|Allison in front of the Provo Temple|
|Allison, Elder Conatti and Elder Heinricks...all going to the Netherlands|
|Allison said , "It's so hard to get a good picture with these two!"|
|Her classroom where they learn Dutch|
|Allison's testimony in Dutch|
|Elder Conatti fell asleep during personal study|
|I think he just woke up.....|
|Elder Heinricks looking as if he need a nap|
|Allison and her sister companions at the Provo Temple|
Hey everyone!! I can't believe I have been a missionary for only 12 days...it feels like I have been doing this my whole life. I honestly feel like I have only just started to truly find out who I am! I have learned so much in the last week and I don't even know where to begin! I will refrain from giving you a description of my daily activities because they are the same every day so not incredibly exciting.
The title of the post is Zulder Heinconadams because it is a combination of Zuster and Elder and then a combination of the Elder's last name and mine as well. Our teachers have decided to call us that for their own convenience...I think it is pretty funny! The name come about because our teachers were kind of shocked at how fast we are learning the language. They have come in multiple times this week and have had something planned to teach us and we are already good at it! The Lord is truly blessing us to learn Dutch quickly. In fact, our teachers can no longer talk Dutch in front of us and have a private conversation because we understand everything they are saying for the most part. The amazing part about us learning Dutch so well is that we help each other learn it. I don't have a companion so the Elders have kind of filled in that role for me. We do our companionship study together and have had some really amazing discussions. I am amazed every day how prepared and excellent my Elders are. I truly believe that we are learning things faster because we are united and we are there to help each other. I consider my Elders family. In fact, Elder Heinricks is like Harrison and Elder Conatti is like Jacob!! Elder Heinricks and I banter constantly and it is really fun. Elder Conatti is probably the sweetest person I have ever met. I love hearing him call me Zuster...he says it like I truly am his sister and it is just great!! This week the Elders had a lesson with Jen and came back super depressed because their lesson, in their eyes had been a complete failure. I had probably a 30 minute pep talk with them and it was really good. I helped them see what things they could improve on and help them feel confident again. I wasn't sure if Elder Heinricks had really listened because his head was down the whole time but that night before we left he came and told me that I was teaching him things he really needed to learn. It was a great moment to know that what I was doing was truly helping the Elders. I have gotten to know my companion Sister Schwab a lot more and we have SO MUCH in common!! I feel really close to hear and we made a goal last week to say we love each other in our respective languages and it has been really fun!! We say prayers in our respective languages as well!!
I have so many incredible experiences to share with you all and I don't even know where to begin. I am going to explain probably the most incredible experience I've had at the MTC thus far. So in my last post I mentioned that I was teaching an investigator named Jen. Well this week we found out that we would no longer be teaching him. The Elders and I were very sad and wanted to meet the person who had acted as Jen(our investigators aren't real)! It was kind of interesting though, all weekend we thought we were still teaching Jen so we tried to prepare another lesson for him. The Elders and I struggled to come up with what we wanted to teach. Every other time we had prepared our lessons we had felt guided by the spirit to know what to teach. This time though it was as if we were hitting a wall. I did not feel the spirit guiding me anymore. Then on Wednesday we found out that we would no longer be teaching Jen. Elder Conatti and I realized that because Jen was no longer our investigator we were no longer being prompted by the spirit. It was an incredible realization. I know that Jen was just an actor...but I have realized that the Lord wants me prepared for the mission field so he is giving me opportunities to learn how to the feel the spirit and be guided by it even if the actual lessons or investigators are not real. Okay so back to the fact that we wanted to meet "Jen." Wednesday night, we were sitting in our classroom waiting for our teacher and "Jen" walks up and turns out he is our new teacher!!!! Elder Heinricks' face was priceless...it was so great!! Our wish had come true and we spent the rest of the night learning from "Jen" or as we now know him Broeder Mohrman. Wednesday night was one of the most amazing nights of my life. Broeder Mohrman told us we could ask him any question we wanted and so we did. We wanted to know if we had done a good job in our lessons and if our Dutch was good. Broeder Mohrman helped us realize that no matter what actually happened in our lessons as long as we put our best effort forward then we were a success. It felt good to hear that we had been successful in our lessons. Broeder Mohrman told me that my first lesson was my best lesson...the lesson I had forgotten all of my notes. In my first lesson, I fumbled my way through my limited Dutch and somehow "Jen" told me an incredibly personal story. Broeder Mohrman has used the character of Jen before with other missionaries and he has never shared the story he shared with me on the first lesson before. I was shocked to find that out. He said that even though my Dutch wasn't the best I did a really good job. I realized that because I didn't have my notes I had relied on the Lord. When you rely on the Lord, he will fill in the gaps and help you be a success. It was amazing!!! Broeder Mohrman was also shocked when the Elders and I didn't teach strictly by Preach my Gospel. He said that most missionaries come in and use Preach my Gospel word for word and usually have scripts on their first lesson. We didn't because we knew we need to teach to the investigators needs rather than strictly from a book. Broeder Mohrman said we are learning faster and much more than the average missionary. It was an incredible compliment and I can't help but thank my Heavenly Father for preparing me. Broeder Mohrman said my Dutch was surprisingly good for not being here for very long...although, apparently I sound like an Australian speaking Dutch. How does that work? I'm an american, who calls Germany home and I speak Dutch with an Australian accent...weird!! Teaching Jen was one of the hardest things I have ever done because first I didn't know the language and because he was a strong atheist, but it taught me so much!!!! I feel humbled and yet confident that I can do this work that the Lord has called me to!
Yesterday, at Mission Conference, we sang the EFY medley with new lyrics to "Sisters in Zion"...IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!! I cried through the whole song. Here are the lyrics to the new version
"The Sisters of Zion are called to God's labor. We willingly serve him in Spirit and might. We go to the nations with truth everlasting. We teach of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.
We thank thee, o God for a prophet to guide us. We trust in his words and our purpose is clear. The angels of heaven are walking beside us.
We got forth enlisted with Helaman's army in numbers much greater than ever before. With power and Spirit we'll faithfully witness. The heavens are spoken and truth is restored."
It was so amazing!!!!
I also wrote my whole testimony in Dutch this week and only didn't know 9 words!! I was pretty excited!! This gospel is true! I am supposed to be on a mission and the Lord has prepared me for this work my entire life. After this week, there will only be five people in my zone because the Danish Elders and Sister are leaving...we are really sad but they are off to do amazing things!! I love the MTC! I love the Temple! It is a great day to be a missionary!!! Never forget how much you are loved by our Heavenly Father!! Hope you are all having a great week!!
Ik hou van u!