Hey everyone!! Oh man it’s so nice to be able to email home finally. Of course i would get the Wednesday P day so I had to wait a full week before i could send this home. But wow the MTC is so hard. I have had people telling me my whole life that this would be hard but i had no idea what I was getting into. It is so exhausting. I am physically mentally emotionally, and spiritually exhausted every single day. I have been sleeping pretty good recently which is a relief because i have been so so homesick. But I’m starting to adjust and its getting a little better. Thank you so much to everyone for the letters and stuff. They have meant so much and it is the greatest feeling ever to have my district leader walk in and tell me i have mail. I love it so much. I forgot all my letters my friends gave me before i left so i didn’t have anything from home for the first couple days except for Solveig Christianson’s letter. So Solveig if you hear about this thanks so much for that letter haha. And I’m so mad i missed the Super Bowl! From what i heard it was pretty good. Thank you so much for the package Mom. Me and my district have loved all the candy and treats.
So it is super hard here and the lessons are crazy and I’m so stressed its unreal. I sit in a little tiny class room for about 6 hours a day and then I’m teaching fake investigators the rest of the time. It’s really hard for me to get into the lessons sometimes because the investigators are just other missionaries. But me and my companion, Elder Brower, got to teach an actor pretending to be an investigator and it was actually really real and it was so much fun! The spirit was insane and it was one of my first real amazing experiences. I have learned that i just need to be humble and really realize that i can’t have a foot back home or i will never be able to completely focus. The one thing that i was kinda disappointed with was that on Tuesday the day before i got here Elder Holland and Nelson were here for a devotional for the 50th anniversary and i missed it. It sucked to hear about how amazing it was. Sorry i don’t know if sucked is appropriate missionary language haha.
But i do have to say that the thing i am most grateful for is my district. We have the greatest district ever. It is so much when we have fee time. Some of the funniest kids i have ever met for sure. Also it has been super cool cause i saw my friends from high school Tanner LeBaron, Mike Dockendorf, and Kyle Byington. I have had a lot of time to talk to them and it has been way fun. Jack Barney comes into the MTC today and i can’t wait to run into him. So my district is awesome and i have a couple pictures of them that i will send home on my SD card soon. I got a few good pictures i hope you guys will enjoy.
I got to go to the temple this morning and do sealings and that was my first time ever it was so cool. Just knowing that i was helping people in heaven was such an awesome feeling. So overall my experience in the MTC has been really good. But so, so hard. To all my friends that are about to come into the MTC get ready cause it is awful. You will most likely hate the first week unless you're some spiritual freak. However now that i am past it I look back and it is insane how much i have grown and learned. A couple days ago in a fireside the speaker said that it will be super hard for us to go home when the time comes. And i thought about if i went home right now and had to take my name tag off and because i have been such a baby recently i actually got teary eyed. I have only been here for a week but the gospel is my life now. I work 16 hours a day and it blows my mind how hard it is. But it think about going back to my old life and not being surrounded by the spirit and these amazing other missionaries and it’s hard to imagine. I love my family and friends so much but for the next 2 years the spirit is going to have to replace all of you in my life for the next 2 years.
And this is random but it has really struck me and i wanted to share it real quick. We have 2 sisters in our district and they are going to Ukraine and Russia and they are so cool. Sister Lewis is from England and sister nelson is from California. They are so fun but i realized there is something special about them and all the other sisters here. I love that the sisters all have such respect for themselves. They all know that they are daughters of god and that gives them such confidence. They dress very modestly but they still stand out. To all my friends that are girls that read this letter please, please, please always dress modestly and gain that relationship with the spirit that makes you more confident. God loves you so much and he wants you to always respect yourself and others. And i guess God loves my guy friends too. Just probably not quite as much haha. I’m running out of time so i have to go now. But thank you all for everything and i don’t want to beg but i will anyway. Please send me mail. I love it so much and it makes me so happy to read them. I totally forgot to write some scriptures that i found this week down but I’m out of time. I will send them next week. I love all of you so so much!!!! I talk to you all again soon.
-Elder Parker Banks (Jodie’s favorite son)