I can't believe it's already been a week!!!! I've often said that I've stopped believing in time so I'm not even gonna try to figure out why it feels like I just got here but also like I've lived here for years. I'm kind of overwhelmed right now cuz I don't know where to start! If you're just wanting to know how I am and not wanting to read a whole letter, I'll make it easy for you. I am frrrreaking LOVING it. You can pretty much throw all mission expectations out the window, Haley, cuz it's just... the greatest thing ever. I have learned so so very much about myself and I'm glad I learned them fast cuz it's made the MTC amazing instead of like spirit prison...
Wednesday: Obviously, I said goodbye to my beautiful family and honestly, I haven't been sad since. I've had my moments of crying thinking about family and friends but it's kind of easiest to describe that I don't miss you guys, I just LOVE you guys so much. I have the coolest family ever but it didn't take a mission for me to realize that. So, right off the bat... I fell in love with my companion and sisters. ahhhhhhh. And I know she loves me too!!! We're like the same except, yeah, she is a whole foot taller than all of us sisters and she's already graduated from college and she's 23 and it's awesome. I am positive that you all will meet her someday. I've told her many times over that I prayed and prayed for a stellar companion and I really got one. Her name is Sister Collette. Our other Sistas are Sis. Sigleer and Sis. Seader. Love them so much. Wednesday, my feelings were just so so super excited to be there. In a little devotional at the beginning somewhere and we were asked to raise our hands if we were nervous and looking around we saw that me and Sister Collette were the only ones we could see who weren't nervous. I've only had 2 minutes of slight nervousness so far and I'll tell you about that in a sec!
Thursday, we've all decided is the hardest day at the MTC. You're thinking 'I'm seriously gonna do this for 18 months?'. My attitude was positive in a bad way where I was just telling myself to make it through the MTC cuz soon I'll be a "real" missionary in New York. Ha! I'm an idiot. I had this attitude of just trying to get through the MTC with at least passing grade in Heavenly Father's book until we met (ahlajlalajhh) our Branch Presidency. After an interview with the Branch Pres. I basically knew I was gonna be the Sister Training Leader for the District and I pretty much told him Sis. Collette has to be the one for the zone cuz she's the coolest and kind of the mom of the district. But that's not the important part... because then... I MET BROTHER BILBRO. Which may or may not be my favorite thing about the MTC and the hardest thing to say goodbye to because he loves me and I love him! Let me explain. The presidency went around meeting everyone and he stopped at me and said "Are you related to Barry Hallsted?" I said, "He's my dad!" and he grabbed my hand firmly and said "Your dad is one of my heros." Dad, you cannot even begin to understand the love that this man has for you! We had a whole district meeting revolved around you. I guess he worked with you in scouts. He thinks before you moved to cubs?? He knows more about you than I do! He told a story that you told him about the rocks on a hike and how the rocks were sins and laying them on the alter thing (explain to family, dad). It was everyone's favorite story of the day. So being Bro. Bilbro's daughter basically set me up to be the STL. Haha My entire attitude was changed after that. I decided to stop trying to take the easy way as I've always done my entire life. I didn't just want to be good enough anymore. I may have learned (finally) the importance of hard work! Many people will be thrilled to hear this :) I realized that I have so not been thinking about the people I am going to teach. I have just been thinking about me and MY mission and how I'M going to tough it out and make it through. I decided Thursday night that I was going to work harder than I ever have to be the best that I can be for my Heavenly Father to work with to help His children. This has changed everything!!!
Friday, the days started going by fast here and I am SO sad because I don't want to leave! I fell in love with my whole district on this day as we started acting in our new leadership positions. We have three elders going to Nampa Idaho and I pray that somehow they'll all be somehow switched to Utica! They're Elder Spindler (weirdy), Elder Edwards (weirdy) and Elder Berry (weirdy but not as weird:) He's my favorite. Can I have favorite elders especially when they're all my age? I adore them!!!
Friday and Saturday were kind of the same but going by too fast. We have a lot of role plays and that was probably my biggest struggle at first because it's hard for me to get in to them when they're just my companion pretending to be the investigator but we still say a prayer and such. I thought that was weird at first but now I got it. We had our first lesson with our Potential Investigator Emily (just my teacher pretending) but it feels SO wonderful while we teach the lessons and so real! I think Friday was my 2 mins of nervousness right before we taught Emily for the first time. We said a prayer together as comps before we went in to teach and the second I sat down in front of "Emily" I felt so totally fine and I could feel Heavenly Father helping me to be confident the way I know I should be. Since then, the lessons have only gone up! We slowly let go of serious lesson planning and we totally feel the spirit guiding us to know what she needs! We've had what they call TRC lessons too and we all get a random person who may or may not be an actual investigator (they're not. I know it) and we got Victoria who we soon found out is this tiny little black lady with a lot of spunk, sass and hatred for Utah. We were in such shock after our first lesson because we only got to say a sentence each! And we went wayyyy over our time cuz she wouldn't even let us look at our watches. Sis. Collette was like in shock but I thought it was freaking hilarious. Yesterday, our lesson went much better cuz we learned how to be bold through charity so... basically I was just talking as loud and fast as I could before she did and cuz she was sassy I was sassy back. It was too fun although I don't think we got anywhere. haha
Basically Sunday is what I really want to write about.
Sunday, was amazing. You all know about the great devotional and such. Well, choir with Brother Eggett was amazing as always. SOOooo wonderful being in his choir again. I sat by Tahlia Pagua. There are sooo many people I know here! I am super shocked about that cuz I thought the whole world had already left on missions without me. They'll be people I don't even remember knowing but will say they know me, usually from Mountainville and I feel bad not knowing who they are. I'm not gonna lie. I feel super popular here. The devotional speaker was Chad Lewis! Their whole family came. It always seems like I'm lying cuz I'll be like I know that person or my dad grew up with Vi Sic-a-hema or yeah my dad, my dad, my dad! But it's always true.
All that stuff was amazing on Sunday and it is SO FUN to get close as sisters and elders because of our spiritual highs. I know that Heavenly Father loves to see us so happy like this. I've never gotten so close to strangers in such little time.
But, Sunday was my emotional day :) We had a leader meeting thing and started off singing How Great Thou Art :) I cried because that song is now my mommy song and I love it even though mom made me sing that a thousand times even like a half hour before I came here but now I love it. The next thing I can remember is having an interview with the branch presidency. I know Brother Bilbro chose to interview me on purpose. He told me I am his special treat and that he loves me so much. There are a lot of old men who hold a special place in my heart but Bro. Bilbro has built a mansion in it. I'm jealous that the elders can give him a hug. This interview with Brother Bilbro was maybe my most sacred moment in the MTC. I won't tell you everything about it except that I cried (because it was my emotional day) but it was good to cry like that. Dad, he loves you so much. He says he has a whole folder on things that Barry Hallsted taught him. Our interview went on for almost an HOUR. But it felt like five minutes.
We also got to walk around the temple! So amazingly special for me. I miss the temple so much.
Sacrament meeting was amazing even though our branch is like 12 people if that. The Branch President gave a talk at the end and, guess what! He mentioned something wonderful about dad!!! He winked at me from the pulpit, I looked at Bro. Bilbro and he laughed and shrugged his shoulders. I thanked both of them afterwards and Bro. Bilbro asked for dad's number! Tell me if he called you! I haven't gotten to see him since then!
I'm running out of time, but Tuesday we had an amazing devotional, sang in the choir, I got a bloody nose (I've had like a hundred of them) and had to leave during the middle of it dragging Sis. Collette with me and I felt bad.
Today has been absolutely the best!!! The sisters always make us all run for gym. I hate it haha. I'm like all sore and getting muscle and they love to torture me. But if we go out to the field and run around it I promise not to complain and it is beautiful! I have the elders shake this one tree and I stand under the yellow leaves and it makes me on a happy high for the rest of the day.
So, today we got to choose what to do! We went with our elders to play 4 square! We tried to play volleyball first but I was the only one who could stand being barefoot in the sand in the freezing cold morning. Wimps. But four square was the most fun I've had so far at gym time!!! We are so gonna have an MTC district reunion cuz we're all best friends.
Today, we're gonna go to the byu bookstore to see Sis. Seader's friend with our elders and we're all gonna go do endowments together ! I got so excited to go to the temple yesterday that I started crying!
Funny moments with Sis. Collette: Yesterday, we're all spiritual and serious when comp studying together and she combined "focused" and "picked" and accidentally said the F-word. She has a problem with peeing her pants when she laughs so that almost happened. Also, we went on a class field trip and pretended like we were showing an investigator around a church. So, I was showing her where Sunday school was (pointed to random class), kept walking, said "And this is where we have Relief Society" and the door nearest happened to be the men's bathroom. She did pee her pants that time. Success.
Thank you for all the prayers and thank Sis. Oborn for the packages! That's so nice of her to send me stuff! We've loved it! I didn't realize there was gonna be such thing as a sharing shelf that just happens to have all my favorite things on it everyday. It's so hard to resist.
Since I love everyone receiving this email it's okay for me to reassure everyone and say that my diarrhea's completely gone!!! It really is a miracle. I don't ever want to leave the MTC and be separated from my district, but I know I'll fall in love with New York just as much as I've fallen in love with the MTC.
Sure love ya Mommy, daddy, Ammon, Amanda, Derek, Breton, Haley, Hannah, Hyguy, Phoebe, and even Schofield :)
Sure love ya,
Sister Brynnie Hallsted
ps. Found a hair from Schofield on my skirts and I cried. I guess I miss that annoying dog.