A Novella About My First 72 Hours
Zdravo! Dobro Dan! Kako si?
Hello readers and assorted friends and family!
So much has happened in the last three days, I don’t really know where to start, but I guess I will just start at the beginning. Which we all know is a very good place to start! 🙂 Anyway, after my parents dropped me off, I walked with my host, the girl assigned to show me around to get my books and such. When I got my name tag, I had to go to a special area, and the lady asked me if I was flexible. I said yes. And she said, “of course you are” and then said to the lady next to her, “I told you she would be”. I just smiled. Then she explained that I am a solo sister, a sister who doesn’t have a companion learning the language. Not only that, my companion is learning Croatian (with 4 Elders). Yay!
After that I got my books, dropped off my stuff in my room, and then my host led me to the classroom. When we were dropping my stuff off I ran into the other two Slovene sisters who are six weeks ahead of me. Sestra C recognized me and gave me a big hug. She said she was supposed to take care of me and wanted to look at my tooth hole. She is great and a nerd just like me. Even though she is younger than me, we get along well because she loves me so much and is one of the sister training leaders, so I ask her a lot of Slovene questions. The other Sestra is Sestra B. She is so sweet and can speak the language well. I love her too!
At the classroom I met my teacher Brother J, who speaks the language really well. Going in I knew the first day would be hard, but I didn’t know how incredible it would be. I knew that he would only speak Slovene to me so I wasn’t too surprised, but I was so surprised that I could understand well and communicate with him! He would speak Slovene and I would guess what he said in English and then he would say yes or no. We talked this way for a while and he asked me where I was from and if I had seen pictures of Slovenia and such. There was a lot of pointing. I watched an orientation video that was in English about the gym. Then this girl sat down next to me. When I was done she introduced herself. She was my companion, Sestra W. She is so fun, she gets my jokes and laughs, and while we are not together too much because we don’t have companionship study (because she is learning Croatian and she is not in my class), we have fun.
My teacher walked my companion to her class. I told him I wanted to swim the English Channel. So that was cool. Then I met Brother S. The rest of class Brother S and I talked about the point of the language in my mission call and my purpose. Then he gave me some homework: to memorize three pages of Slovene stuff in my handbook…and become comfortable, because the next day I would be praying. It was funny; there were a couple of times where I didn’t know what he was saying at all and he had to write on the board some Slovene to English translations. Some basic things were already up there, but he never spoke the English. One time he was trying to describe to me that there was an orange book I needed to get out of my bag, but I got confused because I was looking for an actual orange! Haha! But we figured it out together.
Then we went to dinner and another class training. In this class we had to work together as a giant group to work with an investigator and he (the investigator) would randomly call on us. It was so disorganized because it was 40 missionaries trying to go in one direction. But he called me out and I really felt the Spirit and talked about Christ and His atonement. That really set the tone and things started to fall into place.
Then we met our zone. In my district, there are the 5 Croatians and me. And then we often combine with another district, those going to South Adriatic and Bulgaria/Macedonia. We actually room with the two Bulgarian speaking sisters. They are so warm and inviting and fashion forward. I love them. Then in our zone are the other Slovenes and the Czech Elders. On our floor there are the Polish sisters too.
After that we went home and unpacked and got ready for the next day. I couldn’t sleep. I was so excited for the language! I was surprised how much I retained. I really gained a testimony of how the Spirit will help you. I felt comforted and I love class! It was such a testimony builder that we could talk together for 3 hours without speaking the same language.
The next day our zone went and played volleyball in the rain; it was so fun! Then we had class and I “prayed” in the language. I know how to say “Dear Heavenly Father” and “In the name of Jesus Christ Amen”, but the middle is still tricky, but I just decided to go with it and butcher it. We talked about how important preparing is and then Brother S showed me a video of my investigator. We talked about it and then he started speaking English. We had companionship study and it was amazing! He asked me what I thought she should know, feel, and do. I didn’t know, I didn’t even know what she was saying…but as I thought about it certain things stuck out to me and I felt prompted to talk about the Plan of Salvation. So I started drafting a lesson, but when I got to the teaching part it didn’t feel right. I shrugged off the feeling, but it came again. So I stopped, looked up, and with tears in my eyes told my teacher it was the wrong lesson. He said that this is what planning is, getting revelation for your investigator. I just felt so overwhelmed with God’s love for her. I started crying and we talked about the Spirit for a while. Then we talked about what God wanted for the investigator and Brother S shared a story from his mission. I felt the Spirit so strong! I know that I was called to this mission for a reason, so I shared that with him. Later on in the lesson I shared with him that I knew that God always knew where I was and what I needed. He also shared with me the story of Peter when he walks on water. He said we all need to just jump in; sometimes you just need to jump in.
We then met our branch president. We had to give a little lesson to the group. We found out that we have to prepare a talk every Sunday in case we get called on to speak. That night was tough and I got a little overwhelmed, but Sestra C helped me through it and when I woke up this morning I felt better.
Today is p-day, but I have to teach my investigator today so I have been mostly studying. I feel so much love for her, even though I haven’t met her! I just want her to know how much God loves her. We also went to the temple today which was great and ate in the cafeteria!
Things here at the MTC are great. It’s a rollercoaster, but I love it! I just feel so happy. Something else that is funny is that random Elders keep coming up to me and saying “are you the solo Slovene sister?” And I say yes and explain that there are not even any Elders in my class. This has happened 3 or 4 times, and then they tell me how cool I am and how special and lucky I am because I will learn faster than they will. It’s like among the Eastern Europe zones I am a celebrity. Don’t worry; I won’t let it go to my head. Haha! It’s just funny. I had an Elder tell me today that I’m a stud. Haha! Anyway, as far as news goes I will be moving to MTC West in three weeks with the rest of my zone.
Until next week!