Nerf Guns and Teaching by the Spirit
So it’s week two/one here at the MTC depending how you count your weeks…and I am doing spectacular!! However, it has been a tough week. A lot has happened, but I will try and give you the highlights reel and not the extended version.
Since I wrote last, I have taught 5 lessons, by myself, in Slovene! It’s crazy to think about, right? They all went pretty well, but it is really stressful preparing because I have to do something I have never done before: receive revelation on a timetable for myself on behalf of someone else. Does that make sense? Sometimes it’s hard to know what to teach and I have to take a lot of time thinking about what this investigator really needs. However, it has been really good. My teachers are amazing! Because it is just me, I feel like I have an army of personal tutors just working with me to get me prepared to touch people’s lives!! How blessed am I? But the tough part is, when I teach, it’s just me and the investigator. That can be stressful because I want to say the right thing, but I don’t always know how to say it. Also, I don’t want to use my notes because I want the investigator to feel loved. I’ve done pretty well so far and only used my notes for a couple of words. I even taught a couple of 20 to 30 minute lessons!
Let me tell you about the best thing that has happened to me so far. Yesterday I was preparing to teach a lesson on baptism to my investigator. I felt prepared and like everything was working out. Then I went to class and talked to my teacher about it. He asked me if I was really teaching what the Lord wanted my investigator to know. I thought about it and realized I was teaching my lesson, not the Lord’s lesson. So I changed the lesson, but I only had an hour, and in that hour I had dinner before I had to teach. Well, I knew I was doing the right thing, so I just did as much as I could, and then went into the lesson. It was going well. I was teaching about the difference between Christ and God and how they were different people, and then we started talking about baptism. I invited her to be baptized. She said that she didn’t understand why she needed to be baptized because she had already been. In my head I was thinking, “Oh no!!! Here comes the apostasy lesson that I wasn’t prepared for!!!” But I explained to her that the authority to baptize was lost after Christ and his apostles died. She asked me if her church was wrong then. I told her there are good people in her church who are looking for the truth, but they don’t have the authority to baptize like it says in the scripture we read. That authority didn’t come until Joseph Smith was told by God how to do it. She said she was confused, probably because of the concept and my horrid Slovene. I said, “I know that it might be confusing, but you will know by how you feel that it is true.” I promised her that if she studied and prayed, God would let her know, and she would know for herself.
I left the lesson thinking it was horrible. I went through the next class and then one of the “older” Slovenes came up to me and asked me how the lesson went. She told me that my investigator told them that she was almost crying during the lesson because she felt the Spirit so strong. I was blown away! I thought the lesson was horrid, but the Lord knew how much I wanted the investigator to feel the Spirit, and He communicated to her through me so that she could feel that power. It was a wonderful testimony builder!
But on to some more of the fun stuff. I get along really well with my district and zone, although sometimes I feel excluded because everyone else is learning Croatian. My teachers keep telling me I am pronouncing everything like a Croatian. It’s not my fault, it’s not like they are speaking it to me…so I don’t know where that is coming from. Haha.
Let me tell you some of the funny things that have happened since I got here that will make you laugh so hard! One thing I have learned is that Elders are still 19 year old boys. My companion and her teaching companions were teaching their investigator. One of the Elders goes to bear his testimony, hands the investigator a pamphlet, and says, “I don’t even know if this is true”. Hahaha! Every time he was supposed to say, “I know”, he said, “I don’t know”. Luckily, my companion caught it and corrected him, but it’s hilarious.
Funny story number two: One night, the zone leaders were shooting the guys with Nerf guns. One of the Bulgarian Elders was pretending to be dead after he got shot. Then the Branch President walked into the room. The Elder was just lying on the ground. He only saw the shadow of the president. He thought it was a guy coming back to shoot him, so he yelled, “Who the freak are you?” Then the Branch President said, “Hi Elder!” The Elder realized what was happening and started apologizing!! Haha, you can’t make this stuff up.
The language is still hard, but I am trying to learn 35 words a day. I have learned how to teach and pray and bear my testimony…so that is good. I am still trying to get casing and verb conjugations, but it will come. I also have been reading my scriptures more thoroughly and I love it! I bought new scripture pens, markers, and tabs! It is so awesome. I wish I had bought a new quad though, so I could start from scratch, but they don’t sell them here because they are waiting until the new ones come out. But it’s good.
My dentist appointment went well, except for the fact that I had to wait 50 minutes for a 60 second procedure. He didn’t re-stuff it, so now I just have to put water back there and rinse it out often.
Overall, I am doing well and loving it here. I love working hard and learning the language even though all those consonants can be crazy. Thanks for everyone who wrote me! And if you want an email back…I need your email address!
Until next week!