To answer your questions,
1. I am doing really well! It has really hard to have to wait over a week for a slightly relaxed day, but it was a fun week! The first 2-3 days of the MTC, like all my friends were saying, were really slow and really hard. It is so much class with all these new people, and everything is so new and slow and fast all at the same time that it makes it really rough. I was made District Leader for my MTC crew the first day too which added a lot more work and stress to my beginning at the MTC, but I love getting to serve and getting to know people so it has also totally been a blessing! :)
2. I don't get my IPad yet :( It sounds like I'll get it in the field. I've heard we'll be leaving the MTC on the 12th, we get flight info this week I think.
3. So once you make it to Sunday in the MTC, the week really picks up! The first few days were hard, I'm trying to think how to even word the feelings. You miss home, but not like miss miss... I knew why I was out here and wanted to be here, but thinking about the things I was missing was hard. I couldn't hang out with my fam and play with the dog, I couldn't just text someone when I wanted to talk, I couldn't just go play Pokemon Go with the pals! ;) I didn't get all the good food my mom makes, I couldn't go get a snack for free when they feed us at the MTC at 4:15 and you're starving by the time you go to bed at 10:30. And really just missing talking to people I already knew and trusted, family and friends. So the first few days are incredibly rough, I don't think there is really a way to prepare other than having a solid testimony, knowing it is gonna be HARD, having faith, and getting to know your district and become close. It was also hard cause I had late meetings the first few days as DL, so I would get back to my room around 10 with the other new DL from my zone (we would send our companions back at 9 and we would be companions on the way back to our dorms) and after getting back at 10 you still have to get ready for bed and plan for the next day by 10:30, so I got no alone time to write in my journal which made things rough too. BUT, once Sunday came it was so much better!! We had a Devotional which was good that night, but some struggles and questions came into my mind during the end and I just wasn't really feeling it. I was wanting a spiritual experience but I just had this empty feeling. It was really hard, but I kept praying for the last 20ish minutes of the devotional. Finally at the end I was feeling a bit better, but still was trying to really feel a strong spirit. I wanted to gain personal revelation on how I could change to become an incredible or a "Legendary Missionary" (as the 2nd counselor in our Branch Presidency says), and also how I could help my district to become the most they could in their time at the MTC. After the devotional we went and watched The Character of Christ by Elder Bednar, and that was perfect!! I prayed again as we sat down to watch it and got out my notes and pen, and the next hour or so I wrote so many inspirations down I filled up the last 20 pages of the mini notebook I had been using! I didn't write things that Elder Bednar said either, I just had so many promptings that were inspired by the talk, but then were lead by the spirit. I learned a ton about what I need to do to become who I need to be to change others lives, and also about how I need to lead my district. It was an incredible experience! :) Also, I just have to say how much being on a mission changes your perspective of missionary's emails! All of a sudden all the stories of other missionaries are so much more real! There is just so much that can't fit in the email, and so much work, and most of all emotions that I never felt before from the outside looking in!
So that experience on Sunday was probably my favorite part. Oh, also getting letters or packages is the most exciting thing ever!!!! :) Real letters and the Dear Elder letters are both so fun! Since I'm DL one of the things I do is go get mail for my district at the end of lunch and dinner each day, then pass it out before we head to bed and it is like the most exciting part of the day! Thanks so much fam and Deb for your letters, I absolutely loved them! :) :) :)
Monday night was also really awesome! We had a meeting with just our district (so no teachers), and as we were having the opening song and prayer, 3 of our Elders just started laughing for no reason and they couldn't stop! It was okay and funny for a bit, but after a minute or two it was really distracting so I had to ask them if they could step out in the hall so we could continue our meeting with the spirit. They all were cool with that and left, and then we had the other most incredible experience as a district... well most of a district ;) We'd planned to go over some things from the Fundamentals in the Green MTC book, but the class went a totally different direction! We had a really good time sharing inspirations, worries, and thoughts. The spirit was super strong and when I talked to the class about how we can get priesthood blessing to help us, one of the sisters asked if she could get one! It was way cool! The 5 elders who were still in the room all participated and the spirit was booming! Then we also all knelt down and had a prayer as a district to help us and strengthen us as we adjust to mission life and I think we were all crying, I know I was. :)
4. My companion is super cool, his name is Matthew Peterson from Springville UT, so he lives like 5 min from the MTC! He is super good at spikeball, doing funny accents, kendama, and being really happy and fun with investigators! :)
Sure love you all family and friends!! :) I'd love to hear from you in emails and/or letters!
Elder Hunter Branch
Wow, what a nice shed!