Dear Friends and Family,
Oh my goodness... I can't even tell you how happy I was to open up my email today and see so many emails of love and support!! You guys are absolutely amazing, and I love you all!
(Before you read any further, I am just going to apologize right now for how long this email is probably going to be... I have so much to tell you all!! :) )
The MTC is SO wonderful! I need to have a serious chat with whoever said that Disneyland is the best place on Earth, because obviously they have never been to the MTC! :) The spirit is always constant here. I wake up smiling every day, seriously, and it doesn't leave my face until I'm asleep! I love it here!!
My companion's name is Siostra DeMordaunt, and she is AMAZING. Everyone in our zone has a real hard time saying her name, so we all just call her Siostra D! Her and I talked to each other over instagram a little before we entered the MTC, but we had NO clue we would be companions!! She is seriously the most amazing person. She is so outgoing, and makes me laugh so hard I cry, every day! :) I am very shy here, but she brings me out of my shell, which I love her for! Her and I have this "companionship vibe" thing goin' on that is seriously awwwesome. We think the same things, we say the same things, we do the same things... We're pretty much the same person. It's so great. She says the funniest things, like: "Coo-coo-cachoo" instead of "Cool!" or "Okay. This is all a lie." when she can't find something in her bag, or when it is cold outside, or just basically for everything! ha ha! We like to have sing alongs every day. It's a blast. Especially, now that it is November, we sing Christmas songs all the time! :) Anyway, she is amazing, and has been the biggest blessing here. I am so grateful for her. I honestly don't know what I would do without her.
So, my zone is the best thing since sliced bread!! In my zone, we have to Poles (that's us :) ), the Czech's, the Slovak's, the Bulgarian's, and the Slovene's. They are all so great! Every Saturday our zone has a tradition that we call "Sweater Saturday". Preeeetty self-explanatory, but we all wear sweaters and take a picture! Our zone leaders say that during that picture is the only time we are allowed to "pose like we are on the cover of a GQ magazine", which... I didn't even know what that was, but apparently it's super fashionable! So... yeah! :) We are sending in our picture to the GQ magazine editor's, so... Look for us on next month's cover! ;) But that night our whole zone gets together from 9-9:30, and we spend that half hour standing in a circle and singing hymns. It was the most incredible experience, and the spirit was SO strong.
My district... THE POLES. I loooove them!! There is Siostra D and I, Siostra Barney & Siostra Lerch, Siostra Yochim & Siostra Dekker, and our one and only solo Elder- Starszy Ashworth!! Poor guy, surrounded by all us girls... ;) But he loves it! He is from Manchester, so we are all pretty entertained by his accent! ha ha! He says the funniest things, and is suuuuper sassy. It's great!! We love him! ha ha! Siostra Barney is from Herriman, and I just love her! She is so sweet, and has this "RinderCella" story that she told the other day after we were struggling with the language and it CRACKED us up. ha ha! She just has the best attitude. :) Siostra Lerch is from Gilbert, AZ and is the funniest person I have ever met in my whole life. She talks to herself all the time, and gets so into her stories, I just die whenever she talks! :) Siostra Yochim is from LA, Cali and she is the sweetest person ever. She always sees the good in people, and you can't help but love being around her. If you ever need a self esteem boost, go to her! She'll make you feel better about yourself than if you were to get a letter from the King of England tellin' ya how great you are! Siostra Dekker is so so cute. She is itty bitty, and has the cutest voice, we all love her! She is sooo sweet, and is always smiling! Gosh, I got pretty lucky in the District department!
And, all us Polish sisters share a room!! It is sooo much fun!! We have a blast talking each others ears off at night. :) One thing we do that I absolutely love, is we always say a group prayer in Polish before we go to bed. I love it. It's just the perfect way to end our perfect days!
The language, uh.. Ohhhh the language... ;) ha ha! It is extremely hard, and confusing 99.9% of the time, but I LOVE IT! Is that crazy?! I love how hard it is, and I love how I spend 12 hours a day trying to sound out words that have a-funkies and e-funkies and s-funkies and c-funkies and l-funkies and all sorts of other funky letters! ;) It's THE BEST. :) It is really hard, but you want to know what? I'm SO grateful that it is hard!! :) If it wasn't hard, it wouldn't be as rewarding!
On our third day here at the MTC, Siostra D and I had to teach a lesson to an investigator IN POLISH. You should've seen our faces when they told us we would be teaching that day! ha ha ha! Oh man, it was great. So, honestly, it took us 6 hours to plan our lesson! Yes, 6! We planned it all out in English, which took probably 10 minutes, then the rest of the time was spent translating it with this nifty little thing called a Polish-English dictionary ;) We were soooo nervous in that lesson because, uh, we don't speak Polish and here we are trying to teach in it! So, it's safe to say that we stuck to our script and read every word! ha ha :) But the most amaaazing miracle happened a few days ago. So, since last Friday, we have taught our investigator Karina every day! It's crazy! And just to make things crazier, I think we have had a teacher a total of.... 8 hours since we have been here. We've had a teacher for 1 classroom block for two days. That's it! (Hiring problem I guess? I don't know. The supervisor came and talked/apologized to us the other day, and said they are hiring more teachers for us! Weird right?!) So... we've basically been teaching ourselves Polish! :) It's been great though because we have had to learn to really rely on the Lord and turn to Him.
Anyway, our second lesson with Karina was just awful we thought! She kept asking us questions and we just had absolutely no idea what she was saying, or how to respond, so she would ask us a question, we would stare at her (with a look that I'm sure was like, "What in the world are you saying, lady?"), and then go right back to reading our lesson! It was so bad... ha ha! So, while we were planning our third lesson, we were kind of frustrated, so we decided- you know what, this isn't working when we do this by ourselves. We need to pray, and trust in the Lord. Let the spirit take the reins on this one. So, we prayed harder and more fervently than I think we both ever have in our entire lives. After we prayed to be inspired what to teach her, and for the Lord to loosen our tongues, we both sat there for a moment, then at the same time we both said, "The Gospel Blesses Families". (I'm telling you, this companionship vibe thing is craaaazy. (It's called the spirit ;) ) ) It was amazing! So, we wrote a basic lesson plan, but went in there with prayerful hearts that the spirit would guide our lesson and touch her heart. Long story short, we understood every word she said in that lesson, were able to answer her questions, and not a single one of us (even karina) left the lesson with a dry eye. It was AMAZING. Goodness, I am sitting here getting teary eyed just thinking about it. :) The Lord answers prayers. He is there! The gospel is true. I've never been more sure of anything in my life. :)
Since that lesson, I've come to realize that the best lessons aren't taught from one mouth to another, they're taught from one heart to another. I love it here. :)
Well, I am almost out of time, so I've got to get going! But I love you all so so much, and miss you all! Thank you for all the letters, packages, love, and support! They mean more to me than you will ever know. :)
Thank you for all the prayers also. I can honestly tell you that I feel them. They make me strive to be the best I can be. :)
dearelder.com is like the best thing ever if anyone ever wants to send me a short letter. Seriously, missionaries ADORE them! (Especially me!)
I love you all and will talk to you soon! :) I hope all is well with you all! Don't worry about me, I am pretty much in heaven here! I LOVE THE MTC. :) & ALL OF YOU. AND THE GOSPEL.
I'm the luckiest missionary in the world!
We dressed in the Poland flag for Halloween. Best thing ever. :)
Siostra D and I with alllll our Polish books. We love it here. :)
All the sisters in our zone!
Look who I found! Elder Gray and Elder Lyon!!
Cleaning bathrooms for service. We mean business!! :)