K, you guys get a mini Dutch reading lesson so you know how the heck to pronounce all of these crazy words that I send home. In Dutch the 'g' and 'ch' make guttural sounds. A couple of the Dutchies have been getting sore throats because they're not used to the guttural sound. One of our favorite hymns to sing is spirit of God, because in the chorus there's a 'ge ge ge' strait in a row, which we find funny. 'v' makes an f sound. 'ei' makes the i say it name, and 'ie' makes the e say it's name. 'oe' makes a oo sound like move. We're told to speak as much Neder-engels we call it- mixed Dutch and English.
Our teachers are amazing! Broeder Norten is so good at inviting the spirit into the classroom. He's been at the MTC longer than 3 years but they're letting him stay because the rest of the teachers are pretty new, and he's the only Surinamer teacher anyways. He told us that in Suriname, you don't knock on people's doors, you knock on their gate and say/shout, kloop kloop- knock knock. We've had some funny teaching experiences this week. I was talking to Evine about baptism, and asked her to read Matthew 18:18, what is bound on earth is bound in heaven. Only I didn't say Matheus 18, I said Johannas 18:18. After Evine read it I asked her "Wat zegt dat schriftuur?". She's like, "Het praten over vreure.", - it talks about fire- sort of in a confused voice. We read it after our lesson in English, and it gave us a pretty good laugh. It gave the Nords a pretty good laugh too. Elder Burr tricked my into thinking we were locked out of our room. I went to call the front desk, and while I'm on the phone he holds up the key to our room. It gave the Dutchies and Nords a pretty good laugh too.
I've had some amazing experiences teaching our investigators. In the MTC they have you do TRC's. John and Drew know what I'm talking about. It's pretty much just doing family home teaching but in your called language. The MTC collects volunteers from around the Utah valley and has them come so that the missionaries can teach them. It's not like a make believe lesson with an investigator, you're just teaching them as they are. We had this guy who served his mission in Holland. We were so bad at teaching him. I felt horrible afterwards, just thinking 'I can't do this'. Right after that we taught Evine. We were teaching her about the Plan of Salvation, I think. Anyways I had talked about pre earth life. Elder Burr just finished teaching about the atonement and was baring his testimony about it. At that moment I had this sudden urge to bare my testimony to Evine about the atonement, so I did. It wasn't anything crazy. I didn't open my mouth and then all of the sudden words just started coming out. It was just a simple 3 sentence statement about my testimony of the atonement. But I remember afterwards, I had this overwhelming feeling of comfort that came over me. It was a really special moment for me because I was struggling with teaching and felt like I wasn't being an effective teacher. That was a really special moment for me.
Saturday I had another awesome teaching experience with Evine. We were teaching about the importance of reading the scriptures and praying to onze Hemelse Vader. Zuster Parker suggested that I just make bullet points with certain words and their translations that I don't know. I felt confident about the lesson I had prepared. That lesson was really the first lesson where I really felt like I was teaching someone face to face. I referred to my notes for help, but all in all I was able to give a lesson about the scriptures completely in Dutch. I remember that I could really felt the spirit there.
I've learned that you seem to gain a 'missionary spirit' as you teach with the spirit. I first felt it when John and Drew gave that prep lesson before I left. I felt it again when they had us teach "investigators" our second day here in the MTC. I hadn't really felt that spirit until this lesson with Evine on Saturday, which was awesome. I can definitely see that my lessons are getting better.
The devotionals here are amazing!!! We got to hear from Elder Dallin H. Oaks yesterday. Call me weird, but I've found that there are few things more majestic than a room with 2,000+ missionaries singing Called to Serve with a roaring organ accompaniment- or just singing with an organ in general. Elder Oaks talked about the importance of taking the sacrament as missionaries. It's the key that allows us to teach by the spirit. Sister Oaks gave an amazing statistic. She said that a study done by the church found that 10 out of 100 converts to the church, knew the church was true when they saw the missionaries walking by them. The spirit that they should radiat as well as their appearance are huge in missionary work, which I hadn't really thought about till then. Oaks also talked about the importance of de Heilsplan- plan of salvation. It explains the 'why' to so many different questions investigators have about the church, he said.
I'm loving it here in the MTC. The spirit is so powerful. Ik kan de heilege geest voelen.
Ik hou van jullie!!