Monday, May 27, 2013

Week 4 - I know I skipped week 3 :)

One month down! Well, in 2 days I'll have been in the MTC for a month.
This week has gone by extremely quickly. It's strange to think that I will leaving my lovely hamster cage in less than two months. Sister Bradshaw and I lovingly refer to the MTC campus as the hamster cage, and yes, we are the hamsters. I'm getting used to the food, that basically means I eat my weight in spinach and soup, with a delicious homemade treat sent to me for dessert. Our classes are starting to feel shorter. We are getting used to the enormous study blocks and mountains of French being shoved down our throat. All is well. 
Now for my exciting announcements of the week:
I'm taking a field trip this week! Ah, I cannot wait. Sister Urling, Van Wagenen, and I are getting on a lovely aircraft and hitting the beaches of  San Fransisco. -By beaches I mean the inside of the French Embassy. We are heading out at 3 am (yes, AM) on Thursday and we're expected to be back in Salt Lake around 5pm. It's a very short field trip, but we are breaking out of the hamster cage! The French Embassy is interviewing us alphabetically, so all of our companionships are going to be split up. I absolutely cannot wait. We've decided we're going to place 3 Book of Mormon and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Elder Hansen and Elder White are our travel leaders, I couldn't have asked for better Elders to come with us.
Ready for the second announcement?
Sister Bradshaw and I have been called to be the Sister Training Leaders for our zone! We are incredibly excited. We oversee the sisters in our Zone by interviewing them, making sure they are doing okay, providing delicious treats in their time of need, ect. This Wednesday we are getting a new batch of Sisters and we are going to give them a tour of the MTC and just get to know them. I am pretty relieved to have an offical job to do, it's been a strange month with no extra responsibilites. ;)
In Relief Society every week a Sister who has recently converted to the church is spotlighted. This week's sister was incredible, unfortunately I didn't catch her name, but I do have her story:
When I was tweleve years old my parents split and we moved to Texas. My mother is a devote Southern Baptist. DEVOTE. I went to church with her and started making new friends at school. When I was 16, I asked one of my best friends if we could hang out on Sunday, you know go shopping, to the movies, get our nails done. She said, "No." But told me I could go to church with her, so I did. I loved it, everyone was happy and had something different about them. When I got home my mom asked me where I was, I told her and she was mad. Really mad. She grounded me for two weeks and told me I could never go to church again. The next Sunday my friend asked me if I wanted to go to church again, and I was like, "Yeah!" So I snuck out my window.  But I got caught. The next morning my mom told me to get out of the house. I thought she was kidding, I was like "yeah right mom" and went to school. When I came home all my things were in my yard. That's when I realized she was serious. I packed my things in my car and slept in the Walmart parking lot for two weeks. When my friend found out she called her mom and she said I needed to stay with them.  Her family adopted me, and her dad said, "You know, since we're your guardians, you can get baptized now."  I just laughed, it wasn't for me. For the next two years I continued to go to church and young womens, and when I was 18 I realized, I'm an adult. And I decided to get baptized. I took the lessons from the missionaries and in 2 weeks I was driving to my baptism.  My friend's brother was driving me to the church when I got a text from my mom. I hadn't talked to her in two years. She said, I'll take you back. I"ll be your mom, just don't get baptized. I just thought, hey! no more baptism for me! I got my mom back! But my sister's brother wouldn't turn the car around. He said, "you have worked so hard for this, you deserve this, and I am not turning around."  That's when I just started praying. Give me a sign. Right then we passed an "I'm a Mormon" billboard. I got my sign.  As I came up out of the water the first person I saw was my mother. I was scared, I thought she was a ghost. She looked at me and said, "I'm your mother. I love you. I support you."  I got my mom, and I got my church.
Holy cow. That was so cool for us missionaries. We know we're going to have investigators who are going to endure, they're going to give up a lot, but we have to find a way for them to feel that everything they do is absolutely worth it.
This week we've been teaching our investigator "Manuarii" about all the commandments. In our last lesson we taught the Word of Wisdom and in the middle of the lesson I just asked him if he'd get baptized. I felt like I was saying, Do you have a problem drinking, oh and will you get baptized? Frere Asay, our teacher, is actually Manuarii, and everytime my French sentences got longer his smile just kept getting bigger and bigger. I know he was excited I can speak french, not about being baptized, but.... June 18! Bam. That will be our "first" baptism of our mission. It may be fake, but you still feel the Spirit, you're still prompted to say things, and you can still make a difference in your "Investigator's" life. That's what we've started realizing. Even if they aren't real investigators, they are real people, and every single person struggles with something and we can still touch their own personal struggle. Teaching is fun.
Thank you so much for all the packages and letters. They really do get me through the weeks. Mail is the best time in the MTC, besides when you give the best lesson ever in French. That's the best feeling.
Well, 8 more weeks to go! Stay in touch, thank you for your prayers and thoughts!
Sister Morgan Taylor

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