I’m alive and well! It turns out the Missionary Training Center is kind of like a very strict, formal summer camp with ties. I feel like a dinosaur here– a few hours after we arrived all the new missionaries on the main campus gathered for a big orientation talk with the MTC president, his wife, and other important people. The president asked who all had just recently graduated and I put my hand up, but I put it back down when he specified “from high school.” According to the hands, probably most of the Elders and Sisters in here are recent high school graduates. I also have had some trouble explaining to people that I didn’t go to BYU. They’re not really into that concept. When I said that no, I didn’t go to BYU but rather I went to school out of state, my branch president’s wife nodded understandingly and said, “Oh, BYU-I!” Nope. About 24 hours in I stopped introducing myself as “Ingr- I mean Sister Asplund” and I’m starting to feel weirdly secretive about my first name.
I thought I might hate the MTC but I super don’t, actually! Having a schedule is awesome even though it’s challenging. The last two nights we’ve had lights out at 10:30 and I have felt totally awake with a lot to think about before I can get sleepy. Surprisingly, mornings are easier. My companion says “Sister Asplund, it’s 6:10, time to shower!” and I roll out of bed and on to my knees, pray, and get ready for the day. My favorite thing about being in here is that we’re constantly praying so I feel spiritually connected all the time. The hardest thing about the MTC is that it’s not the field and I just want to get out there and start working and meeting the people of my mission.
I love and miss you all! It’s really hard not to have a constant stream of updates from almost everyone I care about. Cherish your phones and social media, everyone.