Saturday, January 4, 2014

Week 6 MTC - I have 3 weeks left!

Hello everyone! Happy New Year!

I don't know where the time has gone! But I am not complaining. I officially have less than 3 weeks left!!! I am sooo excited! And then it is off to Japan!

So the longer I am here the less I remember each week...everything just blurs together. But, I'm going to try my hardest to give a pretty good re-cap of this last week. 

Christmas day here was great! (So was Christmas eve). All of the Chorotachi (elders) opened their presents Christmas eve so they had nothing to open on Christmas. The Sisters of course had a little more control. Dopp Shimai and I got creative and made each of them presents/ found odd things in the book store. One of our Elders gets nose bleeds all the time so we bought him a box of tampons and redecorated the box to say "NOSE BLEED STOPPERS", another Elder got a tongue cleaner, then a third got TUMS (he is always complaining about the food here and what it does to his stomach) and our last Elder got a hand mirror, on which we had stuck a mustache (he really misses his facial hair, he doesn't feel as manly without it). Of course they were well received! I had made gifts for the Sister missionaries before I got into the field so I gave each of them those sometime during the day too.

                                           Finally, a good mirror!

For lunch that day we had a big Christmas meal. That way all the MTC workers could go home and spend Christmas with their families after our lunch. Dopp Shimai and my Christmas lunch/dinner was even more special! We were invited to eat with the MTC presidency!! Each year a handful of missionaries are chosen. This year we were two of them! I think it might have been because I remembered the Nally's (president and wife) anniversary! It was really nice. We got to eat off of fancy plates and have real salad! The main meal was pretty good too. But honestly I think I was most excited about the salad. So, after everyone sat down President Nally announced who else was going to be joining us to eat....Elder Bednar!

After we ate Elder Bednar told us we could ask him questions. Everyone who wanted to got to ask a question. At first no one raised their hand. Everyone just stared at Elder Bednar or looked at each other. I finally raised my hand. First one to ask a question! My question was "What was the most important thing you learned on your mission?" His answer was very Elder Bednar-esque. He said "to get over yourself." The sooner you realize this mission isn't about you the quicker you will become successful. You need to realize that it's about the people you serve and when you can get out of the way and let the Spirit do its job then you will have success on your mission. That was his answer in a nut shell. He also asked us a question. He wanted to know what was happening as we were asking and he was answering questions. A couple missionaries answered and I raised my hand too. I said the Spirit was present. He asked why. I told him it was because he was answering us simply and directly and when you do that, instead of trying to sound fancy and eloquent, the spirit can more easily bear witness of the truth. Through Simple truths the spirit can bear witness more easily. He said I was right on! And then talked about speaking simply for a little bit!

After lunch we went to straight to our Christmas Devotional. Elder Bednar spoke there as well. He once again opened the floor to questions. The way he did this though was super cool! Since there are around 1,800 missionaries here there is no possible way he could have answered every ones question, and I think it would have been hard to see to choose as well. And then on top of that we were broadcasting live to multiple other international MTCS! So, there were 200 cell phones brought in and passed around. And then when someone had a question they texted it in! And Elder Bednar would receive it on his iPad! (I have a feeling the questions were being screened before they appeared on his iPad though). After the devotional we went back to our class room for a little bit and then returned 19M to watch a band perform and then we watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choirs Christmas special as well. Oh, there was also a really fun talent show in the morning! That was pretty great. My favorite act was a bottle dancer. It was fantastic.

So, Sunday night Sister Dopp and I traded name tags. Everyone here calls us by each others’ name. We wanted to see if anyone would actually notice if they were different. That day I had been called Sister Dopp FIVE times. No one noticed. Except two people! One of our district presidency members and his wife! IT was pretty funny. 

Last week I told you about George. Dopp Shimai and I got to go on a couple walks with him this week. It was really nice. Not only did we get some fresh air, we also got to know George better. He is a really cool person. And he has been through A LOT. I'll have to tell more about him later. I am running out of time right now.

Dopp Shimai is officially the District Bully. She had a chocolate orange and was trying to share it with people. She figured Elder Lamintous would want a piece. He had his eyes closed and was leaning on one hand on his desk. He claims he is "thinking" when he does this. Anyway, I'm not quite sure what she was thinking, but she decided to throw a piece to him. Instead of landing nicely in front of him it popped him in the nose! His nose turned bright red and he looked a little shocked and bewildered. He wanted to know if she thought he would sniff it as it flew over to him and then he would snatch it out of the air! It was pretty funny. No one was seriously hurt, demo now Sister Dopp has a new nick name. 

I had a couple other funny stories to tell, but I've run out of time. The longer I am here the harder it is to type quickly in English. 

One last story; One of our friends here at the MTC told us a few of his mess ups while trying to speak Figian. He told his investigator that God loves us all and that BATS are his children! He also tried to explain prayer to an investigator. The investigator had said "when you pray you get Manna, when I pray I get nothing." So this dear Elder proceeded to say "there is no difference when I pray. There is no difference when you pray. When we pray Heavenly father see's no difference." Only what he actually said was.... "There are no PANTS when I pray. There are no PANTS when you pray. And when we pray Heavenly Father has NO PANTS." WE got a really good laugh out of that and I hope you all do too!

Happy New Year!

Thank you for all your wonderful cards and packages!

Sister Molinari