Wednesday, August 19, 2009

a day outside the MTC

I'm now on the downside of my half-way mark at the MTC. Three and a half weeks remain and we get the new Dutchies next Wednesday. We're incredibly excited. :) Things here are great - certainly eventful.

A very interesting "opportunity" arose this past weekend that helped deepen my gratitude for the Lord's spirit, which I feel every moment of every day here at the MTC. Zuster Sharp was unwell this past weekend with an ear infection and pneumonia, but as the clinic on MTC campus was closed, we were to go to the BYU urgent care clinic. While my companion was seen by the doctor, I remained in the waiting room, surrounded by insipid conversation and shocking language (ok, it wasn't shocking by the world's standard, but keep in mind that I'm a missionary in the MTC). It bothered me, actually.

We were sent to the Rite-Aid next to my old grocery stop, Macey's, to get her Rx filled and spent some time wandering around the real world. Very strange experience, really.

Our schedule was then completely crazed and we didn't have opportunity to feast on the word, which really affected our attitudes and moods. We prayed earnestly together that night to get the presence of the Holy Ghost back with us.

The following morning, Sunday, was a sweet experience. The sacrament definitely helped me feel that again. And it was certainly refreshing - here at the MTC, you feel the spirit all the time and so much that sometimes you feel immune to it. Therefore, I'm really grateful for this experience.

Something funny that I loved from this week: playing the role of an investigator for one of my teacher's lessons, I said about the Book of Mormon, "Yah, this is all interesting..." To which Brother Bond curtly stated, "No, National Geographic with natives running around in loin cloths is interesting...this is real. This is truth!" :D I love it.

How I love the Book of Mormon! I have never felt such a sincere yearning for knowledge from the scriptures. My personal studies have been amazing - I studied the "strait and narrow path" this morning and I love this passage from Alma 37:46 - "It is...easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss." This is true. Obedience and prayer keep us this path and we must simply look to Christ and live.

The church is true. Ik houd van jullie.

Veel liefs,
Jillian Claire, Zuster

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ich frohlocke in Wahrheit (that's German)

The weeks go by unbelievably fast. Today marks my halfway in the Missionary Training Center. And what an awesome time it's been! :)

This past Monday was our first "Engels vast." Translation: no english. I'm not gonna lie, it was a challenge for me at first (because it was like 40% German coming out), but throughout the day, we four Dutchies had total confidence in speaking this language. I am amazed at our progress. AND, it felt so good to finally open my mouth and try out the new language. ;) Seriously, my German is both a blessing and a crutch.
Monday was the best of days. We taught a young woman who has made the commitment to come to Jesus Christ through baptism. However, she struggles with addictions to alcohol and tobacco and so we taught her about the Word of Wisdom. Because she knows this is the true gospel, she is willing to end those addictions to prepare herself for baptism. I am in awe of her faith. Yet it really is such an amazing commandment - with incredible blessings. I was so happy to see her make that choice in her life. And it was a choice that she could make because she has agency - a choice that will now allow her to exercise her agency more fully.

We also have started teaching in Dutch. JAWEL! (That's Dutch for "Jawohl!" Ya, I know. Not as cool. Hahaha) This has been amazing and challenging. I love opening my mouth to teach in this language, which I really am coming to adore. However, it has proved challenging in that I want to take off and talk and talk and talk...but it's not about ME. I'm in a companionship and it's not "I" it's "we." As I've taught with the other three (teaching with the Elders has been pretty cool) they have been so patient with me as I try to reign myself in. I cannot even express how much I love mijn collega's. I am learning MUCH patience and humility. They are such examples to me - I love seeing them make leaps and bounds as they rely on the Lord to learn.

I have never before felt such a love for the scriptures, specifically the Book of Mormon. I have focused some of my personal study (the best hour of the day) on "glory" the past few days. What a gold mine of truth that subject opened for me! My favorite find:
Moses 1:39 -> Mosiah 4:11-12 -> Mosiah 3:20 -> D&C 3:16,19-20 -> Mosiah 4:12
I couldn't be more filled with joy in my life than I am now. I am being refined in all aspects of my life, so that I may better understand His will "to bring to pass...the eternal life of man."

Veel liefs,
Zuster Jillian Fritz

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

we don't teach what we know, we teach what we are

Another week passed. We've moved on to the second lesson in our teaching - the plan of salvation. As we've been preparing ourselves to teach our investigators, we've spent so much time being taught ourselves in a deeper manner and perspective. I have never learned so much about the plan of salvation's role in my personal life. And may I add my testimony that this is God's eternal plan for us, His children.
Everytime I teach these principles, I am filled with delight, for I know it is eternal truth. Jesus Christ is the center of all things.
We don't teach what we know, we teach what we are.

Moisah 18: 10-11
Mosiah 4:2 The blood of Jesus Christ if in our hearts would pump and spread throughout our veins to every part of our bodies, enabling us to use those limbs to glorify God and the Son with good works.

I love the work. Veel liefs,

Monday, August 3, 2009

letter reading

reading letters from home on a glorious summer evening

Life is wonderful. I've never been happier, nor closer to my Savior in all my life. I love bearing my testimony frequently. Each time I do, it is strengthened.