12:23 PM

Don't I look like such a sister missionary? Probably because, OH WAIT, I was one. Two years ago I went into the MTC. That realization hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday and it was weird. The whole mission thing seems like such a dream - like it never happened. There are, of course, tangible evidences for having served a mission. I speak Japanese now. I'm super mature now (obvi). I'm nowhere close to graduating from college even though I started 4 years ago. My pictures on Facebook suddenly switch from short-hair Lauren to long-hair Lauren (NEW ALTERNATIVE TO EXTENSIONS: just disappear to Japan for a year and a half) (Also, I miss my short hair a lil bit but that's neither here nor there). Things like this.

September 5, 2012 feels like a lifetime ago. I'm so different from the person I was then - for better and for worse. I look at these pictures from the beginning of my mission and I'm just like who IS that? And how can I look more like her because she's skinnier than I am! But seriously. It's crazy how much things change over the space of a mission - besides your weight. Anyway, I remember that first day pretty clearly, but it was entertaining to go back and read about it. Here are some first impressions of the MTC according to my beloved journal Theodore (yes, I name my journals. Haters gon hate).

Well I'm in the MTC now. Here's what's up:
  • Elders are really young.
  • I don't speak Japanese. At all.
  • Gym orientation videos are awesome.
  • Cannon center food...
  • I forgot a towel
  • We sang Called to Serve today. Let the tally begin.
  • I got lost once.
  • And we forgot our scriptures to this one thing.
  • Don't compare yourself to anyone, Lauren, STOP IT.
  • Be grateful for diversity.
  • There aren't enough hangers.
  • We did an activity with actor-investigators. I mock everyone silently for their naiveté but I don't know what I'm doing either. (obviously I'm supes humble)
  • I keep wanting to speak French.
  • I had a 19-year-old call me out when I said "yessir." He said, "actually, you need to call me Elder." PLEASE.
  • This is going to be hard.
  • I met really cool people today including my companion, Sister Clingo (Julie from Springville whom I had met before), my roommates Sister Peterson and Sister Silva, the one chick who showed me around, and Sister Buhler who is also going to Fukuoka.
  • I'm exhausted.
  • I hope I can wake up tomorrow.
September 6, 2012
I feel like I've been awake for three days.

...Very tired.

...Very very tired.

Hahaha. I probably said the word "tired" like sixteen more times in that second entry. I'm glad that future Lauren couldn't tell MTC Lauren that the fatigue would never go away because I might have gone home right then. 

It's really funny to see missionaries now go through the same things. It all comes back full circle, or something. Yes, I am working at the MTC. Yes, another day I can write about how that's going it's great. Along with the fatigue, I remember the Japanese - which is probably the number one topic of conversation with my missionaries now. I remember our second day having a teacher try and get us to sing from the hymn book - which is all written in Japanese stuff likeあいうえお. I'm looking at this like, "really, you want me to sing right now?" And then they just Japanese at me and I'm like "Dood I English." So then they say, "look it up in the dictionary if you don't understand." And I'm like, "HOW THIS IS CHICKEN SCRATCH NOT A LANGUAGE." "Just look it up! You know!" "No... I don't know." So then they'd kinda try and show me the Japanese alphabet system thing and I'm still just like "This means nothing to me. It's just squiggles. ABC, that's an alphabet." 

I also remember just feeling different. The MTC was a little spiritual bubble. I learned a lot. I loved being spiritually nourished every day. I loved feeling like I was becoming a better person. 

More than anything, though, the most tangible evidence - and the thing I'm most grateful for - of this whole experience is the relationships I developed.

I met a lot of people over that year and a half. But there will always be something special about this first group that I knew in the MTC. Two years ago I met these great people. Two years later and my life wouldn't be the same without them. ❤ 

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  1. Woah bro. :D That is so crazy!! I can never believe it... how fast time goes... you look awesome. :) And I really love the excerpt from your journal.

    1. Time really does fly! I, like, can't even understand how it happens. And food lookatchu being home for over a year!


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