Monday, June 28, 2010

Bonjour Ma Cher Famille

Hello Family! First of all, I have to send a belated "Happy Father's Day" to Dad and a belated "Happy Birthday" to Aaron. I usually loose track of the days here in the MTC and I completely forgot that Sunday was Fathers Day until we were listening to "Music and the Spoken Word" on Sunday. It was all about family and fathers and then it hit me......IT was Fathers Day! I immediatedly started to cry. It was the first time that I missed home and family. I felt a little homesick and sad that I had forgotten about the day. But then in Relief Society Sister Bonnie Parkin (our Relief Society speaker is always someone very special every week-the sisters are very lucky!) told us that the greatest honor that we can do for our parents and family is to serve a mission. I remembered why I am here and suddenly didn't feel homesick anymore. I hope that Sunday was a wonderful day for all of you, especially Dad. Dad, thank you so much for all of your love and support over the years.. You have truly helped me understand the love of my Heavenly Father through your example. It was nice to hear from you throughout the week! I am glad to hear that all is well at home. I am still loving every second that I am here at the MTC. There is no where else I would want to be right now. This week was full of hard work and blessings. My french is continuing to improve. I can now contact, bear testimony, pray, and have simple everyday conversations in french (comfortably). There is still so much that I have to learn though.. It is very humbling to learn a new language. So, this week is very special because it is the "New Mission President's Seminar".. It is when over 100 new mission presidents from around the world come and become trained before they go into the mission field. So, with this seminar, ALL of the apostles have been here training and speaking. We haven't been able to see them very much because the building they are in is blocked off from the missionaries and public. BUT they chose 20 districts to take part in the seminar yesterday and MY district was chosen. It was absolutely amazing. When we got there they had us in a very specific seating arrangement for us and gave us a lot of details about what was going to happen. While we were waiting for the meeting to start Elder Russell M. Nelson walked up to my companion and I and said hello. Then over the next hour we saw and met tons of the members of the 70. Some of my friends saw Elder Holland, but I missed it. During the seminar we got to discuss our missionary purpose and practice extending baptismal invitations to the new mission presidents.. It was very uplifting.. I felt so blessed to be invited to attend the seminar. There is a "Special Devotional" tonight and rumor has it the Prophet will speak to us.. Since it is our P-Day, my district and I are going to stand in line really early. Everyone is so excited for this! We will also have another "Special Devotional" this Sunday. What a perfect time for me to be at the MTC.
Well I am all out of time.. I'm sorry I didn't have a whole lot to say this week. I have been so busy, but I love what I am doing here! I know that I am being blessed for my service. I love you all so much! You inspire me to work harder and be better. I am happy that we are an eternal family.

Love, Soeur McClaine

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First letter home from the MTC

Bonjour Ma Cher Famille!

I love everything about being a missionary and being here at the MTC. I honetely can't belive that I have only been here for 4 days. Time in the MTC is completely different from the real world. A day feels like a week and the weeks go by like days. I feel as if I have already been here in the MTC for months! I love it though! Our days are completely busy from the moment we wake up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night. It is amazing!

I am the only sister missionary who is going to the Paris France Mission. My companion is Soeur Strunk. She has been called to serve in the Toulouse France Mission. She is wonderful. I know that Heavenly Father wanted us to be companions. She is from Moscow, Idaho, and she has 2 brothers (one younger and one older). She also left a boyfriend at home so I guess you can say that he definitely understand each other. Haha She is a very fun person to be with. We work hard together and I know that we will do incredible things together. I love Sister Strunk!

My district is amazing!!! There are 9 elders and then the 2 of us sisters. One of the elders is from Whales and another is from Finland. They will be serving in Switzerland. The rest of the elders are from Utah and they will be serving in Paris with me. We all get allong perfectly. We are contantly learning and growing together in both the gospel and french. Sometimes Soeur Strunk and I have to remind ourselves that these boys are still 19 years old. They can be very silly and immature at times, but they are never disrespectful of rude, so it's okay. I love our district!!!!

There is only one french speaking zone in the MTC. In our zone there are six sisters (my roommates). Of the four others (other than my companion and I) 2 sisters are going to be going to the Toulouse Mission, one is going to the Tahiti Mission, and another is going to Canada. Those four sisters have been in the MTC for about 6 weeks alreay, so everyone was very excited to welcome my Soeur Strunk and I, as the only new sisters. (They said that all of the elders were especially excited to welcome us. Haha) There are about 4 or 5 other districts in our zone. I have heard so many wonderful things about our zone and I have alrealy recognized them to be true. Our zone is extremely unified. We eat together every meal and we have all become good friends. Another great thing about my district and zone is that we try to only speak french. It is incredible!!!

I love the french language! Before my mission I prayed so much that I could recieve divine help learning french and I have already felt the spirit helping me in my efforts. I am no where close to being fluent yet, but I believe that I have recieved the gift of tongues. I already think in french and I can communicate easily with those in my district and zone. (Everyone in my district already studied french, so we didn't have to start with all the basics.) I love french, speaking french, bearing testimony in french, praying in french....and everything else.)

As I said before, our time at the MTC is very scheduled and we don't have a lot of time to write emails. We actually only get 30 minutes to both read and write emails, so I was thinking it would probably be better if instead of emailing me that you use On that website you can write a letter to me and they print it out and give it to me that very same day. That way I can hear from you anytime and then I will have more time to write back to you. That is what most missionaries do here.

I hope all is well at home! I love you all of much! I love being here and being a missionary. I know that I am doing the will of the Lord and that I am being blessed for doing so. My testimony of the restored gospel is growing every second that I am here, as well as my love for the work, and the people of France.

Please keep my in your prayers as I am doing something that is far beyond my own power. I need the Lord! I need the Spirit to help me in all I do. I feel so blessed to be a part of this work.

Well, from now on my Preperation day will be Friday so I hope to hear from you before then, I love you all!!!

Soeur McClaine