This is the "classic" Olympus High School missionary pic. Me and Emi were dying because 90% of them are two years younger than us and we don't even know them!
NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.
I made it! I cannot believe I am actually on a mission. It still feels like some sort of twilight zone or something. I am sure I will come to in a few weeks or so.
Anyway, the second I got dropped off I was just scared out of my mind! When I saw little Austy start to cry I just lost it and I HAD to just turn and walk away as fast as I could. Missionaries' first day in the MTC, leaders give you your name badge and stick a little red/orange dot to the front of it. So, anytime a missionary sees your little red/orange "dork dot" they yell "WELCOME TO THE MTC SISTER FRAMPTON (or elder whoever)!" I don't know who's idea it was to do this but let me just say, it doesn't help with the overwhelming feelings that you already have. Its like, "HEY DID YOU FORGET YOUR FAMILY JUST DROPPED YOU OFF FOR 18 MONTHS AND YOU DON'T KNOW ANYONE AND YOU WILL BE LOCKED IN HERE FOR THE NEXT 6 WEEKS OF YOUR LIFE?" Haha okay, that is a little dramatized but you get the picture.
Shortly after being dropped off, we were thrown into class. I noticed that I was the only girl when everyone had arrived. Well guess what? They added another pretty sticker to my name badge that says SOLO! I am a solo sister so that means I am the ONLY girl in the whole MTC learning Norwegian, so there is no companion I can be with all day. I was placed in a threesome with two sisters going to Sweden. They are in the classroom next door to me and we live in the same dorm. However, I only see them at gym and at night. To my surprise, I live with another pair of sister missionaries going to Sweden. Well, guess who that is... SISTER EMI CHRISTISON! It has just been such a game changer that she is my roomie. We just laugh and talk about weird things that go on in the day. Such a huge blessing.
It has been a tiny trial of my faith, but I have ultimately learned to love it. My district, the elders that are in my class, are all going to Norway, obviously, but they are all very different individuals. (there are six of them plus me). There is one other classroom/district of Norwegians right next to us that arrived on the same day I did. (Elder Kirk is in that other district). I was put with two elders as my companions for class time, meal time, and teaching. Their names are Elder Nilsson and Elder Naumu. Nilsson is straight out of high school, very, very smart, played the trombone in high school, and reminds me EXACTLY of Kevin Boyer. Naumu is 19, did a year at BYU, basketball player, Hawaiian, and a silent spiritual giant. Its been such a blessing to be teaching and spending time with these elders. They bring such a different aspect of the gospel to class and to our lessons.
The rest of my district are just the biggest characters you could think of. As a sister missionary it is disrespectful to call elders by nicknames but I have a bad habit of doing so. Elder Crook's first and middle names are Joseph Hyrum... This is not a joke. He IS Jack Black. Elder Crook is our district leader and just so scatterbrained. His companion, Elder Sperry, prides himself on the fact that his high school marching band took state his last year of high school... Which was two months ago. The last companionship is Elder Griffin, who was homeschooled all of his life, hates large groups of people, and is very good at karate, AND Elder Reber who is a track "star", and looks and talks so similar to Elder Bednar it is a bit frightening. But honestly, I already just love them so much. They are ALL so smart and spiritual, I am very lucky to be with the people I am.
OK BACK TO ME! Our teacher for the next 6 weeks is Brother Bartholemuew. I have yet to hear him speak more than 5 words of English. Not only was it overwhelming to get dropped off, not be able to take my dork dot off, being thrown into a class with no girls and NO English being spoken, BUT it was such an amazing spiritual experience. I have never had to rely on the Holy Ghost for comfort more in my life. I have been labeled the interpreter for my class, I like to think of it as a really confusing game of charades to figure out what Bro B is saying, but I guess I am just really good at reading his mind and kind of figuring it out through Norwegian. It was a testament to me that even though we do not know exactly what he is saying most of the time, we can feel the spirit so strongly! That just strengthens my testimony that the Holy Ghost is the true teacher. He speaks in all languages, and it is not our Norwegian that will convert people in Norway, it IS The Holy Ghost.
Our zone is made up of people going to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium/Holland. That is who we go to church to, eat with, and have the exact same schedules as. Well, our first time at gym I noticed a big board on the wall with "records" set by sister and elder missionaries in the MTC. Those include fastest mile, max 3-pointers, max push ups, max sit ups, and max pull ups and so on. I could not help to let out the inner Crossfit Spearhead in me and just want with everything I have to get my name on that board. The goal that I have to beat is the pull up goal. The sister score to beat right now is 14 pull ups. YES!!!! You better believe by the end of 6 weeks I am going to be the proud owner of that spot which will read: Sister Frampton 16 pull ups. I guess I should ask if I can kip though...... I will keep you posted.
Last night we were able to run outside, and luckily there is another solo sister that I was able to run with. Holy cow, she is a cross country girl so she definitely pushed me. I needed it. We ran around the MTC I don't even know how many times, but it was SO amazing to watch the sunset and actually be OUTSIDE to do so. It was also nice to just stop thinking completely and JUST think about breathing. I really needed that break.
So mom and dad, there is an elder in the other district that knows me and I had no idea who he was, but it was fun to have a random connection with him. I guess his parents lived in San Antonio while his dad was doing his residency or medical school or something. The Duncon's?
At one of our meetings we learned that there are close to 3,000 missionaries at the MTC right now!! Crazy huh? Also, that as of now, there are 75,000 missionaries in total that are serving. But that's not all! By the time I leave to go to Norway, there will be 85,000 missionaries serving full-time missions to the Lord! I just love that so much.
After four days in class and learning/speaking Norwegian, I am so surprised at how much I already know! I can pray, bare my testimony and have a very simple everyday get to know you conversation. IN FOUR DAYS! I do not take credit for any of that though, it IS the gift of the Holy Ghost and the gift of tongues that is helping me. I would be lying to say that I am not tired. After that much sitting and brain work, I get pretty exhausted. During personal study, I will do lunges down the hallway while reading or a wall sit or just jumping in place gets the blood flowing again. Haha, I've had to get creative.
I feel the spirit here so strongly and I feel SO blessed to be here. The food might be horrible, and it is definitely not my queen size bed to sleep in, but THIS IS where I am supposed to be. I know that there is someone in Norway that will benefit from me serving at this time, and that makes everything worth while. Always look for ways to forget yourself and serve other people... It is most rewarding. The church is true! I feel so lucky to be a representative of Christ and bring people unto Him. I hope you all have a fabulous week and pray every single day for the missionaries! I love you guys, thanks for all you do for me.