First off, today is officially my HALF WAY mark at the MTC. Can you believe I've already been here three weeks? I am so excited to go to Germany, but at the same time, I feel like I still don't know anything! But that's okay…I will live and learn.
Thank you for all of the emails / letters / packages. They are awesome. Mom, to answer your question, yes I got the bread and yes it was delicious. We had a great Schwesterfest that night with all the sister in our zone and we pretty much demolished the entire thing. I also got my package with my shoes and everything. Thank you so much. They fit well and I think once they are broken in they will be great. Mom, I love that story you sent me. It's so true. We need to learn to find joy in living in the moment. I've learned that concept well here at the MTC. There are so many days where I get frustrated, but I know that God knows my needs and my life better than I do. I need to find joy in the good times as well as the struggles. I also want you to know that my laundry is done and clean! But not extra clean. Like I said, I will live and learn.
Dad, thanks for praying for me. The Provo Temple has been closed since I've been here but it opened on Monday. We finally get to go this afternoon for P-day! I'm excited. It has been too long since I went.
Troy, I got your package today! Probably one of the most random ones, but great. My district is excited about the cookies and I cannot wait to read the talk. I hope it's as good as you say it is! Taryn, I'm so glad that you had such a great time in Thailand! And that you are safely home. I loved your email. Also, the scooter accident doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Classic Taryn, right there. And I'm glad you had a missionary moment! The more I'm around my companion, the more she reminds me of you... it's basically like you're with me all the time.
Also, many thanks to all of my friends. Lyska, I need your address because I don't have time to email every one! And tell Matt that I'm writing him a letter as soon as I can. Along with Christine and Katelyn and everyone else. Tell Christine that the pictures from the kids were seriously the greatest. I love them.
Cassidy hasn't received her visa yet, so she's been reassigned to the Billings, Montana mission until it arrives. She and Kyla left on Monday. It is sad / weird not to see them around the campus anymore, but I'm excited that they can go out and start teaching people!
So this week was as crazy, hard, and awesome as ever. It was hard because my companion and I have been sick practically the entire week. I am finally feeling better, but it was a challenge. But I honestly feel like the purpose of this week was to help me understand the importance of priesthood power. We had Sister McMurry's brother and his companion give us priesthood blessings last week. It was cool because it was both of their first time. They were so nervous, but once they started speaking, I knew that the words were from our Heavenly Father and not from them. We were still feeling pretty awful come Monday, so the Elders in our district gave us another one. Elder Dean promised me that if I do the things that God wants me to do, that I will be blessed and that also my family will be blessed. It helped me.
Then, yesterday was probably the most frustrating day on the mission yet. I realized how little we are taught about the importance of the priesthood in Young Women. We were practicing the first discussion and our investigator asked us what the priesthood was and why it was so important that it wasn't on the earth. I realized that I couldn't even answer it in English, and so there was no way of coming up with a response in German. I was so frustrated afterward that I couldn't focus on the German grammar that Bruder Pedersen was teaching us in class. He finally realized that we were so upset that he stopped what we were doing. We had a district discussion on what it is and why it is so important. Then, that afternoon, my other teacher, Bruder Burkensha, (probably my favorite person in the whole world) spent the last hour of class just talking with Sister McMurry and me about the priesthood. We read the entire chapter in Doctrine and Covenants about the priesthood. While I don't know everything, I feel better.I understand that without the priesthood, the covenants that we make here do not matter. Baptism, the sacrament, temple covenants, everything, would mean nothing without the priesthood. It is the binding power that binds what is here on earth to heaven. Through it, we can receive the blessings of the Atonement, and without it, we are stuck. I'm so grateful for my teachers that can sense exactly what to teach, and that the Elders are worthy priesthood holders that can give us blessings from God when we need them. I know that it is what makes our church different, and what makes it the church of Christ. We have the same priesthood that was on earth when Christ was here, and through it, we can act in God's name. How cool is that? Dad, if you have anything to help me understand more, that would be much appreciated!
This week, we made a lot of progress with our one investigator, Rich. Sis McMurry and I are finally figuring things out. We are figuring out how to apply the gospel to other's lives instead of just telling them about it. The gospel will mean nothing to someone unless they understand how it will help them with their life. Rich is in the military so we read the story of the Stripling Warriors with him. We then asked him how he has seen the blessings of God's protection and love in his life. The spirit was so strong when he answered. We then bore our testimonies of Christ and asked him to bear his. It was so sweet, sincere, and simple. I don't think that he realized he had one until we asked him to say it aloud. We then finally got him to pray with us. After he said his prayer, asking God if he was there and loved him and if our message was true, he just sat there, almost on the verge of tears. I really learned the power of silence in that lesson. The spirit was strong. These are real people and we are inviting them to come unto Christ and to see His love in their lives. Our message is so great!
That reminds me…this week, our teacher asked us to write the first discussion (the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) down in five sentences. He then made us write it in one sentence. Then four words. And then one. My one word was "Liebe" (Love) and my companion's was "Die Wahrheit" (The Truth). It is amazing how simple our message is. All of the things we teach tie together and they all boil down to one thing: God's love for his Children. Everything we have and are blessed with is because our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. They know us personally and want us to be happy.
This Tuesday, we went to devotional, and Richard G. Scott talked to us. It was so powerful to hear from an apostle of God. He has been called of God and spoke His words. He spoke on prayer and about the personal relationship that we can have with our Heavenly Father. I found a quote that I really like from the Quorum of the Twelve. It says. "Of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to Deity, He has asked us to address Him as Father.” How cool is that? He is our literal Vater in Himmel and he loves us and wants to communicate to us. Prayer is real. Prayer is powerful. He will bless us, answer us, and direct us in life….if we take the time to pray to him and then listen to his answer. Elder Scott then gave us an Apostolic Promise. It was so powerful. He promised all the language speakers that we would have the gift of tongues through our faith in the Lord and through diligence and work. I needed that. His parting words were "Be good! See you in the afterlife!"
Also, on Sunday, I watched The Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. Seriously, it was the most life changing, powerful devotional I have ever watched. Go try to find it. Take an hour of your life, and watch it. It teaches about the character of Christ. Christ always stretches outward, while men always look inward. I want to learn more about Christ and how to be like him. If you can find it, please put in on my blog, because if the whole world could watch it, this world would be a better place. I can't express enough how powerful it is. (The Character of Christ
We also discussed how to invite the spirit in in a 30-second conversation, because sometimes that is all you got. We decided that we first must know if it is true, and smile so that people can see our light. We then must bear our message of simple truth. Try it, it works.
So now for some funny stories....
- Languages are awesome. Elder Simmons was trying to explain how Joseph Smith found the golden plates under a rock. Well he didn't know how to say rock, so he just said it in English. Well… in German, rock means skirt. So he basically said that Joseph Smith found it under a skirt. Sometimes I don't know how our investigators / teachers keep from laughing in our discussions.
- Sister Jeffery, probably one of the funniest people ever, fell asleep during personal study. She was in a really deep sleep and then farted really loudly. She woke up screaming to her fart and everyone just started laughing so hard. It's now known as "pulling a Jeffrey" whenever someone farts. Too classic.
Oh…I've finally learned the First Vision and The Purpose in German. I'm pretty excited and I feel really cool speaking it. German is fun! But I'm still slipping some random Spanish in my lessons... it just comes out!
Love you all. Ich liebe euch!! so much.
Sister Savannah Teeples