Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Big News!!

So far in the MTC it wasn't what I expected. I expected to be thoroughly soaked in the spirit constantly and magnify my testimony times ten. I expected everything to be perfect and easy. I expected my companion and I to not have any problems. I expected to learn enough french to get me by in the first week, and I expected to be able to quickly teach unto conversion the investigators I teach. The MTC wasn't like that at first.

I didn't feel the spirit like I wanted to, I didn't learn french as fast as I wanted to, or be able to teach investigators, or constantly gain spiritual knowledge. However, through prayer and diligence, and obedience, and more prayer, I've been able to see just how much the Lord has given me. I've seen how much I've improved, and although I don't feel the spirit constantly, each day I have strong spiritual experiences that have strengthened my testimony and helped build my relationship with God.

I've realized I can have a conversation entirely in french, and I can speak pretty fast (although not perfect). I can teach gospel principles with much more ease than when I started. I've definitely learned how God answers my prayers and I've been getting better at recognizing those answers.

Time here at the MTC is going by fast! Four weeks gone by. Fall is definitely here. I never thought I'd have to explain why leaves change colors, but I spent a good while explaining to Soeurs Jimmy and Saroni (in french) what happens in fall and winter-describing colors of leaves, why they fall, what snow looks like and feels like, etc. Weird. 

Over this week, my teacher told us a story. A young man, getting ready to leave on a mission, is giving a farewell talk. He tells about a dream he had. In the dream, He's in heaven with another guy. They're friends.They were talking when a messenger gives him a letter. It tells him about his life- that he's going to be born in the U.S. and be born into the gospel. They were really excited for him. Then his friend gets a letter telling him he won't be born into the gospel, and that he would live in Costa Rica (I think). Although they were sad that he wouldn't get the gospel, his friend made him promise to bring him the truth. The missionary then said in his talk: "Brothers and sisters, I've been called to serve in Costa Rica." Later in his mission he sent home a letter saying: "I found my friend."

That story really encouraged me. It made me think. I haven't had a dream like that or anything, but that doesn't stop me from believing that there are people waiting for me.

I know the Lord is preparing people right now for me to teach. It's my job to prepare and find them. And I have faith that the Lord called me to Tahiti. I don't know why yet, but I'm supposed to be there.

This Sunday Elder Edmunds and I taught the lesson in priesthood. the topic was enduring to the end. We weren't really sure how to teach it- everyone here is faithful to the covenants they made at baptism and there isn't a whole lot to talk about.  But we prepared, and we could've talked for another hour with what we had planned. It went super well, and we all learned a lot. That was definitely the Lord working thorough us.

Okay, the worst part of teaching an investigator:

Investigator: What did you do over the weekend?
Us: Uhh...ate...studied...slept...

We set a goal not to ask the investigator how their weekend went so they wouldn't ask us.

Best part of teaching investigators:
Watching them keep commitments and see their faith grow. Yeah, I'm not actually teaching investigators,but it works just the same way.

Okay, ready for the big news? I'm pregnant! Okay, that's not actually it. We found out Wednesday morning that we're staying in the MTC for 12 weeks. Hard blow right to the jugular. Yeah, I know. I thought I was half way done. Turns out I'm a quarter of the way done. Honestly I don't know how I'm going to survive off of the MTC food for that long.

Apparently, the last group of missionaries was the guinea pig group. The Tahitian mission president didn't think it was necessary to have us learn Tahitian in the MTC, but to just learn it out in the field.The group is struggling. They are having a hard time speaking to the people because you really need to learn Tahitian. I'm grateful I don't have to learn it out there and struggle with it, even though it's not my favorite idea to stay here for an extra six weeks. The Lord has a plan.In two weeks we'll get new teachers and new studying material and start over from scratch. We will be learning Tahitian through French, so we still won't speak English. I'll tell you this, I'm super excited to learn Tahitian.

Now for some fun stuff. We decided that since we're staying here for so long, we might as well get jacked. We started it off Sunday night by eating cereal. We had to try to eat an entire container of cereal. I don't know why we chose Cinnamon Toast Crunch, because it has so much sugar, but we did. It was the seven Elders in our district, although we ended up getting a little help from the Barbados district. We each ate between five and eight bowls of cereal (minus the Barbados Elders who just ate a few bowls). Then a worker came up and asked if we just did the Tower Challenge. It has a name!?  He told us that if they catch people doing it they send them to talk to the MTC presidency. Whoops. But don't worry, we're not doing that again. I don't think I can eat another bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in my life.

Anyway, there are lots of good experiences, and lots of fun ones. I thought I was ready to get out of here, but maybe six more weeks won't be too bad.

Elder Lewis

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