----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Lauren Ashlee Ludwig
Sent: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 1:18 PM
Subject: MTC = Toesies
I survived my first week of my MTC experience! Boy am I glad that is over with! The first day was wack, i was so confused and overwhelmed, I think I heard welcome to the MTC a trillion, million times. I can't even really tell you what all happened because I honestly don't remember haha. So my companion is sister wilde and I had actually met her over instagram a few months ago! She is awesome and we are really starting to grow closer and I already have such a love for her, she teaches me so much! There is 6 sisters in my district and 4 elders. It's crazy how last Wednesday I didn't know any of them and now today I couldn't imagine not knowing them. They are my family and I feel so United with them! My teachers are way cool and I feel so comfortable talking with them and taking their advice.
On the second day, I was still processing everything and trying to wrap my head around doing something every minute of the day. The first day in class our teaches told us we had an hour to prepare a lesson and we would be teaching a 17 year old boy named Tyler about the gospel. I was shocked couldn't believe I was going to teach someone without even being in the MTC for 24 hours. Sister wilde and I were so nervous. When we knocked on the door our teacher answered the door so he was playing the part of Tyler and being a fake investigator. (An investigator is someone who doesn't know about the church and that we are going to be teaching.) Seeing my teacher still didn't make me feel any better though... we tried to teach him about the restoration but I know I was just confusing myself and Tyler. I felt like I was rambling on and on. What was even more hard was that my companion did such a good job, I thought (she didn't but she was awesome and calm) and I felt like some crazy idiot! I walked out of the room feeling sick and I felt like I had no right to be here. My entire mood changed in that moment and it was pretty hard. So this is where my subject for my email makes sense for those of you were wondering.
Later that night, we had a branch presidency meeting and it was all our leaders meeting with us and seeing how things were going. It's crazy how much love I felt from each of these couples, it was really comforting. Then later Brother F interviewed me about how I was doing and I was trying to hold it together and assure him I was fine, he read right through me and said, he knows I am in the right place I need to be and that I have a countenance about me that shines through, and also a light in my eyes. He said he knows I am going to be a great missionary. He then said don't ever compare yourself to others because we are all at different places in our lives, and that I should only compare myself to who I was when I first entered the MTC. I couldn't believe that this man who barely knew me was able to say everything I needed to hear in that moment! I felt the spirit so strong and knew that those were the words my heavenly father wanted me to hear at that time.
Those first couple days I said so many prayers, I'm pretty sure it was like every minute. And I know, my heavenly father heard every single one of my prayers and was having grandpa David with me the whole time to strengthen me.
Thursday was a long day... who am I kidding every day is a long day but I am so stressed but so happy at the same time it's trippy! Me and sister wilde were suppose to teach Tyler again but things came up and we didn't get a chance to and I was so relieved!! I was stressing the whole day about it. But Friday came and it was time to teach him. I felt a little bit better because we had been taught more about lessons and stuff so I just wanted to go in and try to apply everything I had been taught. Even though we didn't do the most awesome job I felt like I was actually being a missionary and teaching him by the Spirit. I walked out of the lesson so proud and having confidence in myself that I could do this. It was awesome!! Even though it was all role play I felt like it was real and I even invited him to be baptized and it was the coolest feeling ever!
Saturday was a better feeling and I was starting to not feel like crying all the time haha I never cried before my mission and now I am a bawl baby but it's a good thing I can get things off my Chest!
Sundays are the best day ever oh my gosh! Everyone who told me to just make it to Sunday was so Right! We had mission conference in the morning and brother Gilbert gave a talk. I had been praying the night before about how I know I made the right decision to serve a mission and I wanted to feel that my savior agreed with me. During his talk he said "no other choice can make us what he can" I wrote in my notes "I made the right choice to serve a mission because there is no other choice I could have made that would have made me closer and more like Jesus Christ because he is the only one who can help me reach my full potential." It was so strong and powerful when I had that feeling.
Then after that we had interviews again with the branch presidency and Brother F interviewed me and again said everything I needed to hear! He was asking me how I was doing and I let him know it was hard and he said that missionaries are surrounded by angels all the time and they are always helping us. Then he said my children are here watching me and supporting Me! I then shared with him a personal story that maybe most of you don't know but before my mission I felt like my kids were a big reason of why I needed to Go! He loved that story and said they are so proud of you and looking up to you in ways you can't imagine.
During the Sunday night devotional, brother Richardson spoke it was an awesome talk! I'm going to share with you guys what I felt from his talk.. I need to represent well because I am a representative of Jesus Christ and I wear my families name on my name tag. I know that the savior sees more in us, than we see in ourselves and if you are ever feeling discouraged or doubting yourself, pray to know how our savior and heavenly father see you and how they believe in you, because I testify they love you and believe in you. They will be your bestest friends, and your number one supporters if you come unto Christ and have faith in him.
Then during film, the character of Christ by elder Bednar he told us to not write down what he said word for word but what the spirit was trying to tell us and, man my pen was moving Haha! I promise as you look outward instead of inward, you will receive lasting joy in your lives.
I was feeling like a new person after this meeting and I was so excited to go out and teach the people of Kentucky! I am so thankful that the MTC has been shaping me and making me stronger! I love it here and all the missionaries here! The veil is so thin here on these grounds and I know I am being watched over all the time.
This email is so long I'm so sorry I just have to tell you about Jen and jacqi! We started teaching them as our TRC it's like our investigators and we don't know if they are members or not but we started teaching them yesterday. It was two different lessons they were each alone and both went so Good! I feel better about teaching because I am being patient with myself and not expecting so much out of myself because I need time and knowledge to learn and grow so I'm happy with That!
Alright funny stories time because you all know I make a fool out of myself a Lot! So on fast Sunday I was talking to all of my district and I was saying how happy I was that we didn't have to be in class during Sunday because I was so hungry I would have been imaging brother welburn as a hot dog and would want to eat his face. My district however just heard eat his face and they all busted out laughing because they didn't hear the first half of my sentence haha it was super awkward until I told them what I meant hahaha geez I always have to explain myself (cami understands hahaha) now every time brother welburn walks in the room, my district yells hot dog it's so funny but he doesn't get it, I told them they couldn't tell him the story until we were about to leave! Okay also I have introduced myself as elder Ludwig so many times it's so awkward hahaha!!
Alright so the MTC is a lot like my toes surgery it killed at the beginning but as I gave it time to heal and get better I was okay! That's best way I know how to explain this process haha, but it's good because I am so Happy! I love you all and I hope your week has been amazing!