Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The Girls left the MTC this morning at 3:30 AM. They are on different planes. They would arrive at their destinations around 2:30 and 3:30. We talked with Brooke at 5:55 AM and Erin at 7:20 AM. It was good to hear their voices. We won't hear from them on the phone until Christmas. I can't wait already!!! I miss them greatly. It is hard to think of them so far away. (This is not their actual plane).
Dear Dad, Is it possible to email iTunes songs? All my roomies brought beautiful music like: Josh Groban, Prince of Egypt, and sound tracks. I’m so sat that we can’t listen to any music until we get out into the field…I never even imagined how much I’s Miss it. Let’s just say music played a big part in my life. I was in Relief Society and a lady sat right next to my companion and I and her name tag said “Sister Monson”. I wondered the whole time if she was related to the prophet but I figures ‘no’ because an elder is named Monson too and he’s not related. But at the end of the meeting we finally asked her and she said ‘yes’! She’s his niece!!! Whoa! I have to get up at 2:00 AM on Tuesday morning because we leave at 3:30AM. Holy smokes! I’m really going to miss my district because I’ve really grown to love them. I’ll especially miss my 3 sisters going to Boston. We’ve only known them for <2 weeks but, we’ve become the best of friends and it’s like we’ve know each other for 10 years. I’ll especially miss seeing Brooke around…she is my favorite part of my mission so far. But…I’m so excited to fly!! This will be my first time ever! I’m stoked! I’m by far the youngest girl (6 months). The ages are: 22, 20, 20, 19 ½ and then me. The boys are: 21, 20, 19 (younger than me by 2 days), almost 19, almost 19, and 18 ½. I love you dad and please NEVER forget that! Love Erin (Then she drew 6 faces of the Elders all smiling, laughing. The 5 Sisters doing the same thing. Then she drew herself with Zombied Eyes).
Dear Mum, We FINALLY got P-day!! (Weds.) I got to dress like a semi-normal person. And…Dun dun dun… I even did a backflip. My band aid tape came off my belly but, it was too early because I’ve been super sore the last few days. There’s even a big stitch sticking out of my belly button and I can’t pull it out. (Dr. at the MTC said to leave it alone). We all went to the temple and I was extremely nervous to go again. But I actually loved it! The new movie is incredible. So Mom, go see it. It’s really good. Since I can’t watch movies or listen to music or do anything run to relieve stress; I discovered that peeling oranges helps. You get all your frustration out on shredding the peel, but then afterword’s you get to eat something delicious. Let’s just say that I’ve eaten a LOT of oranges in the last week. To your question “Do you get to talk with Brooke a lot”? My answer is yes/no. Yes because we talk for a few minutes each time we see each other. No because it’s not nearly enough; I could easily talk with her for hours and hours and hours. I had no idea all this spiritual overload would be so exhausting. When I walk to class I look like a zombie. There are 12 new missionaries in our zone going to Uganda- English speaking. Wow! (She drew a picture of a sleep walker) We have tons of choices for all the meals. Usually 2-3 entrée’s but sometimes 1. The only choice one night was cod nuggets, so I made a delicious PB&J with a banana and chocolate milk. Oh Boy did that make me feel like a kid again. I LOVE YOU! Love Erin (sorella Echols) PS I now leave at 3:30am. PSS I perfected my no-handed loud whistle! Mom, I got detention…yep, the MTC hasn’t changed Me. Good thing too. I was being a rebel and put my bag in the NO BAG Zone….actually I had no idea there was a rule!
8.20.2013 Dear Mom, Right now I’m awake at 5:30 AM because my companion wanted to do some yoga, and she wanted to go outside of the room, so I had to go with her. I try HARD to love her. Things are extremely hard here. I had a teacher interrogate me on “why I have a really hard time recognizing the spirit” in front of the class. All she could ask was, “well, why can’t you? Why? Why? It’s not hard. Why?” And let me tell you….that REALLY made me feel like a bad missionary. – Because I’m not spiritual enough. I really like the people in my district, we could all be great friends, but wherever we start to have fun, we get in trouble from the 2 sisters going to Atlanta. All the fun missionaries are going to Boston (Nielson, States & Badham). We taught our first fake investigator and I was terrifies. It was frustrating because anytime I’d start to speak, my companion would cut me off and go way off the lesson plan. I’m so scared to teach real investigators. I think I have an ingrown toenail because I can’t even touch my toe to see what makes it hurt. It’s also really painful when I walk. But I don’t know how to make it better because I’ve never had something like this before. Best meal so far: Biscuits and Gravy! With Pineapple! I have a really hard time with how hard everything is. No fun, 900% spiritual, 14 ½ hrs. Studying/class, 4-6 hrs. sleep. I love and miss you Mom. Love Erin P.S. Thanks for the mail, I really appreciate it. I loved the Cinnamon rolls! P.S. Some rules I struggle with are: 900% spirituality, introducing myself as “Sister Echols” instead of “Erin”, and not calling people you guys”. I don’t know why that’s a rule, but it’s hard. How do you know ‘I can do great things’? I can barely keep up with everything that’s going on…. My flight itinerary: Delta Air Lines Flight 1524 Leave SLC @ 8:30 AM August 27, 2013 Arrive Atlanta @ 2:16 PM August 27, 2013 You might get my phone call @ 4:30 AM, Or somewhere from 4:30-8:00 AM.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Dear Mom, Things are hard here, but I'm learning a ton. I absolutely LOVE my district. There's six elders and six sisters. Three of those sisters are going to Boston, but everyone else is going to Atlanta. Week 1 was rough. We studied 16 hours a day and tried to sleep for the other 8. We have to teach these "fake" investigators where you have to go to a specific room with a stranger and teach them the gospel. It's really hard for me because I get super shy. But when I do have something to say, it's hard to get a word in with my companion. The other three going to Boston are just like my best friends from High school, with great personalities and senses of humor, so we really hit things off and became extremely good friends immediately. Most of the elders in our district are just like my friends too, like Josh Zushi (you know, just fun to be around). It's really hard introducing my self as Sister Echols, I always want to say Erin. And we can't say 'guys' like 'guys, guess what?' or 'oh hey, you guys'. It's really hard getting used to it. I never realized how much I say it until we get in trouble. Speaking of trouble, I got a detention slip with two of the sisters going to Boston. We all set down our bags where we weren't supposed to and security took them. We had to hunt them down, then we got a detention slip where our Branch president had to talk to us and say NO. I'm so glad I get to see Brooke a few times a day, one day, we dresses EXACTLY the same. Same blazer, shirt, colored scarf, belt, skirt, shoes, and hair. The only differences were that I had a different colored belt, I was wearing a ring, and our scarves were styles (same color though). It seems that everyone I meet is going to either Spain, Argentina, Brazil, or somewhere in Africa. (I met a twin boy who is going to Alabama, and his twin brother is going to Peru... very sad.) We have 6 new missionaries joining our district all going to Uganda and they're from Australia. They all speak really cool languages and have different dialects with their language. I get super exausted because I haven't been able to sleep good at night and we have very loooooong tiring days. If I was going foreign, I would be here for a couple of weeks, and all the lessons would be spread out longer. But, we're only here for 12 days, So that makes even harder. So, I can't go somewhere cool and classes are longer, harder, and more compacted. This going stateside is ten times a trial than I though it would be. It's not like I don't have enough on my plate. The worst things I've eaten are: chicken fried steak, fish, skim milk, French fries, vegetables, Asian food, scrambled eggs, and minestrone soup. The most delicious things I've eaten are: biscuits and gravy, tostadas, Spanish rice, raspberry lemonade, parfaits, hashbrowns, hamburgers, pickles, and PINEAPPLE. I tried to upload pictures, but the computers are acting lame and nobody's cameras work with them. So I promise I will try to send them sometime soon. Love, Erin Will you send me people's emails? Nobody emailed me, so I don't have their addresses yet to email them. My companion is always late. I don't think we've made it to anything on time so far. We even had to miss dinner last night because she wasn't ready, so I starved all night long. It is really hard to tolerate her, but I do the best I can. I guess Brooke doesn't really like her companion either. Look at us, we have NO luck. I leave the MTC on Tuesday at 4:30am. My flight is at 8ish. Brooke leaves at 3:30 and she flies to Atlanta before going up to Knoxville. She'll arrive at Knoxville an hour after I get to Atlanta. So, she had 2 extra hours of flight time. I will really miss her and I miss you a TON. I love you mom. P.S. Thank you so so so so so so much for all the dearelder.com mail and for the cinnamon rolls. My district loved them and they said they all "love you and thank you".
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Mommy! I got the cinnamon rolls you gave me.... yummy! But I couldn't eat all of them, so I shared them with the missionaries in my district. I also got the letters you sent me. One of them you sent twice, but I think that's because you forgot to change the mission from Georgia to Tennessee. :) I don't mind. We had Biscuits and gravy for breakfast... So good! I got my nametags today! They were printed wrong, so I've been without a permanent nametag for the last week. I went to the temple today and saw the new film. It was amazing! Also, I taught an investigator named Kaitlyn and she agreed to come to church with me on sunday and i got her to pray while I was there. Huge improvement! The MTC is super busy, and it always smells like soap, onions, and hand sanitizer. I'll write to you next week!
Dear Mom, This is Really hard. Everyone here is so spiritual and they always know exactly what to say, so I definitely don’t fit in. My 1st companion is almost 23. She doesn’t like fruit or sports so I know we’ll get along great. :-( I have 5 pretty cool roommates. I’m roomies with Sister, Nielson, States, Badham, and Brough (sounds like ruff). Three of them are my favorites because they’re way fun to be around, but they’re all going to Boston.They’re super funny This is waaaay different than I expected. It’s about 1000x harder. You are constantly in class and don’t have time to breath. I feel like I’m not spiritual enough because when we are talking about Lehi having to go into the wilderness to save his family’s lives, I start daydreaming about going on a safari on the great plains of Africa… Yep… I’m ADD. I HAVE A TUTOR!! He’s my other companion ( I know, he’s a guy (an old old old one). But he is my companion every morning….just me and him, alone). He’s helping me with my reading and vocab words. You know how bad I am at both. But I think it’ll really help me. We meet in the mornings, alone in a classroom. It’s amazing! I didn’t even ask for help, he found me and interviewed me. Then he asked if I wanted extra help even though I passed the interview (it’s because I’m a really good guesser, so I guessed on the quiz). His name is Elder Boice. They stuff you so full of doctrine that ‘gospel’ literally gushes out of your ears. It’s definitely not easy for me because it’s 800% spirituality all the time and we don’t have any time for anything fun. ..seriously. We have done one thing fun so far, and that was ‘2 truths & a lie” with our district because our teacher forgot to come to class. There’s 40 missionaries going to Atlanta. 950 new missionaries showed up on weds. Wow! Our first day at the MTC, the president had Brooke and I stand up in front of everyone (all 950) because he was thrilled that TWINS came together. I love seeing her throughout the day. I’m the youngest sister going to Atlanta by over 6 months so a couple people call me the Baby of the group. Love Erin (Oh wait…Erin doesn’t exist. I’m now SISTER ECHOLS) P.S. The food here isn’t as good as everyone says. I was eating a sausage and all of a sudden a neon blue ball fell out… it oozed its way through the mystery meat chunks. The food is interesting. I ate chicken fried steak and it tasted like gasoline. But… Dun Dun Dun! There’s unlimited fresh cut pineapple !!! I haven’t missed a meal yet without getting an over flowing bowl of deliciousness. P.S. P.S. I’ve seen Seth Warnick, Jessica Kirkby, and 2 other friends here. Dad I miss your goofy singing/dancing.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Today was SOOOOOO hard! I sent off two of my best friends. There were tears shed and a few sobs. I can't believe that today has come and gone and I have thought all day....."they are gone". I am so lonely even though I still have family around me. When they left for collage, It wasn't so emotional of a day as I knew that I could talk to them every day and see them in 4 hours if I chose to. But not now. I will only "talk" to them in letters, emails and twice a year on the phone. NOW THAT IS HARD. They have left the family for 18 months and left each other. The longest they have been apart is one week.