August 13, 2014

First Week at the MTC... The Gift of Tongues is Real!

Wow, I was so excited to see all of the emails I received this morning. It's been a very productive P-day. P-day is always Wednesday btw. I have an hour of email time. I print off my emails, read them while I eat breakfast, and then come and respond. I can only print off 5 pages though so I have to pick and choose. Laundry is done. Email time, then nap, get ready, lunch, find Sister Abbott (she comes in today) and then the temple and back to studying.

The gift of tongues is real. I have a testimony of it already. Without the gift of tongues I would have not been able to teach 4 lessons to a Dutch investigator already. Also, I can pray simply in Dutch. I learned that by the 2nd day. Whaaaaat. But for some reason numbers have been hard for me to remember. It has been so hard but the reward is wonderful. I am best at bearing my testimony in Dutch, but if our investigator asks questions I am not so good at making random sentences. My pronunciation is getting there. I am not the best, but not the worst. I take advantage of the time me and Zuster Watts are waiting for the Elders to come so we can start class. I ask my teacher Brother Wells questions, and I even told him I was worried about my pronunciation. He decided that we should read the intro to the book of mormon in Dutch together. The 3 of us read and it was very helpful. Sometimes I wish he would critique me more, but I am thankful for all the practice I get.

I was able to share my mission scripture in Dutch with my class. I read it in Dutch, then English, and then shared in Dutch why I liked the scripture. My class hasn't been taught the correct order for the sentences, so we probably have horrible grammar, but I know words! I am actually really good at memorizing vocab. When someone asks me, Hoe Zegt u _____. (How do you say____. I can say it so fast, but I really only know how to spell it and not pronounce it. I KNOW I will get better though because the Lord is helping me through this. Pretty sure I've learned more Dutch than I learned in 3 years of Spanish.

One thing I know I need to do is focus on the gospel before I can teach in Dutch. I can't teach something in Dutch if I don't know it well enough in English. Sometimes all I want to do is study Dutch, but I stop myself because reading the scriptures and PMG is so important. I need to deepen my conversion or my testimony will start to fade.

Sometimes I wonder... What am I even doing here?! This is crazy. But I am ohhh so happy. I feel really accomplished when I remember a Dutch phrase, or when we have discussions within out branch or district and a good thought comes to my head that I can share. Confidence is key here at the MTC. I can't grow if I don't make mistakes. Sometimes I stay quiet in fear that I will make a mistake, but I really do love when others help and critique me so that I don't make that mistake again! I am learning to be teachable.

I've been so blessed already. My district is me and Zuster Watts, and then 2 other sets of elders. 6 of us total. There are 2 dutchie districts and the other district has 2 sets of sisters and 1 set of elders. I'm not the most talkative sister so I feel really blessed to feel special by being in a district(which is one classroom) with only 1 set of sisters. I feel like we get more one on one time or one on two haha.  We all get along so well. My room is full of all of the Dutch sisters. It's also been really helpful that the Suriname missionaries are right next door. They've been here for 3 weeks and they also speak Dutch. Our zone is compromised of Danes, Swedes, Surinames, Dutchies and..... I think that might be it.

I have seen Aaron about 3 times. Another blessing. When we go to get a water break in class I get to see him. The Swedes are so funny and they all knew I was coming I guess. I loveeed seeing Aaron. I gave him a big hug and a Swede yelled 2319! (Monsters inc reference). I was told by my branch pres wife that I shouldn't hug him though. Her example was because if someone saw me doing it in the cafeteria they'd be confused. I dont quite understand cause everyone in our bldg knows he's my brother, but I will follow exact obedience. I will miss getting a hug from him though. And then one day he told me I looked nice, and I actually was having a rough morning cause we exercised and my face was bright read and then we had to run to class. Oh I don't even know. I just love seeing a familiar face.

Magic Tuesday was yesterday. Yes it's true. Poop in a cup and I can go to Belgium. So gross.  Also, I got to sing in the Devotional Choir yesterday. Nearer my God to thee. Felt the spirit so very strongly.

I've loved all of the uplifting emails and dear elders. I got both dear elders, but just make sure from now on you put my departure date as Sept 15 and my unit number is 1. Mail is like GOLD here so I would love any mail you have time to send. But really. The elders always joke that I got mail and then I get so excited and it was a lie. Tricky elders.

I am so blessed and I have been really healthy! Not too tired usually, my knees are doing great. I only had a huge headache on the first day, and my jaw is doing awesome. By the end of the day I feel like I start to get a lisp though. Not sure if it's because I speak differently now to get a gutteral sound and all the other Dutch sounds, or if it just means It's time to go to bed and put a retainer in. hehe. I'm kinda self concious about the little lisp that comes out, but things could be worse.

This is going to be a great week. I definitely need to work hard because I no longer have the crutch of saying that it's my first week and it's okay if I don't do something right. I understand that exact obedience is the key to blessings. It's sometimes easy to finish service early, or take away from personal study time to get ready for the day, but I know that I am on the Lord's time and I should not waste it.

Ik houdt van jullie!
met liefde,
Zuster Bush

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