Saturday, September 7, 2013

First email from the MTC to the fam:

I've already sent a letter that talks about my first day of the MTC but you probably haven't received it yet...  :P  Anyway...  So far I am absolutely LOVING everything!!  My companion is the absolute best and I have absolutely fallen in love with my district and zone!  I seriously have some of the very best elders ever!  Our district leader, Elder Readhead is from England and has a super awesome accent!  And today he even told me that my accent is one of the best he's heard from an American thus far!  Haha!  :D  His companion, Elder Issertell (who is from Baker's Field, CA) is also super hilarious!  And yet, they both are both some of the spiritually strongest people I've ever met!  In my zone, I actually have Sister Partridge from Logan (I know her older siblings from LDV so its super fun!), and I absolutely LOVE our zone leaders!  The elders are a hoot and a half and the sister leaders and super sweet and fun while also being super obedient and intense about the work.  :D  I've also run into a bunch of friends (including Elder Bybee) and one of the sisters I keep running with is Sister Glancy (the other angel from the LDV Christmas Show) so its super fun!  I also am learning SOO much!  And I'm not just learning about the Gospel, but I'm learning a lot about myself and about life in general!  And I've only been here two and a half days!!  Its so insane!!!!!!!!!!!!

As for the schedule of the MTC, its super busy!  And the saying that a day feels like a week and a week feels like a day is absolutely true!  I've spent more time studying in the last two days than almost ever before!  However, its really helping me to prepare for getting out into the field since which is so great because I am leaving Sept. 17, so yeah, only 11 more days until I will be Philadelphia...  Kinda crazy...  Anyway, I do get one P-day while I'm here!  ;)  My P-Day is next Wed, so you may get another letter by then, but I can't email again until then...  Which means you should definitely send me something before then so I can read something before I head off, please!  

So now its time for specific experiences that have happened since my letter (which you probably/hopefully should be getting tomorrow):
1.  I wrote about my companion, who I have decided really is a combination between Jessica and Brittany, which is so wonderful!  We get along quite well, but because she's really quiet, its hard to teach with her because I tend to be a little overpowering...  She's also very unsure of her own abilities and so sometimes its hard to study and prepare and its been kind of a concern.  However, today we taught our very first one-on-one lesson with an investigator and to be perfectly honest, it was a mess!  Looking back on it, its funny to think about and there's so much that I'm already learning from it.  But the greatest thing that came out of it was that after we finished teaching, we had a very serious companionship inventory.  Now to preface this, we've had a ton of "companionship inventories" already because we're both very open about what we want to change and how we want to grow and also just in getting to know one another, but this inventory was different.  I feel like we finally made a real breakthrough!  I felt that way right after we finished talking, but it was solidified after we role-played with another companionship in our district and we taught an absolutely FANTASTIC lesson!  And to top it all off, we then sat down and tried to determine what it was that changed so that we can try to replicate that tomorrow for our second lesson with our investigator...  I just love how much the Spirit can change us and how quickly it can change us too as long as we're open and willing to change.  :)
2.  Another thing that happened today was during a district study...  We were reading 3 Ne. 11 (go read it!), and were discussing the Doctrine of Christ, which we do all the time, but specifically how it applies to our purpose as missionaries and how we can apply the Doctrine of Christ to our teaching.  As we were reading, I kept finding more and more insight that I'd never thought of before and then while we were reading Christ's invitation to come unto Him, to feel His hands and feet and to thrust our hands into His side the Spirit was incredible.  Just thinking about it makes me feel overcome with the Spirit!  But for whatever reason, I applied it so literally into my own life.  I pictured Christ inviting me to truly come unto Him and to know Him.  Earlier on in the chapter it talks about how when the people remembered the teachings of the prophets and recognized Christ they fell to the ground and I had already thought about my experience with Oct. conference and my experience to know that I was going to serve a mission.  And so the scriptures just became so real!  And not only that, I recognized truly why I am here serving!  Since arriving, I think I've been asked a million and one times why I decided to serve.  And generally we all give a similar answer that's great but very superficial.  But I recognized today that I am personally here to serve because I promised long ago that I would go out and serve Him.  I promised that this was how I could best repay the debt that I owe my Savior.  I promised that I would be an extension of His arm.  That is why I am here.

Thank you for the support, thoughts, and prayers.  I can feel them and I truly love you SO much!

Much love!
Sister Cottam  <3

P.S.  You may want to look into to send me emails/letters...  We were told about it in branch meeting and were told that its super cool because they convert your text into an actual letter so I can spend more of my time on P-Day actual writing rather than reading, and I also will get it faster through them than through USPS alone...  I know for some missions, once we're out of the MTC it costs money, but if its free, it might be a nice alternative...  So just something to look into/think about...  <3

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