Monday, February 18, 2013

3rd Week February 18, 2013

First off, we have been learning about the fundamentals of teaching, such as receiving revelation from church, book of mormon, prayer. how to begin teaching,. and other stuff like that. i've been told my spanish is actually fairly good except I lack the confidence to speak it with power. but I do bring the spirit. so as soon as I get that boost of confidence I will be a converting machine!!!! That is the goal at least. this week we met two sisters, one from new zealand and one from australia. they informed us that our money is so weird and you cant go swimming with it.. I've never really desired to swim with my money but it was really funny and they showed us some of theirs. it has holes in it! what?!
I also got to host my first missionary this week too!!! we supposed had 1000 missionaries come in this last wednesday so they called out for anyone not busy to come help host missionaries. I helped a girl who is headed from the Tulsa Oklahoma mission! spiffy right?!
This week was our first time going to TRC! which means we got to teach someone who isn't a teacher. the english speakers get opportunities to teach both members and nonmembers but if you are leanring a language you only teach volunteer members. we are pretty sure that is so we don't insult anyone with our poor spanish. the man we taught was so sweet though! he gave us articulos de fe cards and I've been working on memorizing one every day. my funny story for the day is that instead of saying "creemos que los HOMBRES" for the second article of faith, I said HOMBROS. which is shoulders.. so basically we believe that shoulders should be punished for their own sins and not for adam's trangressions. awesome right? much better than Hermana Price's mix up of cerveza(beer) and cabeza(head) when teaching about the word of wisdom. Its really fun to teach lessons with practice investigators because we know we wont insult them and turn them away from the church! huzzah!!! also! a huge thank you for all the packages I got this last week!!! The cookies were delicious, I LOVE my necklace! and I got some candy from Barnett's, candy from aunt linda, and a fun package from Kelly! but the barnett's didn't give me their address, so if someone could send me that so I can write them a letter I'd love that!
another funny story, the elders in my zone like to whistle. A LOT . so i am learning patience by not getting upset with them and asking them to stop whistling... I know you are all so proud of me(:
We got new zone leaders this week because ours leave this week. the zone leaders are actually in my district so that is fun! My calling went well this week! I picked perfect songs(in my opinion) because they ended up being the same ones for our fireside last night! cool right?!
Awesome moment of the week was when we had tater tot casserole for dinner!!!!! Elder Stone and I have many things in common. such as a love for tater tot casserole. and problems with our thyroids. ironic right? we are like best buds! also his sister lives next store to us. correction. LIVED. she just left for portland oregon with our best friend! I don't remember if I mentioned we had a solo girl in our room for the first two weeks because her companion didn't show up. we love her and got really close! but she left this morning): so we are sad and will miss her very much! we also lose the 4 older sisters in our district this week making my district the oldest here! not age wise but time served en la CCM(MTC) its kind of a weird feeling. we will get our travel plans next week on friday then be headed off three weeks from today! half way done with this place!!! I love it here but I've developed such a strong love for the people in texas I am so excited to get there and just serve them all the time! its going to be so wonderful!!!!
For one of our lessons this week with Sebastian(or Hermano King our teacher) we "brought a member" which means in reality we took another teacher to help us out a bit with a "member testimony" and explanation. It was so wonderful and just felt amazing! i feel very strongly that lessons go so much better when there is a member in the ward with them in the lesson! Thats pretty much all i want to talk about.. well

2nd Week February 11, 2013

Welcome to Preparation day 2 sister nielson!!!
It has been a CRAZY week. We have been teaching a pretend investigator Luis and its been really fun! Hermana Kreis does most of the teach in spanish and I try to fill stuff in with my thoughts and my testimony. Its been pretty crazy but fun. Tonight we start with Sebastian(also pretend) and I'm really excited. Hopefully I can speak more spanish and do more than just bear my testimony! We talked a lot this week about how it doesn't matter how well you speak the language of spanish the gift of tongues doesn't just mean like spanish we need to learn the language of the spirit and be able to discern the needs of our investigator and love them. So that is what I am compeltely focused on. loving my investigatrs(real or not) and trying to know what they need through the spirit. It is fun but rather difficult as well.
I performed my  calling for the first time this week! for those that don't know on our first night I got called as the music coordinator for our zone! yikes! especially since the songs are all in spanish. luckily they sell little cheat sheets to tell you what songs are english ones and what not. I also got permisison from my branch president to start teaching people in additional study time how to lead music! if you have any suggestions for ways to do that, please send me letters in dearelder or mtcdelivery! letters are like candy here! we all get excited at 930 when we know Elder Stone(district leader) has to give out the letters. its wonderful and I might get a little crazy excited when I have a letter or two. Its awesome!! tank you for all the eltters i've gotten and please keep them coming!
I have to admit. I'm not really homesick at all. I just wish everyone could be here with me experiencing this! the spirit is so strong
. we had a substitute teacher this week and she taught about how everything we do on a mission should be for the Lord and our investigators. we don't eat for us any more, we eat to have energy to bring others unto christ. we don't work out for us. we work out so that we can work without tiring to bring others unto Christ. we had two lessons this week about how the Savior turned outward in those moments when we would turn in(hence why we were not chosen for his sacred duties) I know that I need to be less selfish and I'm working very hard to focus on everyone around me so that they can feel the spirit and know that the Lord loves them so much. Isn't that an amazing message? no matter the struggle or trial, our Lord and Savior always loves us every second of every day. and in those moments we feel the most alone, he is reaching out to us and calling for us to let him in to help.
This week hermana kreis was asked to accompany a guy who wanted to sing Bring Him home(from les mis) for a devotional. unfortunately he wont get to perform it because we don't want elders home sick, but he did amazing! then he drew this picture with a couple scenes from les mis for my companion and put a mark scripture on it. I knew immediately what it was but when she was showing the other sisters they couldn't figure it out. They decided it must be Rasputin(from anastasia) and Wolverine(xmen) in the pictures. I had to explain the pictures and suddenly it totally made sense to them. Yes i laughed long and hard about that one.
as for the food, I've decided to pray that it will taste better and not think about it. So far its going great! added bonus was we got pizza from like litte casers or something on friday! yes I ate 3 pieces and was completely ok with this. it was wonderful!!!!!
On sunday, sistsers get to go listen to music and the spoken word. it made me think about when we went before I left and I felt a little homesick. Not homesick. Missing of the parental units. I love my mom and dad! I've been praying for you and also for the people in texas that I will teach. I pray that the spirit of the Lord will be with them to prepare them for when I come and they will be able to understand me!
We have LITERALLY had the flirting talk at least 10 times this week. our teachers reported to our branch presidant that "inappropriate relation" were developing and they need to talk to us. No worries, I'm not interested in our elders. they are cute and sweet and spiritual, but honestly they feel like little brothers to me and I'm a little creeped out at the idea of flirting wth a man of God. this is just NOT the time for that. We should all be focused on the spirit and I'm bugged by anyone who takes that lightly. the time is literally flying by right now and I hate that so much! we only have 4 weeks left here in the MTC and it makes me sad!
I've seen elder fivas and hermana adams this week! which is wonderful! they are doing awesome and elder fivas is on my floor for classes!
Also i'm getting in GOOD SHAPE! thats what happens when all the things you go to are on the top floor! my class and room are both top floor dwellers and I'm getting much less complainy about going up and down stairst all day(; I'm proud of myself!
Also for sunday sacrament meeting they had all the sisters who came in the past two weeks stand up. The 19 and 20 year olds are here my friends. Half the sisters stood up. They older sisters in our district said that when they got here there were less than 300 girls. last week alone about 270 sisters came into the MTC crazy right? also last wednesday we had 800 new missionaries. this wednesday they said we will have 1000!!!! The lords work is progressing for sure and I love it!!!! Its been an amazing experience so far and I'm so grateful I have 6 weeks. they said non language learning missionaries will be here for 12 days now! how nuts is that?! not long enough to prepare at all I think! Oh well! thats all i've got for this week! Love you all! please send letters! packages are awesome too! I love food and was so grateful to get my packages the greenie one, donuts and protein bars! I shared fruitsnacks with the elders and they are converted to them! Be safe family and I love you! My companion and I pray for you daily!
-Hermana Niels



1st Week February 4, 2013

Wow we really don´t have much time to be on the computer here! Excuse all my typing errors Im trying to make it quick!!!
I love the MTC soooooo much!!!!!!! It really is the most wonderful place ever. However, I think it is what spirit prison will be like. Full of spiritual learning and progression but also feeling very trapped!! My companion really is so wonderful! she is the sweetest person I´ve ever met and we get along really really well!! we taught our first lesson in spanish on friday and it was terrifying! before we went in I felt really great and like I could do it but then all the spanish disappeared when we started. Conveniently my companion has spanish speaking family so she was able to take over and do all the speaking! I´m so grateful! I did bare my testimony about prayer and how God speaks to us in spanish though! and we challenged him to pray! It was really great! our second lesson on saturday didn´´t go quite as well because I was very distracted.. I´´ve ran into quite a few people I know from home! Like elder griffeth, smart, anderson, york, hitesman and a few sisters I know as well like sister hammond! its been really cool seeing the difference it makes in people to be here! all of our elders are so sweet and I just love them! a few are really struggling with the language and I just want to hug them and tell them its going to be alright! but hugging elders isn´t OK so i just tell them esta bien elders! esta bien!!! The spanish is actually coming very well! my memorization skills are awful but we are working through it. we can all pray, read bare our testimonies and semi teach in spanglish! mostly spanish though. its pretty amazing. we got to walk around the temple yesterday and take pictures and we went to the temple today. it was sooo wonderful! it was nice to have a break from our classroom. we have3 ish 4 districts in our zone. the district we were suppose to take the place of hasn´´t left because their visas are delayed for mexico. we get a new district next week of 6 sisters and 6 elders though! so exciting!!!!!! the sisters are headed to alabama and the elders go to mexico! its so amazing being around everyone here. Downside, the food is awful! I´ve been sick to my stomache from it. I guess school food just isn´´t my thing! I´´m surviving however. But if you wanted to send me treats, there would be no complaints! I love letters in the mail as well!! getting the ones from dear elder were really nice but please add your address to them so I can write back! hand written letters may become my main source of communication while I´´m here. the laundry room computers you can use a little longer, but this ones you are definitely restricted to your time. the counter is just staring at me saying ¨¨type faster hermana!!!¨¨ also! its weird being called hermana. elders keep talking to me... its a little odd. luckily all they ask usually is where I´´m from and where i´´m going. occaionally they ask my age. today i had an elder ask what I wanted to do with my life. I almost said i just want to get married but I thought better and told him something else! I really do love it here! expect a letter home this week with a lot more detail in stuff! i love you all however! life is wonderful! la iglesia de jesucristo es verdadero!!!! Jose smith es un profeta y yo se jesucristo es el salvador! te amo familia!!!!!

1st Letter February 2, 2013

We received a letter from Courtenae yesterday.  She is doing well.  Her companion is Hermana Kreis from Orem.  She is 21, almost 22.  She says that "my companion is just like me!".  We are concerned.  :-)  They have 2 elders and 4 sisters in the MTC district that are going to McAllen Texas.  She bore her testimony in spanish which, with tongues, said she love the church and the prophet!  :-).  Her P day is tomorrow, Monday so another letter should be coming!

MTC Drop Off January 30, 2013

Today John and I dropped our last missionary off at the MTC. I thought we did that 2 1/2 years ago when we dropped Nathan off.  Thanks to a modern day Prophet we got a redo with Courtenae.   I have the same question, I had when we dropped Nathan off.  Why does something so wonderful hurt so bad.  That great big lump in your throat and the tears threatening.  Can we really live with out her smile and the constipated donkey cry.  Who will follow me around and leave rocks in the washer.  Will I miss  forgotten shoes all over the house. 

Courtenae's ready to go.
Ashton met us for lunch at Olive Garden.
One last picture at the MTC.