Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Life isn't hard when you live the gospel..." Week 4

Ç kemi!!!!

Thank you so much for the package Mom! :) Those cookies were gone pretty much as soon as we opened the box. :) I can't believe that it is p-day again! The weeks just fly by, it is crazy. A lot has happened this last week! 

Firstly, our Sunday devotional was pretty awesome. It started off really weird though, instead of hearing from anybody they just played David A. Bednar's talk the True Character of Christ. Which by the way is thee most amazing talk. Like ever. It even gives Elder Holland's talks a run for its money. So we watched that, and during the devotional President Nally and the head security guard person got up and left; it was way weird. And then the rebroadcast of the talk is over and guess who walks in the room?! Elder David A. Bednar. That sneaky MTC Presidency!!!!!!!!!!! It was soo cool though! Motra Coleman and I were sitting on the third row and I made eye contact with David A. Bednar. It was the most nervous, terrifying, and amazing thing at the same time that he was looking right at me, had made eye contact with me and he was talking to all of the missionaries. It was amazing. He did a Q&A session with us for about an hour and 15 minutes. It was truly amazing. Something he said stuck out to me and I want to share part of that and ask for you help family. A missionary had asked him if he had any advice or tips for the missionaries that are learning a new language. He simply said "If you pray as earnestly as you know how to, both day and night and to ask your family to pray also for the spirit of discernment and understanding and the gift of tongues then you will be blessed beyond measure." I feeling fairly confident with what I have learned and am learning with the language, but I am asking that you continue to pray that I will be able to understand what is being said and that I will be able to speak it back. I know that Elder Bednar was giving us a promise, and that it will work. I have no doubt. Also, on Sunday morning for Relief Society Mary Edmunds came and talked to us. That was absolutely incredible! Sunday was just a spiritually saturating day. It was amazing! I also had a very neat experience before the devotional on Sunday.  Motra Coleman and I had to go to a meeting, and at this meeting there was probably about 60ish missionaries there. During the meeting, President Seamons had all the sisters stand up and say the Young Women’s Theme. What an incredible experience. The spirit just flooded me as I stood up and said "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us, and we love Him. We will stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. As we strive to live the young women values which are faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity, and virtue. We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation."  I had goose bumps as I said the Young Women’s theme because I realized how applicable it is to me as a missionary. All of those themes, we teach those themes to our investigators. I am standing as a witness of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. I became so grateful for the Young Women's program and for my leaders that day. Love and memories just filled my heart of all my girl's camps, mutual activities, Young Women lessons, my leaders, and the cute girls in our ward. Young Women’s has prepared me for my mission as much as Mission Prep has. It truly is an inspired program of the Church, and I know that if anyone follows and really takes to heart those young women values that they will have "a sure foundation. A foundation whereon if they build, they cannot fall." 

So, the Hungarians left. It is so amazing how much you can grow to love people you have never met before when you are all working so hard for the same thing. Goodness, those Hungarian missionaries have helped me so much since being here. I was dreading Monday. I only cried a little bit...haha, actually scratch that. But, Hungary is one lucky place to be getting the elders and sisters that they are. What a lucky country.  But, with that being said, we got 17 new missionaries in our zone yesterday!! I sure was happy happy happy! There are 9 sisters and 8 elders. 3 are going to Estonia (2 sisters, 1 elder) and the rest are going to Hungary!! They are such a great group of missionaries! The Elders are hilarious and the sisters are all so adorable! I'm so excited!! haha, funny story. You know senior year the State Championship game at Rio Tinto for State, and how we played Bonneville? Small world. Small world. haha. :) Sholly Nover was on that team, it was funny because her companion was introducing her and was like "...she is from Ogden. She plays soccer. She won two state championships..." and I said "What High School? (She said Bonneville) and I was like Oh, I played you in the State Championship final and lost to you... I still love you though." haha it was funny! Really though, I recognized her, but not as one of the girls that I always got in cat fights with during the club games.  But, it just shows that you can still love your rivals! Honestly though, just from meeting her yesterday she is an incredible sister. And she has already been such an example to me! I just thought that was funny. And Mom, her club team was the Banana team. hahahahahaha, small world. small world. 

HAPPY PLENTY-NINTH BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!! How was Dad's birthday? I celebrated it here! I kept on telling everybody "today is my dad's birthday! He is __years old." (I didn't put the numbers dad, because I didn't think you'd want that going on the blog or anything... :)) That night I went to the vending machine and got a Hershey's Peanut Butter Cup piece of pie and sang Happy Birthday to Dad and blew a kiss at the photo of him. So I hope he got it. :) Sister Garr (President Garr's wife) was gonna take a photo and send it to you but she didn't have her phone. But, I celebrated your birthday! It was actually funny, I didn't forget your birthday I just forgot how old you were turning. I get numbers mixed up... haha. So, I went to Simons Nover on Sunday and asked her how old her dad will be turning just to make sure that I got the right number on the card and everything. haha. So, I hope you had a great day daddio!! :) 

I think I had a mental breakdown on Monday. It wasn't a bad one, trust me. So, I went into a laughing fit. It was bad. It was during our personal study, and it was just so hilarious. Elder Opper had said something and the timing on Elder Wright's laughter was just perfectly timed and I found it so hilarious that I just laughed. And it was the silent laugh where my nostrils just flare like rapid humming bird wings. So I tried covering my face with the letter I was reading and then I started to cry because I was laughing so hard. Then I calmed down. And then I looked up and I relived the whole moment again in my mind and I just laughed and laughed. It was bad. hahahaha. I honestly laughed so hard that my steels of abs (or is it abs of steel...?) were sore from laughing. It was a good workout. And then last night I was reading in my journal and I found the entry where Madzy had written questions in my journal to answer (and they were the ones dad helped her come up with). So I asked my companion the questions and we were laughing so hard. Laughter is the best medicine. It really is. :)

Sand Volleyball has become the sport to play lately. And let's be honest here, I am like the Lebron James of Basketball, only I have no arm-eye-ball coordination and I'm only good at making a fool of myself. haha. It is so relaxing and stress relieving to go play volleyball. We are pretty good collectively. It's just I want to keep on kicking it... it works sometimes. I tried volleying the ball over the net and accidentally hit Motra Coleman in the bum... and then another time I kicked it over the net...but then I kicked it over the volleyball field/sand pit and we almost lost the ball. So, I'm working on that... haha. Everybody is like "you've got to watch Motra Zollinger play volleyball. She can play. And her serves, she's good at serving." I just laugh because it's not true at all... hahaha. I end up scoring more for the other team that I do for my actual team. But good thing we're not allowed to keep score at the MTC. hehehe. 

Private Eyes. Elder Befus has seen Private Eyes!! I was so happy because I quote that movie quite a lot and my companion just looks at me and is just so confused. Especially because the word mënyre, it sounds like manure, but the way they say it in Albanian is exactly how they say it in Private Eyes in that one scene. So, after Elder Befus told me he had seen Private Eyes and I quote that manure line and he totally understand and we both laughed and went off on the messenger pigeons flying into the window and everything. But, my teacher Brother Carver gave me the weirdest look ever when we were quoting the was almost priceless. haha. 

I finally found Elder Junior Hamilton on Sunday! And I saw Jill Richardson yesterday and Mal! :) Happy day! And Ashley Eyring comes in on this Wednesday, and I get to host so hopefully I get to host her? I don't know, but she's coming in this week!

I truly just love it here at the MTC. It is really weird to think that I am at my half-way mark. And to be honest, it sort of terrifies me that I'll be leaving soon. Because the weeks go by so fast, but I know that I will be fine. God has not sent me here to fail but to succeed and to help His Children. One theme that I realized this past couple weeks is that I need to do my part before Heavenly Father can do His part. I've studied a lot more with the language and the scriptures and preach my gospel, and I have seen His hand in so much since. He has helped me in lessons where I am able to remember the vocab I have studied and I am able to put together sentences. Not all the sentences are perfect, most of them aren't. But, you don't have to speak perfectly for the Spirit to work. Simple truths work. Simple truths are testimonies, testimonies invite the Spirit, and the Spirit knows every language. The spirit turns what you say, what comes out of your mouth, and He is able to make it into something that they feel. Something that I learned in preach my gospel this week (paraphrasing of course) is that we are not really teaching people anything new. Everyone on this earth kept their first estate, they already know about the truthfulness of this Gospel. We are there to remind them of what they know and we need to do that with the spirit because the spirit will help them remember not only what they knew but how they felt in God's presence, and how His love feels. 

The Church is true. Everything about this church is true. And I am so honored, humbled, and thankful each day to be enlisted in the Army of Helamen. We are never alone. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are always with us. Always. They love us and want us to be happy. We are truly blessed to have this gospel. Elder Bednar said on Sunday "Life is easy when you are living the gospel, but it's when you don't live the gospel that life is hard.”  That is so true.


Motra Zallënxhër