Provo MTC 1st Week: Best Christmas Ever!

Hi, everyone! I just had the best week ever!

December 22, 2017

I arrived safely here at Provo MTC. I had about 30 hours of travel and yes, it was very tiring. Spending December 22 for like 2 days feels so weird but I'm really happy I'm here now! I had such a massive headache from PH to Japan. and the worst is my meds were in my checked baggage so yeah, had to endure it, hahaha! I tried to watch and listen to the plane entertainment (TV and some music) but I realized I'm not allowed to so I did not do it, hahaha. I realized I should really be obedient. 😃 Japan to Portland was a 9-hour flight and I'm so happy I slept most of the time... When we arrived in Portland, my headache was gone so the sleep was such a good thing, but it was really so cold (hahaha) and I met 1 sister from Utah who served in Baguio. It was really nice talking to her but we parted at the SLC airport. Btw, I traveled with one of the elders from my District who is also a Filipino, Elder Pastores...

It's really cold here in Utah! And if you know me, I easily get cold! I might buy thicker stockings here if ever there is.. At the MTC store... hahaha, I arrived at Friday night. So after more than a day of travelling I'm really expecting to like, sleep and rest but guess what??? I went straight to class!!! Hahaha! It was my Thai class that night and we still have about an hour to study. The best thing is that I was able to meet my companion, Sister Mader!!! She's the best!!! I love her! She's so funny and we get along so well. 😊 She’s from Texas, btw. We are roommates with our STLs (Sister Training Leaders) who are also our Phii Thais (older Thai sisters who came before us). They're so funny and will help you with anything. 😊 They help me carry my luggage and take it to the residence... and I sleep at the top bunk so it's good because the lighting is just great.

First selfie! With my companion, Sister Mader.

Our Phii Thais are photobombing, hahaha!

I now have my name tag!!! And it's the best thing ever. It still feels surreal but I'm really so grateful to have it and be a representative of Christ.

With our name tags! In Thailand, our names will also be in Thai scripts.


December 23, 2017

Everyday, we have to wake up at 6:30. It's not something new to me because I usually wake up before 6 to teach seminary or to walk Grover the dog. I'm so grateful for the sleeping schedule because it gives me more time to sleep. At home, I usually sleep for like 5-6 hours only because of hello, internet and phones, hahaha but now we don't have that anymore, no more social media and stuff. It feels so good. I didn't realize how much I am on the phone at home or in PH until I had nothing to do at the airport and all people around me were just on their phones. It feels weird, hahaha!!! But they gave us iPads, though. I use it to take photos here and to check MTC updates. I don't think they will let us bring it to Thailand. Hehehe!

So Saturday was just about classes. We had about 6 hours of class time everyday and 3 hours for Personal, Language and Companionship study, so... total of 9 hours!

We had gym time and it feels good to run and just be active. ☺️ I usually do running and volleyball with the other missionaries. Sister Mader hurt her thumbs playing volleyball so she's just into Yoga this time.. Today is Tuesday (P-Day!) and we didn't go to gym because it's not open as we are to have a devotional later.

How's my Thai language coming??? Hahaha! It's coming really slowly. But guess what? I learned more Thai within the past 3-4 days than in my 4 months at home. The GIFT OF TONGUES is so true and real. And I'm so blessed to receive and work out this gift... On my second day here, I was able to testify in Thai. and now, I'm really working out and trying to pray in Thai... Learning just goes on and on. I'm not even complaining. I feel so blessed.

Saturday was really so tiring, I can’t imagine how we survived. Definitely information overload. I learned so much here already. I love the MTC!


December 24, 2017

We had RS Class first. We met Sister Moon and Sister Callisson (served in PH). They are the senior missionaries here and I love them. They are so welcoming and they already know my name (Btw, I arrived 2 days late here because of my Thai Visa but everything is alright now.) I loved RS Class. It's a little different because RS classes here are just for sister missionaries. We had district meeting, then Sacrament. They call speakers here on-the-spot so we had to be ready, hahaha so thankful they don't call nong Thais (new Thai district) on their first Sunday. So I'm pretty much relieved... then Zone training, then yeah we had lunch. And then another match His message class. Then Choir practice. I love Choir practice with Brother Eggert or Eggort I'm not sure with his name though but He's amazing. It's very spiritual. He kinda give bits of talk all throughout the practice so it's really nice. I'm alto, btw! ☺️ We sang Where Shepherds Lately Knelt and it's the best thing!

Then we had movie night and watched Christmas for a Dollar. It's the funniest and probably my favorite movie now. Do watch it! ☺️

The best Christmas EVE ever! (Sorry fam) hehehehe!

Mama, I opened my gift today and I just wanna say thank you so much and I love you!!! I loved the shoes... ☺️ Magagamit ko dito tsaka sa Thailand, hehehehe thanks Ma! ☺️

Thanks, Ma!

Thanks Kuya sa bag. I love it!



This is a very different Christmas for me because it's my first time away from home but this is the most memorable! I had a white Christmas. It's really so cold today. It snowed and the mountains are really beautiful.

View from our residence ❤

We watched A Christmas Carol in the morning. I didn't like it that much because it was too weird but the message is really nice. Christmas time is always my favorite. After that, We had last Choir practice. We sang at a devotional after. It's the best song I ever heard. I love being part of the MTC Choir.

The best part of Christmas is the Devotional and an apostle of the Lord came to speak. Wanna know who it was??? It's Elder Neil Andersen. He came with His Family. When he entered the room... I just cried. I can't help it... He brings a very strong Spirit and I'm just more than blessed and grateful to be there with him last night. I know He is a true apostle of the Lord. He spoke for about 30 minutes and l learned so much from him about The Savior. I am so blessed to serve the Lord. He shared so many things that could help us on our mission. He said that our missions is very important to who we'll become in our lives. I believe that. I have different perspectives now and I hope to set goals and do it to make my life better and be an instrument to make others' lives better too. I'm blessed to serve in Thailand. I am so grateful to know the Gospel and to continue to learn about it. I am so blessed to know Jesus Christ. And it is an honor and a great opportunity to share the Gospel and share my testimony to people who may or may not know who Christ is. As a missionary, I'm so blessed to represent Christ and will do everything that I can to serve him and Love His people. I will try my best to abide with Him forever. And that's I would like to give as a gift to Him this Christmas time and for all my life. I am so inspired!

My challenge for you is to think of a gift that you could give to the Savior. Heavenly Father gave us the best gift we could ever have. It's His son. And Jesus Christ has given us so many gifts and I'm very thankful for that.

This is really the best Christmas that I have ever had. It's true that there's no better place to be during Christmas time than at the MTC, although I can’t wait to be in Thailand. ☺️

This is my first Christmas away from home but it is the most Christ-Centered Christmas ever.

OK. It's not even the end yet. After our district went back to our class to review the devotional, we went back for the last devotional. Sister Mader and I didn't know where to sit so we asked one of the ushers if it's live or we're going to watch something from the screen so we'll know where to sit. He said an entertainer will be there so we sat in front, hahaha!

I know David Archuleta comes here at the MTC every Christmas so I had a feeling he's coming. And guess what!!!??? I was right!!!!! Hahahahaha! He sang a lot of songs for us. He is so good. He shared his mission experiences and testimony in between songs so it's really a different Archie that we saw. I loved that he sang GLORIOUS!!! One of my favorite songs! I love his song about his prayer which he wrote. It was very emotional that he cried. He really inspired us.

My Phii Thais are the best! Sister Hamblin gave me a box of gifts. She's so nice!!!! ♥ And when we got back to the residence, I found a Christmas sock with chocolates and gifts inside. I don't know who gave it but I'm so thankful, hehe I shared it with Sister Mader. ☺️

Some gifts and treat from Phii Thais and anonymous 😭


More photos from my first week here at Provo MTC...

Write me on Dear Elders! ☺️ I love you all!!!

Sister Gagarin

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