I had such a great week! I only wish i could tell you all everything but my fingers can only type so fast! So here is the low down:
I am getting used to the MTC! It's not weird anymore! The phantom vibrations are finally gone and I am over Hunger Games feel! (every night at 10 a voice comes over the intercom announcing who moved on that day...and that its quiet time) anyways it’s like home now!! Sister Rhodes described the sound of our room at night as the MTC sound machine. This was back when i was coughing all night. but basically the sounds include but are not limited to sniffles, sobs, reading the Book of Mormon in Croatian or Slovene or Serbian out loud, but very quietly, so it’s just awkward, coughs, giggles, unwrapping of candy... it really is the same every night! I am growing so much every day and I love it!!!!
I love my companions! We have grown SO much this week! We have a very unique opportunity to be in a trio and I understand a lot about how the Godhead works from it. I love their spirits. I love their prayers. I love them so much! I won't lie...we do not have a perfect companionship! We have had ups and downs and times when we all think we are not gonna make it 10 weeks together. But every time we come out of a down we are SOO much stronger than we were before and the spirit teaches us so much. I LOVE MY COMPANIONS SO MUCH!!
How is the MTC food you ask? Please turn to Jeremiah 4:19-20. After the first week here, and after much searching, we finally found the granola! Such a great option for us who need a healthy alternative! After 5 days of continual consumption, the granola disappeared! After tracking down staff, the MTC president, and after much prayer we decided to write a petition to get it back! And guess what?! THE GRANOLA IS BACK!!!!!!!!!! There is sunshine and granola in my soul today! I have loved all the packages with snacks I have received... However, getting some almonds, jerky, crackers, apples, cuties, or other similar snacks would be very welcome!
Slovene? I am getting good at it! I can street contact like no one’s business!!! I memorized a few scriptures that I love and the first vision and my purpose. We learned sentence structure this week... please pray for me! What a struggle! I love Slovene it is a beautiful language and I love the way I feel when I speak it.
This week we had our first TRC (Member lesson) basically that means that a returned missionary from our mission comes to visit us and speaks to us in Slovene. Our job is to leave that visitor them with spiritual thought. I learned SO much from this opportunity! Guys! When you have missionaries over for dinner and they ask if they can leave a message with you LISTEN! It is very hard as a missionary to get away from the lessons in Preach My Gospel and try to bless the lives of someone who already has the gospel!!! Think about it! It is hard! We pray so hard to know how we can help! The lesson experience went well and I enjoyed it! We have another one tonight so pray for us to know what to say! Remember to BE NICE to missionaries!
So on Friday I had a pretty rough day! Bummer! And that night no one was in the mood to study Slovene. Brother Mills just read us his old emails from his mission. I learned a lot of things and I kind of wish I hadn’t! HA! Apparently, they have no idea what air conditioning is over there... tears! He told us how sometimes he would be dripping sweat from 115 degree days and 100% humidity. He says the colors of the buildings there make it hotter. Ahhh…help me. Then he told us about food! That was interesting! He showed us pictures of a baptism in a lake (common) surrounded by the Alps (at Fall time, so wow, it was so pretty) and castles sticking out of the Alps! He made us all SO ready to go!!!
I got a package from Shanda! I cried because it was such a rough day and I loved that she thought of me and knew I would need some comfort that day! Thank you Shanda for answering my prayers!
Saturday we taught our investigator. I accidentally told him that "God knows your deepest cabbages" instead of desires... the laughter that followed was priceless. Slovene is tricky! Since it was Valentine’s Day, we all wore necklaces that Sister Rhodes mom sent us! Sister Rhodes got 4 packages that day! So fun! We all love when we get packages—we share! AHH so great! And sister Redding got 2 packages that day! Her grandma sent her a cake... a legit cake! So fun! I got a letter from Madi's big sister that made my whole day! I also got a needed package from Tiffany with some things I had needed! It was such a fun day! We learned about love through Christ! Also during the day a sister going to Tahiti asked me to bear my testimony to her in Slovene! So I did and she almost cried! She said my language is so beautiful and melodic and she loves it! That made my day! I am getting used to it and the way it feels. I had forgotten how pretty it is!
For Relief Society on Sunday we learned about real LDS women! SO fun! It was awesome to hear the stories of the first sister missionaries and how everyone loved listening to them speak! I got to sit by my old college friend Becca and that was so great! The Devotional was so good! We watched old Mormon commercials and talked about how we can bring those messages to others! It was so great and totally funny! For movie night they played an Elder Holland talk that we decided to attend together with our zone. It was SOOO GOOD! I took 7 pages of notes. Honestly, it changed my life! I wish I could say more about it! One of my favorite quotes I got from it was "As you bear testimony to them, live so they can bear testimony of you." This week I learned how important it is that the spirit is there teaching alongside of you. It's not what I say it’s how they feel after it’s said. Life changing!
On Monday we had a lesson with our Atheist investigator. He asked the HARDEST questions! Questions I can barely answer in English let alone SLOVENE! Very difficult! After we left the lesson we all fell to the ground with headaches and so were tired! However, after that lesson we knew what HE needed to hear, so we began to prepare what we would teach in the next lesson. Sister Rhodes needed someone to turn pages for her while she accompanied someone for the senior couple’s welcome, and since I can read music, I did it! It was fun but I knew that if anyone was going to mess up it was going be me! But, I nailed it!
At gym, Sister Rhodes and I continued to play basketball while sister Redding kills it in volleyball. At one point sister Redding went to go play 4 square! We had been thinking about it for a while but had never gotten around to it! SO sister Rhodes and I stood back to the side trying to figure out the rules... at one point we decided we were the announcers for the sport and entire gym. It was so fun! I was laughing my head off. I think we have a future in sports announcing!
Tuesdays are SO great for me! They start off with us getting a sack breakfast in our PJs and we can go and see the sunrise! I love Tuesdays! Then we go to do service! I love service! It is fun! We cleaned all the windows in the big building!!! We talked about our best friends the entire time and it was So great! We also talked about our adorable nieces and nephews and shared stories about how much we love them! It made me so happy to talk about those people! Then we had gym! I am getting really good at basketball! My average is going up every day! For lunch they had chicken salad sandwiches! WHAT?!? Healthy food, finally, that isn’t just a limp salad?!? I was so happy! Plus, they served peaches! BEST DAY EVER!!!! I also got a letter from Madi! That was so great because my companions were starting to think I had made her up! I loved it!! Mail in the MTC means SO MUCH!!! I loved it! That night we had a lesson with our other investigator! He had some questions about the Plan of Salvation, so I drew the whole plan up on the board in Slovene! I felt really cool, but I couldn't explain it very well in Slovene, so that is what I am working on learning how to do now! But the drawing was good!
Wednesday we had another lesson with Marco, our atheist investigator...I wish every one of you could have been there to feel the spirit and watch us teach. I never knew I was capable of doing something like that!!!! When the lesson started out, every time I thought to say something, my companions would say it! And that was ok! We were all teaching...but, I wasn't talking. I was receiving and thinking the same things they were, I was just slower to open my mouth. We went in there with the plan to teach about faith, which led to him asking about Jesus, which led to us teaching about the Atonement (odkupno daritev) Finally, I opened my mouth and the lesson changed. The spirit was SO strong in that lesson! He asked why Jesus is so important, and I think I asked him if he was perfect or if he wanted to be and he said yes! He wanted to know how he can receive answers and I bore my testimony that sometimes it’s a thought then an action and then a feeling. Sometimes the Lord teaches us though feelings, or thoughts... something like that! I then had the STRONG impression to say "sometimes, the lord answers us through other people" and we all sat there and then he said "like through you guys?" AHHH SO GOOD! We said yes! I then bore my testimony... and we all just sat there and dwelled in the spirit. I looked over at sister Redding and knew she was feeling the spirit, then I looked at Sister Rhodes who had tears welling up in her eyes and I had my hand over my heart to try and help it calm down! That's when our Atheist investigator said "I believe that." I almost screamed I was so pumped! I asked him how he felt and he said he felt comfort and love and I told him that I know the spirit is here and God is teaching him because he desired to know. Sister Redding then asked him to pray about our message and he gave the most SINCERE prayer I have ever heard! I am so grateful for my 4th companion, the Holy Ghost, and I am so glad he was in our lesson!
Today was great! I love going to the temple and I live for temple cafeteria food. However, we made the decision that we can’t afford to eat there each week (Its about $5 a person) so we are not eating there next week...I will probably cry, but it’s fine. We did Sealing’s and it was so great! I got a package from my cute momma today! I love her so much and I love the support I am getting! I LOVE GETTING MAIL!!!! It is honestly one of the best things about being a missionary! I tear up every time my district leader hands me a letter or a little pink slip telling me I have a package!
I seriously love being a missionary! Each morning I am SO happy! I sleep on my stomach so when the alarm goes off its easy to just pop up onto my knees to pray and thank the Lord that I get to preach his gospel again and thank him for the angels that I feel walking beside me constantly! I have sores on my knees from praying. The carpet is rough stiff here—sweet sores. I love all of you and pray for you continually, as I know you do the same for me. I feel the prayers and I am so grateful for them! I love you all! This week every thought, word and action will resemble my important call! I love this stuff guys! I am SO happy!