The original two districts at the temple today.
(*note from Corinne - Jaycie's mom - She heads from the MTC to Washington on Tuesday so she will have a different address. If you would like it, please personal message me on Facebook @ Corinne Teichert Baird and I will get it to you.)
This week was incredibly amazing and there was so much that happened. Although I would love to express all of the things I learned, I am fully aware that we must each learn for ourselves and so will try to keep it short.
Thursday - Thursday was honestly a little bit spiritually draining pero tanto bueno (but also good). We had service where we had the privilege to clean, once again, you guessed it, los banos (the bathrooms)! My favorite thing. *llorando* (*crying*) Pero, esta bien (but it's ok). We're learning good cleaning techniques. Siclo (the four hour study period often called PCL or personal, companera (companion), idioma (language) study). We taught member TRC again only this time was a little bit different. We had the opportunity to do Skype TRC and the miembro (member) we were talking to was currently IN Guatemala. It was really awesome. Our lesson went through 1 Nephi 8, a chapter I had recently finished during personal study and paired with certain verses in 1 Nephi 15. I was really excited to share it. We talked about the four groups of people. (they can be found in 1 Nephi 8:21-23, 1 Nephi 8:24-28, 1 Nephi 8:30, 33, and 1 Nephi 8:31-32, 34). It was really awesome to hear all of her thoughts. So often when we teach, we're teaching those that know nothing about the gospel or aren't familiar with the Bible or Book of Mormon and while I love it, I felt like even though we were in completely different paises (countries) at the time, we were three friends discussing this chapter in the Book of Mormon and being edified by each other. Turns out that 1 Nephi 8 is her favorite capitulo (chapter) and somehow we had taught or discussed with her exactly what she needed. It was honestly humbling. During class, we were learning again about the don de lenguas, or the gift of tongues. I can not tell you how real of a thing it is. For missionaries to be able to learn a language in 6-9 weeks in any level of fluency is literally impossible. All of the Spanish grammar, Mandarin Chinese, Finnish, Russian, and any other language you can think of, in 6-9 weeks. Yes, when they first get out in the field it isn't perfect. But the fact it is even possible is a miracle. Anyway, there are 5 things that are needed to have the don de lenguas - Believe in it, Be worthy, Seek it, Work Diligently, and Love the People. Hno Roberts asked us what was the hardest thing for all of us and the consensus was work diligently. Before he asked this question, I would have agreed with the others. But then I realized it was believing in it that I was struggling with. Guess which one the lesson happened to be on. There was a list of scriptures to read concerning believing in the don de lenguas and the one that hit me the hardest was Mark 16:17 " And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." There were many things I learned in that lesson that helped me tener mas fe en Jesucristo y venir cerca de Dios (to have more faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father). There was one question that popped into my head and would not go away, and I would like to put it out in the open. "When are you going to decide to believe?" If there is anything I could even hope that would stay with those that read this is that question. When are you going to decide to believe? It's an action, it is a decision that once made will change your life. The answer may be never, it may be tomorrow, but I really hope it is now. I had to ask myself that and I had to decide. I do believe that Christ is my Savior and He will redeem us. And it's up to each of us to figure that answer out for ourselves.
Saturday/Sunday - General Conference! For the first time ever I decided to try out picking specific questions I wanted answered at Conferencia General and what do you know, every last one of them was answered. I was honestly blown away. I love General Conference so so much and pretty much everything in it was amazing. But there were a handful of main points I took from it.
1. Prayer is a gift to us to communicate with God. He wants us to talk to Him and it is so important to always be praying. He can and will help you in all things if we have the humility to turn to him and the amount of faith and trust we put in Him determines our ability to recognize His love and the answers we need.
2. We are children of God. Since I was a tiny little kid I have known I was a child of God but it's also knowledge I have taken for granted. The speaker, Donald L Hallstrom asked us, "Do you know it, that you are a child of God?" Our Heavenly Father is constantly calling out to us to "Come home". It was humbling to remember once again, that as much as I know He loves me, He loves every one of us that much. He loves everyone more than we could ever know.
3. Service is critical. Because each of us is a child of God, it is that much more importante that we serve as Christ served. There was a lot of talk about the refugees. There is nothing political about the refugees, it is a matter of humanity. They are all children of God and how can we turn them out, people who are just like us, professors, mothers, inventors, good upstanding people. They are people, every last one. How can we deny them safety? How can we deny them basic comfort, a sense of security for their children, food for their loved ones, shelter and peace? Reach out to one another and serve as Christ served. He loved the rich and the poor, the meek and the lofty, the leper and the whole, the saint and the sinner. God is not a respecter of persons and in the end that is all that really matters.
There is such a message of hope in General Conference. If you didn't watch it go back and read some of the talks or listen to it. Some of my favorites were:
Henry B. Eyring
Donald L Hallstrom
Mervyn B Arnold
M Russell Ballard
Thomas S Monson
Dieter F Uchtdorf
Gerrit W Gong (who spoke to us at the MTC a couple weeks ago)
Jeffery R Holland.
That night VOCALPOINT came and performed. I say performed but they also bore their testimonies and shared brief experiences. All of them are RM's and they ended with "Nearer My God to Thee" which is my favorite song, especially their arrangement. It was amazing.
Monday - I crossed off two things (only partially) from my bucket list. I played the cello (it was a little rough but wow) and I learned how to juggle. Well, mostly. I spent two hours practicing when we got home and a girl from Kitibus from down the hall saw me struggling. She laughed and then helped me learn how. We talked long into the night as she told me her conversion story in broken ingles (english) and it was an incredibly unique experience. Her main idea was when she was younger she wanted to climb the coconut tree and she was so stubborn because she wanted to so bad and she wanted to make her dad proud. During one of the times she tried she fell and she has this large scar on her arm from the tree. But she eventually did it, just one step at a time (figuratively). She said she was like me. I'm stubborn and I will learn how to juggle, I wasn't going to give up. She sat there and taught me to juggle with one hand and two. She was so patient and kind, laughing because apparently I act afraid of the balls and once or twice it fell either on my head or hers. It's a slow process but just like her, I will "climb that tree" even if it's something as silly as juggling. But like everything else at the MTC, it was a unique learning experience I'm really grateful I was able to have.
I know this does not seem short, because it is not short. But to quote the Book of Mormon this is only a hundredth part of what I learned this week and I did my best to only include the most important parts although how I wish I could include it all.
Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission