Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The classroom with Sister Padilla

Good thing she knows how to read a map!

I have no idea on this one.....

Outside of the Provo Temple this morning.

Its official!

The sum total of her wardrobe for a year and a half.

There are 4 sisters in their room and they all picked a top bunk!

Baby Lauren with her best friend Dallin Giles from age 2 1/2 and their companions! So cute!

Oh lar-lo. It is so wonderful to hear from you. I was excited today when I realized that you only have 17 months left!!! hahahaha. U have to cut me some slack on that one. Yesterday I literally went through every single day that you will be gone and made my own chart cuz I hate that temple one. It was super depressing to realize that the entire year of 2014 I will not see my lar-lo. But then I realized that one month is already over! Anyway, I love you and just want you to know that I wait for your letters every Tuesday! love u baby girl! mom


(So these are the answers to a bunch of questions I sent her yesterday. Most are pretty self explanatory.)  

Yay! I love you too mom:)

So, my packages have all been grand. Nothing has been broken or yucky. I was so happy to get the last package. You are the best! It was my best day:) Also, could you quit sending me gum. As a missionary, I'm not allowed to chew it.

The Oct 7 is because that is my last full day in the MTC, so I shouldn't get mail here after that.

I would send more pictures over photobucket, but pretty much every website is blocked at the MTC. The flash drive thing might work in the field. the computers here are really crappy so I don't think it would work here.

I'm good on paper/envelopes for letters. Thank you for the stamps and stickers. They made my day.

I do have a hymn book in portuguese

We didn't watch the game,(BYU-UTAH) but our teachers told us about it because they are byu students. Muito Triste:(

I haven't seen Collin(Marci's husband who teaches Spanish at the MTC) but I run into Alex )Alex Wambach) all the time. We have class on the same floor. Dallin (Dallin Giles who she grew up with in west Jordan) has class on the floor below us. And I've seen a boatload of people from UCAS Her old high School) I ran into MR. Williams yesterday too. 

I love you and now I'm going to try to send some pictures:)
Oi! Minha Familia! Como vai??        September 24, 2013

This has yet again be another great week at the MTC. I think my favorite day was Sunday (more like funday). Anyway, Sundays are pretty chill here at the MTC. They encourage us to study personally and to kind of take a break. So, we (my district) watch a boatload of Mormon Messages. They are the greatest. I totally advise everyone to watch them. 
Around 10 we go to relief society (priesthood for the elders). It's always amazing because we have incredible speakers come and share a message with us. This week was Sister Stevens from the General Primary Presidency. Her talk was on the love of Christ and how we can show that love for our investigators by introducing and helping them to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed it. 
After that spiritual boost, we had lunch at 11 and then headed for sacrament. This week was a little nerve racking. Traditionally, one of the older districts in our branch does some sort of musical number. Well, this week it was our turn. And since i can't sing to save my life, I volunteered to play the viola. That was a great idea except the MTC only has violins, cellos, and flutes for missionaries. So, I played the violin to Army of Helaman and transposed it from the children's songbook. I was so nervous about messing up. I must have said 30 prayers asking for help. And, they were all answered. Our district sounded beautiful, all singing about the Army of Helaman, and I didn't even mess up. I can't even tell you how grateful I am that the Spirit can help make up our inadequacy in our times of need. It was a wonderful experience and a definite testimony builder.
Once sacrament was over, our district goes for a walk around the Temple. There are so many missionaries around the temple on Sunday. It's totes crazy:) Then we booked it back to the MTC for devotional. 
This week's devotional was by Elder Bateman, emeritus general authority. This one was actually kind of boring and I didn't pay attention that well. But, I did listen to him when he talked about what makes a great missionary. It's all in Alma 17, so go check it out. There's some pretty great stuff in there:)
After devotional, the MTC plays different films in several buildings. Sister Padilla and I were lucky enough to get into one on a talk by Elder Holland. That guy is more popular than someone who is really popular here;) Anyway, his talk was amazing. I'm just going to paraphrase it. He basically said:

We live in the last great dispensation. Never has the gospel flourished as much as it has in this day and age. He discussed how the previous prophets of the last dispensation must have know that they weren't going to succeed in converting everyone unto Christ. But they held in there because they saw our day. They saw that finally, this time, with this generation, the gospel would be spread all over the Earth. We are finally going to win. And because I am a part of this generation, as a missionary, I need to be dedication all of my time, 24/7 to the saving of a human soul. I will never do anything more important with my life than perhaps have a family. This isn't something missionaries just do to get a break from school or life. No. This is life. This is as real as it gets and I need to devote every ounce of my being into this work. 

Needless to say, the Spirit was overwhelming and most of the missionaries were crying, myself included (like glistening tear crying, not flat out bawling). It made me realize that I need to push myself harder to be the sort of missionary that is good for the mission. Not the sort where the mission is only good for me. I definitely have a ton of personal goals to work on. 

Eu sou grata por este evangelho. Eu sei que este evangelho e verdaderio. Eu sou grata por minha opportunidade servir um missao. Eu sei que Jesus Cristo viva. Digo esta coisas em o nome de Jesus Cristo, amem. 
(Google translate: I am grateful for this gospel. I know that this gospel and verdaderio. I am grateful for my opportunidade serve one mission. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I say this things in the name of Jesus Christ, love.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013 Half-way mark in the MTC.

September 17, 2013


Another Great week at the MTC!!!

This week, our focus has been on progressing investigators and how to make street contacts. Our progressing investigators are actually our teachers, so it's a bit intimidating. Planning lessons that focus on the needs of an investigator is hard. One, sometimes I don't completely understand their needs because it's all in Portuguese. And two, sometimes I think I'm making their needs up and it's what I think they need rather than what the actually need. Nevertheless, Sister Padilla and I prepare a lesson as best as we can and then practice it like the dickens. 

I really do love teaching, even if it is only my teachers at this point. My favorite is when we go in with a lesson all prepared, but the Spirit takes it in a different direction. Yesterday, we had a lesson all planned about the plan of salvation. We went in, ready to teach our stuff, and pretty much left the lesson at the door. Our investigator (teacher) had several hard questions about why our church is the true church. Even in English I would have struggled, but in Portuguese it was definitely a lutar (struggle). I tried to explain as best I could that I know this church is true because of the Book of Mormon. Through the Book of Mormon, I know that the fullness of Christ's gospel has been restored. It is hard evidence that God does inspire men and talk to them in this day and age. It is hard evidence that the power of God, the priesthood, has been restored. Everything about this gospel hinges on the Book of Mormon. And because the Book of Mormon is the true word of God, this is the one, true church.
IN Portuguese, our investigator probably received a different response:) But I did try and I was happy with my efforts:)

 The MTC is starting to get old. I love learning the language and learning how to become and effective missionary, but I am so sick of the food. It definitely is cafeteria food, and they do a really nice job with it, it's just that I might die. Thank heavens for unlimited juice:) Other than that aspect, I still love the MTC.

 Also, our district is super close. I feel like I could be BFFs with everyone in our district. They have amazing testimonies, are hard workers, and are really funny. I am so blessed to have such amazing examples as a district. 

I try not to talk/quote about secular things (like The Office), but it's really hard when most of our district ( like our district leader, Elder Nixon (Mom, you met his grandma at Tanne's farewell)) knows pretty much every episode by heart. The best is when we start quoting it in Portuguese. Then I don't feel so bad because I'm learning in the process:) 
Got to go do laundry, part 2 to come.
Sorry about splitting up my letters. We are assigned a specific laundry time and if we don't go right away, then there are no machines to use.
Anyways, my district is awesome. We have two teachers Irmao Hickman and irmao Bitner. They are both BYU students, so that's pretty neat. They are also amazing teachers. I have learned so much from them and my testimony has grown so much. 

I really loved that you wrote on the temple sidewalk, but unfortunately I didn't get to see it. I was already in the temple at 6:30, so I probably just missed you:( I'm so happy that Cake gets to do medical explorers. Woot Woot! She's going to have a blast. 
Please make Elena, Bridger and dad write more. I really want to hear from them. 

I don't know what else to write about so shoot me some topics next week and I'll try to respond. I'm sorry I haven't been very diligent with paper mail. I literally get 30 minutes at the end of the day to brush my teeth, write in my journal, and say prayers. So, please try to understand that I want to write, it's just I don't have any time to.

 I love you all so much!!!!

 Sister Whitney

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This morning at the Provo Temple with Sister Padilla from California!
 Not sure why it says Sister...Irmã is sister in Portuguese. Guess Sister Whitney will have to enlighten us next week!



This week has been a roller coaster. Sister Padilla and I continued to teach our first investigator, Ellison. We had the hardest time with our lessons. First off, teaching all in Portuguese is super hard. There were times when Sister Padilla and I would just look at each other in silence and try to figure out what to say. It was also really difficult trying to figure out what Ellison was saying. Second, even though we planned, our lessons were all over the place. It's so hard to teach in an orderly manner when you don't know what to say. And lastly, though we tried, the Spirit was never really there in our lessons. I think that was our biggest problem, because it's not the missionaries that convert, it's the Spirit.

Anyways, it was kind of a wake up call for Sister Padilla and me. So, we decided to buckle down and work hard. With our next investigator, Marionildo, we planned for 2 days and practiced our Portuguese like crazy. With all that practice and planning, I knew that we could at least  get a lesson out. I was still worried about the Spirit however. 

Right before the lesson, I said a prayer in my heart that the Spirit would be with us as we taught (we had already prayed as a companionship, but one more couldn't hurt:)). I basically just said to the Lord, "Ok, I've done all i can for this lesson, I'm going to leave the rest up to you." After that, I just had a calm and confident feeling that I could do this.

We went into the lesson, and did amazing. We were able to convey our message in clear Portuguese and Marionildo seemed pretty interested in it. Once we finished, we asked if he had any questions. He wanted to know more about Joseph Smith. Both Sister Padilla and I knew what to do AND we did it in Portuguese. We told him more (we had taught a little about Joseph Smith, but we only had 20 minutes to teach) about the restoration and how the Book of Mormon is evidence that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that the priesthood had been restored. I felt prompted to share Joseph's word from the first vision (we have to memorize it in Portuguese), so I recited those powerful words and then bore my testimony to Marionildo. It was so incredible. 

Overall, our lesson was a success. He said he would think about baptism and he would read Moroni's promise in moroni 10:3.

Anyways, That lesson was so great and helped me to know that I can do hard things and that I can be a missionary!

 My schedule at the MTC changes every day, but most days we do the same activities, just at different times. I wake up at 6am every day and have a half an hour to get ready. Breakfast is at 6:30 and we start class (on some days) at 7. We have two teachers and class comes in 3 hour blocks. the speak pretty much the entire time in Portuguese. We have an hour of Portuguese, then an hour on how to teach, and the suggestions/how to be a better missionary/ practice language for another hour. Class is definitely my favorite thing. Irmao HIckman and Irmao Bitner are excellent teachers and I can really tell that they care for us. Lunch is at 11, dinner is at 4 and in between we have personal, companionship, and additional study. I would say I study for a good 8 hours a day. 4 days a week we have gym. The MTC has really nice equipment so I've been up in the gym just working on my fitness, Sister Padilla's my witness:) haha. Then we return home at 9;30 and lights are out at 10:30. Repeat until ready for the field. 
Eu amo sendo a missionia, e eu se que este igreja e verdaderio. Eu amo meu salvador, Jesus Cristo. Eu muito grata por a Expiacao. Eu amo minha familia. Voces estam o melhor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Google translate says: I love being missionia, and I that this church and verdaderio. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I very grateful for the Atonement. I love my family. Voces estam the best!)


Until next week,


Sister Whitney


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Baptisms In Brazil!: First e-mail from the MTC!

Baptisms In Brazil!: First e-mail from the MTC!
So I have a spy in the MTC from my ward that is Stalking Lauren! She looks happy and so does her companion. Hope the MTC didn't loose power like the rest of Provo during a huge rainstorm that dropped .75 inches of rain in Alpine in 15 minutes!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

This is a super secret photo from the MTC taken by our friend Alex Rainsdon who works there. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that this is Lauren's companion from California.

Sister Whitney

First e-mail from the MTC!

Ola minha Familia!                                                               September 3, 2013

I am having the best time in the MTC. I think my favorite part about it is my district. The elders and sisters that make up our district have such strong testimonies and such a strong desire to share the gospel with our Brothers and Sisters. I am so luck to have them as friends.

Learning the language has been a roller coaster. Pretty much as soon as I was dropped off, I was sitting in class trying to figure out what my teacher was saying in Portuguese. There is literally no english spoken when we have class. And guess what, that way works. I would say that I can understand about 60 to 70% of what is being said. I still struggle with speaking it, but that's only because I don't know the right words yet. I will know soon though:)

For practice, we have to teach investigators. our first lesson was on friday with an investigator named Ellison. Oh, and the entire lesson has to be in Portuguese because he doesn't speak English. I was nervous at first, but then I realized that it doesn't matter if I know the words or not. What matters is that I am able to bring the Spirit into the lesson. The first lesson was hard, and I totally stumbled over the words, but the next lesson was different. I decided to bear my testimony to Ellison instead of saying my planned lesson part. I don't know how much of an impact it had on him, but I felt like I was going to burn up the Spirit was so strong. I was a little embarrassed because I was totally bawling, but for the most part I don't regret it because it brought the Spirit. And it is through the Spirit that the Lord's children are converted unto him. 

That is another thing I love about the MTC. The Spirit here is like our third companion. He's with us everywhere we go and directs us to do the Lord's work. 

I have to go switch my laundry real fast and then I'll finish this letter:)

I love you so much!

Speaking of companions, I love mine. Her name is Sister Padilla and she is from California. She also just finished up her first year at BYU, so we have some stuff in common. She is also going to Piracicaba, so we'll probably see each other down there if our visas ever come:) It's kind of weird having a companion. Like, if I ever forget anything, I can't just run back and get it. I have to ask sister padilla to come along with me. The only times we can be apart is when we're in our residence building, the bathroom, or in gym. Other than that, we're bffs. I don't mind it at all, it's just weird. 

I love being a missionary. Just once did I wonder if it was the right choice for me (I was tired and it had been a super long day), but the next day I was almost overwhelmed with the Spirit testifying to me that this is the right path for me. I know that there are people, my brothers and sisters, waiting for me to bring them the love and truth this gospel has. I love this gospel and I love my Savior. Without him, nothing is possible. But with Him, all things are possible.

Eu se que a igreja de Jesus Cristo e verdadiero, Eu se que meu Pai Celestial e meu Salvado amao me. Digo esta coisas em o nome de Jesus Cristo, amem.