June 16, 2019


Missionary Training Center


Jason Cooper

Maza Puodele

Laba Diena Family and Friends!

SOOOO I have my first real lesson tomorrow (two 20 minute lessons called TRC) in Lithuanian. I will get to that in a bit, but first Maza Puodele. Maza Puodele (the z has an accent but idk how to put in on with the computer) directly translated is little tea cup, yes I created the name and am proud to share that. She has been the loml for the past two weeks. When we first arrived in class she was sitting on the window seal looking great but pretty much dead. Her stem was black and she wasn't blooming anymore but my companions and I were determined to love it and care for it. Maza is a flower the previous sisters in that room had and we adopted her. Although we tried so hard to bring maza puodele back to life she was too far gone, so we dug a hole in the ground and placed her there to hopefully grow. We pass her everyday and check on how she is doing. Little by little she is making her way back to health. We have recently replaced her with a new one that was purple and beautiful but in two days looked like she was dying so I'm pretty sure my calling isn't a gardner, so we put her to rest as well. We will be holding a funeral for Maza today and are making speeches in Lithuanian, oh man the things we do to be entertained.
Anyways tomorrow is a big day and we have our first TRC (teaching resource center) we pretty much go in and teach a return missionary instead of just teaching my teacher (who acts as an investigator and he uses the name Arunas). I had an amazing experience teaching Arunas (my teacher) the other day. I taught with Sister Jorgenson who is a solo missionary in our Lithuanian class. We had fasted the day before and I was praying so hard to be able to teach with the spirit and to help my teacher who was acting as Arunas to feel the spirit as well. I prayed so much to be guided by the spirit and our goal together was to teach by the spirit so sister j and I prayed so much right before we went into the lesson. The spirit didn't make us speak fluently or anything but we could feel it so strongly as we were slowly trying to get a lesson out in Lithuanian and hoping he would understand what we were trying to teach. After the lesson he brought us back in to give us a review and ask us how we thought it went. We both looked at each other and said that we thought it didn't go to great because he looked confused during the whole lesson and our Lithuanian was so choppy. He looked us both in the eyes and said we did amazing and that was the best lesson he had heard in awhile. He told us that he could definitely understand what we were trying to say and that the spirit was so strong. He said he really needed that as a spiritual boost. I just started crying, pretty much balling because I had worked so hard and prayed so hard to feel the spirit and in that moment I realized how much love I had for Arunas even though it was just my teacher acting. That was the strongest I have felt the spirit and I can't tell you how amazing it feels to be full of love for the person/people you are teaching and knowing that God is there to help you through every step of the way.

I have learned that the spirit comes in so many different ways and that we have to be attentive to how the lord is trying to speak to us. Having that experience has helped my testimony substantially grow especially with knowing that God does listen to our prayers. I challenge you that if you are struggling to feel God's love, to pray with real intent and be receptive and attentive because God can and will contact you in so many different ways where you might not even notice that it is him speaking to you. I pray for each one of you every day. I love what Elder Corbridge said at devotional,"You can't be happy if you don't want to do the things that lead to happiness even if you do do those things." Don't just go through the motions, challenge yourself and I know that as you challenge yourself and enjoy the process you will feel God's love and find that happiness you are looking for. You have to WANT it, don't go drifting from one thing to the next but have purpose in what you do and I know that as you do that and live worthy for God's presence he will help you find happiness in this life. I also invite you to turn outwards instead of inwards and I know you will see the blessings in your life, I know I have. I hope every single one of you have an amazing week and I love you all.
Vyresnysis Banas

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