Letter dated Sunday, February 5, 2012 and received February 8, 2012
The MTC Experience
Dear Family -
Thanks for the package with all the stuff in it!! The food and snacks will definitely help since they feed us at random times and I don't feel like I am getting enough protein - just a lot of carbs from all the breads, pastas, etc. The food is decent enough though, although nothing is too remarkable.
The 30 minutes given on P-Day is not near enough time to write everything I want in a letter. One of the things I forgot to write about was the 50th Anniversary of the MTC. It was a very special occasion and I feel very blessed to have been here at the Provo MTC this week of all the times I could have been called to participate in such an event. The Sisters in my District and I had all practiced to be in the choir that night. We even showed up over a 1/2 hour early to the practice that night, but only Sister Barnhill made it in to the choir. Sister Cole, Sister Love, and I were just a few people too late and so we started waiting in the line just to get seats in the gym, but we were too far back in that line as well. They had many visitors to the devotional like past Mission Presidents, teachers, etc, plus all the current Branch Presidents, etc, so most of the current missionaries had to sit in the overflow like I did. The devotional was still pretty amazing. Elder Russell M. Nelson and Jeffrey R. Holland both came and spoke and they also had many members from the Quorum of the Seventies there. I am still just amazed that I could be here at the such a time as this because there are so many missionaries that arrived a day too late or departed a few days too early or are in the England MTC like Holli instead of here. Pretty Awesome Stuff!
I hate to be pessimistic, but I am not enjoying the MTC all that much right now. Don't get me wrong, I love my District (most of the time), I love my companion, I love all the cool devotionals, but honestly, I am BORED. The classed just tend to drag on and be very repetitious. I love the teachers that I have, but I am tired of going over the same things. I understand that some people need more time to learn and retain the information and this material is very important to us as missionaries, but I kinda feel like I am back in 12-year-old Sunday School class. I want to learn more. I want to be challenged. At least I could be happy with some more personal study time and not some many class "review" sessions. There are only five lessons we need to learn and yet we have barely made it through the first two lessons. At this rate, we probably won't even make it through the next three before we leave. I am trying to be understanding and patient, but I am just bored out of my mind with learning doctrine that I have known since I was a little kid.
The other thing is that I have become the "know-it-all" for the class. I am not trying to show off and in fact try to stay quiet for much of the time, but it is too hard not to point out a scripture or doctrine when everyone else is either searching for the answer or arguing over it. It is not even that I know scripture references that well, it is just that most of the answers and doctrines are found in the scripture mastery they teach back in Seminary which no one else seems to remember. I don't really hate being smart or at least having a pretty solid understanding of the gospel, but I am just getting tires of the mocking, "Oh, Sister Peck will know that answer to that" type of comments. It even causes people sometimes to feel intimidated to be paired with me for role playing. I tend to always have other scriptures they could have used better but letting them know what they could change tends to make everyone discouraged or disappointed in themselves which I am trying hard not to do because the MTC does that easily enough just being here.
I guess there is not much I can do to fix my reputation at this point or to make the MTC less boring. I just pray for guidance and am just totally excited to be leaving in less than 10 days! I can't believe how fast the time has gone, but at the same time, I am glad the time going by so fast. If it blink too much it will already be next Sunday and I will be packed to get on a bus and head to the airport at 5 a.m. the next morning. I can barely believe I will be arriving in Texas right around noon the next Monday, February 13th. I am so pumped and excited to let the real missionary work begin!!! It is going to be an awesome experience and being in the field will teach me so much more and increase the spirit (as well as the difficulties) at least 10 times more than here at the MTC. It is going to be great!
Even though I find the MTC boring, I have already grown a lot and fell like such a different person that I was two weeks ago. The spirit here is crazy strong. Everyone is so happy and friendly all the time - well, not all the time because Satan has a strong hand in discouragement and worthlessness here too. But when you walk outside, everyone is smiling, saying "hello" and just so filled with the light of Christ. My companion, Sister Cole, is so much like this. She is so awesome and uplifting almost all of the time and always giving everyone else compliments. I love being around her and am so grateful she is my comp of everyone else that I could've ended up with. I am also glad that we are going to Dallas together and totally plan on seeing here on the plane ride home in 18 months, if not sooner. ha ha
We have so many good Elders in the District, even though sometimes it is hard to deal with them when they act immature and like young boys. They are all going to be great missionaries though because I cal already see how much they have grown and progressed in just the last 10 days. I can easily understand how Connor grew and progressed and so quickly to become a true representative of the Lord and Jesus Christ. It is amazing and truly a miracle how focusing one's life on Christ and feeling the spirit more readily can truly change a person to be better, stronger and more of an example to other people.
I know that the LDS Church is true and that the way was prepared so carefully so that Joseph Smith could restore the gospel just as it was during Christ's ministry and previous dispensations. I know that our Heavenly Father loves each of us individually and wants to help us return to live with Him. That is why He sacrificed His only Son, so that we could each repent and come unto Him. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was willing to suffer for each of us, no matter what we have done and I am excited to be a missionary and share that message. Everyone can repent and Christ will help you do that. Our Savior descended below all things so that each of us can come unto Him if we are willing to reach for His had to pull us from our sins, despair, sickness and weakness. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the only way we can be saved! I urge everyone to repent because it is the only way to fully come unto Christ and it is the only way to find true happiness.
I love you all and hope with constant prayer that everything is going alright. If things aren't going okay, please turn to the Savior for help because He knows how each of us is feeling and can help you no matter the situation. I promise and know that this is true!! Hold on the way and keep pressing forward in Christ.
I LOVE YOU!!
-Sister McKie Peck
(McKie asked her Mom to email the following to Brother Bartholomew who was an Church Institute instructor of hers):
Brother Bartholomew -
I just want to thank you again for the great Institute class last semester on Christian History. There are so many missionaries that don't even know about the apostasy or why it happened. I feel so much more prepared to answer investigator's questions and concerns on the true need for a restoration. The class made me so much more appreciative of Joseph Smith and all he did. I had a cool experience teaching an investigator here in the MTC the other day (not sure if she was an actor, recent convert or true investigator). She was a firm believer in the Bible. By properly telling about the apostasy and the exact same qualities between the Restored Church and the church organization when Christ was on the earth, my companion and I were able to commit her to read the Book of Mormon, ponder it and pray. We even got her to say the prayer at the end of the lesson, which was so sweet and sincere. I know things will probably be much tougher in the field, but I have so much more confidence especially about the need for a restoration since your class. Thank you for what you and the spirit taught me!
Sister McKie Peck