study time with my companions
Whoa so much to say! But we get 60 mins now and we can email friends so not so stressful :)
So much has happened! First of all, thanks to everyone who sent me cards, letters, and packages! It was such a nice surprise and I loved them! Happy Easter!
Right after I emailed all of you last Monday we finished up P-day and then had to teach our "progressing investigator" without any notice. It was probably the worst lesson I have had (personally) so far and I felt like a total failure afterwards. I couldn't say what I wanted to and I hadn't prepared anything. My companions thought I did fine, they told me I brought the spirit every time I talked and that I got her to open up a lot more, but I didn't feel that way. I felt inadequate and so discouraged. For the next lesson I prepared so well. I was much much more comfortable with the language, I knew what I wanted to say, and I knew that all my prayers were helping so much. But then one of my companions took over the whole lesson and the other two of us barely got to say anything. That wasn't a hard lesson for me but it was for her. We now have learned a lot from our collective mistakes and the last lesson we taught went so well! We all balanced taking turns speaking and we got our investigator to kind of commit to being baptized! We are navigating this trio thing but it takes some work and communication. But we all love each other and get along really well so I am grateful for that.
So normally each district (class) has two teachers that take turns. We have had 11 teachers coming in and out. Which is nuts. It gets really frustrating for us to sometimes because they don't really teach us much since we are the more advanced class. But we have learned good things from each teachers successes and mistakes and it has been a good growing experience for all of us. These teachers are inspired though. And some of them say things that are direct answers to prayers. One of them even called on me right before I raised my hand. The spirit was guiding him so much that lesson that he just knew to call on me. The spirit in the MTC is incredible. One of the teachers had also been in a trio so she gave us some advice. She gave us this analogy of being instruments in the Lord's hands, which of course I had heard before. But the way she described it just completely blew my mind. As missionaries we truly are just tools. I am just like a violin, I can't make music on my own, I need to be played by a master. And how wonderful it is that the master is the Lord and that just gives me so much comfort. I am in great hands. But we can only be played when we are in tune. A masterpiece takes all the instruments, we can't be a one-man orchestra and how much better the music is when we yield to one another and come together in harmony! I am so lucky to be able to focus 24/7 on the Gospel! What a blessing! I don't have to worry about school, work, or life getting in the way, and I love it!
Before I came on my mission I was afraid of losing myself. It was a scary prospect to think about. But now all I want to do is lose myself. I have given myself to serving the Lord and I want to give all even more completely. We listened to an old devotional by Pres Uctdorf at the MTC and in it he said, as we magnify our call as a missionary we grow beyond our talents- we are given a new heart and are turned into a different person. I can't wait. I know I am already on the way. I am striving more to use Christ as a pattern in all that I do and acknowledge that all things come from him. Our whole purpose here is Christ and the message that He Lives! What an amazing message we have the opportunity to share. And the more I learn of Him and come closer to Him the more I want to give everyone the joy that I have from the Gospel.
Yesterday was Easter and they had hyped it up so much, we thought for sure an apostle was coming to speak. But no. But we did get to hear from general authority Gerald Causse and his wife (he is Presiding Bishop), they are from Paris so their accents were great. That meeting was an MTC-wide sacrament meeting. Which means that all 3,000 or so missionaries were getting the sacrament all at the same time! They said it was history for sure. So that was a cool experience. For the fireside that night Sheri Dew came and spoke, and it was a good talk, very inspiring- she talked about all the ways we were fulfilling prophecy. Since yesterday was fast Sunday also we had our own branch testimony meeting. Man the spirit was so strong in that meeting, best one I've been to for sure. It was also the longest time I have ever fasted for. Waking up at 6:30am and not eating until 6pm. Whew hard stuff. But all these days are seriously so tiring. 16 hour work days! With about 1 hour collective of personal time total each day (aka shower and journal). But it's good. I don't miss home at all (sorry haha) and I don't miss anything from the world. Except maybe cats. My whole district already knows I have a problem. Apparently I made a cat noise in my sleep the other night. Hahahaha how embarrassing is that?? I didn't even know I made noises in my sleep. Also I keep making the mistake of saying "fish" instead of "sins", my whole district gets a kick out of it, especially my companions. The worst part is I know the real words but I end of slipping and am dead serious when I say it. I haven't said it when teaching our investigator though so that's good. Examples: "Jesus didn't have any fish." "Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can become freed from all of our fish." "We need to turn from our fish and leave them behind us." Hahaha good stuff.
I can't believe it's only been like 12 days! It feels like I have been here for 2 months. Our district is like a little family, and I think we have a little too much fun. Being diligent and studying in the same seat all day long without any supervision doesn't help. And man is staying awake during temple sessions the hardest ting ever! We got drenched on the way back to the MTC this morning from our session too. But I am so glad spring is here! We got to lay in the grass outside the temple on Sunday after our walk and boy was that SUCH a luxury! I just always am jealous of people who can sit down and relax whenever they want, and to close your eyes, what I would give! I still have awesome dreams too. But they are usually of family or something so I wake up very confused. It is crazy how I have woken up at 6:30 sharp every morning without hitting snooze once. I always thought that was a far off dream haha. I also see a ton of people from BYU around the MTC, and even my friends who work as teachers or staff. It's nice to see people I know but at the same time it's more like a wave and that's it because we are all in our own little world.
So the atonement is the best thing ever (to put it lightly). I am so grateful to have been here during Easter. The love for Christ I feel here and from everyone is astounding. I can't even put into words how I feel about the Atonement. But by being here I feel God's love for everyone through me and through the spirit so much. Even for my investigators. Or when I myself am role playing. They aren't the real person but I feel the love God has for that actual real person they are playing and I can't wait to experience that in the field with actual investigators. Also studying the scriptures here is the most rewarding experience. And that is because I am studying for someone else's benefit and not my own. I have such a strong testimony of studying for others and for your investigators. Every single time I have done it I have received not only revelation for them but for myself as well- answers to my prayers that are such a Godsend. I am still working on faith and even though sometimes I am jealous of those going English-speaking, I know that the Lord will provide a way and will be at my side to bear me up at all times. It is such a comfort. Be of good cheer because Christ has overcome the world! (John 16: 32-33). Actually just read all of John chapters 14-17.
Thanks all! Love you SO MUCH!!!!