Saturday, January 11, 2014

Week 4 in the MTC

I am having the time of my life here at the MTC. To all of those people who told me it was prison....Y'ALL HAD IT ALL WRONG!!!

Not much has happened this week but we have been teaching a lot of lessons. Sometimes we even teach up to 4 lessons a day and afterwards your brain feels like it has turned to mush because of all the Spanish you've been speaking and hearing.

This past Sunday was fast Sunday. Fast Sundays at the MTC = the longest days ever. Sacrament meeting was a lot of fun though because the district that was leaving got to bear their testimonies and sing their "going away" musical number. Those sisters and Elders feel like family to me and it was really sad hearing from them one last time. During sacrament, Brother McCracken's (branch presidency member) visiting grandson got up to bare his testimony. He has Down's syndrome and when he got up I immediately started smiling. (*Hailey's aunt has Down's) He stood up to the microphone, started speaking, and none of us could understand a single word that was coming out of his mouth. In the middle of his testimony, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a crinkled piece of paper. We didn't know what the paper said or what this boy's words meant, but it was amazing how the entire congregation felt the spirit so strong. After he finished, brother McCracken got up and explained that that paper that was in his grandson's hand was an obituary of one of his best friends whose funeral they had attended just the day before. That right there was proof that the spirit can testify even when none of the words are understood. At the end of sacrament, the leaving districts sang the EFY medley and I remember sitting there thinking that in less than 24 hours, I may not see any of them ever again and that things just weren't going to be the same ever again. But at the same time, I was so excited for them and the adventures that each of them were about to begin.
The Leaving District

The Last Gym Time
Later that night, we gathered as a zone to sing a hymn before we went back to our apartments. It is tradition for us to sing hymn #88 (a hymn found only in the Spanish hymn book) when anyone is leaving. The love we have for each other is insane! I will never forget those nights we sang that hymn.

We were able to be hosts this week which means that we got to show the brand new missionaries where to go and stuff. Buses would come and missionaries would begin to poor out. We would grab a few missionaries, find their bags, take them to their apartments to drop their things off, and take them back to be guided to their classes. I remember stepping out of that bus not too long ago! It's crazy to think that I've been at the MTC for almost a month!

TRC has been so great this week. We are teaching real investigators who have real interest in the gospel. Sometimes, it can be a lot of pressure but mostly it is an absolute blast. Our investigators are usually from another country and don't speak English so it feels like we are in Mexico already! I have been taller than every single one of them...I'm getting a taste of what Mexico will be like in every way;) We have one investigator named Ivette. When we walked in for the first lesson, she was noticeably sad and depressed. She didn't smile the entire time we were there and at first it was very intimidating. She told us about how she wasn't happy, that she felt depressed, and that it was mostly because her dad had been diagnosed with a sickness that was very dangerous. As we began to teach her, she began to ask questions on questions on questions. We could tell she was very interested in what we were teaching. We left her with an invitation to pray (she's never said a single prayer in her life) and a chapter out of the Book of Mormon to read (she's never touched a Bible let alone a BoM). Hermana Benson and I left feeling a little sad and confused about the lesson in general. The next day, we met with her again and she was a completely different person. So happy. You could see it in her eyes and countenance. She told us that after we had taught her the day before, she had gone home and prayed for the very first time. She said that immediately after ending her prayer, she felt that depression completely disappear. That morning, she had received a letter from her dad whom she hadn't talked to for over 6 months. In the letter he told her that his medical results had come back and that it was a miracle because the results had come back and the sickness had disappeared. Two miracles in a 24 hour span and she recognized it. Hermana Benson and I were on top of the world when she was telling us this. We taught the rest of our lesson and invited her to say the closing prayer for us (we taught her how to pray during the lesson). She was extremely reluctant when we first asked her but we were patient and she finally agreed to pray for us. Let me remind you that this was her second prayer EVER! Talk about an amazing prayer! I can't wait to see where this goes!

Elder Toala was supposed to leave last week with the rest of his district but had to stay this week too so that he could go to his mom's funeral. It was a lot of fun having him around for another week. The night before he left, we all gathered and sang our famous hymn #88 and as we sang, not a single zone member didn't have tears in their eyes. He's like an older brother to us all. After saying our last goodbyes we went to our apartment and set an alarm for 4:00 AM so that we could see Toala off the next morning. 4:00 came and we met up with a few other zone members to say our last goodbyes. The 4 girls across the hall had prepared a Samoan hymn to sing for him one last time. (it was the same hymn Toala had sang in sacrament a few days after his mom had died). With teary-eyes, we all shook his hand one last time and off he went.
Saying Goodbye to Elder Toala
I can't believe that I have been in the MTC for a month now and that I leave for Mexico in a little over a week. It's true what they say: time flies when you're having fun!

-Hermana Ingram
Hermana Benson, Call, Amis, Ingram

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