Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week 4--MTC

This week is the mark of our halfway point here at the MTC. Things are moving along great. I still adore and love Syster Winterton! She is just the greatest companion. The Lord really is blessing me every day through her.  
   What a blessing it is to be a missionary! Sometimes it is easy to forget that this is a gift from the Lord to be on a mission, it's not something that I deserve or am entitled to. But even though this is a gift already the Lord continues to shower us with blessings. Syster W and I were talking about that today on our way home from the temple. On our way out we met an older woman all-full of smiles named Sister Hammond. She grabbed us by the hands and told us that we were doing great things. It turns out that this is the same lady and her husband who gave the devotional two weeks ago. She and her husband talked about love, and it was from that devotional I began to realize that everything that happens here on earth that brings us joy is directed from Love. It is all about Love!! I just love that woman so much--so much so that I had to go back into the changing room and give her another hug!  Yesterday I got sick again and my throat has been really hurting.  It was hard during the middle of the day when I was really tired and didn't feel like talking much, so I decided I'd better start loving someone fast. And what do you know, the next moment I wasn't thinking about myself and I was making someone else happy (although it might have made me more happy than it did them!)
So Syster W and I have two "investigators" right now. One named Leo and one named Anna. It has really been the greatest acceleration of my learning here at the MTC by having the chance to try and develop lesson plans for these investigators and then teach them. We are of course still teaching in Swedish. Isn’t that amazing that I am teaching people in Swedish! I think its just crazy! But it can be done.
I also have come to believe that Swedish is possibly the easiest language out there. It is easier than Spanish. That must be one reason why the Lord is sending me there. Because He knew I couldn’t handle anything worse. I love Swedish though, and it is coming slow and steady. Now that we are at the half waypoint we are trying to speak a lot more Swedish. We have tried to have two full Swedish only days. It was hard and we ended up speaking some English :) but! The more we speak the better we do. The biggest help comes when we are in class and I make sure I respond in Swedish even though it takes longer.  I tried working on that yesterday and when one person takes up the courage to speak in Swedish (and our teachers are teaching us in Swedish) more of our class takes courage and will answer in Swedish too. Yesterday the whole class started to answer questions in Swedish. It was really great. So my Swedish is far from perfect but I’m trying not to be scared of making mistakes and just trying to get out the feelings I want to convey.
   This week I have really been studying a lot on repentance. I'm a little scared to call someone to repentance from some reason. It is just a little uncomfortable... So I have been trying to better understand repentance and what it really means to repent. I loved the BD's explanation that Repentance. Before it was translated meant "turning" or having a fresh view of God. That makes repenting seem much more of a positive thing to go through. Also I'm studying humility in the Christ-like attributes and I read something really interesting. It said that competition is a form of pride. So I have been trying to decide if competition is a bad thing all around. I can’t really see Christ competing with people. But competition does lead people to improve. But often just to be better than another. If we can really learn not to compare ourselves with others. Oh how much sweeter life would be! Right now I am so grateful that I have only one girl to worry about not comparing myself too. As an elder it would be much harder.
My favorite time of the week is getting to sing with the choir. We practice on Sundays and on Tuesdays and then perform Tuesday night at devotional. Syster W is great at singing so I often ask her to sing alto to help me get better. Love it!
  Overall life is of course going great. Sometimes I really don’t seem much change going on. It is only when I look back over a longer period of time that I realize. I actually have changed! That is pretty exciting! Another thing that has been really interesting to have to learn how to deal with is the way teachers teach here.  They are more like guides than teachers. They prompt us with questions and guide our conversation. But when you come out with a direct question for your. They never answer and want you to find it out yourself. It is often frustrating at times because I love to get answers from people. But I am beginning to realize they are teaching me the way the Lord answers us. We can ask him questions and ask for help. But he never really seems to answer directly. He wants us to go out searching on our own and find that answer. We tend to learn the best when we learn it ourselves. Such an interesting concept. Today I read in the Bible Dictionary "Conversion: completed conversion comes after many trials and much testing". Life seems to be all about these challenges that we overcome. Maybe it would be a good thing for us to ask for more trials. Then think about how many big steps we would be taking!
Well I love you all!!
 Syster Schneiber!

Week 3--MTC

Dear Family and Friends,

Here are a few funny things that mixed up our week:
  • Two nights ago we had a fire alarm at 2 in the morning! It was pretty fun to wake up to blaring alarms and then traipse outside with a  bunch of tired sisters.. I laughed when I saw what people brought: their name tags! and notecards :)
  • On our service day Syster W and I tried to speak in only Swedish! We did a pretty good job (I thought) but we have pretty terrible grammar though. :) But we keep working on it!  My favorite new word is "fornecka," which means "to deny." And it sounds like fornicate, so that is how I remember it... ok soooo! maybe that is bad of me...
  • Syster W was chosen to say the prayer at devotional so we got to sit up on the stand and meet Elder Simmons.
  • Last week on firday Syster Winterton had a great game of soccer but ended up spraining her ankle. So we had a day of crutches and now i get to practice my nurse skills and i wrap her foot all the time. The Aldster (elders) have been great about helping her out. We love our Elders.
  • Awesome experience: Two non-members from Sweden came to the TRC. They were just visiting the States, and only two komratskap (companionships) could teach.  Syster Winterton and I got to teach them! I couldnt understand almost anything they said  but we had a fun time laughing and smiling with them and then sharing our short message. It was really neat. I can't wait to go to Sweden!!! even though i wont be able to understand them for a while
So over-all this week has been another great week. Syster W and I are working really well together and we are just trying to love life and learn a lot.  
We also had an amazing district meeting after devotional on Sunday were we talked about the Armor of God. I really like the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit.  I like to think that the shield of faith works like this: If we have faith in the Lord then we let Him in and control the shield.  That way He is invincible and we never get hit by the bad guys. Then, as we try and develop this faith in the Lord and let him control the shield, this gives us the ability learn how to wield the sword of the Spirit. We are really clumsy with the Spirit now and are practicing and building those muscles.  But look at the prophet; he is a master of using the sword of the spirit. When we learn how to strike someone with the spirit sword they are able to feel the spirit and know that we speak the truth.. So cool!!
I love you all.. and there is so much more that is going on.. but I am so grateful for all of your letters and your prayers.. know that I pray for you too (in Swedish! :)
   Syster Schneiber