Saturday, March 8, 2008

MTC Instructions

Steps for taking your best friend to the Missionary Training Center:

1. Put her 3 bags, stuffed so full they almost don't fit, into the trunk of your car
2. Make a joke about how she'll be the only sister missionary with a suitcase dedicated strictly to make-up
3. Stop at the stop sign and try to get her to ride with her family
4. Listen to her yell at you that she's not riding with her mom as she believes they will fight the whole way there
5. Drive to Provo with the slowest step-dad in the world following closely behind (as long as you're going 65 mph)
6. Arrive at the MTC
7. Take pictures with the nice old men who take the bags
8. Take pictures by the MTC sign
9. Take pictures by the entrance to the MTC
10. Take a million more pictures
11. Get sick of taking pictures and remember that your best friend, who is also a camera whore, will soon be gone and your life will be photo-op free for the next 1.5 years
11. Begin sobbing quietly
12. Find your way to the big room and watch LDS commercials
13. Continue to sob quietly
14. Sob through the entire opening prayer and song and also the reassurance from the MTC pres and his wife that your missionaries will be taken care of
15. Watch video about people getting their mission calls and then REALLY turn on the waterworks (try not to snort)
16. Wipe your nose on your sleeve during the opening prayer

MTC TIP: In order to discourage crying, the MTC provides 0 tissues. Make use of sleeves and undershirts as necissary. Females: wear black as this will make your running mascara less noticeable.

17. After a closing prayer and advice from another MTC leader to say your goodbyes quickly, like ripping off a bandaid, take turns hugging your sobbing missionary in the isle
18. After you get down the isle take turns hugging your missionary again
19. Begin walking to the exit but then, turn around again and hug your missionary for the last time
20. Drive home bawling and tell yourself that you're so emotional cuz your pregnant and that 18 months is not such a long time
21. Drive through Krispy Kreme for a hot, glazed dougnut (this step is optional but highly recommended)

I've never had someone in my life (besides a boyfriend) go into the MTC. It's an odd mixture of joy, despair and excitement. I am so excited for her to complete her mission but not for the times when I won't have her with me. Especially since she won't be here for the baby. During the setting apart, it seemed that she cried the hardest during her testimony when she talked about how she wasn't going to be here to meet my baby when it's born. I've assured her that he or she will know her as Aunt Danielle and that I'll keep her updated as much as possible while she's gone. But it won't be the same.

During lunch on Friday I got a rice bowl and took it to Murray Park. I sat in my car, watching the kids and parents playing at the playground and remembered the first time I realized how good of a friend Danielle really was. I was about 10 and had just gotten a soccer pal (a net that your soccer ball goes into essentially attached to a rope that allows you to practice soccer moves by yourself). I sat it down on the bridge and somehow it slipped off into the river. Once I realized this I began to cry hysterically. Danielle ran alongside the river until she saw my ball floating close to the shore, jumped in, and saved my soccer pal. She found me a few minutes later, still crying, and handed me my ball. I don't know why it made such an impact on me but I really felt indebted to her for that. I MISS HER SO MUCH!!!

Love, ali

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