Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Week 1 - First letter, mission goal

Holy. Wow. IM A MISSIONARY. I still can hardly even believe it. I am so beyond excited to be here. :) The MTC is one of the most amazing places in the whole world. The spirit is so strong literally everywhere you go, I have been so blessed to have some absolutely incredible experiences over the past week. I have thought SO many times "I wish my family was here so they could have felt that, or learned this, or met that person." Seriously it has been amazing. Still every day my companions and I have a moment where we look at each other and in absolute disbelief say "Ahhh we are missionaries" 

 Ill just start from day 1. :)
SO I had the best time with you all right before I got dropped off. Having the morning that we did as a family has been such a tender mercy and many times I have been super grateful for those last memories. Since I have been here one of the things that I have come to realize even more than I already did was that I have an incredible family!! I love you all so much. I have absolutely loved getting to hear from you guys and getting updated on the things back home. Thank you SO much. :) Anyway after I walked away I was lead through a bunch of halls and there was this sweet sister there standing with all the name tags and as soon as I saw my name tag I couldn't hold the tears back. Seeing my name on that tag and being a set apart missionary at the MTC was just absolutely amazing. I LOVE MY TAG. I love getting to have my name so close to the saviors and getting to so boldly represent him. 

After I got all checked in I got to meet my companions!! I have the BEST companions in the whole world. Holy I love them so much. I was in a trio with Sister Buckmiller (Bluffdale Utah) and Sister Mousser (Gilbert Arizona) Seriously they are some of the cutest girls in the world. instantly we clicked really well and have just been the best of friends ever since. I feel so blessed to get to have the companions that I have. We have worked really well together and I absolutely love them. :) Then we got to meet our District and our Zone. I have met some of the most amazing people here. I love my District and Zone. They are just some amazing missionaries. After everyone met each other we dove right into classes. Every day we have at least 8 hours of class time. I thought that it would be overwhelming to be in a class for so long every day, but I honestly have loved it SO much. Our teachers are beyond incredible. I feel like my teachers are just unreal amazing. They bring the spirit so strong and just testify boldly. its amazing. I hope that I can be something like them when I come home. 

So after we sit in classes for hours and hours we then get to put what we have learned to the test and get to to teach real lessons. It is honestly one of the coolest things, and I have learned so much from getting to really teach. Right now we are teaching Henry and Julie. :) On Thursday we got to meet Henry and just get to know him a little bit, he is hilarious and we have so much fun when we get to talk to him. But after just the few minutes that we got to talk to him my companions and I went into another room and were going to pray for Henry and find out what we needed to teach him when we had our next lesson. I was asked to pray, so we knelt down and started to pray for him. I prayed that we would be able to feel Gods love for him. It was SO powerful. Oh my goodness. The spirit was so strong and i felt an unbelievable feeling of love for this man that I had only known for about 5 minutes. It was an absolute miracle. I am so excited to get to Chicago to be able to feel that love for the people that I will meet. OOOH I am so stoked. :) 

haha so funny story from Thursday. I was talking to our district and lunch and I was obviously super super engaged in the conversation we were having and I dipped my sleeve right into my burrito. I was wearing a white shirt and I got this nasty cheesy grossness on my shirt. haha but I was so excited about the conversations I was having that I didn't even notice. I literally went another 3 hours before I noticed the lovely surprise I was showing everyone I talked to. It was totally embarrassing but my companions and I laughed soo hard about it when we noticed. :) 

So on Saturday night we taught Henry a lesson that just didn't go very well, we ran out of time so we were just pretty frazzled and didn't get to deliver the message that we wanted to very well. So we were all pretty bummed about it. I just started to feel super inadequate and just bummed out. I am around so many amazing people who are just unreal examples to me and I didn't feel like i was measuring up. We were in a class and our teacher wanted to do a role play where she was the missionary and she asked me to be the investigator. So i went and I sat at the front of the class. She then taught "wanda"  (the investigator i was trying to be) about how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Everything she said was exactly what I needed to hear. It was absolutely amazing. I feel like I have been blessed with lots of experiences that have helped me know that Heavenly Father loves me. But I have never felt it more profound and strong as I did right in that moment. I couldn't help but just have tears stream down my face as I was just overwhelmed by how much he cares about me. It was absolutely incredible and words cant describe how much peace and comfort I felt because of that moment. 

Sundays are literally the most incredible days at the MTC. I have never felt so rejuvenated than I did after Sunday night. We  have the most incredible Branch President (President Jenkins) I have learned so much from him and It was amazing to get to be with the whole presidency pretty much the whole day. We had a MTC wide devotional on Sunday and Tuesday which are totally amazing. It is so stinking cool to be in a room full of 1500 missionaries. One thing that they said that I thought was just amazing was that the percentage of Sister Missionaries has gone up from 8% to 47% WHAT? How amazing is that. You cant deny that the Lord is truly hastening the work. And it is such a blessing to get to be apart of it. :) We watched a talk that Elder Bednar gave a few years ago that was literally life changing. You guys should read or watch it as a family. It is called "The Character of Christ".  Watch it and then let me know what you think. It has seriously changed my life. :) 

One of the goals at the MTC is to deepen the conversion of the missionaries. And I can totally feel it. My testimony has grown so much and I have learned some of the most incredible things. Oh. I love the MTC. :) 
McKenna with roommates from BYU :)
So I thought that I would just end by telling you guys what my mission goal is. I have decided that on my mission I want to 100% lose myself in the work and be the Lords Instrument. I know that I cant do this mission on my own and that I need the the Lords help. God loves the people that I am going to find and teach SO much, and he wants them to come closer to him. SO If I can just be his instrument then i know that miracles will happen. I have tried to focus on responding to a prompting that I get exactly when i get it, and by doing that I have seen incredible things happen. 

 I love the gospel and I LOVE being a missionary. :) 
I seriously could just type and type and type. There is so much I would love to tell you but we are running out of time. I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH.

 I have the most amazing family. :) Thank you so much for the support and prayers. I love you.

 Love, Your Sister Missionary. :) 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saying goodbye to Sister McKenna Watts

Having been set apart last night and with everything all packed and ready the day has finally arrived. McKenna was assigned to report to the MTC at 1:15 pm this afternoon. We spent a really fun morning together finishing up a few things and then drove to Provo. McKenna picked Zupas for lunch and then we went to the Temple for a few pictures and goodbyes. Then to the MTC for the quick drop off. Here are a few pics of our very special day. We are so proud of McKenna and though we will miss her so much over the next 18 months we know she is in for a wonderful experience as she shares her testimony of the Savior to the people of Chicago. Good luck Sister McKenna Watts!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thanks to all of our dear friends and family that came to support McKenna at her farewell. She did such an amazing job and was so touched by the outpouring of love. It was awesome to have so many of you in our home and appreciate all those that helped.

McKenna enters the MTC on Wednesday, February 19th. I can't believe we are down to 1 week.

She is ready!