Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Week 8

So sorry this is late! Christmas has kept me busy but here is her letter! YAY she leaves tmr for the field!!! YAHOO! Ps don't send Dear Elder mail anymore!

Feliz Navidad Familia y Amigos!
This week wasn't too eventful, just trying to learn spanish and prepare to go to TEXAS! I am soooooo excited to get to Texas and get to work! I know my spanish is no where near where it needs to be but I know as I make mistakes in the language in the field I will learn quicker and more effectively. So, basically I cannot wait to fail hardcore in spanish haha. This last week our teachers have been doing the spanish joke of the day, and they make me laugh SO HARD, they are just so cheesy and I love them. This one is my favorite:
Cuál es la difrencia entre de un Argentino y una vaca?
El Argentino dice "dale che!" y la vaca da leche!
HAHAHA I know it makes zero sense to you but basically it says, what is the difference between an Argentinian and a cow? The Argentinian says "dale che" (which is just a slang phrase. Mexicans say dale pues, I am pretty sure) and the cow gives milk. It's funny because of how close the words sound, not because of the direct meaning, so sorry if it's not funny, but it makes me laugh every time.
On monday we had a teaching evaulation and once we got back to the class, all of the Elders starting yelling basically, "HERMANA TAETSSS the ceiling keeps asking for you!!!!!" There is an intercom in the building that is used to page the missionaries, and apparently it had asked several times for me and said I need to go to a room in the Admin. building as soon as possible. When I heard this my heart just dropped, because the only time Elders in my District had been paged to the office was to be notified of a death in the family, so I was so scared and I pretty much ran to the front desk. When I got there the secretary told me to go into Pres. Clegg's office (He is a couselor in the MTC presidency). I sat down and he was way nice, asked me how my day was going and about spanish and then he got right to the point and said "Well, I called you in here today because we would like for you to speak at the Christmas Eve devotional on Thursday night. You will have 5 minutes to share the story of your conversion and tie it into a principle that the missionaries can learn from." I was so shocked! I had never even met Pres. Clegg before, yet he was asking me to speak in front of 2,400 missionaries on thursday! I am sure he saw my surprise and said, "I didn't choose for you to have this assignment, I prayed about who should speak Thurs. night and the Holy Ghost gave me your name, so because you have been called by the Spirit you just need to teach by the Spirit and you will do just fine." So, tomorrow night I will be speaking to all of the missionaries here, only for 5 minutes, but I am still pretty nervous, maybe more like petrified. I feel extremely honored for the opportunity I will have to share my conversion experience and also teach the missionaries something of value for their missions...hopefully haha. Be praying that I don't make a fool of myself!
I hope everyone has a super duper awesome Christmas. Although it is difficult for me to not be with my family at this time I know they are in the Lord's hands and will be taken care of. I am also grateful for the opportunity I have to sacrifice 18 months of my life for Jesus Christ, whom this holiday is all about. 18 months is a meager sacrifice for someone who gave so much, including his life, for me, and for that I will work as hard as I can, and devote all that I am, to serving Him and representing Him as I teach the people of Texas. I hope this holiday everyone takes time to ponder what Christmas really means, that Jesus Christ would leave His throne in heaven and descend to become a baby, born in such humble circumstances. I am grateful for all of the love and support I have received here at the MTC! This is my last P-day here, I fly to Houston next wednesday morning, so I don't know when I will be able to e-mail again, since I don't know when P-day is in Texas. Also, all letters should be addressed to the mission home address (16623 Hafer Rd. Houston,TX 77090) from now on and also I will not be able to receive Dear Elders in Texas, so make sure you don't write Dear Elders after Monday. I love you all and miss you and think of you and pray for you often.

Hermana Taets

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Week EHHR 7?

Hola Familia y Amigos,
This week was pretty average, still lots of studying and teaching, we finish learning all the grammer principles in spanish this week so the next two weeks we will just be reviewing and teaching each other the principles. We did this really neat activity last week called the "Silla de Humildad" or "Chair or humility" where we each took turns sitting in a chair in the front of the room and then everyone else said something nice about you. I was actually really surprised by some of the things that were said about me. One Elder said he admired my courage, which is something that is never attributed to me, since I am an anti-risk, anti-danger, sissy-la-la. He said that joining the church and then serving a mission as the only member in my family must have taken guts and he admired my courage in getting here. I really appreciated that, mainly because I have never felt courageous before, so I felt like I could go do more courageous things...like go to Houston haha. Another Elder said that he appreciated my love for laughing and that I have a tendency to make everyone else in the District happy. Several elders talked about my love for laughing, so I was glad that I am known as a happy camper, and not for the times when I get grumpy haha.

Last Saturday in the TRC we taught this sweet woman from Honduras and it was...interesting. I feel like I understand a lot in spanish and can speak a lot as well, but because she spoke so softly and quickly I probably understood 36.9% of what she was saying. So, she would talk and I am sure my jaw was just hanging to the floor. I felt pretty bad, but I was able to pick our words and phrases so hopefully I taught her correctly.

Ohhhh mi lanta, I am only here for another 2 weeks!!! Craziness, no? I am really grateful that I will be here on Christmas, my district has become like a family and I am glad we will get to spend the holiday together right before we depart for our separate mission fields. I am SUPER excited to get to TEXAS and get to WORK and get chased by dogs, get doors slammed in my face, make ridiculous mistakes in the language...etc. No, that was not sarcasm, we aren't supposed to be sarcastic as missionaries, I am actually excited for this character-shaping experiences.

Well, I love you to pieces and think of y'all often!
Hermana Taets

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Week 6

Hola Familia y Amigos!
It has been a fun week here in the MTC, I feel like I never stop laughing. It snowed all weekend, and believe it or not, I actually really like the snow! It makes it seem warmer outside, it makes a cool crunching noise under my shoes, it makes everything look like it has a thick layer of frosting on it. My companions told me to stand under this big snow covered tree and kick it, and of course I did it, and they took a picture while I did it that turned out so awesome! (I keep trying to keep pictures printed out to mail home but the kiosk has been sucking it up lately). The MTC grounds are covered in Christmas lights, and we are celebrating in the classroom too with a baby Christmas tree that Elder Leonard's family sent us. I feel like we are singing Christmas songs allllll throughout the day, and they are soooo much more fun in spanish, BTW. :)

Speaking of spanish...I just love the language! It is so much fun! We had our first spanish lesson in the TRC on Saturday and it was alrigggghhhhttt, it was pretty random because we would just skip parts of the lesson that we couldn't teach effectively in spanish. So, the lesson was totally random and not real good. I made a big boo-boo during the lesson; The couch I was sitting on was old and squeaked really loud every time I moved and at one point and decided, without thinking, to say "esta sofa es ASCO!" (this sofa is gross!) and the investigator said, "mi sofa?....en mi casa?" in kind of a sad voice. My jaw just dropped, I felt so embarrassed, but then he laughed and then we all laughed for a good while. My roommates have also informed me that I have been speaking spanish in my sleep and waking them up, oops. I have been caught saying, "Qué Malo Elderes!" (That's evil/bad elders!), "Quiere luchar?" (Do you want to fight?), and "Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial" (God is our Heavenly Father). So, at least I did some teaching in spanish...not too proud of the stuff I say in my sleep haha. My roommates find it very entertaining so Esta todo bien! (It's alllll good).

Right now the District is semi-tripping out because we might get shipped out to our missions a week early! I guess there is a big need for spanish missionaries so they are changing the spanish program to 8 weeks. We don't know if that affects us since it changed after we got here, but we are all hoping we leave the 29 still so we can all spend Christmas together. My District is like a big family, we all love each other and take care of each other, I am so lucky to be surrounding by such good missionaries.

Well, not much else going on, I hope everyone is doing well! I love you all very very very much!

Hermana Taets

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Week 5

Querida Familia y Amigas
Thanksgiving was pretty great. In the morning we heard from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and that was AWESOME. I love hearing from the apostles! After that we had nice meal with turkey, taters, gravy, stuffing, pie, the works, and it was pretty good. Then we had a service project where we put together medical emergency kits that the church distributes around the world after natural disasters and the like. I felt so good knowing that I am helping someone in need. In the evening we had a devotional where there were several beautiful musical numbers and also the had mics set up for missionaries to come down and have about a minute to say what they are thankful for. I felt strongly that I needed to do this and actually was one of the first people to share. I was so nervous that I forgot to say who I was, where I am from and where I am going, but I said some like this: "I am extremely grateful for my family. Although they aren't members of the church they are great people and they raised me to be honest and to always strive to be the best I can and I know that without realizing it they prepared me to accept the gospel. Even though they don't understand why I am serving a mission they write me every week and their letters mean more to me than anything and I am going to try and be my best as a missionary for them."

Last Saturday we taught our last english lesson in the TRC, so from now on we can only teach in spanish, prettttty exciting. So after we taught, our teacher had us all write break up letters to English, it was basically hilarious. I wish I had time to tell you more, maybe next week. Hna. Wardle's letter was the most brutal: "English, you make me vomit" hahaha.

On monday I had an awesome experience in the RC. I was chatting with a catholic woman for about a half hour and then she asked if I could call her and I did and we talked about the church for an hour, and she met with the missionaries on tuesday and asked me to call her back wed. (today) to talk about it. I love being a missionary and having the opportunity to help and to teach people. After the call I just felt so happy! It was lunch time and I couldn't even eat, the food had no taste compared to what I was feeling. This is why I decided to come on a mission, because I feel more joy than I can describe when I am sharing my testimony of Jesus Christ with others and helping them come to know that they have a Savior who loves them more than they can possibly know.

I love you alll!!!!!!! Please keep writing, letters are like insta-joy for missionaries :)

Hermana Taets

p.s. I only received letters from Dad, Mom, Addie, and Tina this week. It's nice to know who my true friends are ;) tee hee