May 24, 2018


Provo, Utah


Sister Thresh

Week 1

Holy moly.

That's the only way I know how to start this email! The MTC is blowing my mind. I forgot my journal back at my room so this may be lacking in certain aspects, but I'll do my best to recount this amazing, difficult, miraculous week.

To start: the departure and goodbye. The best way I can describe that experience was like ripping a bandaid off. I gave my parents a hug and they rolled my suitcases away and sent me right to class. I immediately met the Elders in my district and spent the rest of the day with them.

Let me tell you a little about these Elders in my district who are changing my life:
Elder Anderson: He is so committed and has such a consecrated heart. He played football in high school and has a really deep voice. He dances like nobody's business (aka, really bad) and sings so beautifully (aka, no).
Elder Criddle: If you've seen The Best Two Years, Elder Criddle is basically our Elder Calhoun. He loves his truck, Sally. He talks like a hick. He said last night that if the Second Coming happened tomorrow he would look up and go "dad-gum, that's Jesus!!"
Elder Puertas: He is our resident Danny Saunders; he just has to get up every few minutes and rolls his chair everywhere. He's going to the Netherlands Spanish speaking (he speaks Spanish already), but he'll be proselyting in Dutch.
Elder Jones: Oh boy do Elder Jones and I have a love-hate relationship. The sass is off the wall. He's our resident Zach Wiener. We have a ridiculous amount of inside jokes for one week. He is so so ready for the mission and is so committed. He was called to be our district leader this week.

Everything here is so busy. We go straight from one thing to another, and most of them are either 3 hour long language classes or planning for lessons. I never thought I'd be able to say that I love sitting in a classroom for three hours, straight up learning Dutch.

My companion is also so cool. Zuster Thresh is from Preston, England, and she is teaching me a lot of British sayings. I may come home speaking more like a Brit than a Dutchman!

But to be completely honest, the mission is the hardest thing I have ever done. I don't just have a love-hate relationship with people in the mission (don't worry mom, it's in a good way), but I have a love-hate relationship with the mission. Teaching full on lessons in Dutch is brutal. I walked out of my lesson yesterday sobbing. I felt like I had two good paths I could've gone down: to teach the lesson eloquently and have my language prep work for me, or to change course if the Spirit tells me and pray for the gift of tongues. I felt like each lesson, I had gone down a middle road. The investigator (not a real one, by the way) fell asleep. Even after a heartfelt testimony, he still doubted. That was my perception, anyways. Well, our teacher (who plays our investigator) told me that for one week I am getting way higher evaluations than the average. He said that Gillie has been reading the Book of Mormon, that he is impacted by my authenticity, and that he is feeling the Spirit. He then gave me some amazing advice: having confidence in your teaching will change EVERYTHING. So we'll see how that goes tonight with teaching Kate, our new investigator.

The gift of tongues is real. Miracles are real. I feel so close to God while in the MTC. I have had some really sacred experiences and some really amazing personal revelation. With this evidence that I have seen, I have, on many occasions, wanted to grab my non-member and inactive friends by the shoulders, shake them, and say "WHY DON'T YOU GET THIS?!". The evidence for literally every truth this Church teaches is right in front of us. There are many things we can point to as evidence, but the Book of Mormon is the most compelling one. READ IT EVERY DAY. You will come to know that EVERYTHING the missionaries teach and EVERYTHING God teaches through the Church is SO RIDICULOUSLY TRUE. I promise this with all my heart. I honestly want to shout it from the rooftops. But there are little kids in the neighborhoods around, so maybe not haha.

I want to end with my favorite passage from the Book of Mormon this week:
Alma 5:7-9, 14
Behold, He changed their hearts; yea, He awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them.
And now I ask of you, my brethren, were they destroyed? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, they were not.
And again I ask, were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved.
And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the Church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
Experience this mighty change in your heart. As Elder Bednar says in Character of Christ, "Having a testimony is not enough. We must be fully converted."

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. Sorry this email was so incredibly long; I just had so much I needed to tell you all!! :)

-Zuster Klassen

PS we missionaries LOVE emails and letters, it brightens our lives! (hint hint)

1. THE DISTRICT (from left to right, Puertas, Jones, me, Anderson, Criddle)
2. My fav duck couple from BYU is here too. I see them every day.
3. #views


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