Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013 Ya, I Work Out!

April 15, 2013

Ya, I Work Out!


Wow... (Insert sentimental and cliché saying or expression trying to describe the indescribable passage of time in the MTC). This week has been extremely eventful, hard, emotional, spiritual, confusing ... any adjective you want to add, go ahead. It's hard to cover all that has happened in 7 days.

You might be wondering about the subject line of my email, so I'll address that first. We get gym time for 1 hour almost every day. As most people know, I am not athletic. I don't exercise, work out, play sports, or run. It's just not my thing, but because I don't want to gain weight on my mission and the MTC so lovingly serves dessert at every meal, I have really tried to make my gym time more productive. Gold star for Sestra P. Overall, I do a pretty good job.  I run a little, then do push ups, sit ups, arms, whatever. Some days, though, we have gym at a really inconvenient time and I don't want to get sweaty, so some sisters and I do "yoga" meaning we relax and stretch on the balcony overlooking the gym, watching everyone else be athletic. On Friday, I felt like I should actually do something. I pushed myself, and then did my strength exercises on the balcony. There were two other sisters I didn't know doing "yoga". I tried to ignore my yearning to join them, and started doing my thing.  Right at the end of gym, I was stretching and getting ready to leave and those two sisters came over and said, "We have been watching you the whole time and we really admire that you've been working so hard! We were both thinking that if you were our gym teacher, we would totally work out! So we just wanted to let you know that we think you're really great." HAHAHAHAHAHAHA  Wow, I didn't even know what to say to that. I honestly didn't think they were talking to me. Cassie Pelton -- inspiring work-out-er? Who would have thunk? Needless to say that gave me a little pep in my step the rest of the day. They don't need to know that I did "yoga" the day before...

That was probably my funniest story of the week. Sorry it wasn't spiritual or anything. In language class, we've been really working the Cyrillic alphabet (like in Russian), because that's what they use for Serbian. It's kind of fun because it's like a secret code! So we've been trying to decode things for the last week, sometimes more successfully than other times. Singing in Serbian proved a little difficult, and mostly ended up with just the teacher singing the words and the rest of us singing the vowels we recognized. All in time I guess. We also had our first Speak Your Language day on Thursday. That was kind of a failure, but we tried at least! The idea is that you only speak Croatian the whole day, and then you're forced to learn and look up normal conversational words and practice speaking with each other. It mostly just resulted in a very quiet breakfast and lunch. But it was good to try. We'll probably do it again this week, hopefully, with more success.

We also had to change classrooms this week to another building. They are fixing the air conditioning, so now we're in a building with all Spanish speakers. It was very sad to move away from our zone and the other obscure languages of the world, but we tried to decorate our room enough to make the change more comfortable. Hopefully, we'll be back to our old class in a few weeks.

One AWESOME thing that happened this week was Sister Ann Madsen came to speak with us. She is the wife of the late General Authority Truman G. Madsen. They became very close with Kresimir Cosic, the famous BYU basketball player from Croatia who helped to really establish the church in Croatia and the Adriatic North Mission. She came and chatted with us for almost 2 hours about the people of Croatia, the gospel, Kresimir, and missionary work. She has gone to Croatia several times, and recently went this past summer for the 40th anniversary of the first baptism in Croatia and the formation of the church there. Her experiences were so touching, and you could feel her love for the people. It was really great to be able to put faces and names to the people that live there. It made it seem a lot more real, that we'll actually be meeting and teaching real, unique people. Yes, of course we will, but sometimes you forget about that while you're at the MTC just learning the language and role-playing. She is truly an incredible woman and shared some very touching stories about the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, both in Croatia and here with the people we know. I testify that God knows us and loves us, and because of His incomprehensible love, He provides us with the gospel. We can repent and find strength and hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have especially gained a testimony of this as I've struggled here at the MTC. Christ truly does know how to best support and succor us and to bind our broken hearts, if only we will let Him.

As a side note, if you listened to President Eyring's talk in Priesthood Session of this last General Conference, he talked about my mission! The orphaned boy that was the first baptism in the country was a boy in Bosnia, where they just received proselyting missionaries this past year! These stories are true and they are real people! And that's my mission! I'm so touched and inspired by the faith of the people in these war-torn countries, and I know they are looking for the hope and happiness that the gospel can bring.

I love you all! Thank you so much for all the letters and support. We get mail twice a day, so it really makes my heart happy to see that letter or “dear elder” on my desk waiting for me :)

volim vas!
Sestra Pelton 

Sorry, no photos this week, but check out the next blog ... You know you're at the MTC when...

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