It has been a great week. It was crazy to have so many new people arrive in our zone, but it's been so fun to mentor the new Swedish Sisters as a Sister Training Leader. The MTC can be a bewildering experience, so I've loved helping to guide others through the adjustment process.
We were able to skype members of the Church in the Netherlands for TRC last week, and we'll do it again tomorrow! It is seriously the coolest experience. Sister Robbins and I got to chat with a 16 year old in Rotterdam, and he was very gracious and patient with us- it was amazing how well we could understand and could be understood though! And he was actually the cousin of the Dutch Elder at the MTC who we kind of stalked at first, but actually we've talked to him more so we're friends now. Anyway, it was so cool, and made me even more excited to get to the Netherlands to meet all these people!
|There was a waterfall down these steps when it rained!|
This has been an excellent week for me, spiritually speaking. We are given so much study time as missionaries and the challenge is to be progressing individually while also learning for the benefit of your investigators and others. It's a balance, but I feel like I have so much more to give to others if I'm replenishing my own spiritual knowledge as well! Sister Robbins discovered a great scripture for me this week, Proverbs 4:7, which talks about gaining wisdom, but "with all thy getting, get understanding." I love that, because seeking knowledge is so joyful to me, but this life isn't just about cramming my brain with random facts. Everything I learn should help me gain a greater understanding of the world, of God, of others, of myself. I really feel like I've been able to do that here- I've been gaining understanding of my purpose as a missionary and I feel so much more prepared to go forth and share this glorious message!
|Dutch and English scriptures! I was trying to be cool and use the macro feature on camera.|
Shakespeare has written that "parting is such a sweet sorrow." That's the only slightly hard part about leaving- I'll miss many of the friends I've made here at the MTC! Especially the wonderful people in my district (and the other Dutch district). Hopefully we'll all get to serve together at some point in the field, but we won't be all as close as we are now, and I love the Elders and Zusters I've been here with. We have inside jokes and laughing fits and yet constructively support and help one another to improve. It's fantastic!
|The Dutch speaking Surinames left! We miss them but I'm sure they're doing great.|
Oh, here's a Dutch-ism for today! Our teacher made us practice pronouncing the difference between two words like five times each because it's not good to mix them up. "Keuze" (cay-oh-zuh) versus "kuis" (cow-ss). One means choice, the other means chastity. Things could get confusing for an investigator if you mixed them up, weetje (you know)?
One last deeper thought: in a lesson this week one of my teachers, Broeder Lewis, brought up a really interesting idea- that we are, in essence, our desires. What we desire directly relates to our actions, which determines who we become. So meaningful change starts at the level of what we desire, which is why through repentance our hearts must be changed. And we can't force anyone to change their desires, we don't want to do that, and Heavenly Father doesn't either- which is why any instruction ought to be loving encouragement. My job isn't to convince anyone of anything, only to invite others to adjust their desires, if they'd like, in ways that will bless them. Missionary work is so different from how I always imagined it to be. I can't wait to actually get started!
|Mom sent me the best care package ever!|
I know I'm supposed to be here right now and I'm so grateful for this opportunity. I love you all!