A Pupa

Things are going well here at the end of week 2! I’m writing to you from the main MTC campus — after we go to the temple on Wednesday mornings, we go to lunch at the main MTC and we decided to email from here too. Still an intimidating place so I’m pretty glad that I’m at the west campus…though we don’t have a create-your-own-sundae bar, so there is always room for improvement.
 
This week has been pretty great. Getting to know my companions better, delving more into the language, and settling into more of a rhythm. I feel like last week was a week of just treading water, trying to keep my head above water whereas this week there was actually lots of progress. The language is getting somewhat better, but now we’re learning grammar so it’s gonna get technical REALLY fast. We are teaching two investigators now, our teachers Fratele Boynton and Fratele Frandsen (“Dan” and “Alexandru”). We had a difficult but extremely enlightening experience learning how to teach — we were doing a mock lesson right before our real lesson and it wasn’t going well. Our lesson didn’t flow and it wasn’t connecting to our investigator. Our other teacher Sora Wilson pulled us out of the room after a PAINFUL 20 minutes of teaching and said, “You can’t connect with your investigator if you’re looking at your notes the whole time.” So we decided to go in with only a phrase book each, just winging it off of our two weeks’ worth of Romanian knowledge. It was amazing the difference. We asked so many more questions rather than just reading a script. And sure, we probably didn’t answer his questions in the best way possible, but the Spirit was so strong and so much better than our practice lesson only 20 minutes before. I think we finally GOT it — they keep telling us how we need to teach by the Spirit and I think that was the first time we really did. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare but it means we prepare and keep an overall goal in mind (“Let’s get him to commit to praying about the Book of Mormon by the end of the lesson”) but let the Spirit lead us to that goal however the investigator needs it.
 
We had a devotional on Tuesday in the Marriott Center. It was the first time I have ever been there and it was massive!! We thought since it was the last devotional in the Marriott Center that maybe it was going to be an apostle or maybe even the prophet. So we got there really early hoping to be able to get good seats. We ended up on the floor in the second row!…but it was just a member of the seventy haha. Since we came early, we got roped into being ushers for when the rest of the missionaries came. It was fun to be able to tell the elders where to sit and I got to see lots of cool nametags — I think Thai may have been the prettiest looking. Brother Schwitzer gave a great message about BECOMING a missionary — we are set apart as missionaries by priesthood authority, but we become a missionary through losing ourselves in the work and showing obedience. He emphasized the fact that we have 18 months to 2 years on our mission and we might think of home every single day, but every day for the rest of our lives, we will be thinking of our mission. He quoted one of my favorite scriptures, 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” I think that is something I want to be able to say at the end of my mission by never taking any day, any hour, any moment for granted.
 
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(Sora Merkley and I realized we had the same toothbrush, so we of course needed to take a picture, obvi)
 
I miss you all lots! I’m trying to think of other things that happen here, but it’s mostly the same things day in and day out. Wake up, get ready, breakfast, 3 hours of class, 2 hours of personal study, lunch, 3 hours of class, 1 hour of language study, dinner, 2 hours of language study, time for bed. My companions and I end up laughing a lot, usually about silly things. One thing we learned recently is that the verb “a pupa” means to kiss on both cheeks in that European way. But when you want to say it as a goodbye and you conjugate it, you say “Vă pup!” pronounced vuh poop. I think we laughed for about 15 minutes about that one (we are much more immature than our years would suggest). I think Sora Merkley makes me crack up at least 4 times a day, so its been a good time. It might just be that we get a little stir crazy in the classroom so everything seems funny, but I’m sure we’d still find each other humorous regardless.
 
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Here is a picture of me and Sorella Clyde, as we took a Sunday walk. We found out we had the same skirt and pretty much the same shirt, so obviously we HAD to take a matchy-matchy twinzie picture.
 
Also fun this week, I met a district going to the Carlsbad California mission. I told them to say hi to my family and California when they get there.
 
I miss you all dearly and I hope everything is going well! I’m so very glad I went on this mission and it’s barely even started. I still don’t think it has sunk in yet that I’m going to Romania in a couple weeks — it seems so surreal. But I’m so so so excited to see what happens.
 
Let me know how everyone is doing and how everything is going. I would really love to hear from all of you — send me a letter or write a letter on dearelder.com! It is super easy to do and I get those daily.
 
Anyway, I’ll leave you with a picture of my new temporary family (my zone) in front of the temple today.
 
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Miss you always,
Amy/Sora Bray
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