So many goodbyes....

 A letter  from Heather! :D                                                                                                                                                                                                  September 27, 2015                          

Can you believe it’s almost October?? This month has flown by so fast. Has it felt that way for you? I thought I’d write a letter today and then I can hopefully send more individual emails and pictures tomorrow, on my last P.Day before entering the field. I can’t believe how fast the time here has gone by –even after adding an extra week on my time! It really has flown by. But at the same time I feel like it’s been forever since I was living “real life”. Sometimes kids are here at the MTC and I realize how long it’s been since I saw kids! Pretty weird. I just see a bunch of young and mostly immature adults all day long. ;) It’s pretty weird when you feel weird seeing kids! Crazy. And the other day one of the teachers here had his arm around a teacher. I never thought I’d see a guy’s arm around a girl and feel so weirded out! I just don’t see that here in the MTC. Yeah, the MTC is weird ;) But I really have loved it.
It’s amazing all that has happened since I arrived just 2 ½ weeks ago. I feel like I’ve learned and grown and changed tons. But all for the betterJ I can definitely feel the spirit trying to work in me. It’s amazing all I’ve learned and felt in such a short time. I’ve definitely felt a range of emotions here in the MTC.
So a bit about this last week. I felt more like I was leaving last week than I actually do now. None of this district is leaving, so none of our schedule plans for departure. But last week we had all of our departure devotionals and in- field  orientation. It felt so weird when all of my  wonderful sisters left and I stayed behind and just joined another district. Most of them (including Sister Lyu, my companion) left Tuesday early morning. That was a rough day. I stayed up until midnight, just wanting to spend time with them before they all left. I didn’t want to say goodbye L Who knows when we’ll meet again? So we stayed up pretty late. Sister Teekiu and Faannunu ( the Tongans going to Korea) came downstairs and ended up sleeping in mine and Siste Lyu’s room. I’m not sure that’s allowed. Especially because their roommates didn’t know where they were. But don’t worry, they’ve repented. J It was nice spending time all together though. I’ve missed them in our district so much. So Sister Lyu left at 2:30 a.m., so I woke up at 2 to say good bye . Then I woke up again to say goodbye to the other sisters at 3:30. Sister Kwansing (from Fiji) and I were the only ones left (so companions that day) . We got to wake up for service at 6:00 a.m. So we were so dead all day Tuesday. It was pretty awful. I can’t describe how tired we were. I thought in knew what tired was until that day. I thought I’d been exhausted every day of the MTC, until I had that day. Oh my goodness! We were so tired we could hardly eat. I felt so bad for our poor teachers. They definitely noticed we were having a hard time.
But we also had the most spiritual lessons in our classes that day. Extra tired= extra emotional. So we were both extra emotional that day. But I think that brought us even closer together and made us experience everything much more powerfully.
Brother Debry had us practice teaching each other. But instead of making up an investigator, he had us play role of someone we really care about and love and want to share a message with. So we did that and it was so powerful. I was so emotional as we did this. She and I both were. But we really changed our outlook on how we teach and feel about our investigators. It helped me to understand the love I should have for them and the thought I should put into every lesson. It also made me think a lot about the testimony I want to share with those family and friends that I love so much! It was definitely a very meaningful and powerful experience.
Wednesday evening I moved all my stuff to my new room, slept in the room with Sister Kwansing, woke up at 3 to help her with her luggage and say goodbye, then ended up in my new room with new companions. It was so sad saying goodbye to her. We’re so close. I hugged her so tight before finally letting her get on the bus.I was so close to tears. Oh I miss her!
She’s going to Iowa temporarily while she waits for her visa to go to Australia. That’s been pretty hard for her to accept. She was not happy about Iowa. But she was humbled a lot these days before she left. Our last day together she was pretty discouraged. There’s so much we’ve learned here and it’s so hard to let it all sink in and apply it to being a good missionary. She just didn’t know if she could be a good missionary or if she’d teach the right things. But I told her what I’d heard a teacher say. The Lord called YOU for a reason. He didn’t call you to be a robot or to teach by other rules. He called you to bear your own testimony, to share your own experiences. He called you as an individual for a reason, so you as an individual could teach specific individuals. He knows exactly what you need. The Lord called each of us individually to be His missionaries. J Sister Kwansing loved that so much that she wrote it down. Really, her testimony is so strong and so powerful when she just shares it from her heart. That’s why the Lord called her. She’s wonderful. She’s going to do well. I’m so excited for her. So there’s that spiel. J
So now I’m in a new district and in a trio. It’s so different! I went from a district of all sisters to 6 elders and just us three sisters. A bunch of freshly graduated 18 and 19 year old boys. It’s interesting at times. But they’re good people and they want to be good missionaries. Definitely different from before though. It’s been an interesting transition. I love learning French though. It feels wonderful to be with people who actually speak it with me. They understand my French! It’s pretty cool. J I’ve learned lots in these few days. I’ve realized how much French I know but also how much I don’t know. But I’m really feeling pretty fine about leaving. I’m excited to start speaking French in the field. 

Some funny random things from this week:
My two new companions are from Scotland and Italy! So that’s fun. Sister Clancy has the best Scottish accent. She loves to talk and flirt with the Elders. They’re always referring her to page 33 in the handbook (talking about relationships). Sister Canino is so sweet and we get along really well. They’re both great.
Most of the Elders are from Utah, but one is from England. He’s from a place called…..Giggleswick! Haha , yes that’s what it’s called. His name is Elder Bentley. He and Sister Clancy are always arguing over their countries. I’ve started thinking in a Scottish accent a lot of the time. Especially after they’ve been talking lots. It’s so weird.
My second day in this district they had me tell about myself. Apparently they all told their first kiss stories, so we all did that again with me. It’s so weird telling my first kiss story to a bunch of 18 year old boys. J Oh goodness…I made the mistake of telling them Carter's name. They're always bring him up now. Silly Elders…
So the other day during study time they started asking me random questions…are you going to the U? Do you like hiking? Do you and Carter like hiking together? Does Carter have lederhosen? So random…and then suddenly they popped a picture of Carter up on the screen! Definitely not what I expected. Haha, apparently they found his profile. So that was interesting.
Haha, so it’s interesting having so many Elders. They’re definitely off-focus a lot. So it’s hard to cram all the French into my brain that I feel I need to. But it’been good.
I know I’m supposed to be here right now. For whatever reason I was meant to come when I did. They held me a week so I could enter with the other Montreal missionaries. It would have made more sense for me to enter the MTC a week later. So many people in this district and branch took French before the mission...some took it for 5 years, took the test, and still got sent for 6 weeks. The Lord knew what I needed. I know I was meant to be in that district here in the MTC. I know the Lord knows me and that he had a hand in all of this. I know it was right for me to leave early, even if it was hard to do.
I’m so happy here. I’m so excited to go to Montreal and to start teaching the gospel. This mission has already changed me and it will continue to. I’m grateful for that. I’m growing up so much.
I hope all is well back home. I hope you’re all happy. I hope school and work is good. Don’t forget to love each other. Remember! I love and pray for you all. Don’t forget me!
Love you lots,

Sister Heather Shelley

Our first P.Day!. Sister Lyu and me in the very beginning....oh how I miss her:(

Sister Teekiu, me, Sister Lyu and Sister Faanuna, These Tongans are the most amazing people ever. So so strong and amazing examples! LOVE THEM so much!

My sisters:)

Sister Yang And Sister Huszti (on either end)These two girls were in our room with us. They're from Taiwan and Hungary, Two of the sweetest, most WONDERFUL sister's I've ever met. They're both serving in Vancouver, Canada.

In the middle- Sister Weygandt and Sister Yeung (our original sister training leaders ) Chinese and Japanes I think...I can't quite remember 

My wonderful district!!! Sisters from Vietnam, Thailand, Fiji, Tonga and me from America. 

In front of the world map at the MTC pointing to where we are from...

,,,AND where we will be serving.

Last day of class with all of us...and our teacher, Brother Debry. Awkwardness of being a sister standing by a guy:)

                                  Us with our teacher,Sister Reid! She was amazing!

My third MTC companionship: me, Sister Canino ( from Italy) and Sister Clancy (from Scotland )

                                       My last MTC zone..LOTS of Elders and only 5 sisters.



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