August 16, 2013 – MTC in Provo, UT, USA
This has been a week! I just got my notice that I didn’t get my visa. Totally expected! I just hope I get a reassignment next week! I should know by Thursday or Friday what’s going to happen. Can’t wait to find out! I’ve prayed a lot about it and I feel super good!
Also, this is my LAST WEEK! I can count the number of days left on my fingers. Yay!
Well this week had some fun things like, getting locked out of our room. The STL’s visit the other sisters every night and we thought we brought our key with us, but apparently no. So we had to walk alllll the way to the front desk in our PJ’s to go get a new key. That was exciting! Super funny. We laughed about it all the next day 🙂
On Tuesday we got to have Elder Richard G Scott for devotional! Wow! It was absolutely incredible! It reminds me of Reece when he shook the Apostle’s hand [Elder Oaks] at Karen’s ward he wrote me and said “I knew he was an apostle of God.” You were right Reece! As I heard him speak I could feel that. He is a man called of God as a special witness of Jesus Christ! I know it is true and I am so grateful for modern revelation. His talk was on prayer and was broadcast to all the MTC’s in the world. It was wonderful!
This week we also got to host the new missionaries. I escorted the missionaries dropped off at the curb to their residence and their classroom. It’s super fun! The new missionaries are so excited and it’s a really fun day! One girl I got to take had just gotten off the plane from Taiwan, Teipei. She didn’t know any of the Elders I knew serving/served there. But she was super nice and super cute. It was really weird for her to be in America where everyone spoke English. Her English is super good. She’s going to the Mormon Battalion center. Isn’t that the coolest ever?
I got that cute cute package from the Goulds! [Dan & Molly’s family] Thank you for the letters! I got to brag and show off all the cute drawings and letters to the other missionaries at lunch! What a treat! 🙂
I went to the temple this morning. What a treat! I’m so glad that I got to go while at the MTC and that they opened it back up in time. 🙂 I love to enter the House of the Lord.
How is Espanol todos los dias? Do you speak much English throughout your day, or are almost all your interactions in and out of class in Spanish?
I’m trying to speak Spanish as much as I can. It’s pretty tough because mine is the only companionship that really tries to speak Spanish when our teachers don’t make us. It really helps me a lot because it takes me a few minutes to switch between English and Spanish. It’s like trying to switch between eating green beans and eating cupcakes. It just doesn’t mix well.
Also today I have started wearing a paper that says SYL on my badge (Speak Your Language.) I can only speak Spanish when I wear it.
Do you do more reading in El Libro de Mormon or The Book of Mormon?
I read The Book of Mormon during personal study time (one hour+) and it’s my favorite part of the day. I read LDM out loud during language study time or listen to someone read it on LDS.org and that helps me a lot. But personal study time is personal study time and I’m not quite proficient enough at Spanish yet to be reading it all the time. I’ll get there though.
Are there other countries where missionaries have difficulty getting visas, or just Argentina?
Brazil is pretty much the only one. And missionaries who turned in their paperwork literally a week before they entered the MTC. Everywhere else is fine.
I’ve read in a few missionary emails that they had the chance to see a video of Elder Bednar’s Christmas devotional and that it was wonderful. Have you seen that?
Watched it. Loved it. Living it!
What have you found are the biggest advantages/disadvantages to a companionship vs tripanionship? Do you still get to see Hna Shurtleff a lot? How is she doing?
Hna. Shurtleff is in our room and in our class. We still do lots together which is great! She’s doing well. Advantages of companionship: Get to teach more in lessons. Transitioning in lessons is better. There’s only two people losing things instead of three. Two personalities instead of three. That’s not been a problem though. Advantages of tripanionship: one extra person to know vocab, principles, etc. in teaching. Another super close friend. One more person to learn from. It’s like how many kids you have. Sure, logistically it’s more difficult, but you love them so much it’s waaay worth it. Right?
Have you had a chance to speak in church yet? Do you just prepare one talk and plan on giving it sometime in the MTC or do you have to prepare a new talk every week? I’d think that if you prepared one your first week, that a lot of what you’d want to say would change by week 6?
Not yet. But I’m sure I’m up before I leave here. New talk every week on a topic picked by the President. My talks have changed dramatically from day one.
I know Hno Love kept emphasizing keeping your teaching super simple. Is that what they teach at the MTC as well? Do you think that would vary some by the locale in which you serve?
Yes. It’s easier because we can only speak simply. However, sometimes you or your companion will start getting into something super complicated and throw the investigator off and you just want to say retract retract! (That’s happened a few times.) But especially some investigators are more sensitive than others. They need to be fed very slowly.
Are all your “investigators” teachers or student volunteers? Or are some actual investigators? I’d think actual investigators would probably be taught by missionaries assigned to serve in that area?
We have taught teacher, volunteer members, and volunteer members via skype. All have been super fun. Never any real investigators. However, a Korean student attending BYU was just baptized by the missionaries at the MTC. A friend dragged to the TRC and she ended up getting baptized！That was pretty exciting.
Are the elders getting along better?
Yes. They’re all being good. They’re still super weird though. 🙂 I love them but… You know. I came back from a lesson yesterday and one of them was eating the cap of my permanent marker. I was like what?? First of all, how did you even get that? And second, What??
How are the other Hnas doing? I know the MTC can be difficult. What do the Hnas have the hardest time with? What is the best help for them? Is it different for the Hnos?
The Hnas are doing great! They biggest thing is family struggles which can be hard enough when you’re at home. It’s hard for them to not be with their families when they are going through hard times. The best thing we can do for them is listen. Women need someone to listen to them and care about them. There’s nothing greater. I don’t know much about the Elders. I think they are less sensitive about that kind of stuff. I mean, they bash one another’s girlfriends and hometowns during lunch so I guess they’re fine. I think the Elders have more pressure to be there and do well however.
Are you still playing a lot of piano? Is that good or bad? Nate’s fighting hard to quit, but I’m thinking playing the hymns in nonnegotiable. Opinion?
Hymns is nonnegotiable. Nate it is SO IMPORTANT that you learn to play all the hymns. I am so grateful that I can just sit down and play any of them. I love getting to play the piano when I can. Unfortunately there are other talented people here. What’s up with that?
Hna. Cami Anderson