Dobar dan ucitelj i prijateli!
|Cassie at "famous" MTC World Map|
|Sestras Pelton and Menjivar|
So this week it finally hit me that I was at the MTC--on Wednesday. I saw all the new missionaries arrive, and I realized that I wasn't one of them! I'm not new anymore! That was a crazy realization. But it's fun. The time is so funny here (as I'm sure I've mentioned before); the days are long, the weeks short, but when you look back at all you've learned, it feels like months instead of weeks. I guess it just shows that time is precious, and we can't waste it
So much happens during the week that I feel like I can't even begin to remember it all! Some fun things were that Starjesina Stuart's birthday was on the 4th, so we all gave him a card and learned to say "Happy Birthday" in Croatian. That was probably his favorite birthday present ever. (It's Srecna rodendan for those who are curious.) Other fun/funny things: in language class, we were practicing to conjugate verbs. It was going pretty well, but there are always those verbs that are irregular and you have to be extra careful. One of those is "pisati" meaning "to write." When you conjugate it, the s turns into a sh-sound, and the -ati conjugates like and -eti. (Sorry that's kind of complicated). Anyways, two missionaries were up at the board conjugating it, but they forgot to change the a to an e. Our teacher just started giggling and giggling, and if you know our teacher, you too would've been dumbfounded like we were. He is the most serious and intimidating person ever! Finally he told us what had happened: there is a verb "pi(sh)ati" that just conjugates normally, so when we wrote what we though was "we write", we had actually conjugated it to be the other verb. And "pi(sh)ati" means "to pee"!!!! So we had written "we pee"!!! So embarrassing!! He says it happens to every new missionary when they get to Croatia. They go and stand up in church to say something, and end up talking about relieving themselves. Good golly... I pray that I will be spared from this humiliation.
Sestra Menjivar and I just continue to grow even closer in our companionship!! She is truly a testament to me that Heavenly Father knows our needs and places people in our lives for a reason. I have learned so much from her already, and I love that we can help each other when we struggle. She has already helped me become a better teacher, a closer listener to the spirit, and more confident in my abilities. One fun thing that happened yesterday was we got to chat for a while with some Elders from Mexico! I mentioned before that Sestra M is from an El Salvadoran family, so her first language is Spanish and she very much embraces the whole fun, loud, outgoing Latin culture. It's so funny because all the Latin missionaries here just seem to find each other and become best friends instantly. There were some elders sitting by themselves in the cafeteria, and she said that we should go sit with them. I was super nervous because I feel like my Spanish isn't very good anymore, but I decided we could try. So we went over. They were so nice! Even though I was nervous, I was able to follow their conversations well and even have my own input. My proudest moment was when one of them told me my Spanish was good :) gold star for me!
Teaching Marko was really great this last week-- we committed him to be baptized! We weren't even planning on it, and didn't prepare the words in Croatian, but Sestra Menjiver just felt that she should, and I was so happy that she did! We were teaching about how Christ can strengthen us in our lives by helping to take away our guilt and sins. Marko's life is really hard, and I know that he needed to hear this message of hope. We were just sharing our testimonies with him, then Sestra M did it! The spirit was so strong as it was working on all of our hearts, and he accepted. It's funny to write about it, because in reality, Marko is one of our teachers and is already a member, but we still prayed for and about him as if he was truly an investigator. It was one of the most powerful moments! We actually have stopped teaching him because we'll be getting a new investigator this week. But I am thankful for the experience that we had to teach him.
Wow, so I haven't even talked about General Conference. It was incredible. People say that GC is the best when you're in the MTC, and it's true. Never have I felt that every message specifically spoke to me in some way like I did this weekend. I felt some very strong promptings from the spirit about things that I needed to do and change to be the person that Heavenly Father wants me to be. I testify that Thomas S Monson is indeed the prophet of God on the earth today. His counselors and the 12 apostles are prophets, seers, and revelators, declaring what the Lord needs his people to hear right now. I am so thankful for that! I cannot choose a favorite talk, because they were all wonderful, but I was especially touched by all the talks about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and His infinite love and forgiveness. What hope and joy this message brings. Sin, guilt and sadness can weigh us down so much, but if we will just come unto Christ, he will lift our burdens. .I promise that this is true, and I have experienced it for myself.
Last night we had a devotional by Vocal Point, the A Capella group from BYU! It was so fun and very spirit-filled. They had a few of them bear testimonies and do a hymn-share, where they sing the first verse, and we all sing subsequent verses. They also sang a few arrangements of sacred songs. It was absolutely beautiful. One song that especially touched me was "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" I had never paid attention to some of the lyrics before: "He answers privately, reaches my reaching." Heavenly Father does answer our prayers, and he does answer them privately. He makes sure it's something we can understand, and sometimes, ONLY we can understand it. We shouldn't have to justify or explain the choices we make based on guidance from the Lord, because we received our answer. It's between us and the Lord. I know that sometimes it can be hard to follow what the Lord has told us to do, but I know that we are always blessed for it. And I know that some people don't understand or they judge our decisions, but that doesn't matter. The most important relationship we can have is the relationship of prayer, obedience and revelation between us and the Lord.
That's all I have time for right now, but I love you all!! I'm so thankful for your examples. Keep writing to me!!! I love the letters and notes.
Only two elders in Cassie's District. How often are elders outnumbers by sisters?!
All of these missionaries will be going to Cassie's mission. Nine are learning Croatian and four are learning Slovene.