Thursday, January 23, 2014

Life in the Empty Sea (that's what the cool kids call the MTC these days...)

Hello!  I miss you so much already!  It is so weird that I have already been here for a week and now I get to write to all of you!  This week has been crazy and so much has happened and changed already!  So this letter might be a little chaotic and messy, but I will do my best.

Loved running into Elder Merrill! 
It's funny, Andrew was in the mission prep class with me when I met Sister Packer for the first time.

It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone on Wednesday.  But they put me right to work!  It was so fun to have Mom's friend be the one that put the nametag on me. I think she had been looking for me to put it on so that was really sweet of her.  Then, I found out that my companion was Sister Packer and i KNEW everything was going to be ok.  She is amazing and we are already best friends.  I love it.  We work really well together and we fill in where the other lacks especially when it comes to teaching.  I am so grateful to have her as a companion.  Because of that I have never really felt lonely here at the MTC.  Such a tender mercy from Heavenly Father.  
All of the other elders and sisters in my zone and district are amazing too.  Sis packer and I are really good friends with another companionship here in our district named sister ormsby from perry Utah and sister Plante from Orem.  They are so hilarious!  Sister Ormsby kind of reminds me of Audrey Nelson.  There is an Elder in our zone named Elder Lore and I swear to you he is Jarett Tanner in the flesh.  He is hilarious.  My district is all sisters so that is pretty weird.  The other district in our zone has 4 sister and 4 elders so the elders are really outnumbered.  It is kind of nice to have an all sisters district because we are able to focus better than the district with elders i think... haha.

When I got home the first night and started unpacking a little bit I found a present that abby left me in my suitcase!  It was so sweet and the letter definitely made me cry.  Thank you abby!  I love you!
Our teachers in our classes are amazing too.  We learn a lot and really feel the spirit but we have fun too.  One of our teachers looks EXACTLY like frozone from the incredibles.  Or obama.  Take your pick.  

On Thursday we met our Branch President and had interviews with him.  After the interviews and a short testimony meeting, Sister Packer and I were called as the Sister Training Leaders for our Zone.  This basically means we go to a lot of meetings and trainings and are in charge of orientation for new elders and sisters.  And we are in charge of looking out for the sisters in our zone.  It is a lot of responsibility.  It was very humbling because there are plenty of other AMAZING sisters in our zone.  But if Heavenly Father trusts us to do this, then I know we can do it with his help.

On Friday I ran into Elder Jared Richardson!  That was fun.  He left earlier this week.  I was able to run into him a couple of times actually.  We got a picture so I will try to figure out how to send pictures in a little.  We started teaching our first investigator on Friday.  Her name is Darla.  The lesson did NOT go well.  Haha you could tell is was mine and sister packer's first lesson.  It was very humbling and exactly what I needed though.  Because I know that I can't do this without Heavenly Father's help.  And I DEFINITELY can't teach ANY lessons without listening to the Spirit.

Sunday was great!  There is that thing that people say that if you can just make it to Sunday in the MTC then you will be fine, and it so totally true.  Sunday was like a mini P-day.  It was great.  Except for Sister Packer and I had a million meetings because we are the sister training leaders.  But it was still great!  Our walk to the temple was around 1:30ish I think.  So you all were in church.  If you try to come to the temple next week then don't let me see you because I think that would be hard for me.  But the temple walk was amazing! As much as i absolutely love it here, the MTC is for sure like a prison.  We are crammed inside of our cave of a classroom quite literally all day so it was so nice to leave and breathe in fresh air!  I forgot what sunshine was.  

On Sunday they let the Sisters watch Music and the Spoken word (which was AWESOME) and then all of the sisters in the MTC meet together for relief society.  Sister Wixom (the primary general president) came and spoke to us for relief society.  It was way good.For sacrament meetings here in the MTC they call on random missionaries to speak.  I think it is supposed to be practice for the field. haha I played the piano and actually did ok with a couple of songs I had never really played before.  Then on Sunday night we had the MTC wide devotional!  that was way cool too!    Sheri Dew spoke!  One thing that I remember she said was "Conversion requires immersion."  That is something that I need to remember here.  I am completely immersed in the gospel and I love it!  I need to help my investigators do that as well.  At the devotional I got to see Elder Merrill!  I was so happy to see him!  He is great. At dinner I saw Jared Roy and he told me that Ashley started varsity!  I WAS SO STOKED.  I told him to tell her I celebrated by eating a bowl of cereal.  I hope you understood my inside joke.  I AM SO PROUD OF YOU ASH!!  You're awesome.  I love hearing the updates of your games.  

PS I hope you had a happy birthday!  and i hope you found the present I left you.

Monday started bad and ended great.  One of the Sisters in our zone has mono I guess...  So she was sick all day.  And a lot of the sisters in our zone were dealing with that.  She got a blessing from our zone leaders and is starting to do better.  After having to deal with that, Bryan brought the cupcakes that Abby had made!  It was the best thing ever!  It was Sister Brown's 21 birthday.  We had a mini birthday for her back at our residence hall.  Everyone loved the cupcakes.  They were great.  And all of the sisters told me that I have the best little sister in the world.  But I already knew that.  Sister Brown wanted me to make sure I told you thanks too.  She said it was the best birthday she has had in a long time.  So thanks Abby!  It really was so thoughtful of you!  

On Monday we started teaching our TRC investigator.  TRC is basically you go in and teach and you don't know if they are members or not.  Lots of times it is converts replaying their own conversions and the experiences they had while we teach them.  But lots of them are real investigators!  In fact, the MTC had 2 baptisms in the last couple of weeks.  That means brand new missionaries converted them!  So we are teaching Cindy.She is from Madagascar and she is awesome and our lessons are going well.  We are getting to be better teachers.
Tuesday I had a really cool experience with a lady who is the wife of one of the branch presidency members that knew Grandma King.  Could you dear elder me their address so i can send them a hand written letter of what happened?  I don't have time to e-mail it.  

Also on Tuesday I got my first package from the Harrison family!  I loved it and it made my day.  Will you please be sure to tell them how much I appreciated it and how much I love them.  They send treats for my whole district!  I love them!  On Tuesday night there was another MTC wide devotional.  Sister Packer and I sang in the choir so that was way cool.  Also, Elder Merrill was in the choir so I got to hang out with him for a while.  FUN!  Gerald Cause came and spoke.  He is the first counselor in the presiding bishopric.He is french so it was kind of hard to understand what he was saying.... but he talked about how if we saw Christ, would we recognize him?  Interesting to think about.  That is actually what we decided to talk to Cindy about in one of our lessons. 

On Tuesday night I was laying in bed and I had a thought.  Last Tuesday I was laying in my own bed at home, today I am laying in my bed at the MTC, and next Tuesday I will be sleeping in Wisconsin.  CRAZY! 
Then Wednesday came.  A bunch of new missionaries were getting here!  SO WEIRD to think that it was me last week.  I have learned so much since then.  It was fun because since Sister Packer and I are the Sister Training Leaders, we got to do orientation for the new district of missionaries coming to our zone.  It ended up being an entire district of Elders that are going to Virginia.  It was fun to teach them what we know about the MTC so far.  In our lesson with Darla on Wednesday, I felt prompted to invite her to be baptized.  I was TERRIFIED, but guess what!  SHE SAID YES!  I wish you could have seen the celebratory dance Sister Packer and I did in the hall when we left.  I had asked Cindy to be baptized once before and she said no.... haha so I told myself I would never do it again.  But then I really felt prompted to ask Darla.  It was great!  The spirit is awesome.

Thank you so much for your letters!  We get the Dear Elder letters everyday so I REALLY have appreciated those.  Please send me more!  ANYONE AND EVERYONE WRITE ME!!!  I didn't realize how much missionaries love mail, but those letters I have been getting are GOLD.  Thanks mom, dad, and casey!  I love you guys.  Bryan is off the hook because I see him everyday.

I have seen a lot of people here.  Sara Ripley and CaLea Bagley from soccer, Jared Richardson, Andrew Merrill, Kris Crowther, Syd Lamb's Aunt, and a ton of friends from BYU.  It is so cool that we are all here to serve the Lord! The cafeteria food is great!  It actually isn't too unhealthy, its just that they serve you a full meal for breakfast, a full meal for lunch, and a full meal for dinner so Sister packer and I usually try to eat just half of what they give us.  haha it doesn't always go well but we are trying.

Overall, I really am having a great time here!  So much has happened that I can't even begin to explain to you how much I have learned.  I LOVE this gospel.  I love the opportunity I have to share it with others.  I thought I knew before I came here that this is what I was supposed to be doing.  But I ABSOLUTELY without a doubt know that this is where I am supposed to be.  I have really grown a lot spiritually.  I love that I can feel the Spirit pretty much all day long.  It really is a blessing.  I love being a missionary!  

I love you so much! Write me!

Love, Sister King

PS  What blood type was President Hinckley?

       Be positive


Love you guys!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Courtney Sighting.

Our sweet family friend, Annie, works at the MTC and she ran into Sister King this morning! This is the first picture from the MTC we have received, we will post more pictures after Sister King has her first P-day and can email us.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

And She's Off!

Yesterday, Sister King entered the Provo MTC to begin her service as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We have heard from friends that work in the MTC that Sister King is doing well and loving her companion and teachers. We will post her first letter home as soon as we get it.

As always, thanks for your love and support!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

So Long, Farewell!

Today was the mission farewell for Courtney and also Samantha Roan. They both knocked it out of the park with their talks. They will be fantastic missionaries! So excited for them both.

We also appreciate all the support we have received from family and friends!  Thank you!  We love you!

Sister Roan and Sister King

Cute cousins!

Basketball and Soccer friends!

It was fun to see the Jensen's!


Courtney took a while to get back from the church, so we had to start the luncheon without her!  Nice you could make it, Courtney!

 More basketball friends

These two cute girls  and former team-mates will soon be embarking on missions, too.  California and Boston!

Courtney and her Grandma King.  Courtney's middle name is Joanne after her Grandma, Joanne King.

Coach Sundquist needs to find another babysitter  for the games now!

Sister Cheesehead..... I mean Sister King.

Courtney with her room- mates, except for Brianna, who is home at Las Vegas, getting ready to serve her own mission to Peru soon.

Amy, Courtney, Sophia Osmond and her mom, Michelle Osmond.  Sophia graduated from Timpview with Courtney and will also be serving in Wisconsin just a month behind Courtney!

Wisconsin is lucky to be getting such wonderful sister missionaries!

King girl cousins!

Courtney with Weslee Baird.  Her brother, Wyatt, who also graduated with Courtney, is currently serving in the Wisconsin mission.  Weslee and Courtney played basketball together!

Some of the basketball team.

Courtney with her soccer coach, Rob Dahl.  Wonderful coaches like him and Coach Cooke have helped prepare her to serve.  They are great role models, as well as great coaches.

Courtney and Grandma Thomas.  Grandpa Thomas is represented by his textbook in the background!

3 generations of Thomas ladies.

Landon, Courtney, and Jeremy- Thomas cousins

Speaking in church takes it out of you!!

The 3 Thomas girls who have served  (or will serve) missions.

Grandma and Grandpa King

Courtney with her proud parents.  We love you, Courtney!!

Our wonderful friends, The Nelson's.  Br. Nelson and Johnny were our home teachers and Sister Nelson has been a wonderful Young Women leader.  Wendy, their daughter, is now serving in Florida.
Our great friends, The Merrill's.  We have made some wonderful family memories with them and their kids.  Their son, Andrew, just went in the MTC last week.