Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Update: Lauren flew to Ecuador on the 24th!

Leaving MTC

Missionaries used to tell me, "Ah man, the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days." I never understood, nor internalized, what that meant. Now I really know how they feel. Each day is jam-packed with activities and things to do. The phrase "down time" does not exist in MTC vocabulary. It makes us so productive, though!

Since I'm really low on time, here is a quick summary of my time here:

Wednesday: Cleaned our building wearing one of those super cute ghostbuster vaccum packs. Let me tell you, I was rockin' it. After our service project, we walked to class and welcomed every single missionary with a little orange sticker on their tag. That little sticker is a red flag that screams, "I'm NEW!" Aw, the cute little nubes arriving at the MTC for the first time. I remember those days.

Thursday: In-field orientation! Wasssup! We spent from 8:00 to 5:30 doing in-field orientation, which was like EFY on steroids, but way more mature. And all about missionary work.

Friday: Got sweaty playing volleyball with the Elders, and my companions. Since we can't high five each other, whenever someone makes a good kill, we pull this awkward handshake action. It's actually pretty hilarious.

Saturday: Super relaxing. Hahaha, that was a joke. Every day is busy. But AWESOME.

Sunday: Church was amazing, and I got to sing Hilary Week's song "He Hears Me" and I think my song really brought the Spirit. I was sincere in what I was singing and people came to me afterward and told me that they were really touched by it.

I wish I could write more, but I am out of time!
I love you all so much, and I love being a missionary!

For future reference, please do not email me. I never have time to respond. Please send me letters and I will happily write you back :) 

So send all letters to:

Sister Lauren Chenoweth Scott
Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission
Casilla de Correo 16160

Love from the MTC!

Sister Scott

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Studying outside

One of several care packages. Thanks Loving Aunts!

1st Mission Letter



Breathe, Lauren, breathe.
Er, I mean, Sister Scott! No wait, Hermana Scott!
I arrived at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) on Wednesday and walk away from dear family and friends with a smile extending from one ear to the other. This is it. I'm here. I'm really, really here! I walked a few steps and saw my good friend from freshman year, Lauren Bos. "SISTER BOS!" I squealed, as she squealed "NO WAY! SISTER SCOOOOTTTTT!" back to me in a graceful sister missionary-like way. We're refined here, at least we're trying to be. We jumped, then squealed, then hugged and repeated that process about three times. Then, she sent me on my way. I walked into the main MTC office as they ushered all of us missionaries through the stations. They are really organized here at the MTC, sometimes herding the new missionaries like clueless sheep, which is pretty much what they are.
A sister pulled the name tag out of my little packet, and was about to pin it onto my chest (don't worry, I drum rolled for this big moment) and then looked me in the eyes and said, "Welcome to the MTC, Sister Scott" and pinned on my tag. 
Begin excited hyperventilation now.

Sister Bos and I caught up about her stay here as she recounted how much she loves the MTC, andI finally made it to class and met my companions (the two girls that I will spend every hour with for the next two weeks here at the MTC)! Hermana Gigger and Hermana Torres are amazing! I have come to absolutely adore them both! But all of that comes later.
Back to Day One.
I walked into the classroom to meet my companions and my district to find all of the Elders (male missionaries) chatting away in Spanish at warp speed. Oh no, I thought. What have I done? I agreed to be in the advanced Spanish class, but I didn't think that meant talking with NATIVES. They spoke about soccer (I told you they're the real deal) and where they will serve their missions and how they became Mormon. Multiple missionaries will serve in California and Tennessee missions, one goes to Bolivia and I go to Ecuador! We all went to a welcome orientation where we gathered as the new missionaries and sang the song, "Army of Helaman" but the lyrics were changed from "we will be the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth" to "we are now the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth". I looked around me to see hundreds of 18-21 year olds with missionary tags on their chests and the light of Christ in their eyes. Then I looked down at my tag and realized that I was one of them. People see me, and they see a missionary. No more Lauren Scott with the big hair and an addiction to red lipstick (let's be real--those aren't going anywhere). I'm now a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am set apart as a representative of Christ.
The first day seemed to last 500 years until I made it to bed completely exhausted. Thursday, we got to know our district, met our incredible teachers, spent all day in classes and tried to accustom ourselves to missionary life. (Sidenote: If you are not a Mormon and want to know more about my new life as a missionary, check out www.lachesco-notes.blogspot.com where you can read all about it). Friday was also incredibly long, just because we study for hours on end and do missionary training exercises. The days are long, but so full of experience and growth. One of my companions was having a really difficult time adjusting to life with such strict rules and 16 hour days, and I have been so blessed to help her and console her. She broke down one day and cried and I felt so, so, grateful to love her. And I saw her for who she really is. She is amazing, she is talented, she is beautiful and she is a daughter of God. And I sincerely hope that we remain friends after my mission. That's what this mission is all about. It's about learning to love people. And I can't wait to do that for the next 18 months! On Sunday, all of the sister missionaries went  to listen to Music and the Spoken Word, a musical concert put on by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and wow, I just love being a woman. All of us gathered together in one room singing the words, "The errand of angels is given to women" just really touched me. We had church and ate some delicious BYU Creamery ice cream in the cafeteria. I will never be able to express how much I love that BYU Creamery Cookies N' Cream ice cream. Talk about chicken soup for the soul. In the cafeteria, girls are treated right. Well, at the entire MTC, girls are treated right. All of the Elders greet us with a "Hey, Sisters!" or my personal favorite, "Hola, Hermanas" while holding doors open for us. Hmm, I will never get sick of that. After church, we walked around the Provo temple and took pictures as a district and as a zone. It's so funny to look at pictures  of my zone and see all these Latinos...and then hey, who's that one white girl? Wow, she is reeeeally white, like ghostly white.
Yeeaaahhh, whitey pride.
After our nice little temple walk, we attended a fireside given by Ron Tanner, the producer of 17 Miracles and Ephraim's Rescue. He showed us some clips of his new film, Ephraim's Rescue where two star-crossed lover pioneers kiss, and the entire audience of missionaries went wild. Screaming, hooting and howling. Poor things. Leaving their girlfriends at home only four days ago must have created a little wound in their soul, as they preapred to be kiss, hug, and touch free of girls for two years, and then boom. Let's pour some salt in that wound and have them watch people kiss. Pobrecitos.
It was kind of hilarious, though. They loved it.
No more kissing scenes for you, Elders. Up for a little chick flick night with your companion? Chomp on some popcorn to "The Restoration" for the next two years!
Hahaha, missionary life is so funny sometimes! We aren't allowed to high-five or pound Elders-- you know, like roll your hand into a fish and "pound it", not beat up on them--because we are to respect their callings as missionaries. So we can only handshake them. I was playing volleyball with some of the Elders and other Sisters and an Elder made a nice shot, so I went in for a solid high-five. Our hands get an inch away, and we both just sit there and say, "...oh". Then we slide that (almost) high-five into a nice, sturdy handshake. And taking "Hey Sister Scott, wanna take a picture with me?!"
"Yeah!", I exclaim as I run over.
"Oh wait, get your companion."
"Hermana Torres, come here and take a picture!"
"Okay, um...you, uhh... you two just crouch down and we'll stand here behind you"
10 Points for adorably awkward encounters!

One more thing. Trying to comfort Elders is even more hilarious. One of the Elders in our district was upset with his companion and I couldn't pat him on the back. I just pet him with a spoon. At least he seemed to like it.

Well,  my time is up! I will write more next week!
I love you all, and I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true!

With love and hugs,
Hermana Scott