I can't believe it's already been a whole week at the MTC! But at the same time it feels like I've been here my whole life. Like I'm in some sort of netherworld where I didn't exist before I was a missionary and the real world was just a dream. It's super weird.
Everyone is so wonderful here. My companion, Sister Kruyer, is just magnificent. We became instant best friends and I love spending every day with her. We have some funny similarities, like both of our brothers' names are Jonathan, my dog's name is Coco and her dog's name is Chanel, and both of us want to be princesses at DisneyWorld. We sing "Let It Go" probably every day. When it comes to teaching, we work together really well. I'm good at knowing the lessons and she's good at following the Spirit and testifying, so we help out with each other's weaknesses and make a really good team, especially when we invite the Lord to be our team captain.
Our district is super great. We have two sets of elders in our district and then just Sister Kruyer and me. Three of our elders are going to Nashville, and one of them is coming to Melbourne with us sisters. Everyone in my district has such an incredible conversion story, and my testimony has been so strengthened by theirs. It's amazing how much I love everyone already. We've all become so close and I'm sad that we aren't all going to the same mission!
The food here SUCKS though. I am so hungry!! So thanks for the brownies, family. They're the first really good thing I've eaten in a week. And none of the stuff they serve us ever has cheese, which is the worst. Also there's no pizza. I think I've developed a more sincere love for pizza since I lived in London and all the pizza sucked. Now I'm even in America and there's no pizza! What is life without pizza??
But despite being hungry, I'm learning so much here! Missionary work is about so much more than just knowing the lessons. I could sit down and tell an investigator the restoration simply and eloquently, but it wouldn't matter to him if the Spirit wasn't there. I really had to learn that my first couple of days. I came in thinking I had it all in the bag because I knew the lessons well, but God served me up a big ol' piece of humble pie and told me that I really can't do it all by myself. I need to listen to Him to know what my investigators need and how to teach them in a way that they will understand and a way that the doctrine will matter to them. I keep thinking of Brigham Young's conversion story. He wasn't convinced by the people who could speak well or use fancy words. He was converted by the simple, honest testimony of an uneducated man who said what he knew was true by the power of the Spirit. And that's what I need to do as a missionary. The Spirit changes hearts. My words don't.
The Lord has blessed me so much since I've been here. One of the huge blessings I've noticed is that my fear of talking to people has been incredibly diminished. I'm not afraid to talk to elders and sisters I don't know, or ask questions or comment in class, or teach our pretend investigators. It honestly is a miracle. I couldn't do this without the power of God on my side.
Big thanks to everyone who sent me Dear Elders and letters! Mail is the absolute best! it makes me feel like a real person again! I promise I'm going to reply to all of you. We're just so busy all the time here! Every minute of our day is scheduled!
I'll send pictures a little later; the computers here can't seem to read my camera. Oh, and number one BIG news..... *drumroll*
I'm flying out to Melbourne on MONDAY!!! I'm here for less than two weeks, and everything with my visa came through so I'm headed straight into the field in four days!!! I can't begin to express how excited/terrified that makes me! So the next letter you get from me will be all the way from the Land Down Under.
I love you all!!
xo Sister Larsen