what a week. Let me just say that the MTC is like NO other place on earth. Thousands of people learning different languages. It is so cool. There's people speaking Hmong and Laos and Navajo.... the word for "book of Mormon" in Navajo is like Nchkmwo Mnitk Ai*J. cliiickin tongues. And time here is so weird. It literally feels like time is slowed down because we fit so much in one day. But then I look back and I realize I've already been here for a month... This week is my halfway point in the MTC!!
Also, people treat us like celebrities in Provo. When we're coming back from playing sand volleyball, everybody honks their horns and girls like screeeam out the window and people cheer "ELLLDERRS!!!!" hahaha it's real nice. Elder Chamberlain is hilarious. This morning at breakfast he asked the Elders sitting next to us where they were headed and they were like "Nicaragua!" and Elder Chamberlain goes "oh my gosh! You're going to Africa?! no way!" and I almost spit up my water hahaha
Ok my language slip ups this week: We were walking into an appointment to meet our new investigator TinTin (seriously) and we were introducing ourselves and shaking his hand and in Cebuano I said "Oh! so nice to meet me!" hahaha and THEN I accidentally told him I'm 30 years old. and then in another appointment, we were kneeling down to pray and I was gonna ask him if he would pray but I accidentally said "Can you read to me?" hahah kneeling down asking him to read to me...and in another appointment I was talking about the Atonement and I said "He suffered for our living rooms." I love this language though. Sometimes i feel like a caveman because the sentence structure is like "ME WANT EAT"
Anyway, this week I was called to be District Leader! I feel overwhelmed and inadequate but I'm so excited to serve these Elders because I love em so much! Miracles happen here for real. The things I've learned and how much I've grown and how we're learning this language. I understand more of Cebuano in one month than I do 6 years of Spanish in school. The Lord is absolutely helping because there's no way I could do this on my own. No matter how hard or stressful it gets, there is SO much comfort in knowing that we're not alone. "Bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give you success" (Alma 26:27). I love that. Our teacher Brother Young is so awesome. He was teaching us about the infinite and eternal Atonement of Christ and how there are two parts: the redeeming power and the enabling power, and if we put our trust in him, he enables us. I've gained such a testimony of that this week.
My God has truly been my support and he hath filled me with his love! (2 Nephi 4:20-21) I am absolutely so happy. There's so much happiness in being where you're supposed to be and doing without a doubt the right thing. "My heart is brim with joy...and my joy is full" (Alma 26:11) hahah look at me throwin out all this scripture references!! Seriously I love studying. The scriptures have never been so alive to me! it makes it so much more meaningful when you put your whole heart into it.
It's hard but the mission is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Let me share one of my favorite experiences from this week. So we went into an appointment with TinTin (brother Young) and we were teaching him how the Gospel blesses families (keep in mind this is all in Cebuano) and then we asked him about his family and he told us his dad has cancer and he could die anyday and it scares him (Brother Young's real dad has been very sick and he's kind of going through the same thing). Then we told him that because of Jesus Christ, families can be together forever and he can see his father again. He started crying. The spirit was so strong. We were speaking a different language and he felt what we were saying was true. Every day my testimony is strengthened and confirmed. Have we not reason to rejoice?? Ahhh! Blessed be the name of our God am I right?!
Even though we're just being trained here, I'm learning so much about people and how we never know what they're going through. Always always be kind and love everybody. Everyone: serve someone this week. Live with the character of Christ. Pray always and when you're feeling down, look up! The Lord is mindful of every single person.
Smile deeply, serve selflessly and love fully. (Mara said that to me)
I love yallz so much!! Literally i can't thank you enough for the Dear Elders and letters you send me, they make me laugh and cry and they make me so happy.
Fresh courage take and maayo tanang!
Elder Sumna Mahaffey