Friday, February 19, 2016

Time Warps, New Names, and Almost Celebrities..


 Me and my companion and the beautiful view!

Has it really only been a week since last P-day? I've gathered some evidence and have concluded that time at the MTC is completely different from time in the real world. I believe one week here correlates to about 4 years in real time. So as you can guess, after another week, I'm much older and wiser. By the time I leave the MTC I should be able to get a senior discounts at restaurants, so yay for that. Okay, I'm kidding, but seriously the best way to describe it is the days go by slow but the weeks go by sooo fast. And to best summarize this week I'm gonna do bullet points for this email. 

* Every Sunday for Sacrament meeting the President of the Branch (which consists of all the French speakers at the MTC, last week we had about 45-50 missionaries, but we also had 20ish missionaries leave this past week, to France and Tahiti and we just got 20 more missionaries this past Wednesday, so you do the math), he chooses 2 random missionaries to speak in church for a few minutes and he doesn't ask them until like 5 seconds before their supposed to talk so every Sunday is like Russian Roulette. You never know who it's gonna be and the anticipation killer. I haven't gotten called to talk yet because my district is still so new, but I'm betting sometime in the next few weeks my fate will be decided and I'll have to give a talk in French. Dun dun duuunnnnn. Just kidding it'd be fine. I'd only die a little inside. 

* There's an Elder in my district who is from Taiwan, his name is Elder Chih and he's awesome. His english is pretty good, but I feel bad because he's learning French from English and English from Mandarin, so you can only imagine the conversations that go around in his head. Pretty crazy. Anyways, I asked him if he could give me Chinese name and he said he would! So here it goes, in written Chinese it's pronounced like "Tho Mai Zhen" and it means Pure Rose and when he told me, my heart almost exploded. He's so great. He also eats like a Sea Monster, meaning that he eats like 3 entrees each meal, and he's not a big guy (right now at least), so I guess we'll see what he looks like after 4 more weeks!

*GUESS WHO WAS IN MY ZONE. Only a famous Mormon's grand-daughter. Nope not, Donny Osmond, or Ryan Gosling (he's not practicing I know), BUT THAT'S RIGHT YOU GUESSED IT... MITT ROMNEY. YUP. Mitt Romney's GRAND-DAUGHTER was in my Zone! She's super cool and very nice. She's going to Paris, like her father and GRAND-FATHER (well actually she just left this last week, so now she's in Paris) and before she left I totally became friends with her. I got a picture with her, so yup I won the MTC.

*Here's a few fun things that happened this week with learning French. I was teaching another lesson (to a fake investigator, AKA my teacher) I was talking about Jesus and how through him we can be cleansed from sin, but apparently the word for sin in French "peche" is pronounced very similar to the words that mean both peach and fisherman. So I ended up saying "Through Christ we can be cleansed from peaches (and/or fisherman)." My teacher then gave me this super confused look and I gave the same look right back to him, it was only later that I came to the knowledge of my language fumble. ALSO, I once said that "Jesus came INTO the earth" not "to the earth." So, to clarify, no I don't believe Christ came into the core/mantel of the earth.
*On a more spiritual note, for Tuesday night's devotional we had Elder Ronald Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles come and speak to us. TALK ABOUT COOL. It was a very cool experience. Before the devotional we were asked to read his talk called "The Divine Call of a Missionary" which talked all about how mission calls are given and the process that takes place before mission calls are assigned. Then for his devotional, which was interactive with the entire MTC, we further discussed the divine call each missionary receives. It just reaffirmed in my heart that I have been called by God, to be a representative of Christ and to invite and help others receive His restored gospel. And I've been called to Montreal for a reason, and there are people I'm supposed to meet there who have been prepared to hear the glad message of the gospel. WHAT A TIME TO BE A MISSIONARY!

* On a sad note, one of the two teachers who's been teaching us for the past few weeks, Frere (which means Brother in French) Davis, had his last day teaching at the MTC yesterday. It was really sad to say goodbye because our entire district has gotten really attached to him, he's the one who's been teaching us French and the other teacher, Frere Nollet, has been our investigator. So saying goodbye was very hard. But he left our district full of hope because all of Wednesday and Thursday he just talked about his mission (he served in Paris a few years ago), and shared what he learned from it. He told us that before his mission he was horrible at English, he hated reading in front of people and barely made it through high school, and once he got a mission call to France he was excited but he was also terrified. He said that while he was at the MTC his French was AWFUL, and that it took him months and months after he already gotten to France to even become almost comfortable in the language. But he worked hard. Every single day he studied the language and by the time he came home, he was more than fluent in French and his English improved ten fold. He said he knew it was because God filled in the cracks when his efforts weren't enough and he accredits all of his success to Heavenly Father's blessings. His story gave me a lot of hope. Because learning a language is hard. There's been times this week when I've just been really overwhelmed because we leave for Quebec in only 24 days, and considering how much I've learned and how much I need to learn before then, it sent some panic signals off in my brain. BUT. In Doctrine and Covenants Section 6 verses 33, 34 and 36 we are commanded THREE times by Christ to "fear not," and I'm in no position to not be keeping the commandments right now, so all I can do at this point is not fear for the future, but to have faith in Christ and His ability to bless me. Verse 36 it says "look unto me (Christ) in every thought; doubt not, fear not." How simple is that. So simple, so beautiful and so perfect. 

If there is one thing that this week has taught me, it's that blessings come from diligence. And that specific prayers to God will receive specific answers. So we need to be specific in our pleadings with our Father in Heaven, and ask him questions and have the faith that He will answer. Because He does hear our prayers, He is listening and He will answer them. Maybe not in the way you want, but in the way you need. I know my Father lives. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior. Everyday I'm more and more grateful for the gospel. What a blessing it has been to my life. And that's why I'm here. That's why I'm a missionary, so I can bring those blessings to the rest of Heavenly Father's children. 

I love you all,

Soeur Thomas

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