Hello all!!! Here is my first email coming to you from the MTC. I don't even know where to begin telling you about everything that has happened to me! But I miss you all so much. I truly do. The MTC is such an amazing place. The Spirit here is like nothing I have ever felt. It is kind of exhausting actually to feel the spirit so much. I love it here. I am so happy and grateful to be here. I am going to be honest in saying that adjusting to missionary life and being a missionary is so hard. I didn't think I would miss you all so much or that I would miss home, but I do. I just try to focus on why I am here when I get sad. I know that this is where I am meant to be at this time in my life. And as I come to realize more and more that this isn't about me, and that it is about our Heavenly Fathers children, it makes it so much easier. :)
Anyways, so my companions name is Sister Kesler and she is from New Mexico and gong to Twin Falls with me! She is super sweet and I have learned so much from her and we have spent lots and lots of time together. She doesn't say much, but we get along great! I have learned to love her and to serve her and to support her, and once I learned that things became easier. Usually when we teach I talk a lot and that has really forced me to get out of my comfort zone and to rely on the Spirit to help me teach, but I love her so much. My District is all Sisters! And I kind of like it because we all get really emotional all the time and that would be a little embarrassing with Elders. Haha. Anyways, I love the Sisters in my District. Sister Johnson is like the funniest girl ever. She is from Utah and going to Vancouver Canada. She is obsessed with the sky and the sun and always reminds me to find joy in the little things in life. Sister Shahamati is a convert of a year to the church and she is such an inspiration and a blessing.She is going to Vancouver Canada and is from Ontario. When I am having a hard time, she is always the first person there. I can't even imagine not having the support of my family to be here. She is amazing. Sister Bartlett is from Australia and going to Vancouver as well. She is deaf, but has partial hearing with her hearing aids. She is the sweetest person I have ever met. She is always so focused and has this love for the Savior that I can't even describe. Sister Reed is from New Mexico as well, going to Vancouver. I am not as close to her because she is really quiet as well, but she always makes really funny comments at really random times. We all share a room and have so much fun together. We are constantly laughing and have to be shushed constantly. I am so blessed to be with these girls. The Elders in my zone are great as well. They have given me several blessings of comfort and peace and the Priesthood is amazing I just have to say! I have lots of AMAZING teachers. They are all RMs and they know so much and make class time so much fun. Also my Branch President is super cool! And the Presidents wives are so sweet. They always give me "mom hugs" and never fail to make me smile.
Anyways, that is a little bit about all the people! The days here are filled with lots of study and class time with some meal times thrown in there. The days are so busy, and that was hard to adjust to, but I am learning! Waking up early is hard, but somehow Heavenly Father makes it possible for me to stay awake all day. Yesterday was Sunday and it seriously was incredible. Janice Kapp Perry taught our Relief Society lesson!!! How cool is that??? She is so inspirational and during our lesson, she had us sing most of her songs with her. I have learned to love hymns and music. Her lesson and all of us Sisters singing was so amazing! I bought a little hymn book and find myself just reading the words all the time. Music brings me a lot of comfort and a lot of peace these days. :) Also Sunday night Devotional was amazing. Brother Allen spoke and he didn't even prepare anything! He just talked and it was such an inspired devotional. It was all about how we can find peace here in the MTC when maybe we feel alone or are struggling. We sang all the heart-wrenching hymns about our Saviors love and comfort. It was definitely a tear fest, but in a good way:) The food here is either hit or miss, but for the most part it is not bad! I am just enjoying the time that I don't have to cook for myself:)
Like I said before, being a missionary is so hard, but I have learned soooooo much. I have never had to pray or rely on my Savior so much. At times when I wonder why I am here and wanting to go home, I go to Him, and I can feel His arms literally embrace me. At times when I am struggling to figure out my purpose, I think of Him and his sacrifice. I know I can't give up. I think about if I went home, how much more unhappy I would be because I would be wondering about all the people that didn't get to be taught because Satan got to me. The Savior didn't give up on me, and this mission is not nearly as hard as his life. My teacher said, "At the end of the Savior's mission is when the greatest things happened. Don't give up. Endure to the End." My testimony has grown so much even in these last few days. I have never felt closer to the spirit or to my Heavenly Father. I am so excited to bring this good news to the people of Twin Falls. I have met about 8 other missionaries going to my same mission and I can't wait to work with them! We leave the MTC on February 4th and we are actually taking a bus and then staying at the mission home that night so we can all get to know each other and the mission presidency. I have never worked so hard in my life, but it is so rewarding! If there is ever a moment in the day when I am not doing anything I actually feel bad about it. I have seen so many miracles in my life during my time here. We just got to go to the temple today and it was so great! I thought of you guys and it brought me peace to know that through the temple I can be with you forever. Another thing that has brought me comfort in missing home is knowing that I have to sacrifice my family for a short time, so that others can be with their families forever and that is something that I learned from my Zone Leader:)
Anyways, I am running out of time, but I want to let you know that I love you all! I really like Dear Elders so keep those coming for the next week:) Also, keep the letters and emails coming, they seriously make my day! I want you all to know that you are all examples to me and I constantly think about you. I hope I included all the details you wanted, but if you want to know more, just ask me questions:) I miss you more than words can describe, but there is no doubt in my mind that I am supposed to be here. I love missionary work. It is inspiring to be surrounded by these righteous Elders and Sisters that have a desire to serve God and His children. I am doing great and can't wait to hear from all of you. I love you guys!!!! I am going to write a handwritten letter soon cause I have so much more to say!
Love, Sister Bigelow
P.S. Mom I got your package today and it was amazing! The Sisters were all saying that they wanted to meet you because it was so dang cute. I love you lots:) You are the best. Also tell Reid there is a birthday card coming!