So I survived my first week at the MTC! I met my companion before I reported to the MTC, she is a very sweet, social, and a very loud girl, but she definently has a strong testimony. We are at the west campus which is way more chill then the main campus. The food here is pretty lame, we have fried food so much for dinner, but the lunches are the best. I miss fruit and scrambled eggs and salads! But hey I guess we will take what they give us.
The first days I reported to the wrong campus and had to take the shuttle down to the west campus and met all the Finnish sisters. We are called Sisar, and there are 5 sisaret (sisters) in my district, we are the only girl district in the history of all MTC, and you know what, I really like it. We focus alot better then most groups and we have alot of fun (which is very important when you are learning a stressful language like Finnish). I am also typing on a Finnish key board so its taking me a little to get used to it. So sadly my nametag was spelled with out the umlauts and they would not add it because it is not in officialy documentation(what is up with that!)
The Finnish language is extremely vaikea (difficult) all the nouns, verbs, and adjectives are conjugated. There are 16 different cases and it makes my brain hurt when I try to come up with a sentance on the spot and just know that I conjugated basically everything wrong in that sentance! But the only way to get better is practice! The first day that we walked into class our Veile (brother) who is our teacher just started spewing off Finnish and we were so confused, for mainly the whole day because he did not translate too often, so it was kinda like Finnish charades that was extremely funny and confuseing at the same time! The next day we had to give a lesson in Finnish(with notes) to our investigator Esko. It was really hard and awkward but we made it through and told him the basics about the gospel. The next day in our lesson we could only have a notecard of Finnish words, the day after that no finnish notes, and today we give a lesson with no finnish or english notes (which is probably the hardest) because you dont see written what you need to translate. So wish me luck!
We have been trying to speak Finnish as much as possible but it is hard to remember to speak it when you just want to relax and talk with the other lähetyssaarnaajia (missionaries). In our zone there is another Finnish group with 4 set of Sisaret and 1 set Vanhim (elders) so us girls deffinently out number the guys but honestly I think its because we can consentrate better, I was using a computer in one of the stateside elders classrooms and it was mainly all elders and they were just messing around and no focus what so ever, so I was really glad for the district I have. Also in our district are the Hungarians, the Estonians, Finns, and Albanians, and all the missionaries I have met are very sharp and focused and we have amazing testimony sessions.
So did you all see the Worldwide Broadcast? It was amazing all 3,300 of the missionaries were there and we felt the spirit so strongly, it was sad because they did not give us the option of singing in the choir because we had missed all the practices ): oh well it was amazing experience and puts so much of the lähetyssaarnaaja työ (missionary work) on the members which is great because that is where we will get our most success, and now that we are going to be using internet more our success will increase so much! The feeling the whole room got in the marriot center when the apostles walked in was amazing! I love them all so much and I dont even know them personally, but it is crazy how much love you can feel as a missionary! So family, Im hoping you step up your game in the missionary work!
Its hard with the tight time schedule that we have because we need to focus on Finnish 24-7 (I cant find the slash button) but we are always going and when we are not, we have to sleep. So its been interesting figuring out how this all works. I also love wearing skirts which is nice because we have to wear them everyday, so its a good thing to like.
This week has been a crazy one, on tuesday we were supposed to go to LA to the Finnish consolate to sign our Visas but they messed up our itinerary and we werent allowed to open it until we got to the SLC airport only to realize they scheduled half the group in for wednesday instead, so after the whole drama of me thinking I lost my wallet, then calling home, then as a group praying on our knees, I found it and then we had to drive back to the MTC to go the next day! and let me tell you waking up at 4am two days in a row and having to go to bed at 10:30 is seriously killer. But everything worked out fine the next day, and we were able to give away two pass along cards, and everyone was looking at our names tags and I felt so proud to have the Lord's name next to my name. When we had to take our badges off for security it felt so weird like my protective shield was gone or something!
I love being a missionary, it makes me feel so happy and proud. People love talking to us too because we are considerate and ask them how they are doing and smile that is so unusual in today's world that people really notice the difference!
I just want to let you all know that going on a mission has already been the best decision of my life, though it is so hard, and the language kicks my butt and sometimes its annoying to be with a companion 24/7, it is so worth it. I can feel the Holy Spirit so strongly, I am a better person because of this, it is changing me into an even better more considerate, and service oriented person everyday. At its amazing to see hundreds of missionaries everyday, know that they sacrificed so much to be here to share this wonderful gospel to other people, to so such a self-less act for 18-2 years it inspires me!
Well I am running out of time but I am attaching some pictures so you can see me with my amazing badge.
I love you all so much, stay safe and
Tiedatko kirkko on tota. (the church is true)
Sisar Hubner (you can write Alayna from www.dearelder.com and that gets to her that same day)