Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wednesday, July 29: Second Week at the MTC

Dag! Hoe gaat het met u! Ik ben ouitstekand! I am absolutely loving the MTC! The first week was definitely an adjustment week and now I am smooth sailing! This past week was wonderful and I learned so much. To start out, last Wednesday right after I e-mailed you our district went to the Provo temple. Because one of the solo sisters wanted to do initiatories instead of an endowment session, Sister Fritz and I offered to go with her. We got out of the temple about an hour earlier than the rest of our district and started to walk back down to the MTC. We noticed that there was a huge tour bus parked in the front of the temple with lots and lots of tourists walking around the temple grounds. We didn't pay much attention to who they were or where they were from until we noticed that they were all speaking a foreign language. As we walked closer we realized that they were speaking Dutch! I introduced myself and Sister Fritz in Dutch and told them that we were missionaries going to the Netherlands. It just so happens that they were all from the Netherlands and were on a church history tour! It's a good thing that they were quite fluent in english because after the introduction I didn't know anything else to say in Dutch. They took pictures with us and wrote down there names and wards so we can find them when we get to the Netherlands. They were all such nice people and I instantly had a great love for them. That was definitely a tender mercy from the Lord because it just added more to my testimony that the Netherlands is the place I am supposed to serve for the next year and a half. I am so thankful that the solo sister wanted to do initiatories and that we went with her because if we hadn't, we would have missed meeting those people. It was so awesome! Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were huge language learning days and were a bit overwhelming but looking back I realize how much help I received from the Lord in helping me pick up and understand so many new things. It is amazing that I can listen to a conversation in Dutch and understand almost everything that is said. It is taking a lot of studying and dedication but I am being so blessed! Sunday was awesome! It is my favorite day of the week here at the MTC. It is a day of rest and rejuvination and the Spirit is here so powerfully. Every Sunday night we have a fireside with all 2,300 missionaries and this past Sunday President Allen came and spoke! I have such a great love for him and when his picture popped up on the screen I couldn't wait to hear what he had to say. He talked about putting our whole heart and souls into missionary work; not just being at the MTC most of the time and letting our thoughts wander home some of the time, but being here 100%! I committed to myself that night that I was going to do this for the Lord. It reminded me of the song, "I feel my Savior's Love" in the line that says, "I offer him my heart, my Shepherd he will be!" Ever since I made that committment to serve him with all of my heart, my mind has been focused and my ability to learn the language and be a more effective teacher has increased to much. The joy that I have felt over the past few days has been incredible. It is not joy for myself anymore, but joy in bringing others unto Christ. After the fireside I went up to the front to say hi to President Allen and he was so friendly to me. At first he didn't recognize who I was until he glanced at my name tag and then he freaked out. He told me to tell all of you hello. It was wonderful to see someone I knew. On Monday we had another appointment at the TRC where we had to do a 7 minute contact in Dutch. It was scary and a little nerve-racking, but Sister Fritz and I survived! After the contacting, we had to teach the first lesson to an investigator for 35 minutes in English. Everything was going well and the spirit was really strong until I had a coughing attack (I have had a cough and sore throat for the past week), lost my voice, and me and my companion had to leave the room to go and get a drink so I could continue on with the lesson. How embarrassing! Atleast the investigator was understanding and the end of the lesson turned out okay. Tuesday was wonderful! Tuesday night we have a devotional with a member of the 12 or of the 70. This week we had Elder Dellenbach from the 70 and he talked all about the Book of Mormon. Sister Fritz and I sang in the choir for the devotional and we are quite the MTC celebrities now because they zoomed in on our two faces while we were singing and projected it on the big screen. People keep coming up to us and asking us if we were the ones on the screen...it is pretty awesome to be celebrities around here! Elder Dellenbach spoke about the Book of Mormon and the miracle of it. It is a miracle and I know that the Book is the word of God and the evidence that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. The church is true and I love being able to testify of that! I hope you know that I love you! Your prayers and letters mean the world to me! Sorry so short but I only have a half an hour to write. You are in my prayers as well! The church is ture! Love Zuster Sharp

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