I have officially been in the MTC for more than a month!!! CRAZYNESS!!! I am so ready to get out of here though. (Not because I am fluent in the language by any means....) BUT I am a little tired of doing the same thing everyday. So now....just 4 more weeks until I freeze to death in the Netherlands!!
So this last week, they forced us to move rooms. It was rude. Apparently there were problems with the fire alarms on our floor.....but I think it was because they wanted to make it absolutely impossible for sisters to get a shower in the morning. It is literally a race to the bathroom every morning here in this new building. Unfortunately I have a problem with the getting out of bed before 6:00 part....so I usually end up waiting for a shower. Now I really understand how annoying it is when you have people taking 20 minute showers (sorry mom and dad! I promise I will be better) This also became a huge problem this week because, as a district, we set our new goals for the week. We have been having a really hard time getting everyone into the classroom at 7:00 in the morning like we have been asked to do. (Let me just say that the Elders are always there after the sisters....so we totally win!!) But we made a goal for everyone to get into the classroom at 7:00....the only problem is....is that we have done that before and it hasn't worked. So this time....we decided to add a punishment to anyone who is in the classroom after 7:00(according to Elder Jex's atomic watch) That punishment is known as the CRACKED WHEAT FIASCO!!! Yeah....if you are late in the morning...you have to eat cracked wheat, and only cracked wheat for breakfast. Some would say,"Oh, that's not that bad....all you have to do is put brown suger in it." My friends, it is that bad. Even with the brown sugar, it is that bad. BUT we can't have brown sugar with it either. I WILL NOT be eating cracked wheat at any time in my life. It is gross....so all of the sisters have been getting up at 5:30 to make sure that we get there on time!!
Also, I asked Sister Juchau where her dad served....and also his first name but I can't remember that off of the top of my head. He served in Germany....so I don't know if Uncle Steve served with him but she is writing home to see if someone she is closely related to knows Uncle Steve.
This last week we had TRC again. I love TRC. This week we taught Sister Hoole(yes she is Elder Hoole's vrouw!!) She was super nice and spoke a lot more Dutch than her husband. I really like these experiences where you get to meet people who are actually from the Netherlands and you get to learn how nice and understanding they are. And also how much they want to help you. I also got to teach Brother Kromenhoek. This man is notorious for mumbling and absolutely no missionary can understand what in the world he was saying....so when we found out we had him....we were really scared. BUT I felt super cool because I understood almost every word he had to say (I think it is because I am used to listening to Sister Raun....she mumbles a lot) and we had a great lesson!!! I look for Sean Lundgren every week at the TRC....but I haven't seen him yet. Mom...you should get Sister Lundgren on that :D
Our teacher, Broeder Robinson, had this really sweet activity for us this last week. There are so many weird rules in the Dutch language...one of them being whether or not you use 'zijn' or 'hebben' in a past tense conversation and we can't seem to remember which verbs go where. So, he came up with a song, with actions, that we all had to get up and do by ourselves. It goes like this:
And yes...everyone who knows me, knows I have a competitive side! We made it into a competition. We timed ourselves to see who could say the words and do the actions in the fastest amount of time. Unfortunately....there is walking and sitting and things that aren't very easy to do in a skirt required so the sisters haven't quite figured it out yet. But I hold the record for the sisters with 4.0 seconds and Broeder Robinson holds the male record at 2.8 seconds. (But he speaks Dutch people!!! Don't be dissapointed in me yet!!)
I had my first mission conference this last week. It was super cool. I have started to learn more about how the spirit speaks to me to let me know what it is the Lord has to tell me with reguards to a lot of things in my life as a missionary and beyond. I noticed this last week that I was listening the the talks that were given, I really was, but when we had our reviews as a district I did not have anything similar written down as the rest of the district!! Ever since I have realized this, I have tried to go into the meeting with ears for the spirit. I have learned so much more through him than I ever will by listening and taking maticulous notes on a million talks. I have realized that while I haev been here, there are a lot of expectations. And it seems like everywhere you turn, there is something or someone there reminding you of all of the things you need to do in your life, of all of the things you need to change. The problem starts when you have an expectation of yourself to be perfect(*guilty) and feel like you need to change everything at once. But as you listen to the spirit you learn that there is only one thing you can focus on at a time. You can only learn line upon line. That's why we attend the temple throughout our life, that is why we go to church every week, that is why we study our scriptures(and Dutch) everyday. Because we can't learn everything at once and we can't expect that of ourselves. That has helped me a lot this week as I have really focused on learning about one aspect of the gospel for myself and focusing on one thing the the language that I want to master by the end of the week.
My Denver North Elders left me this week. That was really, extremely sad because I got along really well with them and also....they were really good at volleyball and they liked having me on their team(that made me feel cool!!) So momma, if you see an Elder Wiggins or and Elder Flemming, say HI for me and feed them some really good food :D Also, they really like deep, dirty secrets you can get about the mission president(don't worry President Toombs....I didn't have any) just a warning though. :D
This week we had to become investigators ourselves. We all now have three progressing investigators and we are teaching another missionary. It is really cool because we are getting more practice with the language, but also, we get to kind of feel what it is like to be an investigator in the church. I have learned more about teaching by being the investigator and seeing what techniques really work to help me learn the gospel for myself and not just having someone tell me about it. I related this back to my lifeguarding days...so bear with me for a minute :D
When a little kid is drowning in the deep end, as a lifeguard, I don't stand up and point and tell them what they must do in order to get to safety. I am not there to yell at them and demand that they go there in order to be saved. Rather, I jump in with them. I go where they are and we get to the wall together. This is how the gospel should be taught. It is not me telling them everything that is a part of the gospel, but rather, it requires me to jump in to where they are. Try to see how they feel and we experience the gospel together to help both of us get to the wall safely.
So....this is probably the best thing that happened to me this week. We have a new district of Dutchies coming in next week and the Elders decided that they wanted to scare them half-to-death(as if the fact that their teachers are only going to speak to them in Dutch isn't scary enough) But they have begun to write a RAP in Dutch that they will perform for the new district. Our entire district is involved in this whole process. There are actions, We though a couple *Woorde*'s out there(translates into WORD for those of you who don't speak Dutch :D) It is probably the best thing of my entire life!!! Rachel, it seems I will be making the NMN Rap record before you get there....sorry. You snooze, you lose :D
I love you all!!! Keep writing!! If you don't, I will surely be one of those awkward missionaries that no one wants to talk to when they get home :D
Ik hou van jullie!!! Jullie zijn geweldig en mooi!!!!
P.S. Mom, I can't get pictures through DearElder....and I got a short email from you today...or someday.....I am not sure waroom it did not work....but I would really like some hard copies so that I can see your beautiful faces everyday instead of just when I can get on the computer. Also....can I get one of those pretty family pictures we took.....or something :D..... that would be beautiful.
For Christmas....I am not sure what I want to do. I have a bit of room in my suitcases...I found that out because of my moving adventure....but yeah...I don't know what you want to do...
And if you send something this week.....I would really like some fiber one bars....the food here is not making me a happy camper. And also.....I don't know....you know me :D I like food, stamps and things that show your love :D which is everything!!!
Ik hou van jullie!!! I will be sending pictures later today.....and also....I will be writing each of you a letter...so look forward to more!!!