Monday, January 21, 2013

Last Week at the MTC!

Hey family!!

Alright, so GUESS WHAT. I tried out to play the piano right? AND I PLAYED AT THE FIRESIDE LAST NIGHT!!!! Ya.. that's like in front of 3000 people... it's whatever.. Haha but I was surprisingly not that nervous and I think it went pretty well!The freaky thing is they have cameras that get different angles of you throughout the whole performance and they like zoom in and then you're projected on 3 giant screens throughout the gym.  But it was pretty cool - I'm glad I did it! Also, yesterday for Relief Society, Sister Wixom came and talked to us! She was so cute! Shes like the primary general president and she would talk a little and then she would put primary songs throughout it and we all sang together! It was really good. She talked about how even though we are missionaries it's important to laugh too! And she also talked about how the Lord will be with you throughout your mission.  Also, last Sunday or Tuesday I forgot.. but Elder Holland came!!!!! You know how people say like when the prophet walks into the room at conference they just feel the spirit so strong and stuff? Well, I've never felt that ever before and I didn't really think it was possible - but it is! Seriously like we were singing a song and he walked in and everyone stood up and I almost started crying I felt the spirit so strong.  He talked about how it's the greatest time to be alive and to be a missionary, and that we have to convert at least one person on our mission and it has to be us.  He also talked a lot about converting yourself and how important it is.  It was so good! Oh also, he dedicated 3 buildings at the MTC and blessed that no weapon, terrorist, evil, bombs, and listed a ton of other stuff like that will never fall upon or enter the MTC EVER.  That's a big promise and it was so cool!
     Also, you will never guess what happened.  Ya... the fire alarm went off again... that's 3 TIMES.  Except this time it wasn't in our residence, it was in the main building but still... we're seriously pros at these things.  We also got a new MTC president and I've never actually met him but I really like him .  But he's like super funny and has just a really kind personality I guess.  Like he had everyone from all the missions stand up at our departing devotional yesterday and sometimes it would be just 1 boy and 1 girl that were going to the same mission and he was like oh careful don't hook up down there.  Idk it was just so funny cause you would never expect him to say it! And then he also said whatever during his talk, like he had the senior missionaries stand up (by the way, mom and dad, you should totally go on a mission ), and was asking them where they were going and he said it wrong and was like oh well whatever.  Like he had attitude in his voice and it was way funny!
     I got to be a host for the new missionaries on Wednesday and it was really fun! I hosted 2 girls, and one of them was Shauntel Forte from high school!! It was so fun! Also, there's a tie that Jake Peterson started that is passed around the MTC and if you went to Alta and are on a mission you sign it so I was the first sister to sign it!
     Every night in our room, we have "Talent in the Shadows". It's the best thing ever - we started it ourselves.  So, since some things are too embarrassing to do when the lights are on we do them once we have gotten ready for bed.  So what we do is everyone has a talent they share every night - it's usually singing, or dancing, or making weird noises with your mouth, or weird voices, and all the above.  I know, we sound super nerdy - but it's so fun!!! Haha one girl in our room, Sister Burnette, actually has a REALLY good voice, but the other night she sang a whole new world and sang both the boy and girl parts and added all the instrumentals in the background.  We were laughing so hard.  Anyway... now that I've made myself sound like the biggest loser in the world....
     I can't believe I'm leaving tomorrow! I'm so excited but so sad at the same time.  I'm maybe never going to see some people I've met here ever again!! But I'm excited to get started being a missionary and be in Missouri! I can't wait to talk to you all tomorrow!!!!! I love you all and miss you so much and think about you all the time!!!
Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fire Alarms and 4 Square

Tuesday, January 15

     How is everyone? What's new? I'm sorry if I haven't written you a letter back yet, I'm only supposed to on my P day which is today (Tuesday) so I will be working on those today! If anyone happens to be at the Provo Temple at 10 you just might happen to see me... So GUESS WHAT. This morning, the fire alarm went of AGAIN. At 12:15. (We checked the time before we left this time).  But there's a story that goes along with this one too.  So, the girls in my dorm room are really good at going to bed on time.  We always have the lights off at 10:30 every night.  But last night, we just kept talking and talking and laughing and just having great bonding time so the lights didn't go out until 11:30.  So then, the fire alarm goes off not too much longer after at 12:15 and my companion (Sister Patchett) was like "Is that the fire alarm?" and I was like "No it's fine we don't need to get up it's not real." Ya... don't ask me questions when I'm half asleep.  And then after about a minute of the alarm going off I realized that other girls were leaving their rooms and running down the hall and I was like Oh actually I think we should get up.  So all six of us girls were rushing for our coats and shoes and everything and were directed to go to the gym again but this time we knew exactly what to do.  So we grabbed a yoga mat from the closet and went up to the track where it's super warm and fell asleep.  We got to go back like a half hour later but it was just another pipe that burst.  Moral of the story... don't ask me important questions when I'm barely awake.
     So, on Sunday we had a fireside by Michael Hemingsway or something like that.  He is over all the media and computer stuff of the MTC and the church also I think? Anyway, so he starts out his talk by telling who Joseph Smith converted to the church and then who those people converted to the church and who those people converted to the church and so on and the stories of their conversions along the way.  So as he was doing this, a chart of their names showed up on the projector screen so in the end it was like a big family tree looking thing with Joseph Smith in the middle and then lines leading to who converted who.  Then, after that he highlited 4 lines from probably 50-60 lines or converted people on the chart and those 4 lines were people who were converted from basically door to door contacting and all the others were converted from people they knew and giving references.  So the whole point of it was to not only talk about how not really successful door to door is but how helpful our social connections are not only in person but online as well.  Apparently a lot of people convert to the church online.  But it was really cool to see the chart and just the message that went along with it! Also, he said he's working on letting missionaries have facebook on their missions - pretty cool huh!
     So I don't know if I told you but I play 4 square a lot during gym time.  It is seriously so fun!  The line gets so long it almost wraps around the four square but it's fun because we got almost our whole district to play with us.  I'm seriously so grateful for my district. We are all super close and we have so much fun.  We will walk past other districts and either the girls don't even talk to the boys or  they are all super serious.  Anyway, I dominate at 4 square here too just like I did at home. 
     Every day during the week we have "investigators".  People actually come to the MTC and either get paid or volunteer to be an investigator but some people that do it are really non members - but most of them are members.  I like it way better than pretending our teacher is an investigator.  Anyway, so Sister Patchett and I teach really well together and we are good at planning lessons that are simple but still teach doctrine and if we need to go off that subject and talk about something else it still works.  A couple days ago we had this lady come in.  She was probably 80.  We started our lesson and she was super nice and was listening to everything.  She kept telling us about her Swedish Baptist church she would go to a few years ago and was really interested in what we had to say.  So we figured she was a member when we went in but after our lesson was going for a while we really think she was a non member.  Like really.  Just the questions she asked were a lot different then the ones that are already members who are just pretending to not be members and she had no garment lines and she was wearing a cross.  Anyway, we like to think she was a non member and that she really like what we had to say but I guess we will never know!
     Tonight we have a devotional and we heard a guy in line at dinner that was old (so we figured he knew what he was talking about) say that it's going to be one of the members of the 12 tonight! So we're getting there like an hour early so we can have good seats.  I'm trying out to play the piano at a fireside or devotional on Thursday so we'll see how that goes!
       I can't believe I only have 1 week left here! I'm so sad to leave but I'm so excited to go to Missouri!!
I miss you and can't wait to hear from you again soon!!!! HAVE A SUPER GREAT DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

"Roughing it" during the fire alarm


Thursday, January 10, 2013

January 8 (the first email!!)

Taylor's first email home!! As always, so entertaining . . . 
     I have a ton of stuff to say and only a half hour to do it and so I'm just going to give you a lot of the details here so that I don't have to write a different letter to everyone saying the same stuff.  Anyway! I just finished doing laundry!! And, yes I'm typing as fast as I can so sorry about my grammar Mom!! I think a lot of it is my district - it's seriously the best.  
     Actually, this morning at 4:00, the fire alarm went off in the girls dorms.  So we all got out super fast and they told us to go to the gym.  The clock in the gym said 5:00 and since we didn't look at the clock before we left our room, we figured it was 5:00.  We had to wait in there for about and hour and 15 minutes because apparently a pipe burst and caused the alarm to go off.  So we thought it was 6:15 when we got back to our room so we were trying to get ready super fast because we had to be ready by 7.  About 15 minutes passed and my companion came in our room from the bathroom and was like, have you guys looked at the time? And we looked at it was still only 5:30!! We thought it was weird that none of the other girls were getting ready... but thats why!! So anyway, we told the elders a whole different story and that there was a fire and that Sister Patchett hit her head and passed out and we had to carry her down the stairs and there was smoke everywhere and THEY BELIEVED US!!!! But then we were going to the temple and we felt bad about lying so we told them the truth.
       We had an "investigator" (they get paid  to come in and have us teach them) come in and it was our very first one besides pretending to teach our teachers and it went really well!! We didn't go with out lesson plan at all and basically went straight to talking about the Book of Mormon instead of teaching everything before it first but it went so smoothly and really well!!  I'm really glad I'm one of the first groups of 19 year olds to come to the MTC! We get recognized in like every devotional and fireside and it's just kinda cool that when people ask you if you're 19 that they think it's really cool as well.  
      Brother Heaton gave a devotional on fast Sunday about teaching with charity and love and it was so good! If anything, one of the most important things about teaching is really about making them feel comfortable and that you care about them. 

One way you can write Taylor while she is in the MTC and once she arrives in St. Louis is through! (only free while she is in the MTC).

How it works:
1. On the home page click the link labeled "Provo MTC (FREE)'
2. Enter your missionary's mailbox information
3. Type a letter just like an email
4. As long as your letter is submitted by 12:00 pm Noon (MST) Mon - Fri, will deliver it to the MTC the very same day for Free! Letters submitted after 12:00 pm will be delivered the following business day. 

Taylor loves hearing from family and friends and this just makes it easier! Mailbox information at the MTC (she will be in the Provo MTC until Tuesday, January 22!):

Sister Taylor Zundel
Mailbox #90
Missouri, St. Louis Mission 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Saying goodbye at the MTC

Well, she made it! We made the drive down to Provo and sent her off at the MTC. It was such a bitter-sweet experience and we will miss her so much. It's hard to think we are still "18 fast Sundays" away from seeing her again but are so excited for her and proud of what she is doing. Love you Taylor!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 2 - to Provo!

Taylor will enter the MTC tomorrow, January 2! She has been called to serve in the Missouri, St. Louis mission for 18 months. We will keep you posted with letters and pictures throughout her mission! If you would like to send her something in the MTC the address is:

Sister Taylor Chloe Zundel
MTC Box 90
MO-STL 0122
2005 N 900 E
Provo, Ut  84604

When she gets to Missouri the address will be:

Sister Taylor Chloe Zundel
Missouri St. Louis Mission
1850 Craigshire Road Ste 205
St. Louis, Mo  63146

We are so proud of her and can't wait to hear all about the adventures to come!! Love you Taylor!