So this Wednesday, my district will hit our halfway mark at the MTC! It really feels like just yesterday I came here, but I am SO excited to get out in the field.
Tuesday: Yes, I did get to email that day but that night we had devotional and one of the area seventies, Elder Pino spoke to us. IN SPANISH. It was kind of the best thing ever because I understood his entire talk, and better yet, I knew when the translator wasn't translating it perfectly. There really are meanings in Spanish that don't entirely translate to English. Also, there is this very real thing called "Oh, now I can't speak in either language." It's kind of ridiculous.
Wednesday: We had our fourth lesson with Pablo, and it went really well. Hmo Mecham helped "coach" us during personal study, he wanted us to start the Book of Mormon over again with a question in mind. I decided to ask, "Que falta yo todavia?" What lack I yet? It was amazing to me to see how much in even the first 5 chapters of 1 Nephi had to do with exact obedience. There is a saying here that I've thought about a lot lately, "Obedience brings blessings, exact obediencia brings milagros." (exact obedience brings miracles) For anyone looking on from the outside, it would be difficult to pinpoint anything I'm doing wrong. Because I am incredibly obedient. But there are little things, like lights out at 10:30. We're still working on that one. Little tiny things that fall through the cracks but I need those miracles exact obedience can bring.
Thursday: It was our last lesson with Pablo, and we went in prepared for the worst, he had changed his mind, he didn't want to meet with us anymore. Right before we went to teach him, I had a thought - we've never discussed the Word of Wisdom, but I guess it's too late now. Ah, but it's never too late. The second we sat down, I realized that eternal families would not be what we were talking about, but something we had not prepared. Much of this lesson, I didn't speak. Although last week, I had gotten a much better grasp on Spanish, this lesson I couldn't find a single palabra (word). Entonces (so), I focused on cobbling together basic frases (phrases), or preguntas (questions) that required him to think and essentially teach himself. That's the best way for them to learn, is for them to process it without us shoving doctrine at them. I was so frustrated that I couldn't just say what I wanted to say. Pero (but), the Spirit taught me an importante (important) lesson that day. Yes, my companera (companion) can speak Spanish, she always knows what to say. And no, I cannot. But it is okay to be still. That's when you learn the most. So whenever I find myself frustrated at my lack of words, I remember, it is okay to be still, because that is when the Spirit can teach us the most.
Friday: Pablo became our teacher! Hermano (Brother) Franco is his nombre (name). He is so invested, he is so sure, and he is such an incredible maestro (teacher) to us. I learned the importance of remaining positive. There are obviously going to be hard times and trials, that's why we're here. But the best way to survive is to find what you are learning from that hard thing. And it helps those around you tambien (also).
Saturday: Ah Saturday's. There are things we call companionship inventories where you sit down together con su companera y hable sobre las cosas y'all are doing good (with your campanion and you talk about things), and things we need to work on. It was an important breakthrough in our companionship. I got to know her so much better and I was able to look at myself and see what I need to change.
Sunday: The hermanas (sisters) in my district and I put together a musical number for Sacrament meeting. There are violins that I can check out and I have fallen in love with violin #1. It's tone is so beautifully mellow and sweet. I love it. Anyway, it was a really neat arrangement and I'll try to send the video we recorded today of that song. Hma Holmes y yo (I) taught Relief Society today, IN ENGLISH hallelujah. It helped remind me that I'm not incapable of teaching, (which I'm not, but sometimes that's how I feel) and we were able to see how each other taught in English which helped us pick up cues in future lecciones (lessons). We taught on obediencia (obedience) and used the first five chapters of Nephi to teach it. I drew a diagram of each person and type of obediencia which I'll attach. It was so uplifting for me. We've run into a slight problem with the only elder in our district. But what I learned from our solution will stay with me the rest of my life. He tends to get very stressed over little things, and isn't the most organized person. Pero, just like with mi companera, it isn't him that needs to change, it's us. We made a pact to always be positive, encourage him, and show our support rather than our annoyance. Throughout the day I came a little closer to loving this individual and despues (after) he taught district meeting, I was stunned. He has such an incredibly strong testimony and I am blessed to know him. He's an odd duck for certain but I could see, even briefly, how much his parents and how much Heavenly Father loves him, and how much he loves each of us. It was humbling for me, to think that every person in this world that we ever come in contact with is treasured by our Heavenly Father, and not only that but they are each another way we can change ourselves venir a Cristo (to become like Christ). It was life changing.
Monday: Although the language is coming much easier, I have found it difficult to teach from no real outline from the palabras (words) floating around my brain. We got two new investigadores (investigators) and one of them is in TRC or the teaching something center. We had a really good discussion about him and managed to clear up a handful of things that he didn't understand. I've found that the hardest thing is to find scriptures mid lesson in the spanish libros (spanish books). My english escrituras (scriptures) are all marked and color coded, also I can read them and know where things are quickly. So it's something I plan on working on, getting my spanish escrituras marked so that I can easily navigate and find versiculos (verses) that I need.
Tuesday: We recorded the musical number today and when I was putting the violin back we ran into the sister that is in charge of musica (music)! She told us we should try out on Thursday so that we could play at a devotional or something. I brought up Savior Redeemer and how mi and mi companera could play, but we needed a vocalist. She nonchalantly told us that she had tons of vocalists and proceeded to tell us how we could find Elder Lunt, the elder who sang the most beautiful song at mission conference EVER. So now Hma y yo (and I) are gonna practice our tails off so our accompaniment will be worthy of his voice. I am so grateful I get to play a violin so often!! It has such a pure and simple sound, I adore it.
A normal picture of our district. They are surprisingly rare..
Nephi and his family: the different types of obediencia
Everything on the floor is the norm. Please note all of the pens scattered everywhere. It is a constant struggle. Oh, and that's just my stuff.
If there has ever been a better personality pic taken, please step forward, because I seriously doubt it. You may think it's staged, but sadly, it isn't.
Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission