Here is the email from Nicole...edited by me due to the speed at which a missionary is required to produce a document for sending (errors aplenty):
HELLLOOOOO!!!!!!!!! I thought this day would never come. Now let's begin.
I have two wonderful companions, Sister Andersen (from Brigham City, UT) and Sister Houston (from Mesa, AZ. She's also the cousin to Jamie Mundall, Bethany's former roommate). We live in a dorm with two other sisters that are going to the Phillipines. Both Sister Houston and Sister Andersen arrived on the same day as me and will leave with me to Cleveland. They will be serving at the Kirtland Visitor's Center as well.
A typical day @ the MTC goes a little like this-
-Arise at 6 a.m. (Side note: My companions & I had been waking up at 5:45 a.m. and were so exhausted during the day. Then we found out that it's disobedient to arise before 6 a.m. Ever since we started waking up 6, I have been so awake and alert. Blessings come from being obedient, I'll tell you that.)
-Gym (My companions & I walk around that missionary field for 30 minutes because all three of us hate sports. It's perfect.)
-Class (Same classroom for like eight hours every day. Heavenly, I know.)
-Eat lunch at cafeteria. Today's food was crunchy mac n cheese and I almost puked. But it's usually pretty good.
-Dinner at 4:30 pm
-Class/Companion study/Personal study
-Plan for the next day at 9 pm
-Go back to the residence hall. Write in my journal. Lights out. Try to sleep.
Sunday's in the MTC are basically like every other day. But sisters and senior missionaries get to watch the broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. Then we have Relief Society. This last Sunday we had the 1st and 2nd counselor from the General Young Women's Presidency speak to us. It was amazing. Sister Dibb, the 2nd counselor is President Monson's daughter. Then we have a fireside at night. After the fireside we can choose from 4 different church videos to watch. My companions and I watched a video on The Legacy of Kirtland this last Sunday. I love Kirtland already!
My District Leader just handed me a letter from Nana and it reminded me that the Elder's in my district call me "Sister Popular" because of all the letters and packages I receive. I am SOOO grateful to have such loving family and friends!! Thank you for the letters and treats. Christina sent this really yummy dessert popcorn yesterday. Letters brighten my life. Ugh, seriously. Speaking of which...
We went to the temple this morning and I started to cry because I wanted my mom and dad there with me so bad. But then Heavenly Father comforted me with the assurance that we can be together for eternity so I shouldn't worry. With that being said, I never want to live more than three minutes from home ever again. OH! Guess what!
My district consists of 5 elders and 3 sisters. We had 6 elders, but the one elder go really depressed and had to go home. Our zone has, like, 20 elders and 4 sisters. Our Branch President is SO wonderful. My first few days here were really trying and I started to doubt being here. But he kindly explained to me the importance of the work I have to do. I saw this quote in one of the buildings here that said, "Missionaries are those that leave their families for a short time so that other families can be together forever." I was so strengthened by the temple this morning and am so grateful that I have parents attending every week, too! I have more courage now.
There's an Elder Hill here from South Africa who is in my zone and classroom right next to mine. We pretend we're cousins. There's another example of how I think I'm so funny, but no one else does.
I have a few teachers here who are really helping me grow. One just got home from his mission to Ohio 11 months ago.
The say that a mission is supposed to stretch you, and let me tell you, I've never felt so stretched in my life.
It's pouring rain right now. Thank goodness I got that rain jacket! We were walking back to the MTC from the temple in the rain. It was good though. I need to be a woman. Speaking of things that make me a woman, every week every one of us have to prepare a talk for Sacrament and then the Branch President calls on someone to give the talk after Sacrament. If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.
Thank you so much for your letters/e-mails of encouragement! They really keep me going. Tell Madison and Sadie they’re my sweetie pies. Also, if you would talk about me A LOT so the girls don't forget me that would be great. And then when baby boy is born, make sure you tell him about his super cool aunt.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, MOM AND DAD!!!!!!! Thank you for your examples. OH! One last thing, I found Trevor's moustache stuck to the bottom of my makeup case the other day. Made me really homesick. I miss that boy. So awesome that Ryan gets to come live with you though! Tell him I'm jealous. I love the Hill house and miss it more than I ever thought possible.
The church is true. Stay strong. Keep fighting. Read the Book of Mormon. Pray to know that it's true. Jesus loves you.