UNBELIEVABLE the first week I've had. I quote I heard today sums it up perfectly. "The days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days". We learn so much every day, sometimes it's hard for me to remember the last time I slept, if that makes any sense haha.
The very first day I got assigned a companion, who I get to stay with 24/7. Her name is Sister Rougeau, and she is just so sweet. Sometimes when I get so excited about something I look over at her and am reminded that I am on a mission to love people, and I do. I love everyone here, it's weird. Then about 5 companionships get put together into a district, and mine is awesome. The guys are called elders, the girls are called sisters, and there are 6 elders and 4 sisters in my district. I'll try to figure out how to add pictures next week. I learn so much from all of them, they really are a blessing. Then there are about 6 districts in a zone, and we meet together about twice a week here. Sister Rougeau and I were assigned to be sister training leaders, which is like the zone leaders, we're just girls haha. This means that we have even less free time, with the extra meetings and things we need to prepare for the people in our zone. But I am so grateful for this opportunity, it's enabled me to see everyone in my zone and want to spend time getting to know all theses wonderful people I already love.
They start you on teaching very fast here. The first day we got into a room, there was an investigator there, and they teachers sat us down and said, "Teach her!" We were all a little surprised, but then we just started asking her questions and bearing our testimonies of what we know to be true. Every day we spend about 6 hours in a classroom learning what we are going to be teaching, as well as how to teach it. This week is when we're really going to get started with planning our own lessons and teaching people that are coming to the MTC.
One thought I'd really like to share with y'all is something I learned on my second night here. The teacher quoted Elder Maxwell and said, "As you give yourself to the Father, that's when you become the real you." The truth behind that statement is so true. I've only spent one week here, devoting every second of my time to God and doing what He wants me to do, and already I feel more like someone He wants me to be, as well as who I want to be.
What a wonderful week, I can't wait for all the stuff that's going to happen this week that I'll be able to share soon! I love you all, and want everyone to know that I know prayer is real. As great as it is here, there's a lot of hard stuff we are asked to do. When we turn to God in prayer, He gives you strength to make it through, and I've felt that love and strength from Him every single day.
We saw our sweet girl off this morning at 6am. She'll get to SLC around 9 where our good friend Jeri Ashford will pick her up and take her around temple square for awhile, then to lunch and to the MTC. Lots of hugs and tears at the airport. We are so very proud of our girl!! She is a beautiful, kind, valiant and faithful daughter of God. We couldn't be happier with her decision to serve the Lord for the next 18months in Adelaide, Australia!
So this will probably be my one and only post that I actually put on here. Once I am in Australia, my sister Dani will be taking over posting my emails to this blog. But I did want to take this opportunity to say just how excited I am to be going on an 18 month mission to Adelaide, Australia! I have been looking forward to dedicating my time to my Heavenly Father in a way that won't really be possible at any other time in my life.
I'll do my best to take lots of pictures so I can show y'all some of what I will be seeing, as well as share experiences of what I'm doing in Australia :) I would love to hear from everyone, let me know what's going on here in America, stuff like that. You can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org but I'll only be able to respond one day a week, and that time will be limited. You can, however, send me letters that I can respond to whenever.
That address will be:
Sister Abigail Rose Townsend
PO Box 97
Marden SA 5070 AUS