Mi querida familia!
I will try to write as much as possible in this short amount of time but I have so much to say! SO much has happened in the last 10 days I can't even believe it. I'll break it down into two parts because I just don't know how to explain this whirlwind experience!
Part 1: District 11C
So I got to the MTC and the first person I see when I walk towards my classroom is HERMANA BROWN! And we found out we were roommates! It was the best tender mercy ever because I really needed her help and advice the first few crazy days here. Then I met my companion, Hermana Bartschi. I knew right away we were going to get along. We both are just happy, fun-loving sisters. Hermana Bartschi is from Montpilier, Idaho and she's just a good ole' gal who loves the outdoors and being active. She is so loving and patient and we were making jokes with each other right off the bat. Heavenly Father really blessed me with Hermana Bartschi. I will forever use this companionship as an example of how I would love my other companionships to be. There were only 6 of us in our little district, Hermana Bartschi and me, Elder Scheeder and Elder Yancey, and Elder Hall and Elder Merkley. I LOVED these peeps so much. We just were a little family and we all loved each other so much. I also had a really great Zone. I was just blessed to be in the best, happiest place in the MTC and I was feeling so happy and content. My branch president, President Tyler was just so wise and kind, like an extra grandfather in my life. He is so knowledgable in the gospel and he was always spewing out scriptures and advice. It was like general conference 24/7 with him around. I knew pretty early on that my spanish was better than the rest of the class, but I was just so happy where I was! Hermana Brown assured me that I would do fine in the advanced class, and I was really conflicted. I prayed each day to know which class would be better for me. But I was still confused. I just asked that one class would stick out more to me and by Friday, I was pretty sure that I would stay for the 9 weeks. It just felt right. I felt really good and calm about it. BUT THEN, Saturday evening, one of my teachers pulled me aside and asked me if I would take the advanced test. I explained what I was thinking and how I was feeling. I told him how much I loved being with Hermana Bartschi and that I felt like I had a lot to learn still in the MTC but he told me that in missions there will always be challenges and if there is work to be done already in Spokane, Washington and I don't need more time to learn the language then I need to get out to the field. So I went and took the test and they asked me a lot of questions. One thing I found since being set apart, is that Heavenly Father really is blessing me with so many things. My tongue has been loosened here. It's so much easier for me to talk and say the things I want to in Spanish. So I spoke with ease during my advanced test and I knew I would probably move up. BUT THIS IS NOT WHERE THIS STORY ENDS. They told me they still had to check with the head language guy and they would probably get back to me on Tuesday. Hermana Bartschi and I had to warm up to the idea that we would probably no longer be companions because moving up, meant switching districts and zones so that was pretty sad. We had set goals earlier that week on being more Christlike and we were focusing this week on being more humble. One definition of humble is "submitting your will to the will of Heavenly Father" so even though I thought I had prayed and received the answer that I would stay for 9 weeks, I knew that wherever Heavenly Father needed me that is where I would go. Well THEN, on Sunday, my branch presidency called me in to talk. President Tyler knew I had been debating moving so he asked me how that was going. I told him everything that happened and he told me that he knew why I felt like I should stay the 9 weeks. And then he said, "Hermana Judd, the Lord would like you to be the coordinating sister of this Zone." All I could say was "oh? oh. oh!" Coordinating Sister is similar to Zone Leaders for elders. I attend the weekly orientation meetings and check in with the sisters each night just to make sure their needs are being met. I felt overwhelmed because I was being tugged in every direction. I mean, now I wasn't going to move to advanced?? and now I have to love all these sisters?? All the presidency and the 2 Zone leaders assured me that they had all received a clear answer and that this really was a calling from Heavenly Father. So I was just praying that I could serve the way Heavenly Father needed me to. Then during sacrament meeting, they announced my calling over the pulpit. So it seemed legit enough and it seemed like I really was staying.
Does this story already seem complicated?? Well, just you wait!
On Monday, I get a Big Brother call over the intercom in our residence hall asking me to come down to the front desk. When I get down there, they have the things ready to switch me to the Advanced class. I explained that I couldn't switch now, because my priesthood authority, my steward had called me to stay! So they call in the Big guns. The day before I left for the MTC I was joking with some friends that I would be the talk of the MTC, everyone would know me. I was kidding, obviously, but then it seriously was true! President Hummert of the District Presidency sits me down in his office and he says, "Let me draw you a picture to show you the line of authority." So it goes like this--The MTC Presidency--then 2 District Presidencies--and under each person in the District Presidency are about 10 or so Zones. So President Hummert is above President Tyler he says. And then he says, "Hermana Judd, it may be great and good that you serve as a Coordinating Sister and help the other sisters, but it is also important to remember Hermana Judd and where she is needed." So I say, ok. Then he says, "So I'm going to call your mission President and we'll see what he says." So I have to wait another day, still being pulled in every direction, and absolutely so uncertain of what I was doing and where I was supposed to be. "I'll go wherever you want me," I prayed.
Well, so you must know what happened next. President Hummert called President Mullen, and President Mullen was giddy. He said he would be delighted to have me come in the next two weeks. And just like that my PART 1 MTC experience was over. I was now a SOLO sister, I had a new district and I wasn't going to be Coordinating Sister after all.
PART 2: District 8E
I'll admit, it's been a hard adjustment. I loved where I was. And this new district was so different. 8 new, rowdy Elders, who grew up speaking spanish and so they are all a little more cocky. But thankfully I have wonderful teachers who have really helped me feel better. As a solo sister, now I have 2 elders who go with me everywhere. It's been pretty fun, actually and they help my spanish a lot. I was sad to say goodbye to Hermana Bartschi but I still see her often and we actually spent our whole P-Day together, today. On Tuesday, after I switched classes, I got to talk to President Tyler again, one last time. He said, "You know, I kept wrestling with Heavenly Father as to why I felt so strongly that you needed to be Coordinating sister, and then a small, quiet voice came to me, ' I needed Hermana Judd to have the confirmation that I trust her.'" I really needed to hear that from him. And it will be the tidbit I am going to remember and use on my mission, when I feel less adequate, like I just can't do it. My father in Heaven trusts me. Little ol' Hermanita Judd.
So, I'm nearly out of time. But I know this: Heavenly Father knew I would be in the advanced class, but he knew there were things I needed to learn in the intermediate class first and especiallly from being with Hermana Bartschi.
I will just close with this: I love being here. I am learning so much about myself and my Savior. I LOVE being a missionary. I just know this gospel is true. Missionary work is incredible. There is so much to be done and I can't wait to love and serve my investigators. I am here to invite others to come to Christ and I feel so strongly that I am where I need to be. I know my Heavenly Father loves me and I know that families are forever!
Love you all,
p.s. Let Janae know that I got her package and I am SO GRATEFUL. It was everything I needed.
ALSO, my cameras on my battery stopped working. Can you send me rechargable batteries and a charger? double AA?
OK, happy conference weekend!
Oh! P.S. My address changed too. My mailbox is #295 now and Ieave on October 15th! So make sure to send my bedding to the mission office too please! These pictures are Hermana Bartschi and me at the temple and during our service time and also me and Hermana Brown right before she left. What is Nan and Pampa's address and Jacob's too? Ok. Love you all! Miss you lots. But, my teacher Hermano Erqhart said something I've been thinking a lot about. He said, the further he got on his mission the more he realized he wasn't just homesick for his home, but for his Home in heaven. He missed his Heavenly Father too. And I thought that was neat. Pues, adios!
p.s. wasn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen when she accidentally said her "cameras on [her] battery stopped working"? OMGOODNESS precious typo!
|Hermana Em and Hermana Bartschi at the Provo Temple|
|Hermana Em and Hermana Brown (Erika from back home!)|
|Cleaning? Who even knows.|
|Besties already? Probs.|