1.) What advice, if any, would you give to Sisters waiting to enter the MTC?
Be ready to really dedicate yourself to the work and commit your whole heart to it and pray to love the people before you even meet them. Just be ready to start your mission right, work hard, and finish strong. It's the most life-changing thing you'll do in so many aspects of your life.
2.) Is there anything you would recommend to help with learning the language?
Read the Book of Mormon in your language, right when you get your call. Write a list of words you understand just from knowing the context of the scriptures, and continue to read in through your mission. It's a great way to use language study time because you're being spiritually uplifted and studying the language.
3.) Was there any music you loved listening to on your mission?
There was a lot of music I loved, but each mission president is different in the rules for music. For my particular president, he didn't care what kind of music we listened to as long as it didn't have romantic lyrics and didn't distract from the spirit with its beat and had a good message. So for example, MOTAB singing a broadway love song wouldn't be okay, but Taylor Swift singing Silent Night would be okay. So just use your best judgement. That was his policy at least. I loved having just instrumental hymns that I could listen to while I studied. But music really does effect how the work goes, so be sure to bring some. And you're totally allowed to have ipods, you're just not allowed to use them in the MTC and aren't allowed to use headphones. Usually they have speakers provided in the apartments.
4.) Where would you recommend getting clothes? Shoes? Any extra little goodies?
I would not recommend getting clothes at Sister Missionary Mall, if you need a coat make sure to get one that will look good with a black or brown skirt, because I promise you don't want to be dressed all in black in the winter time, you feel really really dark and not so happy. If it's possible to get a colorful coat, do it! With shoes, you can either spend a lot of money on shoes that will last the whole mission that are super ugly, or you can spend the same amount of money on shoes that are cute, but won't last as long. Your choice. Just try not to look like a Jehovah's Witness. Look in the mirror and ask yourself "Do I look like a J-Dub?" If the answer is yes, try to find a different outfit. You will get confused for J-Dubs ALL the time. As for extra goodies, if you want to wear hair accessories I don't think anyone is against that. You really just will want to look cute, because you'll feel more confident and the people sense that. If you're going somewhere cold, make sure to invest in good warm boots. Trust me, it's worth it. And thermal garments are also great.
5.) A lot of Sister's are worried about packing. Any suggestions on what to bring less of, more of, none of etc?
You can bring anything you want to the MTC, but don't be afraid of dumping everything when you leave the MTC. (Depending where you are going) you'll be able to buy shampoo, face wash, and that kind of stuff. SO you can totally drop off that stuff in the MTC and don't have to worry about that weight. And there is a scale in the MTC so you can weigh your bags.
6.) Do you have any fun or touching or even hard times on your mission you would to share?
There are so many, I don't know how to choose what to share! My mission really means everything to me and so far was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'll tell a touching and a fun story.
Touching: My companion, Sister Curtis, and I were both whitewashed into a city (which means we made an Elder city a Sister’s city.) Neither of us knew the area and so we really had to rely on the Lord to help us. There was one specific time that we took a map and chose a few streets and prayed for a week to have Heavenly Father put prepared people in our path. We went there and we found a mother with 2 daughters that we talked to. They had the strongest love for the Book of Mormon and their book was more marked than mine! They instantly could feel the truth, became some of our closest friends, and eventually were baptized.
Fun: Sister Curtis and I had so much fun and saw so many miracles together. We ran to catch a train pretty much every day. On the way to this baptism of the people I talked about in the last paragraph, we had a huge adventure. We were, at that time, working in a trio. That made it possible to split up and be in 2 places at one time when we had a member with us. We worked in Meissen, but the baptism was in Dresden (about 45 minutes away by train). Sister Curtis stayed with a member in Dresden to get the baptism all set up and we went to invite an investigator to the baptism. We found our investigator and invited him and he was being VERY slow in getting ready to go. We were down to 13 minutes until our train left and my companion, our investigator, and I had to sprint to catch the train, or we’d miss the baptism. We BARELY caught it and we were so relieved. We found out that while all this was happening, a baptism dress for one of the people we were baptizing was too see through so we had to improvise her clothes, so my companion that stayed behind had to run to our apartment and search for a white skirt and a white shirt for this person about to be baptized. As they got to our apartment, they couldn’t find the key, but luckily our apartment was on the bottom floor and the window was cracked open. Even though it’s on the bottom floor it’s pretty high off the ground. Luckily my companion had an adrenaline rush and she ran and grabbed onto the window ledge (she’s really short) and had to pull herself up with only her arm strength. She did it and was able to find a skirt for this lady to wear and the 3 Felbers were able to get baptized. It was an amazing experience!
8.) Additional advice, stories, memories, funny thoughts, random remarks??
Enjoy your mission and pray to find out why you were called to your particular mission. Don't just go on a mission because you have a prompting to, but find out why Heavenly Father prompted you to go. Also, laugh when you have problems. It does no one any good if you freak out and stress. So if you lock your keys in your house and have to climb through a window to get them, laugh about it. It's a funny story to tell. Always try to be positive because it makes life so much easier. I just found my journal from before my mission last night and I read it! I had written down when I had promptings to go on a mission and the spiritual experiences that I had time and time again that I needed to go on a mission. Write down those promptings so that when you come home you can read them and see how the Lord has fulfilled His promptings to you. It re-confirms that you were supposed to go on a mission and it's so fun to re-experience the spirit you felt while preparing to go on a mission. Write these experiences down and treasure them! Also in the field, write down a miracle you see every day (I wish I would've done that.) And prepare yourself to love the people more than you could ever imagine possible!
Pictures! This is how fast the mission goes:
It's just that fast. This song says it all. I'm so glad I could serve the Lord. I miss it every day, but I'm so grateful for my testimony and that I can continue to be a missionary. Good luck to all you sisters. You will never EVER regret going.