August 9, 2013 – MTC in Provo, UT, USA
This week was kind of insane. A lot of ups and downs. Not really any time for feeling inbetween.
First thing is, they split up the dream team! My tri-panionship is now just a companionship with Hna. Cooper and I. Hna. Shurtleff is now companions with an Hna. from another district whose companion got her visa to Spain already and left. That was so sad! We’re losing Hermanas left and right! But it’s been really good for Hna. Cooper and I because we’re learning how a normal companionship works. I’m also getting to talk more during lessons which is fun. Good stretching!
A few of you asked about Sundays here. My branch is in Spanish. Everyone writes a talk and the president calls on one Sister and one Elder to share. Anyone is up for grabs. And the talk is in Spanish. I have a feeling my time is coming. Hna. Cooper spoke last week. I literally have meetings from 6:45am-1:30pm. I feel your pain Dad. And then more things from 5pm-the end of the day. We have a temple walk which takes an hour on Sundays too. I get to go to the temple next P Day!! It will finally be open and I’m so so so excited! There are protesters every week at temple walk which makes me heart sick. I don’t understand why people can hate so much when all I want to give is my love and my testimony to others. I get to go to Music and the Spoken Word on Sundays also which I love. Relief Society is with all the Sisters in the whole MTC which is so powerful! I love Sundays and they always fill me with the Spirit. We have a Sunday devotional and last Sunday was Jenny Oaks Baker who is a concert violinist which was really fun. Tuesday night is also devotional which is also really fun!
Teaching this week has been really fun. One of my “investigators” is a 7th Day Adventist. Since Hna. Cooper and I speak Spanish so well, our investigators are being super tough. Luis was being super bible bashy. Hna. Cooper and I had to step back and just share our testimonies and invite Luis to read and pray. After the lesson Luis switched back to our teacher to make sure that he wasn’t challenging our testimonies. Haha! He was really worried because he was being super aggressive. It was fun though. A good taste of what it could be like. Our other investigator, Pedro, hasn’t been progressing at all because he didn’t want to pray and find out the truth. During our lesson we shared our testimonies and personal stories about the Spirit and how it testifies to people. I told him the story about King Benjamin and the response of the people after they heard his words. It was our most amazing lesson yet. All of us felt the Spirit so strongly and it really built my testimony on the power of the Spirit in conversion. After Pedro felt that, he was willing to pray and to find out for himself the truth. All of us were edified by the Spirit. When Hna. Cooper and I teach by the Spirit, everything clicks and it is seriously the best feeling ever. I wish I could describe how happy it made me! My investigator kept making fun of me because I couldn’t stop smiling. I am just so happy here!
It actually was a pretty tough day right before that good lesson. Our district was having problems getting along. A lot of the Elders personalities clash and they’re cooped up together 24/7. It makes for a little bit of rudeness which really makes me sad. I’ve been praying for patience with the Elders, but sometimes I just want to shout at them and say SMARTEN UP! That’s what Dad would do anyway. He seemed to get along well with the Priests. It’s hard for them though because most of them came stright out of high school. They’ve still got that mentality. However, after I taught that best lesson, I felt a lot better and hopefully things will improve.
One funny thing earlier this week was that I mixed up “castidad” (chasity) and “caridad” (charity). That made for a really funny lesson 🙂 Everyone was super confused because they kept asking, caridad? Like love? and I would say yes, but both involve love so it was a little confusing and HILARIOUS!
This week my language has just been improving by leaps and bounds. I’ve been reading the Libro de Mormon a lot and it has improved my reading comprehension abilities and pronunciation. Except sometimes I use antiquated words and my teachers make fun of me. 🙂
I watched a lot of “Soy Mormon” videos on mormon.org. (I’m a Mormon videos in Spanish.) I was getting frustrated because some of them would say they were in Spanish, but then just be subtitles at the bottom. I really want to hear the natives speak. I got onto one and said to my companion, “another dud video. It’s in English.” But then I realized it was in Spanish! I understood it so well that I thought it was English! I do better with some accents than others. My teacher served in Guatemala so I can understand that accent, but Puerto Rican is too crazy fast for me right now. It was really cool though to be able to understand so well!
On Monday we got our letters from home and I was reading mine with the sisters. One of them burst into tears and ran out of the room. Me and another sister immediately ran after her, but she was gone. We knew something was very, very wrong. We couldn’t find her. We decided to run down the stairs where we bumped into President Tyler, our Branch President. I was not even surprised to see him. He is the most inspired man that I have ever met. I think I knew he would be there because we needed him badly. He is literally an angel on this side of the veil.
The three of us ran upstairs and found the sister. Her brother was having problems and her mother was despondent about the whole thing. This sister was absolutely distraught. As we all three cried together, I received perhaps the strongest spiritual impression of my life. I do not know this sister’s brother, and I have not suffered as she has with these very difficult challenges. But I love her so much. I mourned with her. I received the distinct impression from the Spirit that, “This is charity.” I have been studying charity since my very first day at the MTC and now I have finally begun to understand what charity means. Since that experience, the Spirit has built upon that foundation and taught me so much through my study about the meaning of charity.
We three sisters prayed together and the Spirit literally descended upon us like a blanket of peace. I felt inside all three of us the fear and grief melt away. President Tyler gave some very needed words of comfort to this sister and gave her a blessing. Again, during the blessing, this blanket of peace filled the room. I have never felt anything like it, but I was filled with so much love for this sister in need through the Spirit. It was perhaps the most prominent witness in my life of the power of the Spirit. The Spirit can change the heart and fill the grieving with hope.
I am happy to report that from that day this Hermana has been stronger than ever. She is such an example to me!
With that I leave my testimony that God lives and loves us. Because He loves us, He sent His Son to suffer for our sins. I know that through the Atonement of Christ all mankind can be saved. I feel so blessed to have the gospel in my life and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to share it.
Hermana Camille Anderson