Ali’s First Real Letter–LEAVES FOR ALASKA ON MONDAY!!

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AH! I finally get to talk to you!! My goodness, it’s SO weird not being able to keep you updated on all the ups and downs, little and big things, or well, just ANYTHING in general!! But I get to now, so hopefully I can cover everything!

Well, the first two days were probably some of the worst days of my life. I know, dramatic, but that’s really what it felt like. We didn’t get any mail/packages until Friday, so I didn’t get any of your stuff till then. And it kind of killed me. I had NO IDEA how much I was going to miss you! I’m grateful, because it means I have people that I love enough to make it worth missing, but gee, it sure hurt a lot! Of course it was that, and the combination of being in a strange new place, in a different situation, with so much pressure all of a sudden. Wednesday night I cried a little bit when I went to bed, but Thursday night was all out bawling. I was having a serious little breakdown and went in the shower and just bawled my eyes out. Yep, I’m kind of prideful and hate having other people see me like that, so I didn’t want to cry in front of anyone else. So I waited again until bedtime and then cried and prayed and eventually fell asleep.

Then Friday came and we finally got our mail!! I seriously cannot tell you how grateful I was for the Krispy Kremes and letters, and even a package from the Jakins! Sister J, it was spot on! I totally needed the mini lotion so THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! 

Then we had the Krispy Kreme episode. I was finally back in a happy mood again, and then dear, lovely Brother Flinders came in and gave us a whole lesson about obedience and then mentioned that there was no food allowed in this building. I know that doesn’t really tell you much about what happened, but basically I felt like a terrible person and was holding back tears the whole rest of the class and couldn’t get anything out of it. Super depressing.

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So I didn’t know what I was going to do, but that night everything kind of clicked! My district and I broke through all the awkward bonds and became really good buddies, and that gave me all the support I needed to get through, and I’ve been doing great ever since! 

I’m mostly telling you that, because I feel like the MTC gets a little sugar-coated, or as Sister Dotson says, people view it was ‘Graduation Goggles’. so I wanted to give you the right description. Also, I want you to realize just how important EVERY letter/package means–they’re literally the lifesavers of the day! I couldn’t have made it through without everything you’ve sent, so thank you!! 

Also, this just proves to me how many awesome people I got to be surrounded by before I came. I mean family–duh. But also, I had a bunch of MTC teachers in my ward, so I’ve already had like half the lessons I get here! Which is good and bad because I think I personally prefer the other teachers I had…haha, but it’s alright, it’s a different situation here so I can’t really judge it. I also don’t think I would have been able to learn those lessons at first because of my emotional unstableness, so I think it’s good I got the BETTER version of the lesson EARLIER. What it all comes down to is that God has a plan and everything’s gonna work out. 🙂

Things are going SO much better than those first few days, but I still wouldn’t necesarrily say I LOVE the MTC. I’m going to go a bit philosophical for a sec here and say that I’m grateful for and respect the MTC because of what it’s molding me into, but love isn’t QUITE the word I would use. Go ponder on that for a bit. 🙂

I’ll just tell you a bit about what happens during them. Teaching time we learn, well how to teach, and also teach our Progressing Investigator. That’s where we get to practice teaching and make all the flops and mistakes possible, but also have some decent success. Our investigator is Greg, and I had no idea I could think about that name/person so much. Seriously I’m constantly thinking about how to help him–sometimes being more successful than others. 

I feel like I’ve gone a huge circle while being here, learning new insights and things, but I’ve ended up right back where I started. You just have to trust in God. Trust that as you study the Gospel and learn everything about it, and live it to the best of your ability and be obedient, God will help you. I’ve mostly applied that in my teaching, and had to just let go, stop talking, and let God talk to them. 

Anyway, let’s see…GYM TIME! Ah, probably one of my favorite times. 🙂 I seriously almost started crying when I got to run again–I need my cardio to stay alive! They also have weights! I’m gonna be honest, I kind of teared up a little bit, because lifting weights reminds me of Haylee and lifting with her, but we’re all good. And all the Elders are pretty impressed that I lift weights, ya know, nbd. 🙂 Haha, it’s actually pretty funny because my ‘lifting elders’ are all out of our district but we’ll run into each other at meal time and they’ll all be like, “Sister Harrison! Weights today, yeah??” Haha, it’s great. 

And speaking of running into people, I run into EVERYONE!! Like seriously, I know so many people here, that I’m now the big joke in our district, so that whenever I see someone I know and say hi, everyone in the district gets sarcastically excited and starts yelling, ” Oh my goodness, it’s Sister Harrison! Look everyone–Sister Harrison!!” You’d have to hear them, but it’s pretty funny. 

It got even better when I sang in the devotional choir last night that got broadcasted to all the other MTC’s. I didn’t find out till today, but apparently I got a total zoom in on me! Whoo! So now my district says that not only do I know everyone HERE, but I know EVERYONE at ALL the MTC’s! I hope you think this is funny, because we all do. 🙂

I am also meeting a lot of new people too though! I met the sweet Elder from London with the coolest accent! It was his first day here, so we made sure he felt welcome–which I’m pretty sure he did cuz we were all entranced by his accent. Either that or he was really creeped out. 

And my district!! I gotta tell you about all of them! First, Sister Dotson, my comp! She’s pretty great. I don’t think we ever would have picked each other if we had that option, but there’s certainly a reason we DON’T get to pick. We actually teach really well together, and it’s nice because she also wants to work on EXACT obedience so I don’t have to force her to do that. She’s also just great for putting up with me. I’m occasionally running a minute or two late in the morning and do other annoying things, but she puts up with it just swell. Of course I get annoyed sometimes too, but that’s just what happens when your around someone 24/7. I’m really so impressed by her though. Being on a mission is SO hard for her. It’s REALLY out of her comfort zone, but she’s doing so well just hanging in there. I hope I’m helping and not hindering! 

Then there’s Sister Lind–she’s from Montana and just graduated from High School. She’s handling everything really well though! She’s always so happy and nice to EVERYONE and I just love her to death. 

Sister Guerra is so funny. She is pretty sarcastic, but also great at caring as well. She got called as a sister trainer so she’s been pretty stressed with that, but she’s holding up super well.

Elder Pawson is great. He’s a 25 year old ONE YEAR CONVERT!! (You have to picture him standing up and accepting all the applause from everyone, because that’s what he does everytime he says that, since converts are basically a celebrity here. 🙂 He actually reminds me a lot of Becca, my roommate, but well, guy version. 🙂

Then Elder Clark is our District Leader. He’s awesome and reminds me a lot of Dallin my old home teacher and a few other friends. 

Elder Schow and Hendrickson are our intellectuals. They usually just observe, but occasionally say something extremely brilliant. They are probably the best at studying and they do GREAT as teachers. 

Elder Makarilay is the one from Quam Mom, but he’s mostly from Salt Lake. He’s so simple and sweet and I love him to death. And he’s paired up with Elder Pope–small marching band kid with the funniest sense of humor. 🙂 

We all got the perfect companion for each of us, and get along with each other really well for the most part. Everyone is starting to have a bit of a hard time, but hopefully we can help each other through it. 🙂 Also Mom, if in your next package you could include a note for each of them, that might be good, like one from the kids or something? That’s our main cause of sadness is not hearing from home, but if you could send like two sentences that I could give them, it might help a bit? It you have time, no stress. 🙂

Also Mom, everyone in my district tells you THANK YOU for ALL the food!! They all appreciate it a bunch since our poor little district is pretty short on mail most of the time. But really, all of it was so good and just what I needed and I was especially happy with the CHOCOLATE CHIP AND ALMOND one!! Ah, so delish. Also, if you want to send healthy stuff, that would be SUPERB. 🙂 I still enjoy the cafeteria food, but each bite feels a bit like a heart attack on a fork. 🙂 

I love hearing from all of you though. 🙂 Seriously makes my day. 🙂 I just have to be careful with Dad’s–the iPhone one makes me teary every time. 🙂 Also, just FYI, we only get letters at lunch and dinner, but we can’t open them till 9:30 at night. Packages we can open right then, but also can’t read letters in them until 9:30. It’s fun having part one and two and you get SO excited for 9:30 to read everything. 🙂 

SHOUT OUT TO HAYLEE!! HOMECOMING GIRL!! I was dying when I was reading your letter!! SO GOOD! I’m so excited for you! You are going to have a blast and I’m so glad you told me detes and pics so that it can be like I was there. 

Sorry I don’t have time for shout outs for the rest of you kids, but I sent you a letter, so look for it soon!! 

Little things–So fun wearing my nametag. 🙂 Although I had to get used to putting my hair on the other side. 🙂 Also, calling everyone Elder and Sister is so hard, but also habit forming. I already think you all you as Elder and Sister. 🙂

Well, I’m almost out of time but I love you and miss you all SOO much! Tell my friends to get on writing me–they only have three more days cuz I’m gone Monday morning!! Otherwise, you’re all the greatest and you’ll be hearing from me in ALASKA next!!!

All my love,

Sister Harrison 🙂

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