Wow!!!! I can't believe I have already made it to my first P-day!!!! I am loving the MTC so much! As the sisters and I always say "It is a great day to be a missionary."
So I'll give you all a kind of a summary of the last 4 days. I arrived on Wednesday and went to a bunch of Orientation meetings that were good. Then I was able to email home and let my parents know I was alive...that was important. Then I had Dutch lessons for something around 4 straight hours. I also had personal and companionship study somewhere in there too. Basically the first day was CRAZY!! I felt super overwhelmed a scared to some extent. The next 3 days had basically the same schedule that I will have for the rest of the time at the MTC. I wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, go to class, more class, lunch, more class...and so forth. It is really fun though and my Teachers are great!
I am a Solo sister which means I have a companion but we are going to different places and are learning different languages. Honestly, I never see my companion especially since we aren't in the same zone either. Although, my companion Sister Schwab is super nice and we get along great!! We don't really have time to disagree...haha. Even though I am the only sister going to the Netherlands there are two Elders going too. Their names are Elder Canotti from Brazil, and Elder Heinricks from Canada. They are so cute (as in little brother cute)!!! I love them as my brothers and we have a lot of fun since we are the only three learning Dutch minus a Sister who is going to the West Indies. I love my Zone!!! There are 8 of us in total. There are 5 Elders and 3 Sisters. 4 of us are solos...it is kinda funny. Sister Wright and Sister King are in my zone and they are so awesome! I love them and Sister Wright and I have the same first and middle name so I can't help but love her. My Dutch is coming along and it has only been 4 days!!!! I can understand almost everything that is said which is a huge blessing! I am working on the speaking part but it is coming along. I mean we study Dutch for 8 hours, if not more, a day so I have to be learning something. I have taught two discussions in Dutch already. I had to teach on my 2nd full day here. My first lesson was somewhat of a train wreck but that's okay. I did somehow get a very personal story out of my investigator and it ended up helping me in the second lesson. It is amazing how the Lord gives you the words to say even if you don't know the language. I have had some problems...because whenever I don't know a word in Dutch German comes out and I have to stop myself. In my second lesson, I had my investigator commit to church this Sunday!!!!! I was crazy excited!!! I couldn't stop smiling all day especially because I had spoken in Dutch and still gotten a commitment!! I'm not entirely sure if he went to a Mormon church...but I'm hoping. I will see when I meet with him tomorrow. I am praying really hard that he will have felt something at church. My investigator is an atheist and that is proving really hard. I am having a hard time showing him that the energy he feels around him is God or the Spirit. Hopefully, I can break through this week.
On to all the amazing spiritual things I have learned in the past 4 days. I will be honest, when I got to the MTC the first 24 hours were rough. It was actually really scary because I began to have a lot of doubts about if I was ready or even if the church really was true. I have always been one to be believe and not doubt so it was really scary to be having doubts in the moment when I should be most strong. I began to pray earnestly for strength and peace. It is amazing how the Lord does answer our prayers!! I realized that Satan was working on me really hard. He didn't want me to feel the amazing spirit here on campus. Once I sought out the Lord, I was blessed with a renewed vision of my purpose and that this work is true!!! I am on the Lord's errand and I am entitled to his help as long as I ask for it. I talked with Sister Wright and turns out she had felt the exact same way but she was able to assure me that things were going to get better. My Branch President told me to just make it till Sunday and I would be fine. I made it to Sunday and I was feeling so happy and alive in the work of the Lord. My prayers were answered and I was blessed with peace!
Coming to the MTC has also made me realize all the things I have to work on. Sometimes I kinda feel like I don't know what things personally I need to work on but coming here has made me realize a lot of the things I still have a long ways to go on!! Although, the amazing thing is that I have a long time to work on my imperfections and the Lord is on my side!! I also realized as I was teaching this week that my true purpose is to bring those around me closer to Christ. I think sometimes we focus so much on baptism that we forget that our main purpose is to bring others close to their Savior. I realized that while I am on my mission, I am going to have investigators that will choose not to be baptized and that will be really disappointing. But if I, in the end, have brought them closer to Christ, then I have done my job. I am a success if I have brought them closer to the Savior. I, of course, will strive for baptism but will try to remember that bringing them closer to their Savior is the ultimate goal. I have been learning so many incredible things in relation to the Gospel and I wish I could share all of them but those are some of the cool things I have learned already.
I am loving the MTC so much and I know after all my doubts that this is where I am supposed to be!! This gospel is true and I am so blessed to have it in my life! I can't wait to get out into the field and proclaim the truthfulness of the gospel to the Dutch people. I am so grateful that I have an opportunity to focus on my Dutch for the next 5.5 weeks because I am going to need it!!! We went on a Temple walk yesterday and it was so great to get out of the MTC and see the real world again!!! Anyways, can't wait to write to you all next week!! Always remember that in the strength of the Lord you can do all things!!
Ik hou van u!!