Thursday, June 9, 2011

already loving the mtc

Hello family and friends!
Wow so good to finally be able to email you all.  Today, Wednesday, is my pday so I had to wait one whole entire week before I could write.  So much to tell you in only 30 minutes! There is a red clock counting down my time at the top of my computer screen so I'll try to pack in as much as I can
- The MTC is awesommeeee! Wow. Such a strong spirit here.  The feelings that are emanated throughout these halls are one of love and testimony.  Such an amazing and special place to be!  It has been pretty warm and sunny here everyday.  I would guess at least 75 or maybe hotter.
- First and foremost, EVERYONE PLEASE WRITE ME!!!! I totally need to promote the use of  It is a free mail service and they print your letters and give them to us the very next day at the MTC.  It will not be free when I am in the mission field so take advantage of it while you can!  I will be expected to leave the MTC on June 20th so super soon.  We can read mail everyday after 9pm when we are back in our dorm rooms.  But we can only email on Pdays. So use DearElder!!!!! I can think of things to tell you/answer your questions throughout the week and then write a great email on Wednesdays. I want to hear from everyone!!! It feels really good to get letters while you're here so please, please write me!
-One of the neatest experiences I have had so far was the on Sunday at the evening fireside.  All the missionaries in the MTC were packed into the gym to hear from the MTC presidency and their wives.  Upon their request, all the missionaries sang a very special version of "Called to Serve."  President Nally's wife played a very intricate version of the song the piano and it sounded exceptional.  Very vigorous and triumphant sounding.  She wanted us to sound like the 2,000 stripling warriors and that we were just on the other side of the hill, coming up closer and closer. She had us start singing very quietly almost a hushed singing.  Each verse we progressively got louder until we were just BOOMING.  The beginning part sounded AMAZING.  Cannot even express in words how strong the spirit was.  It really sounded like we were marching because the the hushed tone gave the words almost a bouncing rythmn.  By the time we reached the end she had us all stand with the line "called to serve our KING."  It was perfect.  There are just under 2,000 missionaries serving here at the MTC so we really were like the Army of Helaman.  I couldn't help but let a few tears fall down my cheek as I was fully engrossed by the power of our voices and the testifying spirit that told me that I was heading off to battle.  Not to destroy or conquer but to fight for a King of Kings, and to spread His gospel to those that were waiting.
- I LOVE MY DISTRICT!! Oh man. We have 12 of us in our district which is pretty large!  Most districts have maybe 6-8 missionaries and often they are not even all going to the same mission.  But we are all going to Tacoma!! How cool is that? 8 Elders and 4 sisters.  We also met another district of elders that are also going to Tacoma and some them are speaking spanish. So there are going to be about 20 of us heading out to the North West.  The MTC told us that are mission is the largest and fastest growing and baptizing mission in the states.  So RAD!!!  One elder, Elder Hale, seriously one of THE BEST elders ever, just told us last night that they were sending him home for medical reasons.  It was DEVASTATING. We were all crying.  He left this morning at 6:30 so we didn't get to see him off.  He was such a powerful missionary, so nice, so respectful, and so funny.  He always knew how to uplift the district.
- My companion is Sister Eichenmiller (ike-in-miller). She's from Pittsburgh and we get along great.  She's pretty chill and laidback so we mesh well.  The other sisters are more....UTAH-y.  Some of you will know what I mean. Hahah. But all the sisters are so awesome.  All the sisters in the MTC rather.  The Elders, well at least most of them, treat us all with so much respect.  Always saying hello, opening our doors, and sometimes even offering to take my tray when I'm done at the cafeteria.
-All the Tongan, Hawaiian, Samoan, basically island elders all ask me "Where you from, sistah?" hahah. I just pretend like I don't know what they are talking about and just reply, "San Diego."  Oh my gosh the cutest thing ever....the Korean and Japanese elders.  Ok, one day I was waiting in line at the salad bar and there was a table of all Korean/Japanese elders.  They were all completely engrossed in either their food or conversation.  A sister from their district that was Korean I think, approached the table with her tray.  Without hesistation ALL of the elders sprang up immediately with their hands behind their back and gave a slight bow as the sister made it to her place at the table.  They didnt even sit down until she did. SO CUTEEEEEEE.
-I have seen Cami Bingham a couple of times.  I always looked for her the first couple of days when we were in the halls or at the cafeteria but I never could find her.  Finally, on my third day I saw her studying outside.  We ran up and hugged eachother and felt sooooo good to see someone from home.  Felt like I was getting a hug from the entire Encinitas ward.  We took a picture together on Sunday when both our districts were taking our temple walks.
- The food. Not gonna lie.  It's just....ok.  It's good in theory.  It looks or sounds semi good but then I get kinda disappointed at the end.  Either I'm still hungry or I am full on a bunch of random stuff. They have everything you can think of.  Lots of junk food.  One elder has been here only 2 weeks and has gained 15 pounds.  If you want you can have soda or a donut at every meal.  Crazy.  I usually try to eat pretty healthy.  My favorite thing to get is probably a wrap.
- My time is running up so I thought I would share one last thing.  I got super sick on Saturday.  The health clinic was closed so they sent me to the ER!! I got to leave the MTC. It was weird. I got food poisoning and was throwing up and having to go to the bathroom alot.  I got a blessing and between that and the medicine I was fine.
- I have been learning and studying so much about the gospel.  Its amazing. I testify that Christ lives and that He loves you.  Joseph Smith was a prophet and restored God's church on the earth today.  The church is true!!
Write me!!!!!!
sis Baylon

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