They say the hardest week at the MTC is your first, I'd like to report that Siostra Craig and I have successfully made it through our first week! We have another Companion, Sestra Rusick who has been called to serve in Croatia and she has been at the MTC for 6 weeks! She has been the greatest blessing and I doubt our first week would have been as pleasant as it was without her.I love my companions. Siostra Craig and I have the same schedule, we really do spend every breathing moment together, while Sestra Rusick has her own classes and elders in her district. Although we have only been together for a short while, I feel like because we have emotionally been through so much these past couple of days, my companions know everything there is to know about me. Maybe not so much about my life before the mission, but me as an individual and we are able to help and uplift one another. The other day Siostra Craig and I wrote in our journals, something I would have considered a more private matter before the MTC. Then we wanted to share with one another what we recorded. Siostra Craig is like my walking talking journal, we are so aware of one another and each other's needs there are no secrets. We laugh together, cry together, speak Polish together, and yes, like all missionaries... WE PLAN TOGETHER!
While I have not been here long, it feels like I have been studying at the MTC for a few semesters. We cover such a wide array of material, I know that without the Lord's help we would not be able to learn as much as we do. Each day we are bombarded with language lessons along wiht all of our missionary obligations to help prepare us. It can be rather exhausting but the nuts in the cafeteria make up for it!
Polish is hard! However I am so thankful for my previous years studying Italian at BYU, I have already had a few semesters stressing out over a language so now I get to skip the stress and learn Polish the way I discovered to learn Italian. I am not sure what that means, but I think it has something to do with accessing a different part of our brains. The language is dobje! My teachers are Brat Smalley i Siostra Bart. They are very helpful and I am confident that they will help me be proficient and confident enough to speak po polsku before I leave the MTC. Brat Smalley was in one of my classes at BYU last summer, we had talked when I received my call. Seeing a familiar face was a great comfort. I quickly learned how to read and sound out the words and somehow my memory is storing much more than when I tried studying for exams.Okay so it is not somehow, it is through fervent prayers and Heavenly Father's help. I pray everyday morning, afternoon, night, every time I eat, and any other time I need help for the gift of tongues. On Sunday I shared my testimony in sacrament meeting po polsku and I now say my prayers in Polish WITH proper grammar. Guess what, the gift of tongues is real!
Siostra Craig and I have taught five lessons po Polska! While our Polish was far from perfect and more like broken Polish with words such as , to see-to be-families-in heaven- together-forever the message was received and well that is always a relief.
D&C 42: 14 reads "and the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive no the Spirit ye shall not teach."
Our first lesson with our investigator was not the best, but afterwards we worked really hard to have the Holy Ghost help direct us. As we studied and prayed before we taught, the Spirit made its presence known and our lessons become much more heartfelt. I know that our broken Polish may be difficult to understand, but with the Spirit's help we are able to teach. I have learned that I am merely a delivered of the Lord's message, when I put in my share of the work to study the language and seek after the Spirit, the Lord does the rest and we (Siostra Craig and I) are able to deliver His message.
When I came out into the MTC my impressions was I can not wait to serve the Lord for the next 18 months. Now I feel impressed that in fact the Lord is serving me by providing me with such an opportunity to learn and grow spiritually. Wearing His name and representing His church is a privilege and I am so thankful that He has given me 18 months to serve the best I can. I know that I have been called to Poland as an "elect lady" (D&C 25 v3) to represent the Church and teach the people in Poland to help them come unto Christ through the ordinances of the gospel.
Guess what: THE CHURCH IS TRUE. I now know this as surely as I know my heart beateth.
Krok po Kroku (bit by bit) I am learning more about the Spirit and the truth and it lights the way so that I can see where I must go. The Polish is happily coming along and I am excited to further advance our lessons.
Siostras Young and Craig with their Polski Books of Mormons
Thank you all for the birthday wishes! I am now 20! So long teenage years, even though I still feel 19. Thank you Woozie, Elena, Grannie, Karyn, Roxanne, and the Campbell family. Thank you Low family for the Martinellis, my district and I enjoyed the beverage after a stressful day. I have learned to end every day on a sweet note: thus I am making progress through my Worther's bag and I will let you know when I run out MOM.