I can't believe there is only a week and a half until we all leave for Norway!!
I hope that everyone is doing well, I think and pray for you all so much!! I've decided that I really love the MTC and it's just such a cool place!!!
There isn't a lot to write about because each day is fairly similar, We teach about three lessons a day and study a lot!! That might sound like it's pretty boring but honestly I love it soooo MUCH!!!
It's really difficult at times because there are a lot of emotions but overall I have really grown to love the MTC!! The Finnish and Danish missionaries are leaving Monday morning and then there will only be 20 of us in our zone! There should be some new missionaries coming in next Wednesday so that will be awesome to get to welcome them to the nunnery and help get them pumped for their stay at the MTC!! Every Wednesday new missionaries come in and they get an orange dot, If you aren't new you just say welcome to the MTC as obnoxiously as you can! Yesterday I think 400 new missionaries arrived, it was crazy!!
One experience I would like to write a little about is a Sister going to Denmark, Sister Acosta, she is from Spain and knows very little English. So she is learning Danish and can't clarify anything because she doesn't know English. Her companion speaks English and German and is from Germany. Sister Acosta got here a week before I did and she started getting very sick shortly after we arrived. She was constantly in the clinic and had to get surgery because she had some cysts. So on top of all the struggles with language she was also in SOO much pain and missed class every day for probably 2.5 weeks. So her companion Sister Kuhlo started having other sisters help stay back in the residence with her so that Sister Kuhlo could go to class the last couple of weeks.
So I've talked a little with Sister Acosta before and I could talk to her for maybe a half hour and get a few sentences back and forth because of the language barrier. However the night I stayed back from class I expected to just help her as she was managing the pain and try to keep her company.
I can't explain what happened adequately with words. We talked for 4 hours. Non stop. No problems understanding anything. It was a mixture of English and Danish and Norwegian but the Holy Ghost was helping us understand each other. We bore testimony to each other and Sister Acosta gave me such precious advice and bore such a powerful testimony of what missionary work is. I can't deny that the Holy Ghost is the way that the Gospel is shared. We can try as persons but without the Holy Ghost it just isn't the same. I know that the Holy Ghost testifies of truth and helps us with anything that we are going through. That night with Sister Acosta was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had and even though I thought I was serving her she changed my perspective on missionary work and she answered so many of my prayers.
Also yesterday we talked with a member in Norway on skype. The lady we talked to was from Tromso and we talked with her for about 45 minutes, in Norwegian!!! It was so awesome!!! We talked about Norway and she just kept telling us that we are coming to the most wonderful place and how excited she was that Norway was getting more missionaries. We prayed for her before talking to her and prayed for help to figure out what we could talk to her about that would make her stronger. We decided to talk about prayer. We found out that she had been a member for 20 or so years so I started worrying that talking about prayer wouldn't really help her. But then I felt prompted to ask her some questions about how she gained her testimony and what was important to her about our church. She told us that she really struggles at times to go to church because she feels like her prayers aren't answered and that she is impatient with God at times. SO BOOM we were pumped because the two scriptures we shared with her and the topic was exactly what she needed help with. I can promise that I am not capable to do what we did in that lesson. I know that missionary work is God, and Christ's work and that I am just lucky enough to be a part of it and to witness it!!
We also had a devotional with Sister Burton the Relief Society President that was really amazing!! She talked about how missionary work is a gift and she shared stories about missionaries who were held back because of various weaknesses and how they overcame them. She shared the parable of the currant bush from Elder Christoffersons talk one conf. It just told us how the Lord can shape us into something great when we let him and do his will! I am definitely learning how to stop doing things the way I think they should be done and just turning to sincere prayer on what Heavenly Father would have me do.
OK FUNNY STORIES!!!
So our teacher Brother Leighton from London is very hard to understand at times and since they rarely speak English with us sometimes we play charades. Brother Leighton is the WORST as hand gestures. We were in a lesson with him acting as one of his past investigators and he was trying to help us figure out the work for unity. He kept doing the star trek sign and putting his fingers together. It was so confusing and then we ended up having a good laugh about star trek in the middle of a spiritual moment. It was golden!
OH and last night we were teaching our teacher who was acting as one of her old investigators, we have taught her almost everyday for the last two weeks and she is getting ready to "be baptized" We are so excited!! Even though it's just practice and role playing it feels so real and you really do think and pray for them to be happy and to progress all of the time!
Also showering in the MTC is an adventure. So the Sisters that are super obedient sing angelic hymns... Then all us Nords go to shower and a couple of them open curtains on each other and just laugh soooo loud!! Also we sing a lot of Justin Beiber to annoy others. HAHA But the other day I heard a certain curtain openers voice and I knew I was about to get my curtain opened so since I had two I just like wrapped myself in the other one and all the girls from my room were just laughing. Bonding is fun hahah.. SO to get back we took a certain persons clothes and towel while they were showing and then left them with undies and winter boots to come back!! It was gonna be so hilarious but someone donated a towel!! So yeah shower time is always interesting to say the least!
Ok another funny story. Sister Reid was telling us this way creepy dream she had about us all hanging off a cliff and there was this doll with bloody hand just like hovering over us. SO night time is also interesting because we try freaking each other out at times!! The worst is when Sister Reid crawls around on the floor. It brings back some Camp K memories of creepy things happening in the cabins. But it's alright we are still alive!!!
A few scriptures that we have shared in lessons that have been really great are John 16:33 ( Because of Christ we can overcome problems) Also with Our TRC lesson we shared Moroni 10:4 and testified that when we pray with ærlig hensikt og oppriktig hjearte (real intent, and a sincere heart we really do get answers) Also Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-9. When I study my scriptures I start by asking a question on something I really want to work for and then praying and then reading. The answers come really quickly that way. We challenged our new friend in Tromso to try that and she got really excited to try it out. I know if you give it a try it will work for you too if you work at it!
I am sorry this email has kind of been all over the place. I have really learned so much this week and I feel so excited to get to Norway and meet so many people and to get to know them and try to help them with the gospel. It's true my mission really is a gift. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I miss you all so much and I want you all to know Jeg Elsker dere så mye!!!
Tusen takk for alle tings dere gjøre for meg, og for alle de bønn for meg!!