It's been suuuppppeeerrr busy at the MTC. This last devotional we had 2,500+ Elders and Sisters and 100+ senior couples in attendance. What else is crazy.... language is coming. We hit our half way mark last week. We have just under 2 weeks left in the MTC. Class is going well. I feel so tired all the time now. We have 3 teachers right now, but really two. We're just been studying and teaching in Dutch and studying and teaching some more. We've been SYLing (Speak Your Language), as much as we can. It was cool cuz Broeder Norton told us that speaking what Dutch we know is a sign of faith, and that through the power of the spirit we can eventually become fluent in this crazy language!
TRC last Thursday was amazing!!!! I absolutely loved it!!! We taught an Broeder Hoortes, and elderly man (probably in his 80's) who immigrated to the US from Amsterdam, Netherlands after World War II due to housing. It was funny and slightly confusing because he would switch in and out of Dutch and English. He had a really deep voice so it was difficult to understand his Dutch. We taught a second lesson to Zuster Robertson, a lady probably in her mid 50s from Den Haag, Nederland, (the Hague) and lives in Utah to help out with Dutch family history work. I loved TRC, it was very refreshing to see other people who spoke Dutch besides our teachers.
On Sunday we had an amazing devotional. Brother and Sister Ashton, Provo Temple President and Matron spoke to us. Sister Ashton had a really cool quote that I absolutely loved. She was talking about how the missionaries in the Toronto, Canada mission were getting discouraged so she posted this quote on all the doors of the missionaries' apartments in their Mission. She said "As a missionary, you have been: called, chosen, endowed, anointed, dedicated, washed, blessed, clothed, sanctified, redeemed. -Hold Nothing Back-". This was super powerful for me since I'm super nervous to get to Suriname and be totally petrified to speak to people in a language I don't know very well.
That night we watched a devotional by Elder Holland, called, Open Your Mouth. It was an amazing devotional, I hope it's on LDS.org. He pointed out the necessity of opening your mouth. He said that faith works by words. People can't be touched by the spirit unless we have the boldness to open our mouth.
Gesteren, we had the opportunity to listen to Brother and Sister Causse of the presiding bishopric. They talked about the necessity to be a bold missionary. Sister Causse talked about how it was hard for her to leave her native France to move to Utah. She said though that at times of our callings, we love our home/friends/family,etc, but we love the Savior more. She also said that it's ok to feel inadequate in our callings. As long as we do our best our savior will help us do the rest. Brother Causse gave an amazing talk. What was even more touching was that as he canceled the closing hymn of the devotional and instead played probably the most beautiful rendition of Come, Come Ye Saints I've ever heard on the piano.
Slowly but surely I'm becoming a better teacher and becoming better at teaching with the spirit. We're now teaching three people a day. Last Friday we probably had the best lesson we've had in the MTC. We were discouraged because our investigator, Evine, wasn't really progressing. And we had pretty much talked about all the lessons we could talk about. So we decided to talk about Joseph Smith and the priesthood. But we didn't talk about Joseph Smith and the priesthood when we got in there. We began to talk her, and she began talking about her experience with the scriptures. We began talking about it, and gave an amazing lesson about the importance of the scriptures and the power of prayer. I remember being able to feel the spirit as I bore my testimony about the power of prayer and how it has helped me in my life. After the lesson our teacher complimented us on our lesson, which was super cool because normally they don't talk about the lessons at all. It's been super interesting.
Our teachers swapped. Zuster Schwab couldn't teach us anymore with her BYU schedule, so we have Broeder Bonny, who served his mission in the Netherlands. In our lesson teaching our investigators, our teachers are supposed to imitate investigators that they've had on their missions. So for Zuster Larson and Broeder Bonny we've been getting Hollanders that we've been teaching, while we're actually teaching a "Surinamer" with Broeder Norton. It is so fascinating to see the difference between the two. Our investigator with Broder Bonny, Julio, is not progressing at all which is frustrating. Evine (Zuster Larson), just committed to baptism. We've only taught Jerry (Broeder Norton) twice, but it is so fascinating to see his willingness and the faith he has. Kinda gives me reassurance that people in Suriname are actually teachable.
Anyways, next week is onze laste Vorberiden dag in de MTC. Kinda crazy! Don't feel ready for Suriname. Oh, we're only in the MTC for six weeks, not seven. The taki taki thing didn't work. We get our travel plans this Friday! Het is gekke! Maar ik ben ophefed! Ik hou van de geest dat ik hier in de MTC kunnen voelen. Ik ben heel dankbaar voor onze Heilands evangelie en for zijn verzoening. Het is een leuk kans dat ik heb tot onderwiz over het!!
Ik hou van jullie!!
(It is amazing what they can learn in 4 weeks! .. I keep asking Josh to send me pictures.. so grateful for them)
Love there goals!!! Our new teacher, Broeder Bonny. He served in the Netherlands.
The other is finally of all the Dutch missionaries in the MTC. Elder Young is starring at the sky maar it's the best photo I have haha
(I think they get sick of Studing all day long sometimes and the have to relax a bit)