Current Address

Sister Jorden Elizabeth Jackson
Philippines Baguio Mission
PO Box 115
National Highway
Brgy. Lingsat
San Fernando, La Union

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Why did the chicken climb the tree?

For reals though, I was sitting in a lesson and who would have thought I’d be thinking, “I hope all those chickens in that tree don’t poop on me!” Just another day in the Philippines!

On Tuesday, we had a wonderful quad zone Christmas party. President and Sister Balledos are great! They gave us some training, then a delicious catered lunch, followed with a gift exchange! Afterwards each zone performed a little 10 minute Christmas production. Then we watched a Babylonian movie! “We are Marshall”! The whole day was so great – filled with friends, laughter and good times. In his opening comments for the day, President said, “We are doing our best to show you your Heavenly Father’s love for you.” I am so privileged to serve in the Baguio mission at the same time as President and Sister Balledos! It makes being away from home during the Christmas season a little more doable.

Before showing the new Bible nativity video, President challenged each of us to think, “What does Christ want me to do?” during the video. I challenge each of you to think that and watch the movie. I received some pretty cool inspiration!

Wednesday morning, I prayed and promised the Lord that I would work even harder than I had before. Do you know what happened? The Lord blessed me with a cloudy, drizzly, WINDY day! It was so amazing! I was able to work more efficiently and listen better because the sun wasn’t zapping all of my energy – but really because the Lord helped me keep my promise to Him. “The Lord doesn’t make up the difference – He makes all the difference!” (Courtesy of Sister Golightly)

Top 3 new investigators this week:

·         Alvin and Imelda – we taught them twice this week. It was so great! They live in Saudi Arabia, but are here for Christmas. They leave in 20 days. The lessons with their family are so great! Yesterday, Alvin said the closing prayer to the “Plan of Salvation” lesson and asked the Lord to let us share our message with every person in San Fernando. I love their family! They make my mission worth it. 

·         Medemail – when we talked to her randomly on the street, we gave her a pamphlet about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sister Gehards turned to me (expecting me to explain it) and all I could think to talk about was families being together forever. After I finished talking, Sister Gerhards didn’t explain the pamphlet any further. When we walked away, she told me the only thing she could think of to say was about families! When we returned to teach her, we found out that her son has severe mental damage from a hit and run. She told us that our message brought her so much peace and comfort. She said she knew we were messengers from God.

·         Alexandra – we gave her a Book of Mormon this week and asked her to read the title page. She said she knew it would be a good book so she would finish the whole thing! I am so impressed by the faith of these people. Throughout the whole lesson she kept thanking God that we came to her. 

Perks of trying to speak Tagalog:

·         Courage – when an investigator told us, “A missionary tried to give me a Book of Mormon but I gave it back to him and slammed the door on his face” and I had no idea what he just said, but I recognized "Book of Mormon," so I just pulled one out, handed it to him and said “This is for you. It is the Word of God”!

·         Temperance – when another person was going on and on trying to Bible bash with me and all I understood was “You’re going to Hell!” all I could do is share a simple testimony of Jesus Christ. No engaging in contention for me!

·         Humility – Have never been so humbled in my life. I literally cannot do anything that I need to do without the Lord. I need Him all the time. I am so grateful for His constant help. Learning Tagalog has definitely compelled me to be humble. 

·         More spiritually in tune – Since I cannot understand what anyone is saying, I have to rely on the spirit to know what I should testify about in a lesson. Although sometimes I am totally off base, I am learning every day to listen to the spirit. 

Thank you for all the prayers! I can really feel them. I love and miss ya’ll so much! Have a maligayang pasko! I love this gospel so much! I love our Savior. He is truly the greatest gift God has given us. Try to give something to or do something for Him this Christmas.
And every day!

Here’s the link to the new Bible nativity video:

 dito sa area ko

My kasama and I outside the Sister Training Leader's apartment where we are staying

 Mission Christmas Party!

The San Fernando Zone

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nakakanos Ako! (I will survive!)

This week was super hard! I feel like there are not words to describe why being a missionary is hard – you just have to experience it yourself. For those of you considering serving a mission, I offer a little advice: know why you are serving. Decide now that you will NEVER quit. Because you will probably want to. And you will need to draw strength from knowing why you chose to serve a mission. And you will need to go in knowing you will not quit.

Saturday, after tracting for 3 hours with no luck, someone let us in! We taught the whole first lesson to Susie (27), her nephew Luke (11) and her mom. It was so great! I didn’t really know what my companion was teaching (still), but the spirit was there and Susie could feel it. We invited her to come to church with us and she said yes! Everyone says yes when we invite them, because they don’t want to offend us, but then they don’t come. BUT GUESS WHO CAME TO CHURCH THE NEXT MORNING?! SUSIE!! It was so cool to see the fruits of our labors. It made the long, long Saturday worth it. J

We had a ward party on Friday night! Who would have guessed I would ever look forward to a ward party so much? It was super fun. The ward asked us (8 missionaries) to do an intermission act thing half way through the party. We did a “Carol of the Bells” number. It was so fun! Everyone in the ward is kind of tone deaf, so they were just so impressed with our beautiful singing and crazy gestures. Did I mention… it was SO fun!! I have a sweet video of all of us waving imaginary bells and singing random parts.

And now for the good stuff…
·         I ate meat that was covered with a blood chocolate sauce. It tastes as good as it sounds. J
·         A ward member was asking me if I was full, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying (shocker, right?) Then he said, “How do you spell it? F-O-L-L. I said, “Oh, hindi (no) F-U.” They understood what I said. So embarrassing.
·         About 300 mosquitoes flew out of my towel when I pulled it off the clothes line. I think I will hang it up to dry inside now.

That’s all for this week. 
I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season.
I love you and pray for you!

Pictures of my beautiful area

I got to reunite with these fav. sistas at a "New Missionary Training" meeting on Friday. It had only been 1 week, but it felt like forever since I had seen them.

My trainer, her trainer, and me. (3 generation photo)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Call Me Sister Dora

I have left the MTC and I am now exploring a new area! 
My new companion's name is Sister Gerhards. She is wonderful! I love her. She is from Manila and has been out for almost 8 months now! During our “Amazing Race" activity on Thursday (the day before transfers) I met her at the learn-how-to-wash-your-clothes-in-a-bucket station, and seriously thought, "I hope she will be my companion!" She had such a happy aura and kind smile. She is delightful! After we were assigned as companions, in our first companion study, she told me that she has been praying for a really happy companion that will lift her spirits. She said she is always happy, but lately she has been less and less happy. But when she met me on Thursday she could tell that I was a happy person and wanted to be my companion. She said I give off contagious energy — Awe…so nice. 
I miss Sister Golightly so much! But, guess what?!? Since we are both opening brand new areas they don't have apartments for us yet so we are BOTH staying at the Sister Training Leader’s apartment for now! I am so happy! It’s great to see her in the morning and at night and talk about our days. It’s like a little piece of the MTC... I miss that place :) Not being her kasama is like a terrible breakup- and we literally are never ever ever getting back together. But I know that I am with Sister Gerhards for a reason (probably because if Sister Golightly and I were together, we wouldn't be able to talk to anyone) and I am so blessed to be her companion. 
The language. It’s definitely not what they taught me in the MTC. To give you a feel for what my days are like, imagine being at a party and someone tells an inside joke that everyone gets, and laughs at, except you. All the time. The only words I have recognized so far have been "dead" "little" and "house." It’s rough. I don't really feel like I am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary because I can't talk to anyone! I trust in the Lord. I know this is where He wants me to be. I know that I will be able to talk to people in the Lord’s time. I know that He wants me to talk to people, because He called me to the Philippines and He also called me to speak Tagalog. 
I am not actually in Baguio; my area is in Sevilla, which is really close to San Fernando. Everyone is so welcoming! They pull over chairs and give us what little they have--- drinks, sometimes meals. The members have such strong testimonies and such kind hearts. It is super-hot here.  My favorite thing: the fans. (I am sweaty all the time.) But I love it!
Since we are in a new area, we don’t have an area book. We also don't have a map of our area. Or a list of ward members names (they are bringing a ward that was previously split back together because so many people went inactive). So our first night (Friday), we pretty much just walked a bunch and tried to figure out where our area is. We found a part-member family and shared a message with them. I memorized the baptismal invitation in Tagalog in the MTC, so when my companion looked at me, I shared it. Woohoo! One of the daughters, Nicole, said yes! It was really cool. We wandered around some more, met some more people we could teach and headed home. 
Saturday was more of the same thing. So was Sunday. We don't have any real investigators because of our situation with the area. Our bishop invited all the missionaries in the ward (4 sets of sisters!) over for lunch on Sunday. After lunch, he showed us around so we could finally know where our area is. He introduced us to some members, who then walked around with us and introduced us to more members. So many names and faces and places! I am so thankful for the help from the members! So thankful! If they didn't help us out we would still just be wandering around. But now we at least know where we can tract! It’s really hard for me to remember all the names because they are Filipino, so I have a hard time pronouncing them and remembering them. Our area is really poor, so there aren't street names or addresses for people either. We have to just remember what streets to turn on based off of recognizing them. But it’s ok! I’m sure with practice I will remember more. 
One of my favorite people that we met was named Sister Fisher. Everyone we talked to, once they found out we were Mormon, asked if we knew Sister Fisher. So I knew before I met her that she was a strong member. She was so welcoming! She is on kidney dialysis and has a hard time walking around and doing a lot of things. And her house is pretty much just like camping. But she bore such a strong testimony to us and expressed so much gratitude for all she has been given. It was so beautiful. 
Another sister that we met last night looks like Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas. She told us (in English! It was great!) that her husband died when her children were little. People told her to just collect money from the government, but she wanted to be self-reliant. She had a little booth in the market where she sold things all day in order to send her kids to school and feed them. She said sometimes it would be five o’clock and she didn't have enough money for food for the day. She would bow her head and ask Heavenly Father to provide a way for her to feed her family. She testified that he always did. They never went hungry. When she joined the church and decided to keep the Sabbath day holy, she would pray on Saturday to earn enough for two days. Sometimes it wouldn't be a lot, but they always had a little food on Sunday. Sometimes she would earn double on Saturday. It was so inspiring to hear about her humble, powerful story. She also told us that she has prayed, ever since her husband died, to be able to stay alive and take care of her children until they can take care of themselves. Wow. 
Strange things:
-Walking around in the dark my first night, we saw (by the light of our flashlight) a life size statue that was super creepy looking! Kept me on my toes for the rest of the night. Who puts that in their front yard anyways?! 
-When we went into Nicole’s house, a dog stole my left shoe and Sister Gerhards’ right shoe. All the kids ran around looking for them for us, and we were a little worried! It was only 5, so we had to stay out for 4 more hours! With only one shoe? But the kids found her croc and my slobbery gnawed on Tom. Oh well! Adds character to them :)

Thank you all for your support, love and prayers,
Sister J

Bus ride to the mish office. Gwapa! Gwapa!

Jeepney ride!
The last time we will all be together for who knows how long. It was such a privilege to rub shoulders with these ladies at the Missionary Training Center

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I made it to the most beautiful place in the world!


We made it! After our flight got delayed in Japan, we had just enough time to go to the hotel, take a quick shower, get ready for the day and hop on the bus! This place is so magical. I love it already! The colorful houses, friendly people, and picturesque landscape stole my heart! I will spend until Friday afternoon here at the mission home learning all about the Philippines Baguio mission and fun little things like how to wash your clothes in a bucket and much more!
My mission president and first lady are lovely people! They are so kind, easy going and wonderful! 
I feel so blessed to have such delightful leaders. 

Mahal kayo ko!
Sister J

P.S. I am famous for eating termites (I guess in my letter to my mission president I said I ate termites). Right when all thirty missionaries sat down, they asked, "Who's the one who likes to eat termites?" An elder in my district, knowing me so well, shouted out, "Sister Jackson!" hahaha

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful Thoughts

Kumusta Pamilia Ko!

Thank you for all the lovely letters and packages this week! I feel so blessed and so loved :) I will write you all back when I get on the plane this Monday for THE PHILIPPINES!! But for now, I am busy spending my last few days with my lovely Kasama and soaking up every last moment at the Missionary Training Center.

Thanksgiving was beautiful! I loved spending time with my district family. In the morning, Elder Nelson came to the MTC for a devotional. There was a massive crowd of missionaries waiting to go inside. One Elder said, "This is the closest we will get to Black Friday!" How cool is that!? Instead of going shopping, we get to listen to an apostle of the Lord. I would make that trade any day. Elder Nelson told us about how important it is to work with the ward mission leader and family history consultant in the wards where we are serving.

After the devotional, we had a lovely Thanksgiving lunch in the cafeteria. After lunch, we did a service project where we packaged 350,000 meals for kids who are in need. It was so fun to work side by side with the missionaries and do so much good.

Thanksgiving dinner was supposed to be a sack dinner... but it ended up being a fantastic feast! We all brought what food we had from our families or friends. Elder Harris's mom sent him a boat load of fresh fruit and veggies, rolls, apple pie, and sparkling cider. We feasted, shot baby carrots at each other, and enjoyed each other’s company. Since we didn't have cups, we cut water bottles in half and used them to make a toast. It was so fun! It most certainly is one of my most memorable Thanksgivings. 
Spending it with my district was my home away from home.

Earlier this week we taught our last lessons with our progressing investigators. One particularly was wonderful! We started with a song again and really taught from our hearts. The spirit was so strong. I loved it! We taught Kenneth about faith, repentance, baptism and the Holy Ghost. At the end of our lesson, he asked if he could just get baptized tomorrow, because he doesn’t want to wait 6 more weeks. I am so grateful that the Lord blessed us with such a great last experience teaching at the MTC. I know it’s all Him- I'm pretty much the same last week as I am this week. But He is making up the difference for me in our lessons and it is so great!

Our teacher gave me two really good pieces of advice: Love the culture wholeheartedly and love the people. Try everything and love it! Love everything about everyone and everything, and you will be so much happier with your mission. (I think this applies to life in general too!) He also told us to teach with power. He said we know the doctrine and enough of the language (#doubletake) that all of our lessons should be taught with power.

On Sunday, I fasted for stamina to learn as much as I could this last week at the MTC and for guidance in my studies so that I could learn what the Lord needs me to learn. I can feel the Lord’s help with all my efforts. Even though I don't know nearly enough of the language and I am not a well-qualified teacher, I am trusting the Lord and jumping into his work! I am so thankful for all the blessings the Lord has given me. I am so thankful for all the love and support I receive from each of you! It really means the world to me.

This week was wonderful and so happy. Here are some of the funnies:

-I go around saying "ready...GO!" in Tagalog all the time, but what I thought was “ready…GO!” is actually "ready....SING!" Oops. When I am about to jump into bed, "ready...SING!" When I am leaving the dinner table, "ready...SING!" When I want our district to start walking, "ready...SING!" 
Good thing I went over some new verbs this week.

-One night at the residence, we were doing impressions from movies or famous people. I said, "Guess who I am....’Talaga?!?’" in my teacher’s voice - he says that all the time. They got it right off the bat, of course :) The next day, my roommate told my teacher, "Last night Sister Jackson said, ‘Guess who I am....TALAGA?!?’pretending to be you!" Thank you Sister Smith... 
out of context I sound like a total creeper. :)

-We are assigned to help set up the gym every Monday and Saturday night for devotionals. We have to spread a giant mat out over the ground and then put up chairs. In order to get the mat out as quickly and neatly as possible, we unfold it as a group, lined up along the edges. We unfold a section together, then go back to the other side and unfold another section. The mat is massive! It takes a ton of people, and as we keep going the folds get bigger and bigger and people move pretty fast. This week while we were walking backwards, unfolding a section, Sister Golightly fell, and was half dragged, scooting along next to me. I was dying laughing (I’m so mean!) and trying to help her up, but I couldn't! So, she was dragged half way across the gym! And, she ended up losing one of her shoes and socks! The guy on the megaphone (that tells us all when to pull) asked everyone to fold the mat back up until we found her sock and shoe underneath. She is such a good sport though, love her!

Missions are awesome! I love it so much at the Missionary Training Center, and I know I will love it even more in the Philippines on Monday

Love you all! Thank you for everything!

 White tie or white T Saturday! 
Our last day at the temple before it closed. 

 Thanksgiving lunch in the MTC cafeteria. It was awesome!

Service project... future lunch ladies? 
I think I found my calling for life after the mish. 

Our Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving toast

 I love my district!

I'm going to miss our roommate circle talks :)

 Our teacher - Brother C.
Our teacher - Brother T.

It was so hard to say goodbye to our awesome teachers. Loved them! 
Both Brother Cohen and Brother Trebas have been awesome. 

Our Mandarin speaking friends. They will head to Taiwan the day after we leave for the Philippines!

Selfies <3
We got a little bored in field orientation yesterday. 
It was literally ALL DAY!!
 But we had fun :) and learned lots :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Still Alive Through Week Five

Thank you so much for all the dear elders and letters and packages family and friends! I love to hear from you and feel your support! Mom- How are you so cute?? Your packages are adorable! Seriously, I am the luckiest missionary to have a mom as awesome as you :) Dunaways- Thank you for the envelope of goodies! It seriously made my day. Your school pictures, Halloween costumes and drawings are wonderful! I am sending you letters back soon!

This morning at the Temple I ran into Alecia Judd! I haven't seen her since Belize 2012! It was so cool to see her! The temple closes this Monday, but I'm glad we still get our Sunday afternoon temple walks :)

Sunday afternoon at Relief Society we met our mission president’s daughter! She is delightful. She will be serving her mission at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Her brother is also at the MTC right now. What a cool family! Also, I heard one of the most AMAZING talks ever in Relief Society by a woman on The General Relief Society Board named Sister Rodgers. The MTC talks are never available for the public, but maybe she has spoken at BYU devotionals or other places. Google her! 

Sunday night after devotionals, we get to watch old MTC devotionals or movies. The first week that we were at the MTC, Sister Golightly saw that they play Legacy sometimes, and she was so excited! So, this Sunday when we saw it was playing, our whole district decided to go. It was hilarious! Oh my goodness! So many great one liners. When a couple went in for a kiss, Elder Alonzo yelled, "Elder Harris! Close your eyes!" (#missionprobs) It was great to laugh at all the cheesy one-liners. Also, the actor that played Joseph Smith had CRAZY hair and he had CRAZY EYES! 
I didn't realize they showed comedies at the MTC.

On Wednesday, I checked another item off of my MTC bucket list. I was a host! It was tremendous. It was so great to be a part of missionaries arriving and help them during their first experience at the MTC. We helped them get their tags and find their rooms, pick up their books, find their classrooms and meet their teachers and companions. I loved all the sisters that I was blessed to be able to show around! It was great to feed off of their positive energy and excitement. I was a little bit worried that I would get choked-up seeing people say goodbye to their families (we are supposed to be super happy and bubbly), but I only got emotional once, watching an elder say goodbye to all his little siblings. But, I quickly walked back to my station and helped another sister out of her car.  :) I was a super positive host! I recommend hosting, at least once, to every missionary. You don't have to be invited to host, I'm pretty sure you can host after your second week.

I have learned so much about the gospel and coming closer to Jesus Christ. Right now I am trying to find the right balance between planning a lesson and teaching by the Spirit. It's a struggle! If anyone has any suggestions feel free to share.
I need all the help I can get.

We have had some awesome lessons! Last night one of our investigators agreed to be baptized! Earlier in the afternoon, we were doing TALL (technology assisted language learning) and when we both came to the sentences in our flashcards, "The Holy Ghost testifies of Christ" and "Through the power of the Holy Ghost you can feel Gods love for you" we felt the Holy Ghost so strongly.  After TALL we both started to tell each other that we needed to talk about the Holy Ghost. We started off the lesson by singing “I am a Child of God” in Tagalog (thanks for the idea Grandma J!), and Sister Golightly shared a scripture about feeling the Holy Ghost and bore a super amazing testimony. Then I was next. I was so stressed about teaching by the spirit; I couldn't decide what scripture to share so I just ended up bearing a short testimony. Then I invited him to be baptized. He said yes! I am still learning how to teach the way Christ wants me to, but I know that testifying of the simple truths of the Gospel is the best way to bring the spirit into a lesson.

This Thursday, Sister Golightly and I, and a lot of other people in our zone, got a stomach bug :( The MTC is just crawling with germs. But, we asked for blessings from our district leader and his kasama and it was a super spiritual experience. I know that the priesthood is real. I felt God’s love for me and His desire for my well-being. One part of the blessing promised that I would be healed according to my faith. That night I was kind of hungry, but said to my kasama, "I'm too afraid to eat because I don't want to be sick again!" A few minutes later I realized how dumb that was of me! I decided to have faith in the Lord and his promise and I ate some pretzels (thanks mom!). Of course, the Lord was true to his promise and I have been feeling great ever since.

I can't describe in words how cool it is to be a missionary. I walk around all the time just so happy, for no reason besides it’s a great day and I am a missionary. I am just joyful all the time.

On Friday night, we got our flight plans. (OH MY GOSH! ALREADY??) Earlier this week a sister that was leaving gave Sister Golightly and me some streamers. So, we ate dinner fast and ran up to the residence decorate the room! We were surprising our roommates (and all the sisters in our zone, as it turns out :)) with a p-day eve/flight plan day/part-ay part-ay. *Insert Filipino accent* We have so much fun together! Everyone brought over some goodies and we spread a sheet on the floor and wore party hats (courtesy of the sisters leaving) and talked and laughed till lights out. I think my roommates and I are the craziest out of the bunch though :)
I am so blessed to be with such a happy group of people.

Language Mistakes: (I'm glad I am having less of these, even though they are entertaining)

-While practicing the baptism invitation, instead of saying "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized..." I said, "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and atone for sins.... HINDI! HINDI!" (“No! No!”) Practice is very important.

Door Segments:

This section is dedicated to my awkward door exchanges. I don't know why I have so many issues with doors. Enjoy! :)

-Because my arms were full, I pushed the door to a building opened with my butt to hold it open for Sister Golightly. She looked at me super confused and walked through the door. Then I turned to walk out and ran into an elder who was holding my door opened. I guess he opened it at the same time as me and was standing right beside me but I didn't see him till I ran into him. Physical contact! 
Poor elder, he was so uncomfortable!

-Same door as the day before, I was super happy because an elder just swiped his card so all the doors to get into that building were unlocked. I said, "Oh yes! They're still unlocked!" I completely overlooked the elder who was holding opened the door for us and ran to the other door next to it, opened it and held it opened for my kasama. She was in a really awkward situation choosing which door to go through. kasama loyalty triumphed. But, that’s when I realized that the elder was holding the door for us and his companion was standing outside so we could go through looking bewildered. 
We apologized and had a good laugh :)

-Finally, at the end of a super long day, I stood at the key card swiper and swiped my card over and over again. The green light would not turn on! My kasama said, "Uhhh... Sister Jackson??" I looked up. The door was opened already. Oh man! Good times!

I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers!

Ready to greet the new arrival missionaries!

Sunday night temple walk

P-day eve/Flight plan day Par-tay Par-tay

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Every Sister Should Know About the Missionary Training Center

First day

When you arrive, you will be greeted by a host who will help you with your bags and go with you to collect your name tag, MTC ID card (which lets you into the cafeteria), your study materials and books. Then you’ll drop off your bags in your room and take your study stuff to your classroom where you will meet your teacher, district and companion. Then you head to a big “Welcome to the MTC Meeting” with all of the new missionaries and the MTC presidency and the MTC Relief Society Presidency. It is great! Next, dinner. After dinner, you’ll have some time to unpack and then you’ll go to a teaching experience (in English) where in a group of 30ish missionaries you move from room to room teaching one investigator by just raising your hand if you have something to say. The first day is awesome! 
I literally COULD NOT STOP SMILING! It’s amazing.

What to bring to the MTC

·         Mints – not gum
·         Post it notes
·         White board markers
·         Lotion
·         Thank you cards
·         Watch
·         Basketball shorts for gym time
·         Headphones for gym time in 2M
·         Pictures of home, family, friends and good memories
·         Pens – in lots of colors. (They will brighten your day!)
·         Language notebook, personal scripture study notebook and journal
·         Laundry soap, dryer sheets and “delicates” bag (the washers here are super heavy duty!)
·         Pillow – I’m glad I brought my own pillow. They have pillows, sheets and blankets here, but I sleep so much better with my own pillow!
·         HEALTHY NON-PERISHABLE SNACKS.  Think trail mix, dried fruit, protein/granola bars, microwave popcorn (there are microwaves everywhere!)
·         A bag for bathroom stuff and a bag for shower stuff. My shower stuff bag is a mesh “delicates” laundry bag that has a loop on it that I can hang my stuff in the shower. It dries really fast, so it works well!
·         If you have musical talents, bring sheet music (church approved, of course)! People are always needed for special musical numbers. They have violins, cellos, flutes and pianos here for our use – so leave your instruments at home. :)

What to buy at the bookstore (you can go any day, not just p-day)

·         Stamps
·         MTC water bottle
·         Lanyard pull out thing to hold your ID card
·         Ring to attach your key to your lanyard
·         Flashcards on a ring that fit on your lanyard

A typical MTC P-day (at least for me) includes
·         6:30 wake up – NO SLEEPING IN
·         Laundry – go either EARLY morning or afternoon to avoid crowds
·         Email time – 1 hour. Use the computers in the laundry room because they send pictures. Bonus – you can get your laundry AND email done at the same time
·         Nap!
·         Temple visit (Eat in the cafeteria. I hear it’s amazing! I’ll try it this week)
·         Study time
·         P-day ends at 5 for dinner and you’ll have class at night

*If you want to wear P-day clothes all day…you can! You can’t wear them in the cafeteria, but you can get a sack breakfast and lunch which are great!

During the first week at the MTC, you have a lot of personal study time. And companion study time. And personal language study time. It’s tempting to walk over to the computer lab and check your email or to talk with your awesome district instead of working. Decide now to be a hardworking, exactly obedient missionary and it will make life at the MTC enjoyable and satisfying.  

The MTC is the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH! Do everything you can to come with a humble, teachable heart, positive attitude and a determination to be obedient. You will quickly love the MTC!

My kasama (companion) Sister Golightly

The classic MTC photo