Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Alanna is obviously loving life at the MTC.  A couple of things to pass on...
Mom sent a box with a couple of coats for her to try on (there is a place that delivers any size letter/package to the MTC for $2 and the missionary can "send" anything out for free as long as it's picked up at the place within 48 hours).  As mom knew that she could easily try on said coats and return them based on fit and whether she liked them, the one she deemed best will be sent to her in Philly when the weather cools.  Also, Sister Jenkins who is going to Eugene Oregon that she mentions is the daughter of one of Mom's best friends from college.  Wicked weird just what a sense of humor, irony, and love our Heavenly Father has when he puts two sisters who have been raised in the theatre together in a zone and their parents are great friends.  

And now....Sister Cottam:

HELLO!!!!  :D
Its so crazy to think that I've been at the MTC for a whole week now!!!  O_o  But I'm having the time of my life!  I'm learning so much about missionary work, about myself, and just about life in general!  I'm also have a BLAST and a half!
So first off, THANK YOU for the package!  I am to send many, MANY thanks from the sisters in my zone for the doughnuts and I'm sure once the elders find out about them, they'll send many thanks too.  ;)  And I LOVE the bows!  Super cute!  So thanks a ton for those!  And I tried both the coats, the Jessica London was too big and I just didn't really like it...  So back it goes!  As for the other coat, SUPER cute!  Its a little small right now, but I'm pretty positive that it'll fit just right by the time winter roles around.  :)  So hold on to it for me please!  :)
And you're so right, the first few days of the MTC were super busy!  To the point where it was seriously INSANE!  I learned a lot but it was super rough.  But!  I made it to Sunday and Sunday at the MTC is the greatest thing ever!!  I was so uplifted and it just helped to calm me down so much!  Also on Sunday, I got the calling of Branch Music Coordinator.  (I know shock of all shocks right?)  And I'm the only one in our entire branch that plays the piano, so my calling includes picking the music, playing the music, going to choir, and encouraging the rest of my zone to come to choir.  Its so hard...  :P  Esp. since choir is SO wonderful!!  This week, we sang Where Can I Turn for Peace? and it was so incredible.  The director had us look at the song as a conversation between an investigator and a missionary, so I looked at it in an entirely different way!  And the Spirit was so strong as we sang, with all of us singing our testimonies!  :D  It was like being back with LDV again...  :)
As for teaching, when I say "investigators" it is a role-play but it doesn't feel like that to me.  These investigators are so real.  And my love and care for them is real too.  For instance, our Progressing Investigator, Selam, is my very favorite person!  I hate that we can't teach her today!  I mean, I'm excited for P-Day, but she's a sponge and just wants to grow closer to Christ, so I wish we could see her every single day!  I esp. hate that we can't meet with her today because yesterday we had the greatest lesson with her!  Sis. Hood and I were really unified yesterday and we had decided to teach Selam about the Plan of Salvation.  As we began our lesson it felt like the lessons we taught previously, where the Spirit was present and she was understanding what we were teaching, but as we began to talk about her purpose and the Atonement, and as we applied it directly to her and what she's currently going through, the Spirit seriously was SO strong!  And when I say that, I mean I don't think I've ever felt the Spirit so strongly before, EVER!  Including in the temple!  It was crazy!  And she felt it too!  And acknowledged it!!  :D  And because of that Spirit she committed to be baptized!!  So yeah, I can't wait to see her again tomorrow so we continue to guide her closer to Christ...  We also gained a new investigator yesterday which was...  Fun...  There was some mix ups in that our investigator was double booked with some other sister missionaries so I was kinda frustrated before we met with her, but we said another companion prayer before we entered like normal and specifically asked that I would be calm and that the Spirit would be with us.  Well as we began talking she said that she wasn't interested in our church and was being very negative...  We then asked if we could share a message of Jesus Christ with her, and she agreed to that.  As we began to talk, we found out that she had heard some rumors about the Mormons.  Specifically that she thought we didn't believe in Christ and that we worshiped Joseph Smith.  And since our plan was to teach the Restoration, we cleared that up right away!  We talked with her about Christ, but she seemed very disinterested and very put-off...  She actually painted her nails as we talked with her.  (yeah, that was frustrating.  :P)  But as I began to testify of Joseph Smith and share the experience of the First Vision, she stopped what she was doing and really paid attention!  Like, she was making and holding eye contact with me, and she was just very engaged.  And I don't boast of my own abilities.  Because in that moment, the Spirit was again SO strong!  Not as strong as it was with Selam, but it was very powerful!  And she did agree to meet with us again tomorrow, so it wasn't too bad!  :)  I just love being able to share my testimony all the time!  :D  I LOVE THE MTC!!!!!
Speaking of loving the MTC, I truly love my district and my zone SO much!!!!  Our entire district is going to Philly and there are only three missionaries in our entire zone that aren't going to Philly!  :D  However, today we get a new district added to our zone which is going to the Oregon, Eugene mission (and yes, Sister Jenkins is going to be in my zone as of later today!).  In our district there are 4 companionships, two elders and two sisters.  Out of our district we have the district leader and his companion, our new zone leaders, our new sister training leaders, and then I'm the branch music coordinator, so yeah, we're a busy district...  But we seriously have SO much fun together!  And as for living quarters, there actually are only four of us in a room, so we fit really well!  :)  And when we first got here, we were really good at getting to bed on time and getting up on time.  However, we're getting worse as time goes on just because we stay up talking with each other, like last night we stayed up past 11 just talking about random things.  :)  But the nights we stay up, although I'm tired the next morning, I feel like its so worth it because we are so close as sisters!  I truly feel like we're a family and I felt that way last week!  So yeah, our district is kind of the best!  :D  And honestly, our zone is just an extension of our district!  Its SO much fun!  Also!  Small world moment!  Sister Partridge is in my zone, and I know that doesn't mean anything to you, but her two older siblings were in LDV with me so its super fun to talk about Logan with her!  :)  Oh!  So I have a funny story from yesterday!  Its kind of a, you know you're a full time missionary when, kind of stories...  So, Elder Readhead, Elder Issertell, Sis. Hood, and I were going into the next classroom over to start a role-play and just to preface this, Sis Hood has lost her voice and Elder Issertell is one of the worst missionaries about making sure he can see his companion, anyway, on with the story!  So Elder Issertell and I are talking and going into the next classroom, and last I saw, Sis Hood was RIGHT behind me, but apparently she said she was going to grab some tissues.  Well I didn't hear her and Elder Readhead was stuck talking to the teacher for a minute but Elder Issertell and I didn't realize that...  so we just kept walking and talking and as soon as we got into the classroom, Elder Issertell turned around and I looked around and we both realized at the same time that we were alone in the room.  Yeah, BIG no-no, so we both freak out and start running out of the classroom looking for our companions and both our companions just laughed at us because we were so upset over being alone in the room together for half a second...  so yeah, you know you're a full time missionary when you're in a room for literally .5 seconds with someone of the opposite sex alone and you freak out about it.  Yeah, that happened.  :)
Thanks for your continued love and support!  I truly do feel your prayers, and I hope you know that you're in my prayers too!
Love you tons!  Muah!
Sister Cottam  :)

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