Man, I never know how to start these emails… So much happens. How am I supposed to fit it all in one letter that I write in 15 minutes? I can tell you my fingers never stop moving at the speed of light on the keyboard. So here goes nothing!
Um first of all, I was sick all week again. I haven’t had a voice since the moment I woke up last Thursday til now. Learning dutch without a voice is definitely interesting! Then to add to the interesting factor, I woke up on Monday and one of my ears has decided to echo everything I hear. Yep. It is so difficult to understand dutch because I can’t concentrate on what they are saying! Ahhhh! My teachers would ask a question and I would just look at my paper and look like I was really deep in thought, when in reality I have no idea what they asked. Hopefully that ends soon. It definitely keeps my life interesting though.
In Suriname they speak this language called Sranen Tango. This week we learned a little bit of it. The crazy part was how they taught it to us. They defined words they were saying with dutch! For example they would say a sentence in Sranen Tango and then they would repeat the same sentence in dutch. I have never been so relieved to have my teachers speak dutch. Man oh man. This place is insane! Starting tomorrow we are speaking 100% dutch until we leave. Our district calls it the 11 day plan. We are going to carry around whiteboards to speak to people who don’t know dutch. That’s right. We’re just jumping into the deep end! I am so excited!
So uh, fail as a missionary. Zuster Ashcraft and I were trying to commit Tony to following the Word of Wisdom, but half way through the lesson we learned that his faith in God was nonexistant. What!? We have taught him like 15 lessons and we haven’t helped him develop faith in God! That is a lesson one kind of a thing! Heh heh. We very quickly changed our lesson plan. We went back and read JSH 17 and asked him what he could learn about God. He was amazed to learn that God knows his name. To me, that is such a small detail! I must have simply forgotten it, but for him it changed his whole idea of God. Oh gosh. What else have we missed?
Broeder Norton. Man oh man. He is an inspiring person. He completely changed my view on planning. I understood the what of planning, but not the how or why. Why plan? Who is the ultimate planner? God. He came up with a flawless plan. The plan of happiness. Who knows our investigators? God. We would plan our days without thinking much about it. We learned we have to make a conscious effort to involve him in our planning. Wowzers. It may sound stupid to you, but that kind of shattered my entire universe!
Also, intense Broeder Norton quote of the week “How is God, who is perfect, progress?” Just let that sink in a little bit. His glory is our exaltation. He progresses and receives joy through us. We are his work and his glory. Ya, I kind of like it here at the MTC. That is just a taste of my daily life. Seriously something profound is said multiple times a day.
We sang in the choir for the devotional and that was super awesome too! Brother Egget, the director always has crazy stories to tell about the songs we sing. This is some of what he said. God wants me to be on a mission. He is thankful for it. He told a story of the man who directed “Other Side of Heaven.” He went on a mission, came home, got married, had kids, and like ten years later he was camping with his son and some of his friends. He stood up and was struck by lightning in the tent. He blacked out and knew he was dying. He began to pray that he could live and this is what he heard. “you served a valiant mission, ask and ye shall receive.” Because he served a successful mission he was allowed to live. We also learned a lot about how we are His children and he loves us. The girl next to me had a binder and on it was D&C 50:41 “Fear not little children for you are mine, and I have overcome the world…” That is my new favorite scripture! I have nothing to fear. No matter how much it may seem like life is falling apart, I have nothing to fear because I am his and he overcame the world.
Interesting story. Elder Ziegler, the Swiss elder one day asked me if he could be my “anton.” Apparently there is some old German story about a girl whose name is something like little dot. (I was wearing a polka dot skirt) The girl in the story has a boyfriend names Anton. He asked if he could be my boyfriend! Whah? It was a joke, but that was the last thing I expected to hear for the next year and a half. After that he was super embarrassed, and it was funny because he didn’t understand that I understood he was joking. Oh man. My life is awkward… He did tell me to call him anytime I want to go to Switzerland though! Woot woot, I have connections all over the world.
So… uh… ya! That is a pretty good summary of my week. I love you all, and I love hearing from you! TTYL!
P.S. I get my travel plans on Friday. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!