Monday, March 10, 2014

Pro-Toilet Cleaners!

Allison's invitation to perform

Solo Sisters

Allison's Zone  before the Danes left.
Wow, another week gone and it feels like only yesterday I was writing my previous letter. When I get to P-day I never know where to begin because I feel like a whole year has gone by in the space of one week. 

This week has been hard, amazing, and just what I needed. At the end of last week I was feeling on top of the world and I knew that it was only a matter of time until I was humbled to some extent. 

Monday was good until class that night. We were practicing how to get to know an investigator in Dutch and also how to ask the right questions to get a feel for their needs. I really struggled with this. I am good at getting to know people and how to carry on a conversation but throw Dutch in there and things get hard. It is hard finding my personality in Dutch. I began to get frustrated. After feeling frustrated, I had to go meet my new investigator Hans. I made a fool of myself at the door and was a little discouraged. I went back to my classroom and my teacher asked me how I was. I responded that I was fine and then he asked how I really was. I began to see all my insecurities and it was a scary moment. I told him that I was struggling and that I was scared of offending someone because of my language barrier...and other various concerns. He told me that I need to trust in God. He told me that I needed to let go of my insecurities as a missionary and let the Lord fill in the rest. Those were exactly the words I needed to hear. Every day is not going to be easy. I am not going to feel on top of the world every day but as long as I rely on the Lord then I will be blessed. I read a talk given by President Eyring entitled "Trust in God." It was exactly what I needed to hear and I would encourage any of you, if you are struggling, read that talk! It will give you the strength you need!! 

On Tuesday I practiced "Contacting" or in essence knocking on doors and sharing the message of the gospel. It was a little awkward but not too bad. We also had a cinnamon roll party because Sis. Schwab's mom had sent her some!!! 

Thursday was great!!! I am a pro-toilet cleaner!! We have to do service every week and it is usually some cleaning assignment. Last week I mentioned that I finished cleaning the toilets super fast...well this week we did it again!!! In fact, we begged to have them let us to toilets because we have a system down and we like finishing early because then we get to shower. I didn't expect to be a gifted toilet cleaner but what can I say...the Lord works in mysterious ways...Mom don't get any ideas. I auditioned to sing "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" for any of the MTC events and I got a YES!!! I sang yesterday at the Departure Devotional and will be singing at the New Missionary Orientation on Wednesday!!! It went really well and my voice held out which was a blessing because it has been having issues(the g's in Dutch are really starting to hurt my throat... it's normal but it's getting better). Later Thursday night, the Elders and I were practicing teaching an investigator in English. It was a really hard investigator and in the end we didn't really get through to him. It was just a practice but I still wanted to talk to the Elders about how we could improve. I began to ask Elder Heinricks questions about how he thought the discussion went and voiced some of my concerns with our teaching. Elder Heinricks and I probably talked to much and Elder Canotti didn't talk at all really. I felt like much of the discussion had been in circles and I wanted to talk about how we could get better. Elder Heinricks quickly became defensive of his teaching. I could feel that our conversation was turning contentious so I asked Elder Heinricks if he was defensive. He responded that he wasn't defensive and sat down and stopped talking to me. There was not a good feeling in the room and I wanted to smooth the situation over. After a few minutes of pondering what I could say I asked both Elders how I could be a better "Companion" to them? They are all I have in the way of a real companion so I asked how I could better help them. Elder Conatti, feeling the tension in the air, responded "you could fill up my water bottle every now and again." I laughed pretty hard and thank goodness for Elder Conatti!! The tension in the room had subsided but I still waited for Elder Heinricks answer. He looked at me and said "I hate it when you ask me question but they help..." I then asked if I should keep asking questions and he remarked that I should. It was a really amazing moment for all three of us. I think we all realized a little bit more that we are here to help each other and not bring each other down. I think Elder Heinricks was able to see that I wasn't mad at him and in fact just wanted to help him. Things have been a lot better since then!! My question turned a contentious situation into a spiritual situation. I really feel like the Lord gave me the right words to say. 

Friday we played games in class to practice our Dutch and that was a very nice change!! I also contacted to find my new investigator Daniel. I'm feeling good about him and looking forward to our first discussion tomorrow. Oh!!!! We got Cafe Rio for lunch!!! Our custodian smuggled us in was amazing to say the least! I taught my teacher(acting as an investigator) how to pray in Dutch. It was a really amazing experience! First, I was able to explain it really well and simply. Second, I helped my teacher see how he could have taught one of his investigators better on his was really cool!! I definitely felt the spirit as I was teaching.

I met with my investigator Hans on Saturday and it went so well. I was worried that he was only meeting with me because his girlfriend is Mormon but he showed real interest and I taught him how to pray and he committed to trying to pray!! Every time I teach, I amaze myself by how much Dutch I actually know! It is really cool!! 

Sunday was good as usual! My zone was shrunk to only one district because there is only five of us now. Elder Heinricks is the new zone leader and Elder Conatti is the district leader. The Danish Elders and Sister left this was so sad. It was like saying goodbye to my family all over again. Because there were only 8 of us, we became really close so it was really a hard goodbye. I am going to miss Sister Wright a lot!! I am now in a trio-companionship because Sister King is all alone so hopefully it will work out well!! 

I have a lot to work on this week! I am going to try and be a lot better about my studies and focus a lot more on my investigators. It is kind of hitting me that I only have three weeks left! It is time for me to focus and work super hard so I can be ready to leave at the end of the month!! I can't believe how fast the time is going! I am so excited to get out there in the field but I am also really nervous! I just can't wait to teach the Dutch people. I love them so much already!! This work is true! The Lord is in this work and is so mindful of us. Every day that I am here, I realize more and more how much the Lord truly loves each and everyone of us!! 

Ik houd van u! 

Zuster Adams
Solo Sisters with their flags of the countries they are going to.

Allison with  Netherlands flag

Cinnamon rolls!

Pointing to where they are going!

Allison with her companion

Cafe Rio'--smuggled into the MTC

Allison looking a bit guilty

Special sign made for her by Elder Fisher and Elder Salinas

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