Let's see...what to talk about...what to talk about. Elder Quentin L. Cook came on Tuesday for our devotional. That sweet old man looks a lot older in person than he does on TV and everything. The devotional was super good! The musical number was "Oh How Lovely was the Morning" and it gave me so many Goosebumps!!! It was so good. The spirit was so strong! Elder Cook talked about feeling inadequate for missions and how we don't need to worry; that we are supposed to be going on our missions to where we have been assigned to go and to not worry about it. He also gave us 3 apostolic blessings, and it was incredible. As he was leaving the devotional he blew us all a kiss and said how much he loved us missionaries—so humbling, it truly was amazing. I know personally that devotional helped me a lot. I have been feeling a little bit overwhelmed lately because I now have less than 2 weeks before I leave; and I am so excited to go but at the same time I am nervous and everything; but I felt so much peace during that devotional. It helped me a lot. Sister Cook also spoke. She is a sweet lady. She said how we all need to be our first converts; but we also need to be our true converts. When we get home from our missions, we don't stop what we have made a habit of doing for the past 18 months or 2 years of our lives. We need to continue to use those habits and continue to become better and to strive to become closer to Christ. We need to be a true convert, and endure to our endowments. It was a really neat perspective.
I so totally played soccer volleyball the other day during gym. Ha-ha, I don't know how but I became quite adequate in a matter of minutes and I was lunging for the ball and I was actually making contact with the ball. And then gym time ended...tis a shame. ;) Ha-ha. Gym is a lot of fun though! I love it! Our zone just plays volleyball and sometimes it gets crazy intense, because pretty much everyone is pretty good at volleyball and the elders have the hops for sure, and they can block each other. It's like we are professional volleyball players, only we're not. Ha-ha.
So today we started our consecration week. Consecration week is where we are not allowed to speak any English for an entire week. It started as soon as we got out of the temple this morning. The only times when we are allowed to speak in English is if we are translating to the Hungarians or Estonians for our companion and that's pretty much the only time. It is going to be hard and surely will be interesting; but I am really excited. It will be a lot of fun! Ha-ha, today on the way back from the temple Motra Coleman was asking me when I wanted to go to the bookstore. But I thought that when she started her sentence she was just merely doing a "when..." statement, not a "when" question. So, it was like 30ish seconds after she had asked me the question and I had repeated it in my head like 3 times that I realized she had asked a question and was expecting a response... ha-ha. So I responded. It's day one and I have already had one of those moments, hehe, this is gonna be good. :)
Yesterday we Skyped again. Her name is Arjona (Ar-i-ona). She is such a sweet person!! It was incredible too! We talked about the importance of prayer in our lives, and sometimes she would respond in English to us...ha-ha, but we couldn't. But, it truly is amazing how much Heavenly Father has helped me with this language and continues to help me. I was able to do verb conjugations that I have not yet studied; I was able to talk in more depth about how I try to do my prayers and what prayers are to me. I really truly do feel like Heavenly Father loosed my tongue during that Skyping so that I was able to bear my testimony on prayer. After I was done talking, I just sat back in my chair and thought "Wow. What just happened... thank you Heavenly Father", and the best part is that I don't remember getting a confused look from her as we talked. So, I count that as a glorious success. :D Honestly though, it truly is amazing how many tender mercies that I see each day. I feel like I am looking for them more, because I need them more as a missionary. There is no way that I would be able to be doing this by myself. I don't think I would be able to last even a few hours doing this by myself. It is so important to work as hard as you can, even if you aren't learning a language. When it is personal study, you do personal study. You study out of the Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel, Jesus The Christ, and New/Old Testament. You use every minute you can for personal study. Then when it is time for additional or the other studies, you can do whatever you do. In D&C 82:10 it says "I the Lord am bound when you do what I say; but when you do not what I say, ye have no promise." I testify that this scripture is true. If we do everything to the best of our ability of what the Lord has asked us to do, he will not leave us alone, but he will help us succeed wonderfully. He will help you and He will literally be right by your side as you go about your day. This especially applies to non-missionaries. To everybody, take 15-20 minutes each day to read the scriptures, to read a talk, to do something to come closer to Christ. And I promise if you do this, with a good attitude that you will be blessed in more ways than you would have ever thought possible. If you feel like you are in a rut in your life, if you are not feeling as happy as you could be, forget yourself and go serve. Serving I really do think is the answer to everything. If you give up some of your day, and put whatever it is that you are concerned about to the side and care for another of God's children, you will be blessed. He knows who it is you are serving, and He knows how it is helping that person and He will bless you for it. You will feel an added measure of simple joy in your life for it. Serving and coming unto Christ really is the answer to everything. I truly believe that it is.
This week we had a district talk about our missions thus far. Why we went on a mission, how it is going, what we want out of our mission, etc. Something that our teacher said was "you will not always be happy, but you will always feel joy." I just really liked that statement.
On Sunday in relief society we talked about the Priesthood. It got me thinking a lot of how the priesthood has blessed my life. I have a father who is a worthy priesthood holder, I have two brothers who are worthy priesthood holders. I am surrounded every single day here at the MTC by worthy priesthood holders. I am enlisted in the Army with worthy priesthood holders. I feel like my life is the way it is because I am surrounded by worthy priesthood holders—I am surrounded by the power of God. I love it here and I love the priesthood. I am so grateful for the priesthood.
I'm sorry, I feel like my letter this week wasn't too good, not to mention can you say "SQUIRREL"? Sorry I couldn't keep all my thoughts sort of connected...but that's how my brain works. Isn’t it wonderful? :)
Oh, one thing I did find out this week is the normal phrases that we say at our house are not normal to people that are not Zollingers. I get a lot of weird looks when I say my phrases and then they just look at me and then I have to try and explain myself or say it in a normal English phrase, which I do not know how to do.
Motra Coleman and I have gone Harry Potter in our residency. And by that I mean every time we want to get in our room we knock on the door and then one of us will say "password" and then we have to say cabbage trokonus. And when I say "we" I mean me. It has only happened to me thus far, and I have not been able to remember the password so she will shamefully open the door and say "cabbage trokonus Motra! Cabbage trokonus." ha-ha, I love it!! :)
Oh, I just had another thought. But, I can't remember it. Ha-ha, I guess I should be use to that by now. ;)
I love it here at the MTC!! I love my district. I just love everything here. I can't wait for what the next 16-ish months bring. I can't wait.
I love you all!!