Thursday, December 12, 2013

MTC Week One

This is Tatum's Mom, and I'm afraid it's time to change her blog title from Paris Adventures to Nashville Adventures. She is now serving her mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and has been in the MTC for just over a week. She leaves for Nashville on Monday, September 16th.

The following is her first email home, with photos:

Oh man oh man! Hello Family!!

I can't even tell you how happy I am to be on a computer and emailing the people I love the most. I have so much to tell you, what a wild ride I have been on. Seriously, this is my only P-day in the MTC and I will be in Nashville on Monday....CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???

My awesome companion, Sister Slaymaker
The first three days in the MTC really were the longest days of my life. They felt like every hour was a year and my Spirit was trying to stretch to fit all the gospel information into my heart. But this week has for the most part flown by. I have never sat for so long in MY ENTIRE LIFE!! Holy cow, and in a skirt. Sometimes I felt like I was stuck on a plane. But it's cool because I have felt the Spirit a lot here. Lots of times I feel like its just silently sitting inside of me telling me, "Sister Frampton, it will be okay. Trust me." Preparing my first lesson for my investigator....oh my...I thought I was going to die out of pure nervousness. I had forgotten a lot of my fears until I had to face them head on. I had to go in there and get to know this person and try and explain my knowledge of the gospel. But the joy I felt when I got out of that first that was joy!! I was jumping around with my companion, who is AWESOME by the way, just happy we made it through lesson 1. And it was horrible, but hey, I'm trying to learn, and everybody has to start somewhere. 

Sunday's in the MTC are great because it is completely different. I got to watch Music and the Spoken Word and I loved listening to the Tabernacle Choir...who am I? I mean that is big for me--please tell Grandma Frampton that one. And when I got to go on my first temple walk and leave the gates of the MTC, PURE JOY!!! That was the fastest 40 minutes of my life. The mountains were just beautiful and I felt free. It is amazing how life before the MTC can really disappear until you actually get to witness the real world. 

My first venture out of the MTC
Honestly, sometimes it is really hard here. It is a trial of your faith and what you are doing here becomes really really real. My purpose as a missionary is to invite others unto Christ, so that they can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I mean, I am telling people about their salvation. It is HUGE!! I feel so much love for my investigators even when they are not real. My progressing investigator's name is Andy, who is a single guy who is 26 and waats to make some changes to his life. We really try to make the gospel personal to his life and his needs. But like, this is serious stuff. As I study, I want to make sure I have a testimony of it before I ever preach it to anyone else. Digging into the basic principles of the gospel, causes me to think, "Do I believe this? Can I communicate to someone else this importance?" And I have not been on my knees this much in my life, or said longer prayers, or hungered to know the gospel this much ever. This mission is not for me, it is for the people God needs me to teach. The longer I am here the more I realize that.

On Monday and Tuesday, I had a question in my heart that I had been studying and studying. I had prayed so many times in my life to know if it was true, but I never felt like I got an answer and it bothered me. I forgot how much, until I had to testify of it to an investigator. I hadn't told anyone. But I was fasting that day, and that was what I was praying for. But my teacher was in tune with the Spirit. The lesson happened to be on that topic, and when we were doing personal study she came up to me, and asked if she could study with me. We had a talk about it, and she had me read a scripture. I felt the Spirit so strong, oh man. I lost it and started crying. I felt the Lord fill me with peace and comfort and my body was shaking the rest of the lesson. It is a moment I never want to forget. And Tuesday was probably one of the greatest days of my life. I couldn't stop smiling and laughing! I kept thinking that I looked like my brother Wyatt after he made his first three pointer in a Varsity basketball game. I couldn't get the smile of my face. And then later that night, I got to teach Andy, and testify of what I had felt. 

Me and my companion at lunch.
Teaching is so hard and so rewarding. I love learning about people. It is the best, and yesterday I got to teach a real person who was visiting Utah and her friend sent her in to learn about the Mormons. It was all super random and a teacher walked by and needed someone on the spot and asked us. We didn't have a lesson planned or know anything about her. She was the coolest girl out there. Her name was Chelsea and we just made her aware that her Heavenly Father does know her, and loves her. And we introduced the Book of Mormon and gave it to her to read and pray about. My and my companion (Sister Slaymaker) felt so good after that. It was crazy!!!

But actually, the rest of yesterday was really hard on me. I started to get down on myself for my weaknesses in teaching. There are some strong sisters in our branch who talk so well and smoothly and know soo much! My speech is pretty weak and I am still trying to understand how to explain some of the lessons. I don' know. I just want to so much for my investigators but I realize I can't do it alone. And thats why this place is trying on you. You have to learn to listen to the Spirit and rely on it to be the teacher. Cause man, I am only human, and nothing I say will change anyone's life. Only the Spirit can do that. 

My district is awesome--3 boys and 4 girls. 

Elder Roybals, Elder Jackman and Elder Miskin 

Sister Kaitlyn King, Sister Callie Phillips, Sister Skye Slaymaker
It's weird that nobody knows my first name. It is weird to me that I even have a first name. Sister Slaymaker is from Sandy, wants to be PA like Dad, and got her medical assisting. Super fun, smart and confident. She works really hard and we get along super well. We pretty much are the same person....what the heck? But I needed her, I am so grateful for her because this place is hard enough. There are millions of sisters going to Nashville, and I have not met any elders going there. The boys are going to North Carolina Charolette or Missippi Jackson. All of the girls wanted South mission and love country music and sing it in the I the old ball or what?? Anyways, we have the best district. 

I am loving it here, I love having a purpose. I am just trying to be better and continually grow my testimony. 


Sister Frampton

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