Hello to all!!
I wish I could write a lot of details about this week but honestly, it was just a blur of amazing things here at the MTC! So many ups and downs and miracles to sum up week 2. How about those Royals right?? This MTC experience is amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But it is hard! I am learning more than ever to rely on the Lord and I am learning more about what faith actually is.
So, here are some random updates!
First of all, on Sunday, I was fasting that I would be able to better love Sister Johanson and that I could learn the language better. The Lord answers prayers but not always in the ways that you would expect them. The Danish zone is leaving the MTC this week so Sister Johanson and I were surprised that on Sunday we were extended the assignment to be the Sister Training Leaders for the Zone. This is humbling and overwhelming but I know it will be a good experience for us to grow closer together and hopefully help the new Danish Sisters that come feel comfortable in the MTC. I am looking forward to interviewing the other sisters and getting to know them but we have big shoes to fill: our sister training leaders were so great and our zone right now is the biggest that it has ever been. Oh yes, update from last week : we have two Swedish districts, two Dutch districts, one Suriname (no sisters), one Norwegian, and one Danish. I have been promised that as I serve others, my language skills will come. I have learned this week, through study and prayer, that I can pray all I want to better learn the language, but it is so important that I have the faith in God that it will come. And trust in myself, which is sometimes difficult!
Teaching is great. We have two new investigators this week, Claire (who seems very typical European in her mannerisms and beliefs) and Beja who we are meeting tonight. We are no longer teaching Judith which is sad because she is the nicest ever. For now our investigators are our teachers so this means we have two teachers! They are both so amazing and have so much love for the people of Belgium and the Netherlands. My favorite word I learned this week is “t’jonge jonge” which means “boy oh boy” so can be used for excitement or disappointment. But it is pronounced like “chonga yonga” and sounds quite….Chinese? It’s amazing. Dutch is so so hard for me. It’s good and I am learning a lot but sometimes in class I feel like the village idiot! 🙂
Sister Johanson and I had the experience this week to break out of the MTC bubble because she had a doctors appointment off campus. It was so weird being in the real world and all the stereotypes are true because you still expect everyone to be missionaries! I would wonder where someone’s companion was and then remember, oh wait, this is the real world!
Sundays here are amazing because the sisters are able to watch music and the spoken word, meet as a giant relief society, and be so spiritually uplifted in many aspects!
We have a sister in our district, Sister Twiggs, who is such an example to me and that I have been really praying and fasting for. She has had serious stomach problems all her life and here at the MTC they have been really flaring up, so she is afraid she won’t make it through the MTC. But she is so strong and has such a good attitude. And it is a tender mercy of the Lord that yesterday she spoke with our branch president and he works at the medical center she used to go to (she lives only 10 minutes away) and can skip the process of setting up appointments and just get her in with her same doctors! The Lord watches out for His missionaries.
Another uplifting story-our last lesson with Judith, in my opinion went fairly alright. We taught her about the atonement of Jesus Christ and encouraged her and bore a powerful testimony. (It is amazing how much the spirit can testify even when our words are simple). Afterwards, Sister Johanson broke down crying because she is so compassionate and just felt terribly about the lesson (I’ve also learned that people can interpret situations very differently). We went outside to talk about it and these 4 elders saw us and came to talk to us. They were so nice and gave her a handkerchief, uplifted our spirits through kind small talk, and gave her a beautiful blessing. In the MTC, I truly know that there are angels here to lift us up. Some are unseen, but some are in the forms of genuine, Christ-like people.
Thank you everyone for all of your love, prayers, letters, and support! I wish I had more time to tell you about this crazy ride! I have learned so much this week about how fundamental the doctrine of Christ is: faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, and enduring to the end! And with God’s help, we can endure well!
Sister Joshlin Manning