you are a missionary, Heavenly Father stretches out your capacity to love, and therfore the capacity to hurt is also expanded, but...Jesus Christ already suffered for us, so we can exercise our full capacity to love, without feeling ALL of the hurt. It was cooler in a graph, sorry. My point is, I hope nobody is worried about me, because I am doing great, and I have since that conversation allowed myself to not just put forth 100% obedience, but 100% heart as well.
I love you all.
Thank you for helping me get here in the various ways that you have.
Love always,
Hermana Patton

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