Monday, April 29, 2013

First Week in the MTC!


What a week this has been!! You know, for being an Empty Sea it is not very empty! There are so many missionaries here! Most exciting is that there are so many sisters here! 44% of all the missionaries here are sisters and I'm sure it will continue to go up. AND 50% of the missionaries here going to our mission are sisters (6 Elders and 6 Sisters). AND 66% of the missionaries in my district are sisters! WOOT WOOT! There are 6 of us, Elder Davis and Elder McGrath and Motra Heathcote and Motra Wait AND my amazing companion Motra Kokol! She is the best! We seriously have so much fun together, I couldn't have asked for a better companion! We are so much alike in our excited and enthusiasm about missionary work and being missionaries. Sometimes we get a little too crazy excited and have to remember to be reverent and dignified. But we have lots of fun and get along great!

The first day here we had a meeting with all the new missionaries’ (I think there was actually another room of us too but anyways) they had us stand up as they listed how long we would be a the MTC. First was the 2 weekers (English or native speakers) then the 6 weekers (most languages, Spanish, German, etc) and THEN they had all the missionaries who would be here for 9 weeks and we were the ONLY group that stood up! AHHH!! We are here like unto Asian languages as well as the other missions in our zone (Hungarian, Estonians and Finnish sp?). Oh our zone is so great! We meet together for church and stuff (which we can do in English because we are all learning different languages). We have gym time together and have great fun playing volleyball. Its nice because we don't have a ton of REALLY good volleyball players so we just have fun. I love it. But I can't wait for Frisbee when the field opens (even though we can't play ultimate :P) WAIT back to the first meeting where we stood up, we sang the Army of Helaman song but instead of singing "and we will be the Lord's missionaries..." we sang "and we are the Lord's missionaries..." It was SO great! Since I served as the music director in Primary before I came I always had the kids sing at least 1 missionary song each week (it was great!) it was fun to sing that AS a missionary! I love being a missionary!!!!!!!

Another highlight for this week was that for the Tuesday devotional we had Elder Scott come talk to us!! I guess they haven't had an apostle here for a while so I'm so glad we were here! Motra Kokol and I actually go really good seat we were about 20ft away from him 4th row pretty central. It was so great to feel the spirit that he brought. He talked about communication with Heavenly Father, it was powerful. There is so much I could tell you about it, it was so inspired. But he left us with his blessing that those of us learning a language would be able to learn it, that Heavenly Father had called us to this mission not to fail but to succeed and as we called upon Him, He would help us be better instruments. He also told us that any task we would be asked to do would be fit to our capacity. He assured us that we were called of God to our mission for a reason. We were prepared for it and it was prepared for us. Then after we sang the closing song and the person saying the prayers was coming up he ran over to the microphone again and reiterated those points again. We were called to succeed. The Lord will help. We were called by God. The spirit was so strong! The best part about that devotional was that I had really been struggling with the language that day (well really its everyday!) but it was such a timely promise and gave me such hope! I love the Lord!!

Speaking of the language, it is so hard! I thought it would be easier since it has some of the same letters as English but the e is actually an eh and the i is and ee and ch and q sound the same. So you have to re-train your mind to see them differently instead of just learning new ones. There are dh sounds and gj sounds. The grammar is different too and there are so many rules and exceptions. Its kind of like English were there are random rules that we seem to have just to make words sound better. Another hard part is that everyone has learned French, Italian or some other language so they get is so much faster (ASL hasn't really helped me too much so far...) So it is frustrating to feel like the slowest one in my class. My companion gets it so fast which at first was hard because I compared myself to her all the time but it has proved to be a blessing because she is such a patient teacher (she is also teaching me how to stand on my hands and do the splits-I love her!). Its been good to struggle though because it has definitely humbled me (I though I was going to naturally be such a great missionary because of all the experience I've had with it) but I have to start all over with the basic simple stuff because that is all I know. I seriously feel like a child in the way that I pray (we pray in Albanian) and the way that I read scriptures (I have to read slowly and sound everything out and get corrected all the time). But it has been a great way for me to learn to truly rely on the Lord and a little child!

We were talking about is as a district last night (I love my district!) about how Elder Scott talked about how we would be stretched and grown as missionaries (oh he also talked to us sisters and told us what a blessing it would be in our life that we had decided to serve- his own wife, that he talks about all the time, served a mission too!). And its true, the MTC especially stretches you so much. We may not do much, we sit in class all day, sit in the cafeteria to eat (the food is great, I love it!), we sit all the time but mentally and spiritually we are being stretched like we have never been before in our life. Elder Scott talked about when you want to learn something you have never learned before you have to do things you have never done before.

I love being a missionary. It really is a dream come true for me. It's harder than I thought it would be but it has already been such a growing experience. And I'm only on week 1!! Hahaha, I can't wait to see what else happens!

I love you all so much! I love getting letters too! (shameless begging: Please please write me letters, they make my day!) All the info is on my Face Book about section. Write me!!

I love you all!! I love being a missionary!

Motra Kertis (the e has 2 dots about it, I think its called an idea how that’s spelled)


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