HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBY!!!Gelukkige verjaardag!!!I'm soooo sorry my card to you will be late. I've been super busy here in the MTC. I'm trying to pack up, get haircuts, do dry cleaning, figure out what I need to send home, eat, write friends and family, and then on top of that I have my classes and trying to plan lessons in Dutch. We also got a new recruit to our district. Eldste (Elder) Holt is headed to Sweden. His district left on Monday, but he fractured his ankle or something so he has to wait until tomorrow to see the doctor. If he get's the ok than he's headed to Sweden. Meanwhile he gets to hang with us. Elder Buehler is his comp now so me and Elder Burr are sort of comps.
Update on my travel plans. We got our travel plans last Friday!!! We're super stoked! This Monday (Sep 21st), we fly from Salt Lake City and:
Arrive in Houston at 12:05 Texas time, (11:05 SL Time)
Depart Houston at 1:40pm Texas time, (12:40 SL Time)
Arrive in Port of Spain at 8:20pm New York time. (6:20 SL Time).
There's 8 people in our travel group. There're us four Dutchies, and then we think two more Spanish missionaries and 2 English missionaries. And with our luggage we're allowed 50 poundsto get to Trinidad, and then travel within the mission is 44 pounds. So ya, we're probably allowed 50 pounds to Trinidad, put we have to be at our 44 pound mark to fly to Suriname a few days later.
Maar ja, I'm like intimidated and super excited to leave at the same time. I love traveling and seeing new places but at the same time I'm super intimidated because I actually have to talk to people now XD. Whatever, as long as I'm doing my best to be worthy of and keep the spirit with me, that's all that's important. If they listen to me or not is their problem ;D.
I like learning a language because it forces you to give lessons extremely simply. All my Dutch books are so freakishly heavy! I'm going to have to send some stuff home. Idk what, but being over even a few pounds over 44lbs/50lbs can cost hundreds of dollars. Our lessons are getting better. I remember our "investigator", Evine, exclaimed in one of our lessons we gave her, "Ik voel zo gelukkig met dit!", -I feel so happy with this-, which was cool to see, even if it was fake.
For TRC this week we did Skype. We taught a man from Belgium. I remember it was super hard to understand him. In Dutch there's Hollander Dutch (proper Dutch that we're learning), Vlaams, or Flemish/Belgian Dutch, and Surinamer Dutch (which is pretty much simple Dutch). Afrikaans is pretty much Dutch, just super simple. Everyone calls Vlaams -Flemish-, Irish Dutch. In vlaams they don't pronounce any gutturals, very different from Hollander Dutch, and talk with what we would call an Irish accent. But ya, he was super cool. Kinda made me wish that I was going to the Netherlands again but I know I'm supposed to go to Suriname or wherever the mish president needs me.
The devotionals here have been AMAZING (as usual)!!! Brother Heaton, head admin at the MTC, spoke to us about the importance of recognizing the spirit and having the spirit with us. One of the things he said that I thought were super cool was that, one of our payments for serving a mission (probably the biggest), is being able to learn how to receive answers to prayers. He played a video that was by Bednar. In the video Bednar said, "Have you wondered if, in missionary work, it's you or the spirit?". I love his response: "If you are, quit worrying about it". Not at all what I was expecting but showed me that we shouldn't be enamored with this idea of whether or not we have the spirit with us when we talk to or teach people. This is something that I've definitely needed to work on. Tuesday night President Wixom, primary general president, was the guest speaker. She gave an amazing talk. One of the things that stood out to me was the importance of praying to have a love for the people that you serve. She also said that "missions are the beginning of a walk with the savior that will last for the rest of [our] lives". She also reminded us what we need to know what it means and feels to exercise faith in Jesus Christ unto repentance. This is something that I think I really need to work on. Maar, I'm learning so much here in the MTC and even though I'm super nervous, I know that I will have the spirit of the Lord, the powers of heaven, and manifestation of angels on our left and right as we go forth. I'm grateful for that manifestation that I have already felt in the MTC.
I'm loving the MTC and I'm super excited to go to Suriname. Most likely the next time I'll write to you, I'll probably be in Trinidad or Suriname.