Sunday, August 10, 2014

Week 1 Mission Updates - MTC

Week #1
Goodbyes are the worst.  Saying by to my family at DFW was probably the saddest and hardest thing I’ve ever done.  At the airport, my Mom asked if I needed to go sit down for a minute before the final goodbye.  I said no, I just needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And that I did!  And now I’m at the MTC!  I’m a Missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ….. I get to wear a name tag with Christ’s name on it every day because I am a representative of Him. 

On my first night here, all 570 of the new missionaries sang Armies of Helamen, and the line that says “we will be the Lord’s missionaries to bring the world His truth,”  was changed to say “we are now the Lord’s missionaries”,  and what an honor that is.

When we put on our name tags, we are LITERALLY taking Christ’s name upon us.  I am a minister of Christ and have been called to bring His children back to the fold. 

On Thursday, we met our Branch President, and he’s really been emphasizing that we must be exceptional missionaries.  It’s not okay to be average missionaries.  We must be exceptional.  He mentioned that Christ was not average, He was exceptional and pointed out that you could probably hear a pin drop in Heaven as we all watched Jesus perform The Atonement.  We were all hoping and praying that He brought His “A” game and was willing at that point to be exceptional.  Average is not good enough.  That put things into perspective for me.  We have to work hard and be exactly obedient,  even to the rules we don’t fully understand.

I already feel the blessings of serving a mission.  At the MTC, we have a mind numbing amount of classes and we sit for hours on end,  but I’ve learned so much.  The new missionaries came yesterday, and seeing that I was there just a week ago and where I am now is huge.  Truly a blessing!  My Branch President also pointed out that if my parents could see me today, even though I’ve only been a missionary for a couple of days, they would be so proud.  I sure hope so.  I hope I’ve lived my life and worked in a way that would make my parents and especially my Heavenly Father proud of me.

There’s a joke at BYU that the Testing Center is the holiest place in Provo because so many prayers are said there.  I think they’re wrong.  The MTC has more prayers said than anywhere else.  I’ve said more prayers in the last 7 days than ever before.  We joke about it, but I love it.  The Spirit is always so strong here because everyone here loves the Lord and are so willing to serve Him.

Each day we go around and everyone in my district says what their highlight of the day was.  The first day we did it, everyone’s highlight was gospel related.  This gospel brings so much happiness to our lives, and my life specifically, we are all so anxious to share it with people!

On Sunday, we got to walk up to the Provo Temple with our zone.  That was a great experience.  Even though we didn’t go in, it was still so wonderful to walk around it and be on Temple grounds.

I can’t sing to save my life, but I decided to go to choir practice anyway (with almost everyone else at the MTC).   We sang Lead Kindly Light and the choir director told us about the man who wrote it, John Newmen.  He also talked about Jacob 5 and how we’ve been called to labor in the Lord’s Vineyard.  This helped me realize that I’m not going to serve in Everett, Washington, I’m going to serve the Lord’s children.

I am so thankful to be here at the MTC and I can’t wait to get out into the field!

Since today is Pioneer Day and everything is closed, so is the Temple.  So we don’t get to go even though it is our P- Day.  I’m super sad about it but I look forward to hopefully getting to go to the Seattle Temple!

Love, Sister Shelby Tennant

Provo MTC - July 16, 2014

Called to Serve! Everett, Washington
Sister Covington - MTC companion

Shelby's district

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