1/19/15 Our p-day is Monday, so I wont be able to send a longer email until then, but we made it to jersey and saw NYC as we flew in so that was cool :) our mission president and his wife are great! They have a daughter who is a senior in high school and one who is 10, plus older kids who aren't living at home. We had a good dinner and are staying at the mission home tonight then getting assigned our companions and area tomorrow. Tomorrow sounds like a busy day but it will be good! Love you all Sister M. McConkie
Our district is great, I love spending time with them, especially the other 3 sisters. And I'm learning to love our cute little elders ha it is truly amazing what the Lord can do with these 18 year old (sometimes obnoxious) goofballs, but seeing the impressive missionaries they are turning into is amazing
Logged on so excited for emails from home! And no emails...Y'all better use DearElder so I get some mail between now and next Friday! We get the mail and packages from DearElder at the end of the day. I'm good though haha college taught me not to get homesick too fast ;) So far so good at the MTC! I've really enjoyed it so far, the food is good, but I'm just fine with only eating it for two weeks. My companion is Sister Kelso, she is from Missouri and the only sister I've met so far older than me, but her bday is in June and she is also 21 so she isn't much older. I really enjoy her, we get along great and have a lot in common. She reminds me a lot of Jess Billingsley, which is a good thing! The only person I know that I've seen in the whole MTC is Sister (Ella) Johnson, but turns out she is my roommate! Haha what are the chances? We ran into each other at lunch and said hi, but imagine how surprised I was to see her in my room when me and Sister Kelso got back that night! Tender mercy for sure, she and I have always gotten along well. We have 6 sisters in our room, I don't know if Abby had that too, but it is very crowded! Even with 6 of us though this morning no one's alarms went off and we woke up 40 minutes late! Aka no breakfast and a ponytail for the day... I think my alarm clock is broken, I'll try to figure it out when I have time, but it worked the first night and now it doesn't.
The actual learning part the MTC is great, right from the start we kind of group taught some "investigators". AKA people who dress in normal clothes and act like they are investigating the church. They do a good job of having realistic stories and staying in character so it seems pretty real. We would just raise our hands when we had ideas of how to teach them and answer their questions. We were only allowed to answer once though so I had to learn to sit on my hands and bit my lip when I felt like other people were not clearly answering the question, listening to the investigator, or getting off track. I think I need to learn humility. That's what I'm striving for here in the mission and in life, the perfect combo of humility and confidence. I usually tend more towards pride and low self-esteem. Oh well...good to have things we realize we need to work on!
Today Sister Kelso and I taught a 15 minute lesson to our first "investigator" in a normal lesson situation. It went well, the problem is that we both have a lot we want to say. Usually I am just fine with having someone else take charge and I follow along, but in settings like this, RS etc... I have a tendency to kinda take over and imagine Sister Kelso does that to, so we are learning to work together do use each other's strengths.But back to our lesson, our goal was to challenge Patricio to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, but we didn't know how to do that without introducing the BoM by teaching the Restoration and then teaching a little bit about the BoM. Which is all good, but we literally had like 12 minutes to teach which led me to break my own rule and the cardinal missionary rule which is asking lots of question so that you teach the person not the lesson. So it kinda turned into something resembling a school lecture. Oh well, I guess it's ok to make mistakes when you are just learning.
Love you all!
Sister M. McConkie
The first few days here felt like 5 days each haha but they are slowly starting to speed up, now they feel more like 2 ;) I think I'm just not used to being this efficient with my time! We are literally busy from 6:30 am to 9:45 pm. No joke. And of course I am tired all the time! Actually...not quite true basically I'm so sleepy I'm cross eyed and can't read when we are trying to study in the mornings, after lunch I'm a little better but still tired, and then from dinner on I just get more and more alert until I'm wide awake just in time to go to bed... Hopefully my body adjusts soon, but so far not so good! I do like the MTC though, we learn a lot and practice even more! Our district is great, I love spending time with them, especially the other 3 sisters. And I'm learning to love our cute little elders ha it is truly amazing what the Lord can do with these 18 year old (sometimes obnoxious) goofballs, but seeing the impressive missionaries they are turning into is amazing.
Sister Kelso, Sister Egan, Sister Folmer, and I participated in the choir, and that was one of the coolest experiences I've had here. We had two 1 hour long practices and then sang in the devotional on tuesday. The choir director was great, he does a really good job making it entertaining, while also teaching us cool stuff about the prophet Joseph Smith. The song we performed was Joseph Smith's First Prayer, and every time we practiced it I got goosebumps. It was beautiful. The devotional was amazing too, Elder Nelson spoke and gave us a lot of suggestions about missionary work, like how to teach, and how to find people to teach. He also redefined "endure to the end" from our missionary purpose statement to "endure to the endowment", so that is a good way to look at it. The talk that really stuck with me though was Sister Nelson's talk on desperation. She gave examples of people from the scriptures who were desperate like the woman who touched Christ's robe, the man at the pool of Bethesda, and Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail. She talked about how each of them were desperate to be rescued by the Savior, and we need to have that same desperation because when you are desperate you find the time, strength, commitment, and courage to accomplish whatever it is that you need. When we are desperate to be rescued by Christ our prayers change and we are willing to do anything/everything it takes. And as missionaries when we are desperate to find people to teach we will find a way.
Yesterday I was having my little meltdown from the stress of the day/week, and I was guided to Moses 6:31 which is Enoch being overwhelmed by his calling and asking the Lord "wherefore am I thy servant?" Those words spoke right to my heart and then I read the Lord's response in verse 32 "Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good." It was definitely a tender mercy!
Despite my meltdown and constant fatigue, I am truly grateful to be here and to be going to NJ on monday! It is scary but exciting and I know I am in the Lord's hands and doing His work and so all will be well! The gospel is true! The reading the Book of Mormon and following its teachings truly can bring us peace in this life as well as eternal life in the world to come! God is truly our loving Heavenly Father!
I love you all,
Sister M. McConkie
Hey mama! Yes this week was definitely full of mail and packages and I appreciate it! I'll send you this email and then I'll write my group one. Today has been good, we went to the temple this morning and that was a good experience, hard to stay awake though :P My companion and I are still getting along great! I am starting to feel a need for alone time, but it hasn't been as bad as anticipated. The first few days here were great! Long, but really good and my depression wasn't a problem at all! But of course the last few days it has been catching up to me. Today when we were walking back from the temple it was sunny and the sky was blue and it was so great! But that's the first I've seen the sun and blue sky really since I got here. In between classes the walkways are covered, which is nice when it's raining or snowing, but I really miss not being able to see the sky. So that's probably part of why I've been struggling. Add that to the stress of high expectations on myself with teaching, lack of sleep, and no free time, I guess I'm doing as well as expected. One of the sisters in our district, sister egan, struggles with anxiety and had a panic attack that I was able to help her with. It was good to be able to be there for her at least until she was able to get a blessing, and looking out for her since then helps me not worry about myself so that's good. That was quite a bonding moment for us haha but even before then we got along really well and she will be going to Jersey too so I'm happy about that :)
It's not all bad though, you just get to hear that part since I know you worry about me, and I'll put more of the fun stuff in the group email.
I will be leaving really early monday morning, so I probably wont get anything you try to send here to me that day. We are leaving here at like 4:30 and then our flight is around 10, so I will try to call you from the airport before then! Tell Julie and Bonnie I got their packages and I got the one you guys sent, plus your dearelder letters so thank you! And did you get my email list figured out?
Sister M. McConkie
Madison's mission letters home Jan 2015 to July 2016