Monday, September 1, 2014

Halfway Done With the MTC


We will hit our halfway point of time at the MTC on Friday! Which is crazy! The MTC feels a lot like a time warp. Sometimes it feels like we've been here forever and my entire mission will be spent here. And then sometimes I think, In 5 weeks we will be headed to Cambodia and I don't know anything! 

The highlight of the week was hosting new missionaries. Not only did we get to welcome them and show them around, we got out of class for 2 hours and we aren't required to be with a companion. Brief freedom. I didn't actually get to pick anyone up off the curb because I was hosting international missionaries. They arrive early and stay in temporary rooms. But we still have to move their luggage to their permanent residence and pick up their books and materials. For whatever reason, the building they were in does not have elevator access, so we lugged suitcase after suitcase down two flights of stairs, across campus, and then up two more. But it was still a lot of fun. And it was funny to think that just three weeks ago we were in their place. 

Khmer has been kind of hit and miss this week. Some days it feels like I can understand so much and say nearly everything I'm trying (even if it takes a while). But then sometimes it feels like I know nothing and no matter how hard I try the vocabulary won't stay in my head. This week Sis. S. and I planned to teach an investigator about the Plan of Salvation. We had it all worked out and were ready to go. In the previous lesson we had shared the Book of Mormon and asked him to start reading it. So we asked him about that at the beginning of the lesson, and he said he didn't understand why it was important to read it. So we had a quick change of plans, and taught about the significance of the Book of Mormon. And it was a success. Even if just from a language standpoint (because, yes, the investigator is really just one of our teachers). It's really exciting to be able to understand the gist of a question and be able to respond to it.
But there are good and bad days. TRC this week was a little bit rough. We get used to how slow our teacher speaks and the limited vocabulary he uses, and then we meet with someone else speaking the language and we can't understand anything! It's prepping us for October I guess. TRC was kind of fun though, because we met with two RM sister missionaries from Cambodia! We haven't met any yet! So after the lesson was over (even though we're not supposed to do this) they asked in English if we had any questions about Cambodia. They said that we will definitely want bike shorts (though I'm still not convinced I won't die of heat stroke). She said they would tuck their skirts into their shorts. Either way, I do have that pair I can't wear to gym. 

I've been trying harder at learning to read this week. It's still rough, but I'm slowly understanding a little bit better. I'm working my way through the Articles of Faith. I read the first one yesterday, and it took me about 45 minutes. So... we'll see how that goes. We're supposed to be able to sing a hymn from reading script in class tonight. It's going to be rough.

We had a good devotional on Tuesday from an Elder Martino of the Seventy. He shared a point I really liked. He was talking about Enoch and shared the scripture where Enoch questions the Lord why he was called, "For I am slow of speech and all the people hate me" he says. Which I can definitely say I have thought from time to time in my life, and I'm sure I will when I get to Cambodia. And the Lord's answer, in a nutshell is: 1) Get to work 2) keep the commandments and 3) open your mouth and it will be filled, "And I will justify your words." That is a pretty powerful promise. 

I've also been reading Jesus the Christ this week, and really enjoying it! Though I'm not sure I would see eye to eye with all of Talmage's points, I'm learning a lot. I think he focuses a lot on the humanity of Christ, which is really interesting and something I've been thinking about a lot. So it's a good read.

Also, I appreciated everyone's insight on the question I asked about Christ last week. I have another question. The other day in class we were talking about the significance of the Book of Mormon and how it can apply to us. And it got me thinking. There are so many people who have lived on this Earth throughout time (not to mention other worlds). Surely God has had a hand in the lives of many peoples. And surely they have written records. Why is the Book of Mormon so significant? Why is this specific record about this specific people so applicable to us today? I think the key is that it testifies of Christ, but what about the other people who testified of him as well. There must have been others, right? Maybe this is just coming from my anthropology background, but it distracts me every time I think about the importance of the Book of Mormon.

Well, that's pretty much it for this week. Thanks everyone for all the Dear Elder's. Sorry this letter has been pretty ramble-y. It's been a pretty good P-day. The temple was closed today, so we had an extra few hours, which was actually kind of nice. I think I'm going to try to go home and take a nap. My companion has had a cold, and I'm afraid I might be coming down with it. But, until next week!

--Sister Fields

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