What a crazy last half of the week! Let me tell you about my last few days here in the MTC.
Wednesday my district got to Host the incoming missionaries (take them from their families at the curb, help them get all their things, and find their classroom and dorm room). I knew my roommate Alli Yost was coming in so I was looking for her! I got to host a sweet girl named Sister Blood first. It was such a neat experience. Part of our job was being a comfort to the parents. It was so sweet because I went through the same experience 5 weeks ago so I could relate. The second girl I hosted was going to Milan, Italy. After we picked up her keys and name tag, I found out that she is Sister Yost's companion! And that they would be at the West campus so I wouldn't see them after that day. After I took care of her and assured her she had one of the best companions ever, I frantically looked for Sis Yost. I hosted another girl while looking around. As I waited for Sister Wood to get her name tag, I saw Sister Yost come out of the building in front of me. I ran to her and gave her a huge hug. She was still a little shaken so I went into mom mode and told her how much she will love it here and how great she was going to be. I knew I probably wouldn't see her again before I left, so we hugged a few more times before saying bye. What an amazing tender mercy. What are the odds that I would host her companion? Or that I would see Sister Yost before she left for the West campus? I am so grateful. Later that day, Sister Marchant played a piano solo at the new missionary meeting. She did amazing. She is such a great pianist :)
Thursday we had In-Field Orientation which was so great! We talked about what it would be like in the field and learned how to work with members and other leaders in the ward. Elder Bendel and Elder Gariety got their visas! They will be off to Riberao Preto on Monday. We were hoping reassignments would come, but they didn't. I guess the Lord knew I would be anxious and would need a little boost because that was the day I got 3 packages. I cannot express to y'all how loved I felt. Thank you so much. Letters and packages mean so much. I got fudge and pictures from my family; candy, letters, stickers, letter writing stuff, and a notebook from Sister Yost; and chips, queso, salsa, chocolate zucchini bread, reeses, picture (from my cousins Tanner and Porter), a card, and a letter from my Aunt Julie and Grandpa & Grandma Shipp. I've been sharing a lot with my Sisters and the Elders in my district as well. Thanks again! That night, Sister Baker got a Dear Elder from here mom who found out her reassignment from her Stake President and told her. Salem Oregon! Leaving Saturday. I started to cry. It became a little more real in that instant. I am so sad to leave these sweet sisters. I cannot express how much of a support Sisters Baker, Lewis, Hoffman, Vanhoven, and Marchant have been to me since coming here. I love them so so much.
Friday. I was so anxious, I didn't sleep much the night before. I was really anxious all of class that morning as well. After class, most of our district walked to the building where our mail is and waited for the district leader to come back with the contents of the mailbox. They were there! We went back to our classroom and read them one by one with our fellow district. Ventura, California! Sister Marchant and I are both going there. We leave for the airport 3:30 Monday morning. The reassignments for the rest of my district include Salem Oregon (Sis Baker), Portland Oregon (Sis Lewis), Seattle Washington (Elder Oxendine), Spokane Washington (Sis Hoffman and Elder Woolley), Riverside California (Elder Epley), and San Fernando California (Sis Vanhoven). How crazy! I'm nervous and excited. I got yet another package later that day. All the love is coming this week! I guess I need it. Thanks Sis Pope for the amazing package!
We woke up at 4:15 this morning to walk Sis Baker to the travel office. We walked her there in our PJs. We met our Elders there as well. We stood in a circle and said a prayer together, our last one as a district, before saying goodbye to Sis Baker. It was such a sweet and special moment. We all love Sister Baker. I know each member of that circle this morning will do amazing things.
I appreciate all of your prayers in my behalf. If I could ask, please keep me in your prayers this next week as I leave the MTC. I want to do my best in California and I know that I can't do it without the help of the Lord. I love you all! I still don't have my next address, but I'll get it out as soon as possible!