This is coming to you live from the MTC... And currently Sister Kieffer is very, very, very, very, very numb in the mouth. Yay for dentists. It's actually really good though - because I literally can't speak and my companions will get to/have to speak more in TRC tonight. It'll force me to be quiet, so that's good.
Some quick things that I wanted to be sure I mentioned:
Cici - I did get the chance to meet Sister Dowdle this week! She and her husband were so sweet. Like I told her, I really am loving every minute here. I'm excited for all of the fun stuff you're going to get to do with the fam. And I'm SO glad your lesson went well and that Elder Oak's talk helped you out. Glad I could tell you about it :) Love you!
Dad- HOW WAS CHINA???? I want to hear all about it! I'm so glad that you got to spend some time with Kira and the Josephsons. Those pictures at the great wall of china were awesome!
Mom- Thanks so much for your letter the other day. It came right when I needed it. *The real deal* Sometimes a trio is hard. Girls are just hard. Sometimes I feel like I'm mediating more than I missionarying. If that makes sense. But it's all good- it always gets worked out. I did have a moment this week when I did get overwhelmed because I just didn't know how to help everyone stay motivated in learning and focused on what we need to be doing, especially while making sure that Sister Wiederholt has the opportunity to lead out. That's honestly been my biggest challenge - I'm learning how to be a good follower, and sometimes the little efficient person inside me just wants to take over instead of figuring out how to motivate people to be assertive and confident. But I'm working on it, and it's good. :)
Bennett - I'm so proud of you for preparing yourself and working on good goals. The scriptures are so wonderful! You can learn so much through the Spirit when you read God's word. I'd love to hear some of what you're learning and about your experiences with FBLA training and everything. I wish you the best of luck in everything! I'm praying for you. Oh also for scholarships use cappex.com, and the high school actually has a really good list.
Alrighty... Some of the other highlights of this week:
We taught a tree. Named Aspen. Except it's a pine tree. When we do roleplays, it's a little awkward to have a trio - the elders teach each other's companionships, but we can't do that so we teach a tree. Anyways. It's good though.
We had our first TRC last Thursday! It was so great!! I LOVE TRC. And honestly, I just love teaching. I love Armenian and this gospel.
Oh.. haha here's the funniest mess-up of this week: We were inviting one of our investigators to be baptized, right? Sister Long was extending the invitation and she messed up a few of the vowels... So instead of asking if he would be baptized, she apparently asked him something else. Our investigator (who was being played by our teacher) got a very panicked expression on his face and his eyes got huge. Haha he had to try soooo hard to stay in character. We didn't find out what she had said until after the lesson, so we were confused and fixed and he said yes to baptism, so that was really really reeeeally awesome. But apparently the root of the word she accidentally used was the verb "to undress." Yes, that really did happen. We couldn't stop laughing. And it was poor Sister Long... who just a few lessons earlier asked the same investigator to read the whole book of mormon in a month, except she asked him to read it in an hour... So great though. We have some funny experiences, that's for sure.
OH!! I got to host the new missionaries yesterday! How exciting is that?? It was perfect timing too. I was struggling more than I have the whole time here yesterday morning because I just don't know sometimes how to help people get excited and motivated.. I'm so happy to be here, and I love what we're doing and working toward.. and I think sometimes that rubs people the wrong way. I dunno why - they should be excited too.. BUT ANYWAY. during language study I had to just stop and say a prayer to ask for help in that area, and to not let other missionaries' bad attitudes rub off on my.. Almost right after that we got to go host as a district. It was SO fun to get the new missionaries pumped to be here. I hosted 4 different sisters yesterday, and the last one was going to the Czech Republic. She was the cutest sister ever, just so happy to be here and to get going. She unwittingly helped me realize that I don't need to be worried about "rubbing people the wrong way" with being excited. Anyways. She was just fun. And she's companions with Sister Angerhofer from my Fall Semester ward. I also hosted a sister who was in tears, but she was excited by the time we got her to class, so hopefully I did my job right.
More important than any of that though, I have realized even more just how much I have to be thankful for. I don't know why I've been so blessed in so many ways - with my family, with the gospel, with the experiences I've had that have prepared me for this mission, just everything. Even being blessed to be born in this dispensation of time. I don't think we realize how huge that is. So many prophets for so many dispensations looked forward to our day because they knew that their dispensations would eventually end in apostasy. It's mind-blowing to think about. We always here about how "we must've done something great in heaven," and while I'm sure we tried to pull our weight, I don't think that I offered anything more or anything close to what prophets like Mormon or Moroni did. So while I don't know why I got lucky to be here, I do know what I have to do because of it. Anyway, I don't want to get to preachy at you, but I've been thinking about that a lot. We have a lot of responsibilities to fulfill as the saints preparing the world for the second coming.
the last little spiritual thing I've been thinking about a lot is how much God really loves us. That's the reason for everything. Everything. The reason that we have the plan of salvation, the reason that the gospel was restored, the reason that we have wonderful times on earth, and the reason we have hard times on earth. There's so much that God wants to teach us - we just have to listen and look for it. going along with that, I'm so excited to get to share with people how much God loves them, and help them discover who they really are as children of God. That's one of my goals - for my mission and for the rest of my life. That anytime I interact with anyone, as short or long of a time that may be, that they will understand more of who they are as God's child and feel His love for them through my love for them.
Elder Quentin L Cook came on Tuesday, and I was up on the second row with Sister Peatross, so that was really fantastic. I really loved his words, and they were definitely what so many missionaries needed to hear. He spoke about not getting discouraged and not thinking that we aren't capable. Realizing that we really can do anything with God's help. He also spoke about how we should be happy, smiling, and dynamic as missionaries, and as disciples of Christ. I love that. The gospel really is the best news, and the happiest news.
I love you all! You're always in my prayers. I love my Savior, I love the gospel, and I love this work.
(P.s. Sorry for all the "I love this, and this, and this, and this, and oh yeah, I love this too." I really do though.)
P.P.S. Today Sister Long and I auditioned for Sister Nally (the MTC president's wife) for a special musical number at one of the devotionals. We sang "Come Thou Fount." ...and, we got a yes! so we'll be performing that sometime before we leave :)
P.P.P.S. Have the best week!