Monday, October 11, 2010

4 years ago today...

Four years ago today I entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in preparation to go to Bulgaria for 18 months as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

It is a practice of those that are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) to serve a mission for the church for no pay. Boys are encouraged to leave at age 19 for 2 years. Girls can go when they are 21 and serve for 18 months. Older senior couples also serve missions (usually when all the kids are grown up) for 18 to 24 months.

Missionaries are called to serve all over the world. The objective of the missionaries is to teach others about Jesus Christ and of His Restored Church, to bring of peace and happiness, and to serve those around them in anyway possible.

I received my mission call to Bulgaria in June 2006. Prior to opening up my mission call, I had no idea where I would be going, though I had a feeling it would be somewhere totally random and unexpected.

Look at the shock and excitement on my face when I opened up my mission call!

Before I opened it! The moment I had been waiting for for 20 years and 275 days!
Gotta love that face!

Three months later I entered the MTC! I was in the MTC for 2 months, during which time I studied Bulgarian and the scriptures for 14 hours each day! I was in a group with 12 other missionaries and we had so much fun together learning and growing. Not everyone loves the MTC (Tanner....). For some it is boring and long, but I loved it. I loved my teachers, my companion Sister Thomas, and the Spirit that I felt there everyday. I was a little anxious and nervous to go to Bulgaria and start teaching real people. I was so comfortable just practicing! But the day finally came when I left for Bulgaria and once I was there it was awesome!

My mission was amazing! Everything about it was perfect. I learned and grew so much. I learned more about Christ and His love for me and all people. I became closer to Him. I learned more about myself - my gifts, talents and tendencies. I learned how to work and live with all kinds of people. I learned BULGARIAN and became more educated. In every way I grew.

I am eternally grateful for the experiences I had on my mission. It was definitely the hardest thing I have ever done. There were times I wanted to give up and go home. But the Lord strengthened me and I kept on.

I have so many stories I could share from my mission. I will have to share more on my blog soon. But today I am remembering my moments as fresh new missionary.

Here are a few pictures from my time in the MTC:

My MTC Group with our amazing teacher! 
Me and Sister Thomas practicing phone calls in Bulgarian. 
Trying to make pudding in my room in a box and plastic bag.
 It was not good - tasted like plastic chemicals.

Super Sister - on her way to save Bulgaria! 
My amazing companion Sister Thomas and our great teachers.
My little brother Mark and I were in the MTC together for 4 weeks.
It was a dream come true! 
On our way to Bulgaria! Good Luck!

Добер ден. Аз съм Ани. Много съм щастлива че можах да служа в Българиа!
(That's Bulgarian.)


  1. thanks for sharing your thoughts on your mission. I think missions are individual crucible experiences that are tough to understand if you haven't lived it. It is amazing. I'm so glad you served in Bulgaria and shared the gospel.

  2. Hi Anne! You don't know me probably but I was in the Dressing Your Truth store this past Saturday and you peeked your head in the door after you had been swimming and you waved to me! I'm a Type 2 and my name is Kelsi. I have been dressing/living my truth for about three months now and it has been incredible. Anyways, I just wanted you to know that I look up to you a lot. First of all, you are SO beautiful! You radiate with sweetness and light. I always thought you were amazing on the videos with your mom and what not, but then I found out you served a mission and that made me even more excited! I am currently working on my papers right now and hope to be leaving in May of 2013. I am inspired by your testimony, your experiences, your goodness, and your courage (despite the subtle nature). I hope to be like you someday in my own way! You are a great example to me and I thank you!

    1. Kelsi, Thank you SO much for this sweet comment. It brightened my day so much! I am so happy you are living and loving your Type 2 truth! I would love to meet you another time --- when I'm not in my swimming grubs. :) That's awesome you are planning on going on a mission. I enjoyed mine so much. It was hard - but very special and I learned so much about the gospel, myself, others, and just overall great life lessons. Keep me posted on your progress. I love being in the loop of where people get called on their missions. Hope to see you at the upcoming Club Night in January. Thanks again for taking the time to express your appreciation!! It means a lot to me.