Sunday, July 24, 2016

Another Great Week (Week 7)

This is a couple days late because I was at Girls Camp all of last week!! Here's the email!

"Hello everyone!!!
Another great week!
It has become known among all that I love to eat ranch with a lot of my food. Therefore,  they like to have me do something weird with ranch. Yesterday it was ice cream and ranch. I really do not recommend it, but I guess it could have been worse. The ranch here is the same as the ranch at BYU. Pretty yummy, I think they make it homemade or something. Other than that, the food is still pretty sub-par and I don't know how I have survived off of it for this long. Sometimes we just eat a PB&J or cereal for every meal. Seems healthy. Also, people keep sending DearElder cookies and brownies and so we are eating a bunch of that at night when we get back to our rooms and are ravenous (because we eat dinner at like 4).

The coolest thing happened on Sunday! We had choir practice, which was incredible because there are about 1500 people in the choir now which is an absolutely amazing and spiritual experience. THEN at devotional..guess who casually shows up? ELDER BEDNAR YEAH THAT'S RIGHT for the second time in the time that I have been here, he has come to speak to us! So cool. He did a question and answer session and I wanted to ask a question (because when will I ever have that experience again?!) but I sadly did not get called on. Still a totally mind-blowing devotional though AH. Tuesday devotional was actually super good too. We had Elder CLarke from the Emeritus Seventy. My favorite quote from him was "If you learn to love your problems, you will love life" and "we can't afford to let other people determine our happiness"

This week we finished our Russian grammar book that we have been learning out of. That's how we now our time at the MTC is coming to a close. I think it's 11 days left now? That's absolutely insane! We get flight plans tomorrow and I think that I get to email when I get them so that everyone knows what the plans are with that. Anyways, now when we work on Russian, we just review the grammar that we have already learned and try to actually apply all of it into our conversations. We have bee struggling with our goal to learn 50 words, 15 phrases and 1 scripture each day, but we are slowly getting better at it. It might not sound like that much, but it's a lot when you don't have that much free time to study, trust me! Also, when it is so easy to get distracted by all of the new people in our zone. Learning this language is such a whirlwind all of the time. I can't believe that so much has happened in such a short amount of time. We don't use notes anymore and we can understand when our teachers tell us random stories and we can actually laugh at Russian jokes now! HOW cool is that? I am so blessed to be here and to have such awesome teachers and companions. I couldn't be more thankful. I know that this is exactly where I need to be in my life right now.

One of my favorite chapters of study this week was D&C 138. It's one of the coolest things I have ever read. I've also been studying charity a lot and I love the end of chapter 7 in Moroni. I am about 20 pages from finishing the Book of Mormon. I started when I got here and wow it's been great to re-read.

Also... I didn't realize that Tasmania was a real place? I met an Elder from Australia and he was telling me all about how Tasmania is real and now I want to go there. I have gotten to know the sister who is also going to Seattle and she seems super nice, I am super super excited for her to be here, I know she'll be awesome! I remember being in her shoes and struggling with how to say "hello" and "goodbye" in Russian, but she has already come so far. Being an STL, I feel like it's my duty to get to know everyone and be extra nice to everyone.

We skyped Katarina from the Yekaterinberg  mission in Russia on Monday. She was so nice and we were teaching her about the spirit and it was the perfect lesson for her! She was telling us about how it is one of her absolute favorite gospel principles. Her faith is so strong and we could understand about 90% of what was said. I really feel like the people in Russia are so awesome because they are so humble. She even helped us a ton with our grammar and nicely corrected us when we were using the wrong cases with our word or using the wrong sentence structure.

That's about all for this week! the MTC is packed and it's awesome to be around so many missionaries all of the time.

With LOVE,

Cectpa Jenne"

"so we have this same painting but a smaller version in our classroom and we refer to it as the pool party picture because it looks like christ and all his apostles just came from a pool party together and that jesus just towel-whipped the apostle next to him. that might be a little sacrilegious but we think it's hilarious"

Stay tuned!!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

More Newbies (Week 6)

It's hard to believe Sister Jenne has already been out for 6 weeks!! Here's the email:

"Here goes another week at the MTC, and another short email that can't possibly contain all of the experiences and feelings that I have here. This week as we have realized that we are some of the MTC oldest people here now, it has really struck us because we will be getting flight plans in a week! That means we are leaving in 2 and a half weeks! I feel ready to go, but oh so sentimental at the same time. I love it here at the MTC. I have grown to love everything about this place and my companions (besides the food--I will be so very happy to leave the food behind...we eat cinnamon rolls almost everyday because people keep sending them to people in my zone through DearElder and so we are subsisting off of cinnamon rolls, which can't be healthy).

Sister Bolander and I have been called as Sister Training Leaders for the new missionaries that came in yesterday (well, and every other sister in the zone). However, out of the 18 missionaries that came, only 2 of them were sisters. I guess it's that time of year again. We had a meeting with all of them and got to know some of them. A couple really cool things that they did were one of them made and sold knives to pay for the majority of his mission, and one of them played kayack polo on the water (doesn't that sound AWESOME?).

Instead of regular TRC, we got to Skype an actual person from Russia. It was awesome and we got to share an uplifting message in this hard time for the Russian people where they are being restricted religiously. She was so nice and we understood SO much of what she was saying and the only English word that she said was "flower" because she was trying to explain that her favorite hobby was to grow flowers. (which is adorable)

The people in our zone who are Estonian and Latvian speaking keep coming up with funny English phrases that sound like Russian words, because they don't know how to say the actual Russian words. It is so entertaining. The two that I can remember at the moment are "dad's lasagna" and "dog spit on ya" for the Russian word for goodbye. If you say them fast enough, they 100% sound like the right word. I love all of them so much, they truly make the MTC so fun! Since the gym has been closed because they are redoing the floor, or refurnishing it, or whatever it's called, we have had to go to the outside field and play sand volleyball every single day for exercise time, which is amazingly fun. but SOSO hot. It's so hot that we have to dig holes for our feet because the sand is too hot to stand makes things interesting, but I am ready for the gym to open back up! I like air conditioning.

A very MTC thing happened the other day. A sister was "street contacting" us to practice and then an Elder walked up and straight asked Sister Wilson for her email without even introducing himself! She straight up just said no and shot him down so hard. We couldn't stop laughing, but I felt a little badly for him.

We had a Russian grammar test. If you know anything about Russian, you know that the grammar is very confusing and there are several cases and verb conjugations that make thins fairly confusing. Therefore, we all made F's on the test. I was actually for once in my life kind of proud of a 47% because I know some people in another zone made like 30% haha.

If you get nothing else from this email, the one thing that I learned this week was: if you don't feel like doing something that you know you should be doing, it is exactly the thing that you need to be doing the most. I've also learned the importance of being completely honest with people about how you feel! It is honestly a blessing to have been able to figure out how to live with companions and how to really grow close to them and love them to the best of my ability. Every day, our relationship improves and we are able to help each other in lessons and class and really unite with each other (even though we are all SO indecisive)! What an amazing feeling. I will be sad when they go to Russia.

Speaking of Russia, with the new law that will be coming into effect soon, all of the Russian missionaries are asking for prayers for the people of Russia. We had Elder Catcher from the Eastern European are 70 come to our Branch on Sunday and explain a lot of what was happening since we are so out of the loop here in the MTC. He explained that they cannot teach anywhere except in a church building and that missionary work in general will be pretty restricted.

Sister Jenne"

This week, Sister Jenne only sent us these pictures in front of the Provo Temple and someone forwarded pictures, but they were on dropbox, and for some reason, they wouldn't pull up, so I couldn't add them, but if I figure that out, I will put them up! 
Stay tuned!!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Don't Be A Noodle (Week 5)

Hey y'all! I'm a little late with the email this week due to my  being out of town. Here's the email:

"I am sad to report that one night I got up in the dark to close the blinds on the window and knocked the plants off of the windowsill. RIP Walter and Tupac. It's a good thing they were basically already dead anyways because we were lacking in our gardening skills (aka remembering to water them). I guess they had a decent life on that windowsill,with a beautiful view of the MTC construction going on outside my window haha.

This Sunday was fast Sunday. Which means the Elders go into the cafeteria at dinner and decide that it is a good idea to have a cereal eating competition. Each of them ate 6 bowls of cereal and used 3 FULL cups of milk. I think that's enough to make me want to barf just thinking about it! And a couple of them just kept going after 6. I think the most one of them ate was 8. It was pretty hilarious, but at the same time really disgusting. Elders.

On Sunday we had A TEST!!! They gave us a test on Russian! It was so nerve wracking. They would give us a question (ex: tell us about your family) and then 30 seconds to think and then there was around a minute to answer the question in Russian..It was a speaking assessment. There were around 10 questions I think. When our teacher listened to them, he came back into the class and just said the Russian word that is kinda like a word that means not good, but not bad. Just kinda mediocre. It's okay though,I don't know how they expect us to be fluent in Russian in 5 weeks right?

On Saturday, we had an international celebration of freedom. There are so many people here from other countries that they decided to celebrate everyone instead of just America. In fact, there is an elder in my zone from Germany and it was so funny because he was pretending to be all offended when we sang all the patriotic songs and stuff and he was walking around all day with his German flag. There was a devotional that was quite reminiscent of American Heritage lectures at BYU, except a little more gospel oriented, and so that was interesting. Then we went out and watched the Stadium of Fire fireworks. We got to stayout until past 10:30 which is revolutionary for the MTC! That's an HOUR later than usual! We definitely felt it the next day though, because it increased the tired-ness level by a LOT.

The other day (I have no idea which day because they all just blend together), we were sitting next to some Romanian missionaries and one of them convinced his companion that in Russia they only eat ice cream. And he sincerely believed it too. It was funny.

Guess what they say in Russia when you sneeze for the third time??? They say А не будь лопшой which means "don't be a noodle" and apparently in Latvian they say "liar liar potato" when someone isn't telling the truth. Learning about other languages and cultures is so funny and interesting! Also in Russian to say "I'm just kidding" you say something that sounds like I shoot you hahahah. It's so funny because when we say that to people who aren't Russian speaking they give us the strangest looks. Another funny sentence is: учител учил ученников учению учённых. it's like the same word over and over with different endings but it means the teacher taught the students of the teachings of the well-learned people. I don't know why I think it's so funny

I love my companions so much. I thought I might tell you a little about each of them:

Sister Bolander is from LA. She went to BYU and I remember seeing her everywhere because of the blonde hair that is impossible to miss! She is so good at Russian and carries us through the lessons. She truly has a gift with this language. She is super good at volleyball and always down to do anything that we want to do! It is awesome. I love her so much and we have really been able to bond and be silly together.

Sister Wilson is from South Carolina and she also went to BYU. We bond over the fact that we are both from the South while the rest of the zone is from the West or North East. She understands my love for boiled peanuts and the struggles of humidity. She is also gifted with Russian. Sister Wilson is always popping her ankles really loudly and everytime it makes me cringe haha! She is so funny and we have such a great time together!

I love both of them so much! I will be so sad when everyone leaves for Russia without me!

I love all of you and miss everyone! I hope things are going well back home and I love to get updates!

-Sister Jenne"

I'm not sure what all of these should be captioned since she didn't send captions this week so everyone, we are going to use our imaginations, okay?? Okay! 
Stay tuned!!!