Friday, June 7, 2013

Greetings From The MTC!

                Hola! (That's about all the Spanish I know... Just kidding. But really, it's HARD!) It's your favorite missionary here! It's been a pretty great couple of days. The MTC is so great and everyone is so welcoming! Right from the moment I walked in people were helping me and so nice. I went and got nametags, dropped off my suitcases, and went to class. 900 missionaries reported Wednesday with me!! Crazy! Well..apparently I was late because my class left me! So my host missionaries led me to the opening meeting and said I'd be fine with no companion. Well..In the MTC, or being a missionary in general, it's weird to not have a companion, so I got so many weird looks! I tagged along with some other sisters till I found her later that night though :)

         My companion in Hermana Peterson, and she's great! She's from Texas. (She has no idea where Waller is though). She knows SO much Spanish and has helped me so much already. She's going to be sick of having to keep helping me lol.
         Pretty much everyone in my district has had years of Spanish and here I am.. With no Spanish at all! From day one our teacher has talked in nothing but Spanish. Intimidating much? Haha he is great though. His name is Brother Haug (you say it like how with a g). One thing he said that really stuck out to me was, "We aren't creatures of our circumstances... We're creators!" Whenever I get down I just have to remember that. He's a great teacher though. I'm pretty sure he just got off of his own mission not too long ago.
         The first day we went from room to room seeing what it's like to teach real investigators. It was so neat! First, a couple of the Elders who have been here for a few weeks would teach, and then they would turn it over to all of us and we'd take turns teaching (in English, thank goodness). I learned a lot about having to find investigators’ personal needs. We, as missionaries, can't simply teach out of Preach My Gospel and think it will work for every investigator. We need to get to know them and find out what is missing in their lives and which part of the gospel would help them the most. For some it was the knowledge of eternal families that got them interested, and for some it was forgiveness and the atonement. Some investigators wouldn't even give us the chance to speak to them or just shut every one of our comments down. It's all about teaching with the spirit though. If you don't have the spirit, you won't convert a single person. A quote I really liked was, "When you teach with the spirit, that's when the lesson ceases to be yours and becomes HIS." (Elder Holland) It was just a great experience and made me excited to teach real people when I get out there!
         So on the second day of class we had to teach an investigator... In Spanish! Thank goodness for Hermana Peterson! She spoke the entire time lol. I couldn't understand her or him so I wasn't much help. His name is Carlos. He's really a teacher here at the MTC (some of the other Hermanas in our zone let us know that) and he's acting the part of an investigator he converted on his own mission. They are such good actors! I would have busted up laughing at my Spanish if I was him. It was no bueno! After that experience I've been studying Spanish every chance I get. I can see how Hunter loved the MTC so much.. He only had to speak English! Lol I really do love it, just can't wait to get the language down a little more.
         Oh! So the first day Hermana Peterson and I got put in the Elder's living place! When they figured out where they had put us, they hurried and shoved us in another room. When we got there it was a mess and there were no empty beds so we ended up getting to move to the room with the other girls in my district. All four of them are going to Argentina. They're great! There's Hermana Stanley, Albright, McChesney, and Hafen. They're all good at Spanish, so hopefully that helps me catch on. I'm not even all the way unpacked yet. I think I have a lot of stuff ;) All the other girls have just as much though so oh well lol. There's also 6 Elders in my District and I don't know their names yet. Our Branch President is President Peer and everyone says he is amazing. He came and talked to us for a bit yesterday and we had interviews. He wasn't the one who interviewed me, but our Zone Leaders said when he interviews he'll like whip out stuff from their Patriarchal blessings because he's just that in tune with the spirit. I'll keep you posted on that haha.
         I've seen so many familiar faces here! I've seen Hermana Hannah Nelson, Sister Ivory, Sister Kearl and Sister Orrock (Girl's state), Elder Oliverson, Elder Benson, Elder Allinson, and Elder Robertson. I love seeing people I know! Elder Allinson has helped me a lot. He said he really struggled with Spanish and wanted to switch to an English mission, but he said God called us to our missions for a reason and he trusts that we can do it :) He's right! As long as we do our part He will help us. I've seen him every day at lunch along with Elder Robertson. I haven't seen Elder Huntington yet though. Maybe he's gone by now L
         Kinda cool story.. I woke up this morning at 6 so we could stake our claim on a washer and dryer (today's my P-day) and I was half awake, but heard the girls talking about someone sleep talking and was like oh jeez, that was me I'm sure. But then they started talking about someone sleep talking in Spanish in like full sentences and my first though was, "Whoever you are, I hate you" because I want to speak Spanish SO bad. So I didn't say anything and everyone just kept looking at me so I was finally like, "Wait who was sleep talking in Spanish?" and they were like, "YOU WERE!!" So apparently I can only talk in Spanish when I'm sleeping lol. I'm not sure I'll convert many people if I'm asleep during lessons though so I'll have to get this straightened out haha. It is pretty crazy how much I learn in a day though.
         Today we get to relax a bit (aka study some more Spanish) and go to the temple. We do have class later tonight, so I might be teaching Carlos again. Hopefully it goes better this time lol, we'll see.
         Thank you all for all of the support and letters! I'll try to reply to all of them soon. And hopefully you get the picture. Those are the girls in my district. Let me know if it works! Oh and my black watch broke again lol. I tried to beat it like you did, but I must not have the magic touch ;) If you could send me another that would be great! I love you all SO much! I'm so blessed and know this gospel is true! Have a great week! :)

Hermana Roper :)