Dear friends and family,
I can hardly believe that our district is about to ship out to California! We leave for the airport at 0600 on Monday morning, and as far as I know, are flying straight to Burbank, California. I’m so excited to get to San Fernando, meet my trainer and mission president (and his family) and get to work. We expect that since we’ll be arriving so early, we won’t unpack until the evening, and head straight out to appointments and to tract. We still aren’t sure if we’re biking, so we’re awaiting another surprise upon arrival. I can hardly believe that by this time next week, I’ll be in San Fernando or Santa Clarita!
I am so thankful for the MTC. I haven’t really experienced any homesickness, but still miss everyone. It’s hard to not be able to write a letter at night, so I’m constantly jotting down what to remember on a sticky note and putting it in my planner to reference. But exact obedience brings so many blessings, so not writing a letter isn’t a really big deal in the grand scheme of things. It makes me write in my journal more. (side note – although this isn’t our p-day, we were given express permission to email home and do laundry by our branch president. Bless him!) It’s all about converting yourself to Christ here, and that’s really what we focus on. It’s the best way to learn how to help others feel the love of their Heavenly Father. I wish someone had told me this earlier, but I still have learned so much and have been so blessed.
This week. So much happened. We wrapped up our TRC teaching, and…. Rachel is planning to be baptized!! We went into the lesson without planning on inviting her to baptism, but both Sister Lewis and I felt that it was the right thing to do after we wrapped up our lesson on the Plan of Salvation. We are so excited for her, and are hoping to keep in contact with her even after she’s transferred over to a permanent set of missionaries who will continue her lessons and help her be prepared to be baptized and confirmed. It was our own little miracle, and is definitely the highlight of my day.
Sister Lewis, Rachel, and I after she committed to baptism!!!
We had in-field orientation on Thursday, which meant an entire day up on Main Campus. It made me so thankful for our little campus down here, even if we don’t have lots of food choices, a real gym, all the resources, and a huge bookstore. It’s a lot more peaceful and quiet down here, which is just the way we like it. And it’s nice to be settled in and everyone knows where to go, what to do, etc. We had new missionaries come in on Wednesday, and Elder Barnett was acting like it was Christmas. Every time our classroom door opened, he’d jump up and yell, “new missionaries!!!” It was hilarious. I love my district so much, they have taught me an incredible amount in the short time we’ve been here. Each of them is so dear to me for different reasons. Our teachers too – they are our guides in learning about the gospel and how to best teach and serve those we will meet in California. For some reason, all of the missionaries and most of the teachers on campus butcher my last name. It’s been officially shortened to “Sista Red.” I don’t know how to feel about that. Especially when everyone seems to be able to pronounce all the crazy Russian and Hispanic names we find on badges around here.
In-Field Orientation. Sister Humphreys was tired by this point of sitting for hours.
Funny story – two of the teachers in our orientation are actually the missionaries that are in the District! Brother Murray and Brother Christensen. Bro. Murray felt he needed to clarify that he was six when he said he wanted to be a blue chair when he grew up. If you’ve seen The District, you’ll know what I’m talking about. They’re great!
Also – thank you so much for the letters, packages, and Dear Elders! They just make my day. Mail is definitely something we look forward to during the day, and we all read aloud bits and pieces and show off pictures and share goodies that we receive. It seriously boosts our morale, which is needed when we’re in a classroom for 16 hours a day.
Reilly sent me the best package EVER!
I have so much to share and absolutely zero time to do it. I plan on typing up some of my journal entries once I get to California to share with you all. I just want you to know that I really believe in the power of missionary work, and am so thankful to be able to spend all day sharing the gospel. I have never prayed so much in my life, and have never felt closer to my Heavenly Father.
Trying to smile even though we’re matchy-matchy. No, I love these sisters, really.
I love you all so much, and thank you for you support! My next email will be from San Fernando!!!!!!
Sister Meg Redner
PS – Acts 2:32. Check it out.