It has been so good to hear from lots of you from DearElders, those seriously make my day! I didn't fully realize it until being here, but those can improve a bad mood like none other. Thank you!
This past week has been full of lots of ups and downs. It's crazy how the emotions of one entire week can fit into a single day. The mission, though I have only been out for 2 weeks (it feels like 4 years), really tests you in all aspects. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. But at the same time, it strengthens me in all of those same ways.
There has been a wave of sickness going around the MTC, as it sounds like the same is happening outside it. I was one of the first to get it last week, just the sniffles and the low voice (I sounded just like that country singer, I think it's Josh Turner, "baby lock the door and turn the lights down looowww). Cute. So we're all being very patient with each other as it gets passed around.
Also, apparently everyone is losing weight here, haha, one elder has lost 10 pounds so far.. um, how does that even work?
We finished with our first investigator, taught him 4 lessons, and got him to commit to baptism! Woot woot! Team Berlin! And then he came to talk to our district about us teaching him. Turns out he's been teaching here at the MTC for like 4 years... I'm glad I didn't know that going in! Ha, but he was super nice to us, giving compliments about our broken German.
Now we have 2 new investigators, who are our teachers. They are role playing people that they taught on their mission. It's kind of nice because we already know our teachers and how hard they'll be. They are each 30 min. lessons, we've taught 2 so far. And with lots of difficult questions already. Our investigator "Andrea" threw us all the curve balls. At the end, we asked her to be baptized, and she said confidently: "well, I've already been baptized but thank you!" And quickly pushed us out the door. Hmm, we'll get to you somehow.
And shout out to the Pasquale family for showing me how useful Disney movies can be to illustrate gospel points-I shared a scene from Lion King, about Simba and Mufasa's relationship being similar to ours with our Heavenly Father. ALL in German. And our other investigator "Gunther" loved it!! Knocked it out of the park. Thanks Disney.
One downer this week was that we all thought our leaving date might be changed to the 22nd of October, because we're scheduled for 7 weeks, not the normal 6. And the new Germans will be coming in while we're still here, which is an anomaly. But alas, the schedule still stands, and we'll be helping to train the newbies as they come in. So, I guess it's cool... I'm still secretly praying for a miracle that we'll be sent out early. :)
For our Tuesday devotional last night, we had Elder M. Russel Ballard, it was the best! And I told the parents already, but this elder sat down in front of me, took one look at my name tag and said, "Do you have an uncle, dad, relative serving as a mission president?" And my eyes got wide, and I said, "Why yes I do! That's my dad! He's the coolest!" And he said he and the other elders have had debates on how to pronounce our last name. But I set him straight, so they all know now. He and his district are flying out this coming Monday. Small world!!
Some thoughts from his devotional: "Don't lose sight of how precious one soul is. Never pass anyone up without letting them know who you are. There is no silver bullet for door approaches, or any approach. If there was one, we'd give it to you. But there's not. Don't forge the importance of this work!"
Me and sister Medley started "Matching Mondays" where our outfits match the best they can. Everyone loved it, we'll see how many join in next Monday. Because, you know, no one's done that before at the MTC. Haha.
Tomorrow we start TRC, where we get to skype with real live Germans!! I'm so excited, but so intimidated. They are members, so it's kind of like home teaching, where we share a message to help strengthen them.
There have been a lot of overwhelming feelings this last week, just trying to keep my purpose in mind, while trying to convey all the right thoughts, and bring the spirit to our lessons, and saying it all in German for a half hour, plus remembering everything we're learning. It's totally stressful, but totally worth it. We also learned this week that stress is selfish. Talk about a good wake up call- that we're not supposed to be focused on ourselves. And when we do feel overwhelmed, give it all to the Lord. "He will be on your right hand and on your left."
I can't help but write in my journal every night about how grateful I am for the things I've been given. Although there are hard moments, or hours, there are never bad days on the mission. Never let a whole day be wasted!
Funnies of the week:
-Me and Sis. Medley were walking on campus, and an elder pulled us aside, and asked me to read a scripture. I scanned all the elders' faces on the bench, and they all had a serious look. I hesitantly picked up the scriptures, and it read, " Let the women be silent that they may never disturb-" Oooh, no you didn't Elder! They laughed and laughed, and I kindly explained that if I didn't have this name tag on, they would all receive a good slap from me. Haha, but they were enjoying it to much for me to be serious. Oh Elders.
-I was explaining to the sisters in my room about some of the things I have just in case, like some ziploc bags or a lint roller- (this is what we talk about, it's fine) and one sister said, "Wow, Sister Titensor is our mom!! She's got everything!" Well, I learned it all from the best.
-New favorite german word: Kommisch= awkward. Haha. Me everyday.
Ich liebe das evangalium und diese erfahrung im das MTC. Werchlich toll!
The MTC is great, truly trying and difficult, but I've never felt so lifted and helped. None of this is me, the Lord is taking care of it all. Thanks for every letter, every word of encouragement. I love you all!!