Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hello from the MTC!!!

So today is my P-day, surprise! I thought it was Monday but guess not.

The MTC is completely insane. There are constantly people going about and about. There are 2,000 of us here and I'm amazed at how organized it is! Although, with every good working machine there's always something that goes wrong with something and that something was me. Haha when I first got here the elder dropped me off for the sister host who was supposed to take me to my room and she never came. So I had to run and catch up with this group carrying my luggage and whipping it all over the place like a mad woman. Then the girl told me to go to the wrong room so of course my key didn't work. Then a lot of other things went wrong and I was the only one who didn't receive my schedule - and I NEEDED my schedule. Not knowing was giving me anxiety. 

Although a lot went a bit crazy the first day, I'm glad it happened to me instead of one of the sisters who were really scared and nervous and worried about being here. All worked out in the end and I can honestly say I don't think there is anything like the MTC in the world! I LOVE IT! I love it I love it I love it! It totally reminds of me college, which I didn't even think about happening. Everyone is so dedicated and working hard at learning Preach My Gospel and their language. 

Each building has something different, but our entire building is full of missionaries going to the Philippines! It's so fun! I'm learning Cebuano already - first day of class the teacher didn't speak a lick of English. I suppose he thought that was helpful. I already know however, that by the end of this week I will know more Cebuano than I learned in my 5 years of Spanish! It really is amazing. I can already pray in Cebuano!!!! Cool right?! The other language I'm learning, wary wary (sounds like wati wati because you role the r so fast), I won't learn until I get into the field. Not the Philipines MTC, but the field. There just going to throw us out there and hope for the best I guess!

So that leads me to my next surprise.... I'm going to the Philippines MTC!!!!! In Manila!!! We'll be here until the end of October or first week in November and then we'll fly to Manila and spend a week in the MTC there! So cool! So excited!

Onto my companion... her name is Sister Vanessa Garcia from Florida. Her parents are from El Salvador. She is honestly the sweetest person I have ever met!!!! Her personality totally completely reminds me of Rachie Ward, but she almost looks like a splitting image of Erica Welch. I can't decide if it's how she looks or her mannerisms but she totally reminds me of Erica and she is great! I won the companion lottery! We both no doubt are going to be such good friends by the time this is over. She can speak Spanish and English equally as well, so I've remembered a lot of my Spanish - especially because a lot of Cebuano words are Spanish as well. She's 22, decided to go on a mission because in Florida she was called to be the branch president so she got to go out with the missionaries a lot for 3 years, and she's the oldest with two younger sisters, no boys. So we can relate:) We both room with 3 other sisters - they're a trio. They are going to Cebu and Tacloban speaking Cebuano, but they aren't in our district. I don't know how they decided districts, but there's a mix of missionaries going to Tacloban and Cebu in each district in our branch. Like Elder Evan Wilson is not even in my district. 

Our district is completely awesome though. We all are so tight! Like one big happy family!!!!!
I love them so much; we're with them all the time. We study together, eat together, went to the temple this morning together - it is awesome awesome awesome! 

There are so many missionaries in our branch that have connections with the Philippines - they lived there (and flew all the way to Provo for the MTC, yes that happened), did a humanitarian project there, ancestors are from there, parents served there, etc. It is amazing. It's also amazing how many have come from random places like Micronesia, Samoa, Singapore, random islands in the Pacific, etc, that have left their families - who are extremely upset that they are converts and aren't even going to email them ever while they are here on there missions - there's a lot of those missionaries in my branch. The spirit they have is absolutely incredible and they adore all of us because we've become like a family to them. 

So things are really great. My brain is about to explode, and I'm exhausted 24/7 but somehow I'm loving my time here. Us missionaries are so scheduled that time is just flying by. It really is. No joke. Before I know it, I'll be home. 

Love you all!!!!! Thank you for the letters and the secret notes in my bag. They made me SO HAPPY!!!!  Oh and whoever snuck that carameled apple sucker into my bag deserves a big kiss!

(Shelly here: I took pictures of the notes before they went in her bag. This was one of my favorites)

Be safe! Be happy!!! Love you tons!

Sister Russon

P.S. The food is really good! Reminds me of the cruise except better! They have different sections serving different things. Tons of desserts. For heavens sake if they serve cookie dough cheesecake one more time I think I'm gonna have a heart attach because I've been turning it down....but it's so tempting so it makes me sad:( No cookie dough cheesecake anymore for Kenna:(  They have this bar where you can make your own wraps - SO AWESOME! These MTC folk really have it figured out. I can make a chicken spinach wrap every day if I wanted. Hallelujah, praise the heavens. The church is true. 

Saying Goodbye

Woke up on Wednesday ready to go! well, ready to get ready to go anyway. Still needed to pack... yes, we waited until the last minute... her luggage suddenly seemed so small. Here's what it looks like to pack for a missionary...
Here's Kenna on her bed writing the last of her thank you cards
and Lexie showing off her creations since she has inherited the
necklace business (Wake Destination) from Kenna & Rach.
We drove to Provo in the pouring rain and went to lunch. The plan was to take pictures at the temple before we dropped her off. Didn't see the temple but we did find a tree for coverage so we could get the last pics. And this is where it got hard. A friend of mine said "there's nothing at all I can do or say to prepare you for that moment". He was so right. I felt like my heart was breaking in half to let go of her. It's a bittersweet thing that's for sure. So happy for the decisions she is making but so hard to say goodbye. Saying goodbye to her sisters.....

Family pics & mom and dad (here's where I lost it). Had a talk with the girls that morning how we would all be strong, our job was to be happy and cheer her on! "Let her know how proud we are of her and don't make her sad", I said. They did great, me... not so much.

and the final goodbye pic! So proud of this girl and love her like crazy! We drove around the corner and I got one last look as she was happily chatting away with the elder who helped her with her luggage. That was great to see that she was excited and ready to serve!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

MTC Tomorrow!

Well, the title says it all. I am entering the MTC... what?! Tomorrow!!! My sweet mother is going to take over the blog for me. She's a great missionary mama;) Looking forward to this amazing experience I'm going to have; can't wait!

Gonna miss this cute family of mine though