Hello friends and family. After almost two weeks its finally P-day! I've made it to the Square. This email might be a little long, I wouldn't be offended of you skim through or skip to the pics. My P-day is now on Tuesday, so I had to wait a while for it to come around again. Interestingly the P-day schedule is different here than most places. In regular missions it starts at 6:30a-6:00p. In my mission p-day is 12:00p-9:00p. We spend the first part of the day on the Square. I'll explain more about my schedule, but first let's talk about my last few days at the MTC.
Last Saturday was the Visitor Center trip to Temple Square. The eleven sisters in the training met up in the morning to travel to the square. No teachers accompanied us, so we had to figure everything out ourselves. We walked down to the bus stop just outside the MTC and took the bus to the FrontRunner. From there we exited at Salt Lake Central and took the TRAX to the square. We were met there by the APs or assistants to the president. They are usually elders along with all mission leadership, but with only sisters at the square, the sisters serve in the leadership positions. We walked to the square and met the mission president and his wife, President and Sister Fisher. After all the introductions we met with our MTC contact. This is the Sister that would be our companion for the day. Mine was Sister Barcellos from Brazil. She was super friendly and awesome. We spent the day wandering the square and learning about the different things the sisters did.
Funny enough we had many people approach us who only spoke Portugese. Of course, being from Brazil, Sister Barcellos spoke portugese as her native tongue. We even gave a tour in portugese. It was hard for me to understand, but as I focused and with the help of the Holy Ghost and small translations from Sister Barcellos, I was able to understand what was being said. Maybe not the full translation, but I could understand the meaning of what was being talked about. The day was really amazing and I was sad to go back to the MTC for a few more days. We traveled back the way we came to get back to the MTC around 8:00p that night.
The next day was fast Sunday. Of course as missionaries, everyone was fasting. We went to no less than four different devotionals (pretty sure I fell asleep during one, but don't tell anyone). We grouped up with a different district from our zone for all of our district meetings. It was kind of hard becuase they talked about their district memories, and I couldn't relate to them very well.
The rest of the week was spent preparing for leaving. We had to do laundry and continue studying before we left. Four of the visitor center sisters left on Monday. The rest of us had until Wednesday. Eventually, we reached the day, departure day! The seven sisters had to travel on our own to get to the square. The seven of us took our 17 suitcases and carried them out of the MTC and to the bus stop. We managed to transfer them all onto the bus to travel to the FrontRunner. It was a great challenge to move that many suitcases into the train, and all around.
Finally we made it to our last stop and a few sisters and couples met us at the station. They helped us pack all of our things onto a truck and we drove to the square. We dropped our laugaue off at one of the apartments owned by the church, we left them open becuase a security dog was going to sniff them for bed bugs. Apparently they had a problem before and wanted to make sure we didn't bring any in. We walked to the square and the fed us lunch as well as gave us our Flags! I have an American flag of course.
Finally the moment, the trainers were already there, but President Fisher got to announce who the companionships would be. He called the new sister first and then called her trainer. Some how I ended up first. My trainer is Sister Sims from Alberta, Canada. She lives in a small town called Cardston which actually has it's own temple. Her old companion was also training this transfer. Apparently everyone thought I would go with her companion, but I ended up with her (shes the best though). My old companion Sister Tauati is actually being trained by her old companion, how funny. To end the day we went grocery shopping and unpacked luggage in our new apartment. We share with another set of sisters, who happen to be our zone leaders, one of which is Sister Barcellos!
I'm in the zone South 1. We are in charge of Guest Services. We answer the phone and help book tours. Overall the week has been fun and exciting. I gave a couple tours, I'm still learning the history, but I'm doing better every day. We also go on to the Teaching Center each day. There are computers for the sisters to use to contact the people who request Bibles or Book of Mormons. There are a few people we are trying to start teaching. I'll let you know if it actually progresses. We did have one baptism this week. A man named Westin who Sister Sims referred to the missionaries was baptized on Saturday. We were very excited. We also answer the online chats. Those are always weird. I had one this week, where a lady told me to pray to know who I was wrong about everything I believed in. It's sad that people want to go and try to hurt others, but I believe in this church and the Book of Mormon with all my heart. I just hope to share the things I believe with anyone who wishes to listen.
Those were the main things that happened this week. The square schedule is interesting. We have early and late days. Early days, the three days after p-day, we go the square at 9a and leave before dinner to study the rest of the night. In late schedule, the three days before p-day, we study in the morning and go to the square after lunch until 9p. We are schedule to be in buildings, doing tours, on the teaching center and other things every hour. Overall, the square is amazing. I love serving here. I can't wait to learn more and teach as many people as I can. Thanks for reading my messages, talk to you all again text week.
Sister Emily Christensen
Pictures include Sister Barcellos and I, the Visitor Center sisters at the MTC, the luggage on the bus, and Sister Sims and I.