Wow another week gone by, who knows what day it is or how long I've been here. I think Heavenly Father plays games with your mind with judgment of time in the MTC. The only way I know the day is on Wednesday and Sunday we get icecream. Other than that, who knows which day it is. Well it's been a wonderful week this week. It seems that about a year's worth of life has gone by in the past six or seven days. First I'll answer your questions mom.... things are good with my companion. To be honest we do a very good job of staying focused, working the hardest on Russian, and staying focused on our purpose which is to bring others to Christ. I have been blessed in that aspect I feel of a companion.
Ok so now for the week. I will just try to go through each day, because it seems that each day something special happened. Thursday, Friday and Saturday all kind of blended together so I don't remember exactly how they went, but I remember things felt and learned. Most comes from teaching our investigators. I love the program they have implemented into the MTC. Although it's kind of scary to teach, it has helped so much. Although we just teach our teachers, they act as people they converted in their missions. It makes it much more meaningful because you know they care about the person and know how the investigator would react to certain things and what their needs are. It makes it real for us. I have begun to feel that I am not simply practicing on Brother Dobry and Brother Porter (whom I love by the way) but rather teaching Denees and Vova who are real people with real needs. I learned a couple things over those few days.
First, I began to feel a little bit of the gift of tongues. Not just to simply use and learn a language, but to understand and teach. It is interesting that although I have learned a lot and know some Russian, when we go into teach it seems that my ability to speak and understand is largely increased. When I allow the Spirit to come, I am able to speak as I need-not perfectly- but i can feel help as I speak in lessons. It is interesting because at other times, I have the hardest times recalling words that I use frequently in lessons. Very cool.
Second, I have begun to feel the grasp of the atonement in our lives. This would also incorporate Sunday into my report here. It seems that I have heard several times over those past days the council to allow the mission to change you. It is kind of funny though to think …. how is simply just learninig about teaching others really changing me? But then the thought occurred, everything we do as missionaries- our purpose, our titles, our motivation- everything is focused around Christ. What a blessing His atonement is in each of our lives. I have begun to realize that the reason the mission changes me is because it is complete immersion in the gospel which is completely centered around that atonement. It is not simply serving the mission that is changing me, but rather allowing Christ to change me. It is realizing the atonement and the importance it is in my life and letting it change me. As I have learned this, I have begun to really love what I do. Simply striving and desiring to allow the atonement to change us brings so much happiness. I am loving what I am doing. Sunday was just a great day. I love Sundays here-singing in sacrament meeting is so fun because we are in a zone with Ukrainian speakers. so our songs are in Russian, Ukrainian, and English by our branch presidency and their families which just creates this mess of language. It is so funny sounding but I have never felt the Spirit so strong as I sing. I love it. Temple walks and everything about Sunday is just great.
Now on to Monday. Monday was a great day because we got to teach twice. Our first lesson was with Denees who is a drunk who’s family has left him. This was such a powerful lesson as it gave me a glimpse of what it will be like in the field. It was the first time that I felt like the Spirit was speaking through me. I was speaking rather animately and kinda in his grill as I bore testimony about the atonement and how it can change his life. Good times. However, later we taught Vova and kinda got destroyed. I felt so down and felt so-sorrowful for lack of a better word. But it taught me a lot. We got a little excited after Denees's lesson and I feel that we didn't rely so much on the Spirit in Vova's lesson. So in the end, it was a good teaching moment.
Yesterday felt like a year long. I think I experienced all aspects of the MTC. First we had a workshop. I love the Tuesday workshops. It was on the priesthood and really left me contemplating the blessing the priesthood and the restored gospel is in my and our family's life. Good food for thought, I would encourage you all to think about that and what we would not have experienced without the priesthood. Then I got some mad four square and sprained my ankle pretty hard throwin’ down on a kid. It's a little messed up but it's all good- I'll be fine mom. I am icing and advilling. :) Then last night was awesome. Bro Nally was on me again and I had to say the opening prayer at the devotional for the whole MTC. kinda scary. But it was cool to sit on the stand and I got a couple big bear hugs from Brother Nally and some good grandmotherly love from Sister Nally. I love them.
Phew, well I did as good as I could to try and convey how awesome of a week I have had. I love everything about this and even when I am feeling a little down, I think of these good times and always end up going to bed with a smile on my face. I love my Savior and how He continually can change me through his atonement. I know that if we will allow Him to, not just on our mission, but our entire lives that each day we will become better and better, loving others more and more. Because that is what the gospel is-a never ending cycle of faith, repententence, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring. I love this and love you so much. Hope all is well.