Lindsey's letter is further down below. Just a quick note from Lindsey's dad . . . .
Thank you all for your support of Lindsey! I’ll post her letters and pictures on this site as we receive them so you can follow her experiences over the next 18 months. Lindsey’s letter from today is full of missionary lingo so I figured it would be helpful to provide some definitions.
“MTC” - Acronym for “missionary training center”. The LDS church operates 15 MTCs around the world. The largest of which is in Provo, Utah adjacent to the campus of BYU. An MTC is the first stop for new missionaries. Those learning a foreign language typically spend six weeks in an MTC. Those fluent in their assigned language spend just two weeks. Lindsey will be in the Provo MTC until sometime in mid August.
“P-Day” – Short for “preparation day”. Missionaries have one preparation day each week. During P-Days they have time to write letters, do laundry, etc.
“Elder”, “Sister”, ”Hermana” – Male missionaries go by the title “Elder” followed by their last name. Female missionaries carry the title “Sister” followed by their last name. “Hermana” is the Spanish word for sister and, as such, is the title used by Lindsey and her companion since they are headed to a Spanish speaking mission.
“Dear Elder” - A reference to the website “dearelder.com” which provides a free messaging service through which family and friends can write notes and have them printed and delivered same day to a missionary in the MTC.
“Companion” – Each missionary is paired with another missionary called a “companion”. A missionary and his/her companion follow the same daily schedule and are assigned to be roommates and study partners. Lindsey and Hermana Rasband will be companions during their six weeks in the MTC. Once in Argentina, Lindsey will rotate companions every few months.
“District” – Typically six to twelve missionaries who are learning the same language and attend all classes together. They also share the same schedule for mealtimes, P-Days, and Sunday worship.
Hello my dear loved ones!
WOW! I made it to P day! Sorry I haven't been able to write sooner than this. We learned early on that our P day wasn't until the next Thursday (today). I felt so bad because I could just imagine my dear family checking your emails multiple times every day. I wanted to say "wait!!!! Let me help! Don't check until Thursday!" haha, so anyways, sorry about the long wait. FYI, my P days are on Thursdays. :) I ran into Sydney Sones (or I guess it it Pierce now??) and I asked her to try to get a hold of you to let you know about my late P day. I'm not sure if she was ever able to contact you all buuuut I tried!
SO, wow. I AM A MISSIONARY! HOLY COW! Where do I even start?!?!?!! Seriously, a mission is jam packed with so much greatness! Where to begin?? First of all, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR THE "DEAR ELDERS" AND PACKAGES! I got SO many dear elders from my wonderful family and some friends! Thank you! And then I got wonderful packages as well! Thanks family for the wonderful snacks and letters- I loved them! And if possible, please tell the other Texas Woodfields that I am so grateful for their package as well! I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing family! Missionaries LOVE letters and packages! District leaders are the ones who get the mail so everybody closes in on them twice a day when the mail comes! I feel so loved! Thank you!!!!!!!
Well, I loved spending time with my dear college friends Maddie, Kirsten, and Kaitlyn when I got here! I also loved being with my wonderful grandparents! What great people and examples! SO BLESSED! So I got really nervous about an hour before entering the MTC. What was I about to get myself into?!?! Haha, but as soon as I was dropped off I was whisked away and it all started with a bang! I received some missionary items and then all of a sudden I was in a classroom with Spanish all around! I walked in and the teacher was like "sarjghalerghalrghagbnvblsreuihaqruegfbvlkjvcbsagh". :) Was I in the right room?? Haha, the other ELEVEN people in my district seemed to have the same confused face as me though. Yeah, there are 12 members of my district! That is pretty big! We were originally only supposed to have 8 but 4 more Elders were there because they were supposed to be going to the Columbia MTC but their visas didn't come. So we have had a big district but it has been way fun! We are all already so close and have had some good times working together with spiritual stuff as well as eating together and other things! An Elder got a package of jelly beans that contain good and bad flavors and we all went around and tried some! That reminded me of when our family did that for family home evening! Good times!
Oh man, so much to tell you and not enough time to write it all! So, the Spanish immersion was kind of scary and overwhelming at first but get this- HERMANA RASBAND (my companion) AND I HAVE ALREADY TAUGHT FOUR LESSONS IN SPANISH! We are teaching our fifth one tonight! A little over a week ago I had no idea about Spanish and now I can pray, bear my testimony, and give lessons in Spanish. My Spanish still has A LOOOONG way to go but I know the Spirit is definitely helping me.
What else?? I really love my companion, Hermana Rasband! We are alike in a lot of ways and get along really well! We have been trying really hard to be 100% obedient and get everything done. It is hard- sometimes we don't finish everything even when we spent all of our time working hard, but it feels great to know that we are putting everything we have into being diligent and trying.
I thought with so many people here at the MTC that I wouldn't see anyone I knew before- WRONG. Haha, the MTC has a funny of way of letting you see everyone you know even with all of the people! I have seen Tyler about 5 times now! He seems to be doing REALLY well- super happy and hardworking! I have also seen some friends from BYU, a friend from an EFY group, Megan Matteson, Jesse Nevin (yesterday, only got to say hi but hopefully I will see him again and see how he is doing), Travis Hoiyt (Kaitlyn's husband-works in the mail room) and Sydney Sones! SO COOL!
So on the fourth of July we had a fireside that night! It was really good and in it we got to watch the movie "17 Miracles". We then were invited to go outside and eat ice cream while watching fireworks that were going on at the Stadium across from us. Really cool! There are so many great devotionals, talks, and experiences here! My testimony and understanding of the gospel has grown SO MUCH. I LOVE IT! And yesterday Hermana Rasband and I had an amazing lesson! The spirit was so strong and we were just in awe after we taught our investigator Uriel. The first three lessons we basically scripted out everything we were going to say. We do not know Spanish very well and we wanted to be able to say what we wanted. However, our teacher told our district before our 4th lesson that it is more powerful to give a lesson that is not read word for word- even though the Spanish must just be words and phrases. So that is what we did, and MAN did the Spirit help us! A lot of our talking was not perfect Spanish at all but that is okay. Something that has been said multiple times that I absolutely love is that it is way more important to learn the language of the Spirit then the language of Spanish. Even if the investigators don't quite understand with their minds hopefully they feel with their hearts!
Sorry I don't have much more time to write! I will try to write a letter today with more details about everything! Just know I am doing well! This mission is hard but it is SO worth it! I know this is where I am supposed to be. There is such a great energy and Spirit here! The first few days felt kinda long and overwhelming but ever since Sunday it has felt like it is just flying by! I can't believe I am already down to 5 weeks in the MTC!
I love you all so much! Thanks again for your love and support!!!!!!!!!! Yo se que el evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es la palabara de Dios y verdadero. Yo se que Jesucristo es el Salvador y el Redentor. Yo se que Dios es amoroso! Este testimonio me ayudar a tener esparanza y vivir feliz!!!!!