Sunday, March 27, 2016

Week 3: The Power of the Atonement (March 22, 2016)

Wednesday: I got to host! That means that our district got to welcome the new missionaries, like the girl that had helped take me to get all my things and books and who took me to my classroom. I was selected for a "special assignment" and it turns out I was helping to early host. It was really fun to sit out in the sun, waiting for the early arrivals come through. I ended up helping an elder because all of the other missionaries were already hosting but it was alright. Tambien, it turns out that ingles speaking missionaries don't get to host because they are solamente aqui for 3 weeks and they need to be in class. I guess we get cut some slack because 11 hours a day for six weeks we're being fed information. I remember this one quote that an elder said when he was asked what it felt like to be at the MTC. He said, "It's like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. You get a little bit of water, but mostly it just hurts your face." Yo tambien. I finally came to the realization that Spanish is a language all on it's own. I know that's kind of a "well, duh" statement, but really. I was teaching one of my teachers that was pretending to be an investigador (yes it is as fun as it sounds), and I suddenly understood every little bit of his sentence. It was super basico but I caught all of the nuances that occurred. "I understand this message" or something simple like that. But holy cow. Most of the time I catch the basic meaning of the sentence or I cobble it together in my mind in a way that is ingles but is also muy espanol. I don't really know how to describe it. But that day I understood the beautiful fluidity of the language they speak. Maybe it's because when I'm speaking, I'm doing my very best to be understand. And even as I say, "I know that the Book of Mormon es verdadero" or other sentences like that exactamente translated like so into ingles, your brain is so focused on trying to find those words that you don't even realize what you're saying sometimes. Poor explanation. But it's a thing. And I feel incredibly privileged to have those glimpses into those intimate complexities that exist in Spanish.

Thursday: I'll admit, Thursday was rough. I was un poquito tired and honestly un poco enferma. Not to mention, I've been really good about not being homesick or really even very stressed and I think that day kind of did me in. It was a good day, we taught a member the lesson on obedience with Nephi's family as an ejemplo and it went really well. I didn't want to interrupt class, or learning and so I kept holding myself together. But I learned some really important things that day.
#1 - my teachers really and truly love each one of us. They are all completely different personalities, outside of the MTC, I highly doubt they would really be seen with each other simply because of their different styles. But every one of them is the most caring, concerned, and compassionate person I have met and I think this about all of them. Our two main teachers, Hno Mecham and Hno Franco noticed my "tiredness" and took time in the middle of class to pull me aside and talk to me. They wanted to do absolutely anything in their power to help me and it was honestly incredibly humbling. Their sincerity is something I really can't explain.
#2 - It's okay to cry sometimes. We're all human, and letting things build up incapacitates you and takes you away from the Lord's work. And the beautiful thing is that the Lord is not going to let me fail. He has called me and He will qualify me so that I can have the strength to press forward.
#3 - The power of la Expiacion. Wow. Since a young age I have been taught of Christ's sacrifice, and I'm learning all about it all over again to teach those that don't know or don't understand. But I realized that maybe even I don't understand. Yes, He died so that we can overcome sin, He died so that we can overcome spiritual and temporal death. But He also died for every last one of us so that we would not be alone. There's a Mormon message by Elder Ballard called "None Were With Him." Please, if there is a spare moment in your day, watch it. He went through everything alone so that we would not have to. I could not tell my teachers what was wrong, because I didn't know. But the Savior knew, and because of His love and sacrifice for me, I was able to overcome my moment of weakness and become strong through His Atonement. I love the scripture Matthew 11:28-30. I've been trying to memorize a scripture a day in Spanish but this one I only have managed in ingles so far.
"Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye will find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
It may not be perfect word for word but oh how I love that scripture.

Friday: This whole week, the Atonement has been stressed to me in a way never before. We taught our TRC investigador. Oh my goodness how I love him. He is such an awesome person. Anyway, we've learned to prepare a lesson but to be very prepared not to actually teach it. And that's of course what happened yet again. We followed up on the commitment we had extended to him and he was asking so many awesome questions. Then we just kind of talked. We asked him questions about the Book of Mormon and other things, and he shared with us this experience that I cannot forget. He and a friend had gotten in a car crash and both were hospitalized. He prayed to God to save his friend and that same night his friend passed away. The feeling in the room was something I will always hold dear and honestly it cannot be explained. Somewhere in the BoM, there is a scripture about a love so intense it is enough to "consume the flesh". Not in a literal sense, but wow. I understand that scripture now. It made me realize that even though we are teaching "real" investigadores, we are all investigadors of Christ. I'm an investigador even as I teach as a missionary. It was quite humbling.

Saturday: I love our teachers so much. Besides Hno Mecham and Franco, we have a handful of floating maestros as well. I really really love them a whole lot. I do not, however, love Saturdays in general a whole whole lot. Basically, this day is here to throw off our circadium rhythms. But that's okay. Just not a fan.

Sunday: Entonces, Jueves, Hna Holmes, Elder Lunt, y yo auditioned with Savior, Redeemer. We were, yo no se, "accepted" and asked to play at the Sunday night devotional. Sunday morning was the temple dedication. Wow. So many wow's this week and it sounds tonto but honestamente, wow has more meaning in espanol than in ingles I feel. It expresses legitimate awe. At least in the contexts I have heard it said here. We had church and then Relief Society where we had a lesson about Faith in Christ and His Atonement (like I said, this was something I relearned all week long in ways I honestly can't describe) and then I taught district meeting sobre el Libro de Mormon. I was a little nervous but as soon as I began, the love I have for that book came rushing back. Holy cow, I love it so much. Read it again and again and again. I recently started it over, in Spanish and ingles, and there is so much. So much to learn from it. Especially if you go into it with a question in mind. Mine is "Que falta yo todavia?" It's amazing how much I have learned in just the first 8 chapters. And Spanish often illuminates something I didn't see before. Wow.  Anyway, that night at the devotional, we performed. I say performed but we really just bore our testimonies with our music. There are two violins at the MTC we can check out. Violin 1 is perfect for most everything but in this particular case, violin 2 was perfecto. Wow. Con permiso, lo siento, so much are things I cannot describe with words. I am so grateful for this. I love it here. Me encanta.

Monday: One thing that makes me really grateful about Spanish is that it isn't my language. I don't mean that in a derogatory way in the least, it helps me have courage because I have had to work hard to understand this language and use it to express myself. It's helped me to love learning because English is wonderful, and there is a whole other language I get to learn I can't even words. One of our jokes is, "We're not learning Spanish, we're losing English." Es verdad. Mucho verdad. Anyway, during one of our clases, we learned about the command form and Hno Mecham had us use it to pray. I think ingles causes us to take a lot of things for granted. When we pray we often say things like, "Give me peace, illuminate my life, strengthen me, bless them with health, heal us" etc. But in spanish it is so intimate. In every instance, we use the usted form aka the formal "you". But when we pray to God and every time Dios speaks to us in the scriptures, the informal "tu" is used. Isn't that interesante? And when we pray using the command form, with faith that it will happen, we are literally giving our voluntad to Him. Our will aligns with His when we pray and it's been eye opening for me.

Yo tengo un chiste en espanol that's also a super Mormon joke so I apologize in advance.

Planchas means plates or quite literally, irons.

Why were the camisas de los Lamanites siempre wrinkled?
Porque they didn't have any planchas.

I laughed at least, so there's that.

Love y'all (since I'm not allowed to say guys and y'all is very acceptable in both Spanish and Missouri.)
Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Elder Simpson got a companion!

It was hailing on the way to the temple. . . 

but at least it's pretty.


Spots and stripes and matching skirts and basic camera mirror selfies yet.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading your posts. Love how you are expanding your knowledge in so many ways. Whenever I give a talk or a lesson I always feel I am learning and progressing more that I could possible share with others. It is for my soul. I read this in your posts. You are feed your soul and will share that divine feast with those you will be teaching and learning to love. I look for you every Tuesday. Our encounter was so sweet and fun. Best hug ever. I am so grateful you are having this experience. It will be one you will treasure the rest of your life. Missionaries say it is the best two years (or 18 months) because it is a time to focus so very deeply on our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We think of others more than ourselves. We really feel with our hearts. Pretty marvelous times my dear grand- daughter. Enjoy every minute you can.