Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MTC Week 4

Happy birthday Tagg! So, to be completely honest, I'm not quite as "walking on air" as I was last week. This week was kinda tough. There were still some funny things, but some tough things too. I'll start with the funny stuff.

So, on the first day of class when we met Hermano Ammons, he asked us what animal we would like to be. He said he would be a golden retriever. More people said cats than dogs (gross) but I said I would be MY dog, Milo. He was obsessed with being a golden retriever because they are always well taken care of. We like to tease him a lot about being a golden retriever, so when I got that package with pictures of Milo, we hung one up on the board and wrote next to it "Seria un..." which means, "I would be a..." Hilarious. I don't think he thought it was that funny. But we all do.

Also, remember that story about me falling in class? It was like two or three weeks ago by now, but apparently everyone is still thinking about it, because we were talking about the Spanish phrase "me cae bien," which basically means that you like someone or something, but the literal translation is "he/she falls well with me." So while we were talking about that, someone said "cae bien means falls well" and Elder DeVictoria was like, "like Hermana Coppins?" and everyone started laughing hysterically all over again. But they were so adamant about how "graciosa" and "como un ballerina" it was. Ridiculous. Still talking about. So embarrassing.

One time this week for language study we decided to play two truths and a lie, but in Spanish. We were thinking about ways to make it even more applicable to missionary work, such as two truths and a lie about the gospel. For example, Joseph Smith was a prophet, God loves all of his children, and if you are good in this life you will be reincarnated as a golden retriever. Which one is the lie? Probably not as funny to you all (y'all (vosotros)) as to us, but all I do is think about the gospel, okay?

Also, last hilarious thing. So Kriste gave me this MTC supplements, and this past week I found a sticky hand in one of them. You know, it's like stretchy/sticky/gummy and you throw it and try to hit people and walls and stick it on things, etc. Well, obviously the Elders have been pretty immature with it, but it's also brought us a lot of fun. AND, yesterday it saved my life! I was sitting in class studying and a paper fell off my desk and was like two desks away and I was SO tired I was pretty sure there was no way I'd be able to get out of my desk and pick it up and walk back over to my desk. If I was getting on the floor, I was staying there, and we're not allowed to sit on the floor in our classroom. But, what luck! I had my sticky hand nearby, so I flung it at the ground, it hit the piece of paper and instantly brought it back over to me, and I rejoiced. And cried out in thanksgiving to Kriste for being so thoughtful. Miracle.

Okay, now for the hardships of the week. Friday is our TRC day, where we go and practice teaching lessons on a fake investigator officially. It was our first official time teaching the second lesson, the Plan of Salvation, but we had practiced a few times before, so I felt good about it. Our investigator was a girl who had served a mission in Argentina and was more interested in being an RM than an investigator. She asked us where we were going on our missions during the role play, and when we were teaching just kept acting like she knew everything we were talking about, such as "Yes, I've used the Atonement in my life. I've repented of my sins" and "I like to think of the spirit world more as a state of mind than an actual place." It was really off-putting to not really know how to teach her because she wouldn't act like a nonmember of the church. But, we pressed on, and because she didn't ask any questions, we had more time than usual. When I got to the section about the Atonement I talked about it a lot, and bore a pretty powerful witness. I definitely felt the Spirit when I was talking about, and so did my companion, but she didn't seem touched at all. When we finally ended the lesson she said she'd walk us to the door, and pointed at my companion and said "YOU have something really special about you." And then left. My heart is sinking thinking about this all over again, it was just so frustrating to try so hard to teach with the Spirit and having it not be received at all! But I guess that's why there are missionaries with different personalities, because everyone connects with people differently.

Another frustrating experience I've been having this week is trying to reconcile the missionary me with my normal personality. We had a meeting with the branch president on Sunday and he talked about how maintaining your personality is really important because sometimes your personality is what causes people to open up. But we are being constantly barraged with the seriousness of our calling, how we need to be exactly obedient and magnify as much as we can and be perfect servants of the Lord. I feel like anytime that I'm not seriously pondering and studying the deep aspects of the gospel I'm wasting the Lord's time. So I feel like I'm failing at being perfect and at being myself. I know no one's perfect, but they honestly expect exact obedience out of us and any time we use that could be used better in another way takes away from how perfect we're being and therefore the measure of the Spirit that is with us and the blessings that we are entitled to if we are perfect. It's so perplexing and this week it's all added up to me being pretty unhappy, inadequate, and potentially unnecessarily serious. Having the Spirit all the time is supposed to make me happy all the time, so maybe I don't have it at all, because I have been kinda discouraged and feeling guilty that I'm not doing more. I still love studying the gospel and I still know I'm doing the right thing, but I need to be doing better. Maybe not necessarily more, but definitely more effective work.

Anyway, I'll keep praying for faith and help to be obedient and I trust the Lord with help me to be better.

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