Monday, October 6, 2014

This will be the last time . . .


This is the last letter to be written by Sister Fields in the MTC. Tomorrow afternoon we'll be headed off! It's been quite the crazy week, but it's been a good last one! 

We had our last lessons with our "investigators" this week. We had set baptismal dates for both of them for Saturday the 4th. So we met with each of them one last time and went over the baptismal questions to prepare for their "interviews." It was a little bit sad. We've had great teachers here and it will be a little bit sad to leave them. Fortunately, both of them are coming back tonight for class and one last lesson. I'm sure we'll take one last class pic. 

We started saying "this will be the last time we'll ever do this" for everything we did this week. It got a bit melodramatic, but it was funny. We had our last service Thursday, and we rose the Cambodian flag one last time (see following picture).

Our district has bonded a lot this week too. For a while we were all friends, but not super friendly. But then somewhere along the line of spending 14 hours a day in the same 16x16 ft room and eating all our meals together, we became close. One of the Elders had a birthday this week, so we threw him a party. Sister S. and I are the designated Party Planning Commitee (she's a big Office fan as well). I'm Phylis, she's Angela. 

There's also a tradition in the MTC to buy little journals at the bookstore and pass them around to have everyone write in. It feels a little silly. I'm calling mine my mission yearbook. But it really will be fun to read. Especiallly because a lot of our friends in our zone will be serving around the world. I figure I'll hang on to mine and have all my companions write in it. It'll be a fun keepsake. 

On Friday we had In-field orientation. It's hosted by the MTC and all missionaries headed out the next week go. It was from 8 until 5 and made for a very long day. They had four sections: finding, goal setting, baptism, and working with members. It was a little overwhelming. In calss we focus so much on the teaching aspect and the language learning aspect that we haven't really talked about any of these things. In one scenario we pretended we were in an airport and had to sit down next to someone and lead into a conversation where we could testify of gospel truths. I did not love it. And we came to the conclusion that, yeah, we could probably do this in English. But Cambodian is a compeltely different story! The leaders of the orientation kept saying things like, "Now next week when you're out contacting...". Overall, it just made everything seem very real. And caused me to stress a little bit. Honestly, I just don't know what to expect. And I feel like no matter what I do to try to prepare myself, I can never really be ready or feel ready. I am just really hoping I will get a good trainer. 

In-field was not my favorite, but this weekend made up for it. General Conference was great. I did miss the pajamas and the food, but don't worry. I stuck candy in my scripture case. We watched conference in our big assembly hall. Even though the seats got old, it was fun to watch with a big group of people. One of the coolest things was when they announced that some of the talks would be in their native languages! That was so cool! The first one was Cantonese, and when they announced it, the Cantonese missionaries in our zone were so excited! The church is really becoming a worldwide. And it's cool to watch it happen. I thought that as we were watching the Women's session too. The Korean girls singing "I Love to See the Temple" and the video of interviews with women around the world. And now we're headed off to Cambodia! 

Speaking of the Women's session, we watched it this Saturday instead of last one while the Elders were watching the Priesthood session. It was a really good meeting. I liked the focus on the temple. And I liked what they said about covenents bringing strength and spiritual power. That's an important message for women. And everyone. 

My favorite talk though, for all of conference, was Elder Bednar's. One of my concerns and questions I've had as I prepare to leave has been, "do people really need this message?" I often think, who am I to show up on someone's doorstep and say that what they know is wrong and what I have is right. But Elder Bednar, in a powerful way, explained that we are not erasing everything other people believe when we share the gospel. We're adding more truth. And when we really feel and know it's true, we can't help but want to share it. This will be a good talk to reflect on when I'm not feeling so confident about walking up to someone's door (AKA this week! What??). 

Well, I think that's all for this week. Next time you hear from me, I'll be on the other side of the world! For now, I'm thinking emailing will be the best way to write me. Though the address to the mission home is: Cambodia Phnom Pehn Mission/ P.O. Box 165/ Phnom Penh/ Cambodia. Asia, here I come!


Sister Fields

final flag raising

study break

cleaning the water fountains

They will be there tomorrow.

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