Friday, August 17, 2012

LOVE it here! really!

Hello all!

Thank you to everyone who sent letters this week!  Mom, Corinne, Sydney, Dad, Aunt Jennifer, Jeff Sherwood, Lauren Lindner, and Kate!  Also, thanks for the cookies mom.  Kate!  I am SO glad you are home right now.  I hope you had a safe flight and that you continue to have fun at home.  Give my mom and yours a big hug for me!  I hope you have a great vacation and a safe flight back to UT.

So, this has by far been the hardest week yet.  I got sick friday night, and am still suffering from a slight cough.  But I am doing much better.  It has been really hard to work hard and focus when I have been feeling sick.  I was never super sick, but even a minor cold and sinus infection can make you want to give it all up.  I have been so tired and so out of energy this week.  But I am doing much better so nobody needs to worry about me.  This week has still been really spiritual and good.

We have done a lot of studying the Gospel and Spanish.  I am starting to speak more spanish than last week, but still not where I want to be.  It is a constant battle but one that I will be victorious over in the end.  We have learned a lot this week about how to study and plan effectively which has been very helpful.  Now I just wish I knew how to teach! 

I don't think I explained very well what it means to have investigators in the MTC.  They are not real investigators.  They are our teachers pretending to be people they taught on their missions.  So they are kind of real people.  But that is more about the process.  We have 2 new investigators.  Patricio and Daniel.  We have taught each of them once.  Patricio is christian and wants to know why we dedicate so much time to our religion and why we live strict lives.  We didn't find this out until the first lesson, so we taught him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  We did our best to relate that message back to his question. The best part of the lesson for me was when I recited Joseph Smith History 1:16-17 IN SPANISH!  Yup I memorized it.  You look someone in the eye and say that word for word, they are gonna feel something. 

Our first lesson with Daniel was probably our best first lesson ever.  We got to know him (he is looking for faith and peace!) and I think we really connected with him.  We also started the lesson with a hymn.  Venid a Cristo (follow Christ?)  So, me and my comp sang a DUET!  AND I CANT SING WELL!  But it didn't matter, the spirit was there!  We taught a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and ways to find peace especially through the Book of Mormon.  We committed both of our investigators to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  Hopefully they will.  I invite all of you to do the same, even if you have already!  You can know again or know deeper.  Just felt like I ought to say that.

Sunday was good, we had Relief society and the General Primary President spoke.  We sang I Hope They Call me on a Mission.  This week, I got stuck going to choir once because I couldn't find a companion to stay back with me.  It was okay, but I don't like singing! haha.  Especially when sick.

This week, we had one of the coolest workshops.  At the beginning we wrote something we wanted to improve on.  I said speaking spanish.  THen we learned about a scenario with a girl who was struggling to pray because she kept repenting and making the same mistakes.  We were asked to write a letter to her.  I wrote in my letter about how God doesn't expect us to be perfect and that as long as we continually come unto him he will help us.  I told her that I still make mistakes all the time.  I shared Ether 12:6 about weaknesses becoming strengths.  It was a beautiful letter.  After writing the letter we were told to write at the top our names and address it to ourselves.  THe teacher reminded us about the things we wanted to improve on and asked us to read the letter as it was written for ourselves.  I read it again, and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear!

We had a devotional on Tuesday and got to hear from Elder Evans of the 70 and his wife.  He shared with us a beautiful painting about a rescue boat (i don't know much more about it but Pres. Monson is talking about it a lot?)  Then he talked about how missionaries are here to rescue people who are searching to come unto Christ.  That is what i am here for.  I am here to invite others to come unto Chirst. 

Also this week we got four elder added to our district.  They were supposed to be here for 3 weeks then go to other MTCs but no visas.  So now we have 12 in our class and the room is a lot more crowded.  Not everyone is very happy, but I am trying to make the new elders feel welcome.  I know one of them too!  He was in one of my spanish classes at BYU. ANother hard thing about the MTC is always feeling pressured for time.  But it is okay :) 

I have seen Elder Bird (going to Spain Madrid) and I met another girl going to Madrid.  I now know 2 Hermanas and one Elder going to Madrid!  My visa has not come yet nor do I know when it will come.  But I love my district here so that is okay.  Every night we read the scriptures in spanish out loud together, talk about spiritual insights from the day, and share a question of the day (mantra, favorite something, etc.). 

I am keeping an eye out for Elder Jordan Johnson, but I have not seen him yet.  But everyone in the MTC is super nice, I bet he is having a great time!

We got to go to the temple again this morning.  Awesome as always.

I had a dream earlier this week that I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and the only toothpaste I had was colgate.  In the dream it tasted SO BAD.  It was a really bad dream.  When I woke up the next morning and went to brush my teeth and found my crest toothpaste, i was SO HAAPPPY!

Our class has a can of lysol vanilla spray that we call navidad because that is what it smells like.

Tender mercy: Cookies from mom.  NO JOKE, I was going to ask you in this email to send me some cookies because i wanted something that reminded me of home.  But they arrived yesterday.  Huge blessing, right when I needed it most.  Also, LAuren Lindner, the letter you shared and everything you said was just what i needed.  Same with the card I got from you, Corinne.

I love you, all.  I really am doing well. LOVE it here!  really! 

Hermana Olsen

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