Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MTC pictures

I'm leaving on a jet plane!!

Hola! I am like shaking because I am so nervous that my time will run out again! I am so sorry about last week. I will press send even if my email isn't finished!

How is everyone!? I LOVED the dearelders telling me all about Christmas day. You all write so well and it made me feel like I was there taking part in it! I wish so badly I could play the Beatles Rock Band with the fam and sing Karaoke with Andrew. Ha ha. I remember Steph and Chris Merkley singing "Summer Nights" a few Christmas Breaks ago. I think it was after Chad's fight at the Mayan. Christmas break is so fun because we are all together. I was thinking about you all, but still was happy and enjoyed Christmas here SO MUCH! I'll tell you about it further down.

First, MY DISTRICT GOT OUR FLIGHT ITINERARIES! That really is what made Christmas week exciting. Don't get me wrong, I loved the packages. I feel spoiled rotten, and felt so bad... my companion didn't get anything for Christmas! Mom, I was crying with her Christmas Eve day when the last package slips came and her's wasn't there. She's like, "I know I had gifts under the tree. Maybe my mom just didn't want to pay the expensive postage to get it here on time." It was really sad, but I shared mine. She woke up to some gifts Christmas morning, thanks to you guys! But yes, we got our flight plans! It was the best Christmas present. I love the MTC because I feel like I wouldn't be prepared with out it. Class, teaching evaluations, and bearing my testimony has helped me feel ready for the people in New York. I still feel a bit unprepared because what an incredible message this is that us missionaries are carrying! But I know when I let the spirit guide the lessons, my words just flow. It's been an amazing lesson to learn. I hope the spirit can always teach because it's a much better teacher than I am!

Dad, since you like tracking flights, here is the info: We leave the MTC at 4 am to head to the Salt lake airport. My comp is calling her family from there, which I may do too, but it will be like 5 am your time! So early. Can you believe it Mom, I'm now waking up at times I had just barely gone to sleep! Andrew, that was not good preparation. ha ha! The bedtime thing is great now. The first week I had a hardtime falling asleep when I got into bed because it seemed so early (10:30 pm)! Now I fall right asleep because waking up early is catching up to me. Ash and Matt, I can't believe you've done this all year with early morning seminary! Way to go! It'll prepare you for your missions. Yes Ash, MissionS. :) So we will get to the Salt Lake Airport where I'll call you first. Don't worry if you don't pick up because we have a stop in Chicago where I'll call too. We are flying on American Airlines Flight 374. It leaves from SLC at 7:10 a.m. and flies to Chicago. We arrive there at 11:10 AM. I think that's 8:10 Vegas time. That is when I'll be calling! We have a THREE HOUR LAYOVER THERE! YES! More time to talk to all of you. Mom, can you dearelder me all my sibling's cell phone numbers? We can call family and if they don't answer, I atleast want to leave voice mails. I was also wondering if you could invite Andrew over for part of it. We can set it up when I call. I'll have a few hours. I think he goes to work around 10. It'd be fun to say "hi!" We switch planes there in Chicago to flight 3874 (still American Airlines) Pa. We leave Chicago at 3:10 and fly to Syracuse, NY!!!!! It is all uphill from there! :) We will get there at 5:50 where (I was told from my friend who served in this mission) the Mission President, his wife, and the A.P.s will meet us 6 missionaries. I am so excited to meet President Bulloch and Sister Bulloch! I have absolutely loved my branch president here in the MTC though, President Calder. He and his wife know and love Craig and Jan. Their daughter with the last name Gilbert has kids the Eyrings ages and they are all friends! It's a fun connection. I remember babysitting the Eyrings and the Gilbert kids always came over... my branch president's grandkids! Cool!

Christmas week was great here! I'll shortly summarize because my time is running out and I have to send it BEFORE my time expires. Ha ha. Tuesday the 22nd Elder Neil L. Anderson came. He spoke on sacrifice which was great for us to hear. He said, "The things that have value have to be paid for in advance." And then he told us we're not giving something up, we're putting something in the back and it will return to us one hundred fold. He also said, "That will be clear to you in a way that's not clear to you now." It was really inspiring and helped us all endure Christmas positively.

Christmas Eve we all thought an apostle was coming. At dinner with my district I was like, "Predictions on who is coming tonight!" Everyone was naming apostles. It was way funny to show up and see that it was just the MTC presidency. I shouldn't say "just", they made it fun with participation from the missionaries.

Elder Perry came Christmas Day and said, "You'll realize as you get older all your Christmases become a blur, but it's the special ones you will remember." I made sure to journal about Christmas here because it really was unique but I was so happy! It was a good day to serve so many other missionaries and I shared my gift with foreign sisters. They were so happy! I can't wait to write you a letter and tell you more about it.

Well, my time is almost up. I have more to tell you about what I did Christmas eve. Thanks for the pajamas! I put them on and pictured you all in yours! I love you all so much! Happy new year from the MTC and happy birthday grandpa gary!!! Thanks for everything! Tell g and g I got their package and LOVE the necklaces. Read D&C 31:3. It's how I was when I got my flight plan! Love you mom! Talk to you in a week! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First correspondence!

Here's the difference between an Elder and a Sister.... The Elder's family waits in agony for a whole week until p-day, when they finally get their first email. A sister (or maybe just Tia) finds a way to let us know she is okay.

Stephanie's husband Mike teaches at the MTC. Tia wrote a note and left it in Mike's classroom to take home and read to all of us. We were so happy and relieved that she is doing well. Maybe Mom will actually get some sleep tonight :) Here it is:



This is going to be short because we have basically no free time the first couple of days. Will you call Mom and tell her I LOVE the MTC! Also, I'm writing bits and pieces on a letter I started. I'll hopefully send it home tomorrow. She should get it Saturday or Monday. My P-day is Tuesday. I'll email then. My companion is Sister Despain. She's so cute. We are very alike. We have fun and laugh lots. Tell Mom to tell Kristen Shelley my classroom is 8M-231 and I live in 17M-341. This is amazing. The spirit is so strong. I have some funny stories in my letter and in my upcoming email I'll share. Sister Despain and I room with 2 others going to Atlanta, GA. We're the only 2 sisters going to Utica. 4 Elders are going to Utica too (in our district). I am going to find MIke today. I love you! Tell the fam I love them!

-Sister Zwick :)

Letter from the MTC Presidency

Dear family of Christina Zwick,

We are pleased to inform you that your missionary has been safely checked in at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. We thank you for supporting your missionary and know that your family will be blessed as a result.

Your missionary's mailing address while at the MTC is:
Christina Zwick
MTC Mailbox # 256
NY-UTI 0105
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Please note the following items:

1. Your missionary's service began today. Please do not arrange or request visits with your missionary, including meetings at the temple or in proximity to the MTC.

2. All missionary mail must come through the US Mail or commercial delivery services. Hand delivered items will NOT be accepted. Do not send pizzas, fast foods, ice-cream, or any items that will spoil if they are not refrigerated within 24 hours. Missionaries are not called out of class to receive packages, nor do they have access to a refrigerator.

3. Communicate with your missionary weekly through letters sent to the above address or through the email account that the missionary will set up within the first two weeks. This account is to be used by immediate family only. Telephone calls for missionaries cannot be accepted. Your missionary will correspond with you on his/her first preparation day.

4. Families and friends should not plan to visit missionaries departing to their field of labor at the airport or MTC.

Should you need to communicate with the MTC call 801-422-2602. Do not reply to this email.


Provo MTC Presidency

Mission Day 1: She's in the MTC!

Yesterday was a very bitter sweet day for everyone as Tia entered the MTC. She was so excited, talking a mile a minute and shaking everyone's hands! It was very hard to say goodbye, but Tia's attitude made it so much better since she was just so excited to be there. We miss her already, but we know she is where she is supposed to be and where the Lord needs her. So, one day down; let the countdown begin...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Here it comes: December 16th!

Yesterday was my farewell here in my home ward, the Legacy ward. I wrote a separate talk for this ward, and I think it went okay. We had lunch here at my house afterwards. It's all decorated for Christmas. I just love it. I will miss this house, especially at Christmastime. It was great to have so much support from this ward and kind of cool to hear people say, "We'll see you in 18 months!"

I get set apart tonight. I feel ready, but I'm sure I'm not. Ha ha. I really am excited to see what the next 18 months holds though. I set up my lds mail account and had to call the Utica Mission office for a password. I talked to an elderly woman who is serving there as the office secretary and she said, "We're getting ready for you to come!" I cannot wait to meet all the missionaries in my mission!!! I am deactivating my facebook, and can only email family, but would love to write letters to the rest of you. My address is on the side of this blog.

Well, I have to get packing and finish all my little christmas present projects so I better go! Next you'll hear from me will be when I'm a missionary... if my sister keeps up with the blog! Ha ha. Jk Em. I know you will.

Enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In love with Utica.

Since I've had 3 months to think about Utica New York, it really is ALWAYS on my mind. Whenever I have spare time I am on the internet reading about what there is to do there and searching images. I'll share some interesting facts about the area I will be moving to for the coming 18 months...

-The city itself is about 16.6 square miles. Not too big. The population recorded in year 2000 said 60,651 people resided there.

-Main street is especially adorable at Christmastime. Don't you think?

-There is a ginormous children's museum.

-And public library where I might be emailing if I ever cover this area.

-The homes are so cute.

-Utica is famous for it's plethora of Italian-American restaurants. One of the top three in the city goes by "Babe's". Cute huh? This picture of the restaurant is even cuter than the name...

I'm eating here at least once. The real name is: Babe's Macaroni Grill.

-Utica has a zoo. It's been around since 1920. I thought the add was kind of scary. It says, "Utica Zoo wants you" But luckily it rhymes. I don't like when things try to rhyme and don't quite work.

-In the Spring there is a tulip festival. So I guess I won't miss Thanksgiving Point Gardens after all.

-During the Winter the Zoo holds a "Snowfari" event. It's supposedly the biggest winter event in Utica. Out on the slopes the various sledders and skiers make their way down the hill. Some participate in the "cardboard sled race." They create their sled, using cardboard, and bring it to race on. It happens to be one of the more popular events of the day. There are other events such as big air competition, snowball softball and an obstacle course. I think this would be a good event to set up a booth to get investigators.

-I will be enjoying half moon cookies, maybe too much. A usual "New York" snack.

-"Utica Monday Nite" is held in the downtown park every Monday evening to promote a regional arts economy. There are performances and art displays on thirteen Monday nights from June through August. Events and activities are free to the public! What a fun idea.
-The SNOW and ICE storms! Brrr...

-A year round chair lift at Memorial Park.

Although, I won't be able to enjoy many of these things, it helps give me an idea of what kind of people are in the community, what they enjoy, and more to converse with them about. Doesn't it sound like a fun, clean, city? Utica.

I think I have fallen in love with my mission before I have even arrived. Bring on Utica New York!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I dreamed "the dream"

Yes, last night I had my first dream of being a missionary! I woke up in a panic still having an unfinished to do list, and being on a vacation. AH. It is coming quick and I am so happy but worried too, wondering how I'll get everything finished. I still need an H1N1 shot, anyone had one yet? My sister Andrea just got one and has now been throwing up for days. eek. Not a condition I want to be in when entering the MTC! I have to still find warm gloves... and don't know what ones will be warm ENOUGH. But on the bright side, I have an incredibly warm insulated/waterproof coat and boots. Gloves, I'm still trying to find you.

Now onto my dream. It was a long dream. I LOVE long dreams because you don't feel like they're unfinished. Waking up to an unfinished dream is the worst. I always try to fall back asleep to let the dream complete itself but then I begin a new dream and usually end up with two unfinished dreams.

My dream last night began with goodbyes to friends in Provo, a short MTC drop off (because I recently got a strict letter telling us of the routine--us Zwicks do not do short goodbyes), a meeting with the MTC mission president and hundreds of other missionaries, and a stapled packet of rules I had never heard of. Ha ha, I'm sure there are no secretive rules you find out in the MTC, but in my dream there was! A whole 8-10 pages of new rules. The only one I remember was "Every night you have to sleep 18 hours. Even if you can't stay asleep that long, you have to lay in bed for 18 hours." For me, that is unattainable. I don't like to sleep. If I could, we wouldn't need sleep to function. We'd get so much done that way! When I woke up and told my mom of that 18 hour sleeping rule I read in my dream she said, "You'll wish that was a rule!"

Today I got a lot of last minute things done, in reaction to my dream. My mom and I hit the outlets here in Florida and now I'm only down to a few more items which I'll get next week when I get home. Time is short, but now my to do list is shorter, so I'm relieved!

Nine days and I'm a missionary! :)