Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MTC still fabulous

It's been an incredible week and it's really flown by. The days seem never-ending, but the weeks are over in a flash. And the MTC is still fabulous.

Each Saturday, everyone has to prepare a five minute talk for sacrament meeting on one of the Christlike attributes from PMG. Then after the sacrament is passed, two missionaries are called to share it. I was one of them. I was really grateful for that chance to speak. I loved studying patience and sharing my experiences and testimony about the principle. (sidenote: thanks mom for always teaching us patience. I promise I'll be better at it by next Christmas!)

Sunday night fireside had Stephen B. Allen come to address us. WHAT a meeting! It was a very interactive fireside and we talked about the hymn, "Come Come Ye Saints" and how those words can become ours as missionaries. Power comes with song!!

Thursday was our first day in the RC (referral call center). It is a bit nerve-racking at first to call people and ask them if they want missionaries to bring them the Book of Mormon, but I had an amazing experience. At first I was just getting voicemail after voicemail. Finally I got a woman named Velma. We talked for 38 minutes about the Bible in our lives and how our reliance on Jesus Christ gives our lives unmatched purpose. She was a Catholic Bible teacher for 27 years, so she had a lot of insight and favorite scriptures to share with me as well. She's not quite ready for the Book of Mormon to be brought to her, but she seemed sincere when she told me that she'd think about it. She knows where to get it now. I'm praying for her often.

I've been thinking a lot about Joseph Smith this week. I got to watch the "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" Sunday night!! I was so happy to have that remind me of the truths I'm teaching our investigators about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through our prophet. How I love that great, good man. I hope that we can ever more appreciate the restored gospel in our lives and have a desire to share it with others. Even if it is a small desire, if planted in our hearts, it will swell. It is the seed of the tree of life. And we want to share that with others. (Alma 32:28)

I love you all so much. I pray for you often and appreciate you more than I can say.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

dutchies at the temple

I am just come from my anticipated P-day temple trip. As we were walking down the path from the temple, a tour bus pulled up to the curb, unloading a large group of people. From Belgium & the Netherlands!! It was a sure miracle!

They noticed our nametags and flocked to us immediately. They commended us on our 7th day Dutch skills & were SO happy to meet us and tell us about how much they love sister missionaries. How wonderful, huh? This was a direct and dramatic answer to my (and Zuster Sharp's) prayers. We pray daily together in Dutch for help with the language and love for the people. And the Lord hears and answers our prayers.

I am so excited to go forth and serve and love those people. I'm in the right place and I'm going to the right mission. No doubts! How could I need any more assurance? It amazes me the way the Lord communicates to His children when they seek Him in faith.

Eeeeeeeek! It was so exciting!!

I wish you could see just want an amazing place the MTC is. Everyone is so Christlike in their kindness. We say hello to everyone we pass (in our mission languages). The elders in our zone stand when we arrive @ meals, and take our trays for us afterward. Doors are held for me no matter where I go. Laughter is everywhere - everyone is always having a good time together with their companion(s) and district/zone.

The new missionaries arrived today. It reminded me that it was only one week ago that we did that. I want you to rest assured that though I do love & miss you, I'm not at all sad. I didn't have time to be. I think of you often and much, but I am so confident that the Lord is blessing you tremendously for supporting your missionary daughters (both of us). We pray constantly in the MTC and always ask blessings to be with our parents and families.

My time here is not my own. Every minute of every day is planned full. We rise at 6:30 (actually, 6:10 to get ready/shower) and have gym time, service (cleaning classrooms) or personal study right away, depending on the day. Class time is spent learning how to preach the gospel (in English first) and in Dutch, how to pray & bear testimony. We start & end with prayer/song in Dutch. Two teachers a day - Sister Spencer and Brother Bond. Both BYU students. Bro Bond is amazing at effective teaching. Very lively, very encouraging.

Choir is Sun & Tues at 4:15 - 5:15. We sing at the Tues. evening devotionals. A GA speaks to us each week. And then we discuss it afterward as a district.

I love Sunday Relief Society in the morning after watching Music & the Spoken Word. Then Sacrament meeting as a zone (several districts - going to Belgium/Netherlands, Oakland, Temple Square, Denmark & Las Vegas). I love them. Each Saturday we prepare a 5-minute talk for sacrament meeting & 3 missionaries are called up to give be prepared!!

So, that's life at the MTC. Very structured. Lots of learning/classroom instruction. 3 hours each day for 1) personal study, 2) companionship study & 3) language study. Lights off @ 10:30, no exceptions.

I love it here, have I mentioned that?? Unlike any other place on earth!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I've been a missionary for a full week! :) And I'm loving it absolutely. I love my district and my companion, Zuster Sharp. I am so blessed to have her - she and I get along PERFECTLY and we're learning so much from each other. She is going to see miracles on her mission. Our teachers are great - Brother Bond is especially amazing. He is an effective teacher and helps us with the language a LOT.

I really enjoy the residence hall life - I've really gotten to know the sisters in my room and I've seen SO many people here that I know. It's AWESOME to make so many connections. I've adopted Kelley's attitude about mealtime and gym: it's "super-happy-fun-time." It's so refreshing to get those breaks. As for exercise...I am now a jogger. Zuster Sharp and I usually jog around the indoor track or outside by the temple for gym. It feels SO great and I can then justify eating desserts at meals. :)

And yes, Mom and Annie Laurie: I joined the choir. Glad I did, I am. Uh-mazing. It is the most POWERFUL thing to have those hundreds of elders singing behind me. We sang last night at the MTC devotional for Elder Groberg. It was so special to participate in that.

In class, we've mostly worked on learning the first lesson in PMG. We're learning LOTS of teaching skills by example and its definitely a humbling experience. :) We practice a lot on each other in our classes and district (we're still in English). But let me say that Zuster Sharp and I are SUCH a team! We really feel the flow and completely trust each other to teach by the spirit. Even though our district members are just pretending to investigate, the spirit is overpowering when we teach. I cannot wait to get out there and do it for real. ;)span>

ALL RIGHTY, the Dutch. Yes, I'll admit that it CAN be a pretty language. :) Seriously, it's just German with a twist. The others in my class have been asking me for help in pronunciation and grammar and I've been helping them when the teachers are gone. It's been a humbling experience to be in that position. I am grateful for the opportunity to share what I know. I'm not learning this language for myself, but for them - the people in Nederlands.

I love this place. I love the spirit that is here. I love praying to start and end every meeting and event. I love growing closer to my district. I love learning from my teachers. I love sharing my testimony and praying in Dutch. I love waking up every morning with a hymn in my head, knowing that I am being obedient. I love teaching the gospel and hearing it from others. I've never been more tired in my life, but I've also never been more happy.

I love you all. I think of you a lot (time permitting hehe) and pray for you all by name every night. Keep sending happiness to me through the post! :) It makes me so excited to hear from you!

Zuster Fritz and Zuster Sharp

Saturday, July 18, 2009

first letter home

15 Juli 2009

Meine Gute! What an unbelievable day! Its been nothing but orientations and meetings with our residence hall sisters and also meeting with our district, who are all headed out to my mission or the Copenhagen Denmark mission. So, its a fun mix.
But they've definitely kept us very busy and I'm always meeting new missionaries - as well as seeing many I know. It really just feels like a full-scale EFY :) The food is mediocre but my bed is excessively comfortable!!
I can't even describe how I feel about being here. I am SO excited to be a missionary. I can't even begin to comprehend the good that I'll do for the people, for myself, and for the progression of the work. I'm confident that I'll witness many miracles over the next 18 months as I'm about the business of the Lord.
So much of what our priesthood leaders have told us today focuses on obedience. I feel that I have a good understanding and a bit of practice at it, but I know that I'll begin to comprehend the principle in a whole new light as it governs my actions, attitude, and preaching over the course of my mission.
There is such an incredible spirit here. I feel in the right place and have been taken SUCH good care of that I've had almost no time to be sad or homesick. Maybe it'll hit later, but for now, rest assured that I'm having the time of my life!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

she's off!

she's off to the MTC for 9 weeks - the beginning of her 18 month full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints