Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We found it! The room of  requirement Abby told me about. It has always been locked until today.

Secret Room!

There's even a scale in this place!

okay this week literally more has happened than the rest of my life combined. i think i'm just gonna have to go day by day on this one.
last tuesday: this was probably the greatest day of my life. it was p day and also sister willerth's birthday and also GORGEOUS outside! we got up early and did laundry/email and went to the temple to do sealings. i sat by this 100 year old woman who held my hand and told me that my mom was so proud of me so of course that was pretty great. then we were back and in comfy clothes by lunch and literally sat in the grass in the sunshine for 5 HOURS! i don't know if you know this but 5 hours is an eternity in the MTC. i got a legit sunburn on my face which we all know is the quickest and easiest way for me to tan so now i'm back to my usual hawaii color which is nice. i have a sweet watch tan and also the friendship tan is back in full swing so that's great. all sister willerth wanted for her birthday was to get a tan because she's literally never been tan in her life. i was her tanning coach and it was hilarious. i'd yell "get in the position! what are you doing?? no laying on your stomach!" well my hard work and years of experience paid off. she got a tan. i mean we're using the word tan very loosely but she is definitely not as white as she used to be. that's gonna go ahead and be put in the victory category.
wednesday: we had substitutes because both of our teachers deserted us this week and one of them was extremely scary. she's a tiny tiny russian but oh so scary. our other sub was paul's old roommate brother noren who went to our mission! before you leave you hear of someone going to your mission and you're like oh that's cool whatever but here in the mtc it's a big deal. so even when he's not subbing for us he comes and hangs out with us and talks about donetsk. oh we got some really sad news this week. our mission president is going home in 2 months because of some major health issues. we'll only get him for a month! he has a goal that he wants to reach 100 baptisms this year before he goes home and they're at 51 right now so if you can pray for president campero and all the missionaries in donestk that would be really appreiciated.
thursday was doomsday. the day we had to teach the scary lady. (i still cannot say or spell her name. my apologies). we knew we would have to practice teaching her, but what we didn't know is that we would have to contact into the lesson, meaning we have to come up to her as a stranger and convince her to hear a 25 minute lesson. well let's just say that she wasn't really into that. luckily we went last so we heard the horror stories from all the other companionships so we knew which routes to avoid. the first companionship kept apologizing for their poor russian and she said "if your russian is so terrible why are you here? why do you keep trying to talk to me? i don't want to talk to you." awkward. others asked about her family and she said "you are complete strangers to me, why would i tell you about my family?" so we knew were gonna have to be creative on this one. we had heard suggestions that asking people a simple question about russian like what is the difference between these two words, or how do i pronounce this word is a good idea because russians are usually impressed that we're trying to learn their language. well i was thinking, how can we ask a good question and invite the spirit? i know we should sing a song! so remember a couple weeks ago when i accidentally shouted in church because there was a crazy hard word? well we decided to ask about that word. so we went up and said, excuse me we're studying russian and were wondering if you could tell us how to say this word. oh it's vzglyad? thank you! we're singing this song in church on sunday. could we sing it for you and you can tell us if our russian is good? so we sing and then we ask, could you understand our message? (the song was i need thee every hour). it was a pretty good idea if i do say so myself. but she wasn't interested so there's not much more we could do about that. we shared short testimonies and got outta there. also on thursday brother noren had us walk around the entire mtc and count our steps so we could learn our numbers! i clearly had a major disadvantage as i take on average twice as many steps as another humans. but i actually over compensated and took huge steps so i actually took the least amount of steps. and now i know my numbers so that was actually pretty fun. also on thursday we got into the room of requirement!!!! i don't think i've told you about this before but there's a door inside our favorite bathroom which is always locked and it just looks like it would be a custodial closet or something but abby told me before i left that we have to get into it! so we check multiple times every day to see if it's unlocked and it finally was! inside i kid you not are two twin beds, a tv, two arm chairs, a scale, a coatrack, and a full length mirror. what is this room for?!?!? NO ONE KNOWS. but it was definitely the greatest moment of our lives when we got in. i'll send you pictures.
friday was the day of the feels. brother okoren came back and we taught anatoli but he just didn't seem that excited. afterwards we had a companionship interview with brother okoren and we talked about just how things are going and we talked about ways to get anatoli excited for baptism. basically we decided that we need to get him to see the 'big picture' aka plan of salvation to understand why baptism is so important and how greatly he will be blessed for choosing to be baptized. then brother okoren asked us if we were okay. Here's a general fact of life: If you look a girl in the eyes and ask her very seriously if she is okay, she will cry. Even if she was 100% fine, she will cry. (this is why we call teacher interviews crying interviews. it just happens) So i actually didn't cry because i don't have a soul or whatever but sister rohrbaugh and sister willerth both lost it so brother okoren just told us that we're doing fine and he's not worried about us, we should stop being so hard on ourselves. he told us to read John 14 and went and got our scriptures for us and then let us just be alone. it was definitely what we needed. we had a good talk and decided that we can be better missionaries by trying to have the spirit with us all the time. We've decided that it's worth it to give up our silliness if it means we can be better missionaries. I mean we've decided to contain our silliness to just during sport which is definitely when we get the craziest anyways. We've decided that we want to improve a lot on the spiritual aspect of missionary work and the language part will come with time.
Saturday was a good day. we had weekly planning/companioship inventory where we made a lot of good goals to help us become the focused, reverent missionaries we're trying to be. Saturday we also got to practice teaching the new russians who just came in last week and it was way fun! it was so nice to talk to someone whose russian is worse than mine. then they got to teach us and i loved it. even the simplest testimony in such broken russian can totally bring the spirit. it's really cool. Then we read Luke 12:24 with brother okoren and talked about how if any one at any time asked me what i was doing i should be able to respond that i am about my Father's business. Brother okoren challenged us to give every minute of the next day to the Lord. I tried to do that and I definitely felt a difference.
Sunday was a great day. We had a mission conference because it was fast sunday where we got to hear from the mission presidency of the MTC. There were so many great talks and they all seemed like they were written just for me. It was really good. Then we had a temple walk which is always great and then we had sacrament meeting which I had to play piano for! I was so scared, i've never played in a sacrament meeting before, but it went fine. I figured i'm probs gonna have to play in Ukraine all the time so i might as well practice on a good piano while i can! The devotional was Chad Lewis! I told everyone that he lived in our ward in st louis and we're best friends! even though i was like 4 when we lived there but still. he was so funny! We also had a branch presidency interview where we had 30 seconds to prepare a 3 minute lesson on the restoration in english. it was so fun and so easy!!! now i know why i could never serve english speaking because i'd be way too confident! i hope someday i love russian as much as i love english.
yesterday was probably the most hilarious day of my life. let's just say everyone has been waiting for me to make a huge embarrassing mistake in russian and it finally happened! so we're teaching anatoli, who by the way we just taught law of chastity to last time and we decided that we wanted to sing a hymn with him at the end because he loves to sing. well fyi the verb to sing and the verb to sleep are extremely similar. so i legitimately say these words "Anatoli, we want to sleep with you." AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the greatest part is no one noticed!! well obviously anatoli noticed and was a little bit giggly but we just thought he was super excited to sing! you'd think they gave me 2 companions to help me avoid moments like this but nope! none of us caught it. (spoiler alert your teachers in the mtc are your investigators) so brother okoren walks in and says "elders and sisters let's just get these straight right now: spot is to sleep and spet is to sing" and i'm like OH NO. I DEFINITELY JUST TOLD ANATOLI THAT I WANT TO SLEEP WITH HIM!" whoops. we were all laughing so hard. borther okoren said this is literally the worst and also best mistake he's ever heard of so i'm proud of that i guess. also the grammar was completely wrong in that sentence too but that's the case in literally all of my sentences so i'm over it. also yesterday my forehead was peeling so naturally i covered it in tape and was going to peel it off which apparently is not a normal thing for people to do but then brother okoren came into class so i run out of the room with my hand over my forehead to go take the tape off in the bathroom and everyone told him that my face was falling off and he freakout out. he definitely thinks i'm really weird now but whatevs it's true. okay that's all i've time for this week but so much more happened!!!! i wish i had more email time! i love you so much and miss you! have a happy mother's day! you are the greatest mom in the world! i can never thank you enough for all you've done for me! i love you!

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