August 2, 2013 – MTC in Provo, UT, USA
Che Familia Amada!
THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE AND THE LETTER BOMB! Absolutely made my day! 🙂
Thanks for all the dearelders mom! I love them! I love how you bear your testimony through your experiences! Also, I’m glad that you didn’t get in a car accident! I feel as though the Lord is already blessing the family so much. It’s hard to be homesick when I know that you are all in better hands.
I was glad to hear about the wedding [cousin Brian] from everyone! Sounds like it was a fun time!
This week was so great! My companionship learned so much and we were blessed so much as well!
I’ll start with the tough lessons we learned:
On Tuesday we were having a super great day. But then we were late for afternoon study time and things just went downhill from there. I was not being a very responsible senior companion and I didn’t ensure that we knew the times for everything. Anyway, we didn’t have the Spirit with us like it had been and we all struggled with the language and with teaching. We all realized that it was because we hadn’t been using the Lord’s time wisely and had missed study time. We made a commitment not to be late ever again!
Yesterday we had a teaching appointment at about 8 pm. And we were all so tired and just done! It was after 5 hours of class and we just couldn’t think anymore. For our lesson we had a general plan, but then one Hermana started going one direction and the other Hermana went the other direction and I just didn’t know what to do! I just wanted to jump up and say “Start over start over! No no no!” Honestly I didn’t say anything for most of the lesson because I didn’t know where either of the Hermanas was going and it would have just confused the investigator even more. Aye aye aye! A tripanionship is hard, but I would never give up either of my companions! I love them too much! However, this was the worst lesson we taught! We all were super down when we came out of there. Our teacher talked to us after and said that he was so pleased with how we taught! We were all shocked because we all thought it was just bad. But he said that the purpose of the missionary is to invite others to Christ. We did that. We aren’t expected to teach a perfect lesson. The Spirit is the real teacher. We will never give a “perfect” lesson.
Tough lessons to learn, but I’m glad we learned them in the MTC instead of the field!
One of the teachers went to Argentina and was talking about all the great food. We were all so excited! I asked him, “Well what’s the food like in my area?” And he said, “Sorry, but you’re going to starve.”
One blessing we got this week is that the A/C now works in our room! Seriously the best because now I can finally sleep at night! 🙂
One neat experience my companionship had was interviewing the other Hermanas as STL’s. We learned so much just by hearing them relate how they overcome their challenges. It was such a blessing to us! I love the Hermanas so much!
I learned a great deal during personal study. It is such a blessing to have an hour and a half of personal study every morning! One thing I studied this week was the scriptures in my patriarchal blessing. I’ve read them several times, but have never been able to understand how they related to me and how I could use them. However as I read them this week, the scriptures were opened up to me and I finally started to understand what they meant! Someone told me that once I was endowed, the scriptures would be opened to me, and it is true! I learned so much this week! I love the scriptures!
I also spent a lot of time pondering the Atonement. It is neat to be able to ponder gospel topics through the eyes of a missionary, focused on teaching the basics and applying doctrine to an investigator’s life. One day during study I was thinking about how the Atonement can take away our sins and make us free. As I was thinking about this, I realized that because I have been baptized, I take the sacrament every week, and I repent daily of my sins, that I AM free! It was the most liberating feeling! I have done dumb things in the past which I am sorry for and won’t do again, but because of the Atonement I feel no guilt! It is such a refreshing and liberating feeling. I desire that so much for others! That’s why we need to be baptized, so that we can be set free!
Another great experience I had this week was in teaching. We taught in the TRC where members volunteer to be taught by missionaries. That was a great teaching experience for me and I learned a great deal about teaching by the Spirit. In those lessons I would think of a scripture to read or something to say, realize I don’t know how to say it in Spanish, but know that I need to say it anyway. I can’t describe the feeling of literally having the words put in my mind as I say them. The Gift of Tongues is real! It’s something I ask for every day and I know that the Lord has helped me to learn this language! I feel so blessed to have the opportunity for the Spirit to use me to instruct others. But I know that the most important thing is that the investigators feel the Spirit, not anything I say.
What is your schedule like?
Schedule is crazy!! Yesterday I had 6 hours of class with a short break for dinner. It was so tiring! A usual day consists of 6 hours of class, a teaching appointment, three meals, an hour of gym time, 3ish hours of study (language & personal.) My favorite time of the day is personal study time.
Have they permanently excused you from gym yet?
No. This week I went to two days of gym without getting nailed in the head so I count that as an end to my bad luck streak.
How’s the language coming?
The language is great. I understand 90-100% of what my teachers and Spanish movies say. If I don’t know a specific word I can figure things out by the context usually. I understand about 70-90% of what I read in the Libro de Mormon as well. That’s harder because it has things like “hid ourselves in the cavity of a rock” and “tight like unto a dish” which are words I would not normally hear. I conjugate correctly about 75% of the time. (or less- depending on the time of day. My Spanish progressively gets worse the later it gets in the evening.) That’s what I’m working on right now mostly. (And yeah, mom, your Spanish is pretty bad. Also every letter you call me Hermana (adjective) and it makes me laugh every time because you always use the male form of the adjective. But I appreciate it! 🙂 )
How is Hermano Johnston?
Hermano Johnston is awesome! I’ve learned so much. He really pushes me. I also have a new teacher, Hermano Buseth, who is really great too. Also there are two teachers without a district right now with nothing to do so they just hang out in our class all the time. It’s sometimes useful, except mostly they say, “Let me show you how to do this.” instead of letting us practice out loud and learning.
I heard there was a big pic of all the missionaries in the MTC. Were you in that? Do you get a copy?
Noooope. I don’t know anything about that. I was on the jumbotron singing at the devotional this week!
N Bingham said he saw you on a big screen for an MTC choir. Was that for something special?
Yes. Tuesday devo. 3 times baby. I’m practically famous.
Did you get the 2 packages we’ve sent?
Yes!!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you! I would have told you earlier, but I haven’t had P day for a whole week. Loco crazy right? Everything was perfect! Especially the letter bomb which was awesome!! Thank you to everyone who wrote me! What a special treat! Also, I have loved sharing the scotcheroos that you made. Absolutely made my day and I’m the most popular missionera now. Soooooo good! My companeras have been trying to figure out a way to make more by stealing food from the cafeteria and cooking it in a microwave. I do not support these actions, but I pass on the message to compliment you mom because that’s how good they were.
Besides pics of our last trips, is there anything else you want pics of?
Another family picture that I can laminate and put in my scriptures. Did the ones we recently take work out?