Last wednesday after I wrote you we did laundry and wrote loooooots of letters and then taught another lesson with Karina! It actually went pretty well. We invited her to be baptized! She said there were too many new things right now but as she came to know it is true she would! We teach again tomororow and also mercedes. IT is getting SO much easier to understand what they are saying!! And I personally was able to say almost everythin gI needed to. I had a lot of experiences where the spirit prompted me to say things... por ejemplo when we were trying to explain how to feel the spirit I felt prompted to ask Hermano Meek, "How do you feel the spirit in your life?" and also to share experiences of struggling to recognize the spirit. It went so well! It is AMAZING how much we have learned and grown in only one week!
We goofed off so much today... It was bad because we don't feel as focused but it was SO good because we are closer now and really had a good mental/emotional break.
Today I got letters from JD and Kelsey. I wrote back to JD'S but I couldn't to Kelsey's because I got it after 6 and pday ends at 6 :( (don't worry kels, I'm getting you today! Still waiting for those baby pictures though) :) So excited you are having a boy!!
JD gave such great advice about how we grow the most during trials so we can do the work the Lord has for us. I am so grateful for everything I am experiencing and for all the prayers from you guys. I really need them!! I love my family!!!
Good day again! Lesson with Mercedes. It went so well!! We had no notes... we just told her with the spirit about temples and went into the four things you need to be able to enter (faith repentance baptism H.G) so that we could lead into the next lesson with those. We are planning to teach the Restoration Monday. Also, we showed her pictures of our families and their temple marriages!! Buuuut I forgot mine :( :( haha woops. NExt time.
Exercise time... was kickball with the zone. Ummm I sat out and memorized the first vision instead!! Hahaha. I like it when we ACTUALLY exercise. But I guess it's really important to be close as a zone? Hermana Kugath REALLY wants to so whatever.
Lunch, more language and coaching. Then dinner and our LAST lesson with Karina! It actually went really well. We retaught repentaance and how it distances us from God until we repent. We asked if there was anything she needed to repent of to be able to come closer to christ and better feel the spirit and committed her to repent. She said si and then we bore more testimony and asked if she would be baptized on july1 and she said yes!!! Wahoo first baptismal commitment! haha She's not a real investigator though. In fact... rumor has it that she is our next teacher! But it feels so good to know that I can bring someone closer to Christ as an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I love Karina and when I say that I mean it!!
Mom sent me the BEST package! SHoes, laundry detergent, batteries, treats, mints, cough drops, tissues, meds, her favorite mentholatum, cards, envelopes, stamps, anything and everything I could need. THANK YOU! She also wrote the best letter ever about how everyone is praying and fasting for me. THANKYOU!! I need it so much and can feel your prayers!! I love you mommy!!
Also I got a dear elder form Maddie Beecher and Collettie!! Maddie... I don't think I got your address... but just so you know... I AM eating gluten again haha :) So muddy buddies are welcome! :) And collette- thank you for the week update!! I'll write you a letter!
Guess what we realized?!? We leave exactly a month from tomorrow! I cannot believe only 4 weeks left! The days go by sooooo slowly, but the weeks go by so fast!! Yet it feels like I've been here eons... I don't know it's weird.
Today we had...GOT..to wake up at 6 again for service :) Yippee. We always laugh because the service we do is cleaning the classrooms... which each class is in charge of doing on their own anyways... so it's always clean... and we are ALWAYS in charge of sweeping the floors... and there's nothing to sweep. It feels like a waste of time.. but we figure that must be what its like to clean the temple! You don't clean it when it's dirty... you clean it to keep it from becoming dirty!! (Still doesn't feel worth waking up at 6 for though) ;)
Class with Hno Bliler and Hno Meek. We learned about the importance of studying as a missionary. You know that "seek first to obtain my word" scripture? The blessings for doing this are TREMENDOUS in the verse!! If I study and then desire, my tongue will be loosed (which is HUGE for my poor espanol) and we will have the power of God unto the convincing of men!!!
After that we did a review of our first investigator Karina. Turns out as we though Karina wasn't the REAL Karina. The real Karina was baptized in 2009 and married in the temple. Our Karina is really name hmna Boza and is best friends with real Karina. She made a video about her experience with us... as I watched it I was so overcome with love for her- for the REAL karina AND Hmna boza. I thin kit is the first time I have really truly FELT God's love for His children. I shed a few tears and afterwards an observing Maestro asked what I felt while watching. I could NOT control my tears as I tried to explain my joy- my joy that REAL Karina could partake of the blessings of the gospel and the temple and that Hmna Boza could feel the Spirit and come closer to Christ from us teaching her. Us- who have no idea what we are saying. We were able to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. I truly felt love an djoy! Alma 29:9 (I don't know exact words but it is on my mission plaque) I know that which God has commanded me and I glory in it. I do NOT glory in myself, but I glory in that which God hath commanded me- that I might be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring SOME soul unto repentance, and THIS IS MY JOY! It is truly a joyful experience to help in this work- even though Karina wasn't a real investigator.. our purpose is to invite OTHERS to come unto Christ. That doesn't mean it has to be a nonmember! It could be YOU! :)
Gym... real workout.. back to class.
We were supposed to have a new teacher today.. but instead we had the floating teacher Hno Thoreson. He is the one that went to Costa Rica. We talked more about studying.. then he told us some stories about the Latin American people. He said that they LOVE missionaries. Even if they are dirt poor they'll do all they can to feed you and take care of you. He told a story about His sister serving in Nicaragua. The family that feeds her lunch asked what her favorite drink was and in her broken spanish she said the (dr. pepper) was "like a coke" The next day when she went to lunch, thi sfamily who could barely even feed themselves had an ice cold coke on the table for her. Their love is amazing and I love them already!!
I got a letter from Smantha Hancock, My old roommate, which was so nice, and from Daddy. Everyone reading this... our Dad is the BEST! He told me about this talk by Pres Kimball about Mountains we have to climb to receive blessings. At the end he quoted that one Randy something song that saiys " If there's a mountain I need to climb, give me that mountain, I'll make it mine." I know that these things I am experiencing are difficult.. but I know it will be worth it!! Give me that mountain, I'll make it mine!!! Vale la pena!!
No letters or anything :( But esta bien.
First class... surprise!! Rumors were true! Fake Karina real Hermana Boza is now our teacher! We were scared because she is a REAL latina (no one else has a real latin teacher!) and she is SO dificil to undrestand. But it was actually AWESOME! I surprisingly understood most of what she said and she helped what we didn't get. She's really fast paced which helped us not fall asleep and we had to understand concepts quuickly. She used LOTS of different methods and had us standing sitting, talking out loud, running around, using computers etc. which really kept my focus! She is GREAT! She taught at the Peru MTC before this. I truly love her... and think of how great I'll sound after learning form a REAL latina!!
Gym... oh ya Hmna Boza taught us about stress. The video said that signs of stress include loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. My companions were like "YOU!" haha but I swear I'm not stressed. I'm just not hungry and it takes me a while to fall asleep. Esta muy bien.
Anyway.. gym we played volleyball with the zone. It was fine. Hmna Kugath loves it so whatever.
Lunch, PSC, Dinner, last lesson of the week with Hnos Meek y Bliler. They demonstrated how to teach the first lesson. They are AMAZING!!!! It was another reminder of how far I have to go and how much I can improve on, but I'm grateful to be in the hands of such GREAT teachers.
I'm so happy tomorrow is sunday!!! It is the best in the MTC.
Oh and we get two more investigators now, Alejandro and Luisa (who are really Hmno Meek and Hmna Boza) AND Mercedes. Three investigators!
Vale la Pena!
First we went to Music and the Spoken word after our district meeting. You were probably watching too... right???/ I loved how Lloyd K Newell said that if you are shy and uncomfortable entering a group of people... turn it around! Think that this group is uncomfortable with someone new and you need to put them at ease and make them comfortable. This is again turning OUTWARDS. How awesome. I needed that!
Then Relief Society was Sister Robin Bonhim from the General Board. She spoke about priesthood power. She said that any Woman young or old, set apart by Priesthood keys has power and authority to perform that work. The same is true for any office of the church set apart by priesthood keys. So mama you have priesthood power- power from God! To be able to accomplish the work set before you as Stake Young Womens Pres! And you Kate with your calling! All of us!
Then we stayed for the New Sisters meeting (even though we are officially no longer NEw... but last sunday was Fast Sunday so we didn't get it) And they basically just taught us about modesty. Some things I liked were that they said, "Spread the gospel, not germs." haha and also that modesty is crucial to having the spirit and is not just about how we dress, but how we talk, act, and interact. Be attractive without drawing attention. Our calling is not casual so our dress should not be either. reflect Respect.
Then Sacrament Meeting. Pres Shallenbergers mother was litterally dying as he was speaking to us AND he had just had eye surgery a day or two before to stop his Glaucoma from blinding his other eye. I can't believe he was there with us! He said that no matter the challenges we face, there is a state of happiness because of the gospel. So it will be OKAY!
Then interviews. Bro Slingerland told us that our teachers report on us everyweek and that they said we are really progressing as a companionship and that we are an example to the Branch and the whole area! that we were a breath of fresh air! I don't know if that's true, but it led us to set a lot of goals to help us truly become better!
Devo by Brother Richard I heaton. He taught us how to teach the Law of Chastity so that our investigators FEEL about this law the way God does. It was great.
Sunday film- Elder Hollands "For such a time as this". It was awesome! About how we don't understand what we have in these latterdays.. that prophets of ancient times prophesied and sang and wrote about our day because FINALLY it is going to work!! There will be no more apostasy!! WE CANNOT FAIL!
I saw MAika Walters at Devo!! It was so nice!!! She is doing great.
Lesson with Mercedes at 10... we taught her the 1st lesson. It was going SO well and the spirit was SO strong! We were about to bear testimony of the first vision and talk about the Book of Mormon and then she said she needed el bano and asked if we could finish anohter time... haha so tomorrow at 10.
Then TALL, gym- volleyball otra vez. It was fun. Hermana Kugath LOVES it.. Hermana Bratt HATES it... I'm in between. That's how most things are in our companionship ;) Sack lunches... then class with Hno Bliler. He is a great teacher.
Lesson with Luisa after dinner... MUY DIFICIL!! she has been taught by the missionaries for EIGHT YEARS so she already knows alll the lessons. During our coaching, Hna Boza/Luisa/Karina/but really Hna Boza.. told us that we need to think of a creative way to teach her instead of the same way missionaries have for 8 years.
Lesson with Alejandro.. not easy, but not bad. We taught the first lesson and didn't do poorly, but we have much to imporove on. Hno Meek/Alejandro told us we did really well but to be always trying to figure out the needs of Alejandro.
Then Grammar with Hna Boza! She is awesome. We have the BEST TEACHERS EVER! Seriously.
Package from mom and the little girls and friends!! Loved the cupcakes!! We saved them for out PDAy eve party! I hope you guys go to seven peaks ALL the time so I get more packages!! :) And THANK YOU for the workout clothes!! I am seriously so grateful1!! Letter from Clair (I didn't get her address and have no time to email her so mom if i send a letter for her to you could you maybe get it to her?) Letter from courtney (YAY THANKS!) Letter from Leslie (it only took 7 days to get here from Finland!!!!!!) and letter from Brittany with great advice.. and a letter todo en espanol from Uncle Stan. I could KIND of get the gist of it!! :) Uncle Stan if you are reading this... I forgot the email of that sweet sister but I PROMISE I'll remember it next time!!! I hope she is doing okay and will keep her in my prayers.
Lesson with Mercedes, followed up on commitment to read BOM.. She didn't so we read the last two paragraphs of the intro with her and taught how she can feel the spirit and know for herself. It was awesome.
Tall, picked up mail=nothing. Gym-real exercise! I memorized the Baptismal invitation during that so now I've got my purpose, the first vision, and the baptismal commitment down!
Class with Hno Bliler. He is great. He is leaving for a week long vacation which is SO sad because it's like a YEAR in mission time!! We talked about planning lessons and practiced teaching each other just as ourselves. The spirit was so strong!
Dinner.. checked mail again.. TWO DEAR ELDERS! Woot woot. But one was just a reprinted copy of Courtney's letter from yesterday haha. So really just one from Aunt Mel!!! She's the best- she is actually writing me every week like she promiesd!
We had an AWEOSOME DEVO with QUENTIN L COOK! The moment he walked in the room I was overwhelmed with the spirit and knew that he truly is an apostle of God! He told us not to be concerned that we don't feel capable. He said we ARE GOOD ENOUGH!! He said this is a spiritual work.. yes we need to learn the lessons... but this is a SPIRITUAL work. He said the YOU ARE THE MESSAGE, your smile, your light, your love, etc. He also pronounced a blessing upon us.. which seems like a pretty big deal.. that we will be able to set aside feelings of inadequacy and that EVERYONE WE LOVE will be blessed for our service. THis meant SO MUCH to me because I REALLY LOVE you guys. SO MUCH! and I'm soooooooo grateful to know you are being blessed.
His wife talked about learning truth through song. I am SO grateful for all the truths I learned through music from a young age from my goodly parents!!!
Here I am!! 2 weeks old and doing great. This is hard work, but it's a great work. The spiritual experiences and the joys I experience far outweigh the bad. I am still missing you guys but doing SO MUCH better!! Please don't stop writing me!!!!! I don't know how easy communication will be in the field (at least I know I'll have one dear elder when I get to Costa Rica... thanks kels) ;) But please send me dear elders and letters and things!! I always go print my emails off on wednesday around 10 so you can write me an email and I'll just respond via letter!! Include your address and try to have it in by ten so I can read it!! Kate I just saw yours so Ill respond by letter!!!
I cannot express enough how much I LOVE YOU!!! I am so grateful for you. But I also love this work. I love the gospel and I love my Savior and I know I can do this through Him!!!!