I'm at the regular MTC campus, so things might be different for the West MTC.
The first day is a lot like the temple. There are people everywhere to help you! After you're dropped off at the curb, your host (usually a sister) will take your bags and send you into a building. She'll wait outside while you go in and get a few supplies and your nametag. Then you'll meet up with your host again. She'll take you to the bookstore to get a few more supplies, and then to your room. You won't have a lot of time there to get comfortable, so make sure you have your bag/purse ready with PMG, notebook, pens/pencils, etc. This is all within the first 15 minutes, so it moves by quickly. You'll then be led to your classroom. This will be your classroom during your entire stay! That means you can leave things in it during meals and overnight. You'll hang out there until your entire district arrives. The first 15 minutes can feel overwhelming, but from then on you'll have a schedule.
*You'll wear a bright orange sticker on your tag the first day so everyone knows that you are new. You'll get lots of welcomes!
*If you like the small PMG, you can bring it or buy it. The large one is free.
*The salad dressing that is supposed to be cilantro/lime tastes like straight lemon juice. AVOID IT.
*Besides that, the food is pretty good. It's better than cafeteria food...but I'm definitely excited for some real meals in Virginia;)
*Begin serving and loving your companion immediately! I'm really lucky to have such a great companion, Sister Moore from Centerville. She kind of reminds me of Clarissa because she's really creative and outgoing.
*Unless you're picky, don't worry about bringing sheets, pillows, or blankets to the MTC. The ones here are just fine!
*Every week, sisters get $8 on a card to spend at the book store or in vending machines! Elders only get $6;)
*You will have oodles of personal study time. I think I spend two or more hours a day reading or studying on my own.
*The day is structured with two three-hour class blocks. One before lunch, one either in the afternoon or after dinner. Three hours goes by reallllllly quickly.
*BRING: mints, waterbottle, stamps, and A LANYARD. Please. Please bring a lanyard for your ID card and key.
*There is a tree on the campus that smells like cream soda. YUM. Seriously. Ask your Zone Leaders/Sister Leaders and they will show you.
*There is a box of left over bathroom supplies at the end of the hall. I'm using some shampoo and conditioner that I got from there, and then saving my own for the field. Pack some, but don't use it if you don't have to.
*There are optional work out classes for sisters in the morning at 6 am. THEY ARE FUN. I did kickboxing this morning and I loved it!! I haven't had a gym day yet, but it feels good to use your body after being solitary for so long.
*That being said, during class breaks, run up and down the stairs a couple times to re-energize:)
*You will get 60 minutes on P-day to email.
*READ PMG BEFORE ENTERING. Trust me.
There are 9 people in my district, 3 elders and 6 sisters. All of the elders and 3 of the sisters are going to Houston, and then my companion, me, and another sister are going to Richmond. Some districts are mixed, others are not. I'll be in the MTC for 14 days, which is longer than most because of General Conference. Regular state-side English is 12 days.
*Don't whine. Don't complain. Be happy. Be positive. Love people. Listen. Obedience. Prayer. The Church is true.
People like to make the MTC look like a big, scary place. It really isn't that hard. If you love the Gospel, it's easy to study it all day/every day. The absolute most important thing is worthiness. If you are worthy to serve a mission, and you have received a confirmation that this is the right thing to do, then the MTC will be a breeze!
*YOU WILL NEVER BE HAPPIER IN YOUR LIFE THAN YOU ARE ON YOUR MISSION. I PROMISE.
Love, Sister Crandall