Friday, December 20, 2013

{Week 2} MTC - December 20, 2013

Hello! I love P-day! Today has been so wonderful. We did laundry... I had a nap... it's been grand. In our branch we all have to prepare talks for Sunday on an assigned topic, and then in Sacrament meeting they announce who will be speaking, so I also prepared my talk today. Well... I wrote it in English... the other catch is that we have to give our talk in Spanish. But we have language study tonight at 7, and I plan to translate it then.
Hermanas Gurley (my companion), Bennett and Lopez
So! My week! We taught Jacob, our fake investigator every morning, and for the first few times we went in with a prepared plan and rehearsed Spanish phrases, and it did not go well. We realized that although we thought we had been successful, Jacob wasn't getting much out of it. So after that, we had a plan of what we wanted to say, but not a rehearsed lesson. The Spirit was so much stronger, and we were able to get through to Jacob so much more. And then, yesterday (Thursday morning), we came back from breakfast and there was Jacob! Shirt and tie and a nametag proclaiming him as Hermano Eaton, our new teacher. He is now our morning teacher as well as our investigator, and it was so weird to have him preaching the gospel to us, and the few times he spoke English were so weird! But he's a really good teacher and we're super excited to have him.
Our District with Hermano Clifford (center back)
Our other teacher, Hermano Clifford quit working at the MTC yesterday, so we bought him Milk Duds as a going away present, because he kept mentioning how much he loved them. We'll all really miss him, because he was so funny and such a good teacher, but his replacement, Hermano Hardy is also amazing. He had us all practicing the baptisimal invitation on our companions, and the "investigator" wasn't allowed to say yes. It was so hard, because Hermana Gurley was doing so well at following the Spirit and getting around all my excuses as to why I'd say no. I didn't get a chance to practice though, because after that he called us all together and had Hermana Gurley and I teach him as an investigator named "Mateo" who was an atheist whos Mormon wife invited the missionaries over. He was super abrupt and rude, and we were told that it was our first lesson and we were supposed to teach the doctrine of Christ and then invite him to be baptized, and to follow the Spirit as best we could. He said this wasn't what we should normally do, but he wanted us to try it. And he wanted me to be the one to extend the invitation since I didn't get a chance to earlier. I was so nervous because everyone was watching, and he kept saying he didn't believe and didn't have faith, and I didn't have the Spanish to say what I wanted to say, but I did my best and put everything I had into it. And when I asked him to be baptized, he still said no, and we kept asking and trying to get around his excuses... anyway, it was a super spiritual experience and it really taught me to follow the Spirit. The next day, Hermano Hardy took me aside during class and told me that when we had taught him, he had seen a missionary who was nervous and couldn't quite express herself in the language, but despite that, she gave everything she had and did her best to do as Christ would, and to follow the spirit. He asked me to be a leader in the class, and to do my best to be a perfect example of Christ. We had a quick scripture study together on 2 Nephi 31, and he later slipped me a note directing me to Moroni 10:32-33. We as missionaries are representatives of Christ, and as such, we need to do our best to always strive to be perfect examples of Him. We by ourselves can never be perfect, but as we come unto Him, we can be perfected in Him. My testimony of this has grown so much, and I am trying my best to do as He would have me do 100% of the time.
On Tuesday night for our devotional, Ronald A. Rasband of the presidency of the seventy and his wife spoke to us. I was in the choir along with my district, and we'll also be in the choir for the Christmas Devotional, to sing for our super special guest. That's all anyone will tell us. We don't know who it is yet... I'm super excited to find out! Anyway, Elder Rasband spoke about spiritual gifts, and how we can use them in our missions to bring others to Christ. It was so great. I loved it! On Sunday for our devotional, the BYU Men's chorus came and put on a show for us. It was so good! They are a huge choir, and they sang great. And I got to see Brooklyn Broadhead while I was there! Just in time too, because she flew out early the next morning. I was so happy to see her - we hugged for a while :) Also on Sunday, just before RS we watched Music and the Spoken word. They put on an abreviated version of their Christmas concert, complete with some famous soprano singer who was really good, and John Rhys Davies (Gimli) telling the Christmas story! It was so grreat!
To answer your questions, all the girls and Elder Hixen are going to SE, and the other three elders are going to Mexico City North. I don't have gym time at the same time as Sister Ingram - different zones have different schedules. But we've played BB a couple times too, and I would appreciate some competition... I love these sisters but they don't play much ball... haha oh well.
These three bubbles contain our gyms - the first two are for basketball, last one for volleyball. 
Our zone mostly does volleyball.
My district has a new favorite passtime: scaring one another. It started when us Hermanas arrived at 7 AM to the classroom for study. I walked down the hall to go the bathroom, and they jumped out of one of the side rooms and scared me so bad I screamed! and I don't scream! Then they did the same thing to Hermana Lopez later on, and then this morning, Elder Sonntag asked one of us to pass him his orange juice from the fridge (because our class is technically the living room of an apartment and is right next to the kitchen.) Hermana Lopez opened the fridge, and Elder HIxen jumped out! He was inside and it was so funny! She just dropped. We couldn't stop laughing.

Elders Sonntag and Hixen in our classroom.
On wednesday, some new missionaries arrived. We got 2 new districts. One has 5 elders, and the other is 4 and 4. Our sister zone leaders just left, and new ones haven't been assigned yet, but since Hermana Gurley is our sister training leader, and I'm her companion, we were acting sister zone leaders for the night, and got to help with the orientation for the new missionaries along with Elder Parke and Elder Sanders, our Zone Leaders. It was a lot of fun and very touching to bear my testimony to all these people who were where I was just a few days ago.
Anyway, my times just about up. I love you all and miss you (but not really. we're too busy to miss anyone!) I love getting your letters. I love you all! The Church is true!

Unpacking my Christmas package!!!
And today for our P-day the Hermana's and I went to Brigham's Landing (the strip mall a block away - we can go there on P-days) and we stopped by a bread store just to smell how amazing it was, and the sweetest lady bought us a loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread! It was so sweet! It made us all so happy! It's really weird to be in the real world as a missionary - especially in Utah where everyone knows you and says hi! I love it!
And the Spanish is coming along - I work hard and study constantly. It's coming!
I love you all!
- Hermana Taylor
Our apartment.

My bedroom - I'm on the top bunk.

Our cafeteria.
My apartment building.  Our suite is the basement on the left.
The street our apartment is on.  Both sides are apartments filled with missionaries.

These apartments are across the road from our resident apartments. 
All our classes are held in these ones.

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