This week has been a great one. However, they finally started hitting us hard with grammar principles this week. We learned how to conjugate all verbs, how to do past and future tenses, how to use the subjunctive, and how to pluralize and definize verbs. So to say that it’s a little overwhelming is an understatement haha.
This week Anziano Parker left us — he was from the group before us but was held back for health problems (I think he had a bad knee). He is going to Milan and has really been a huge personality in the group. Since he had been there for 6 weeks before we arrived, he knew the ropes and was able to tell us where things were, how things should go, etc. He gave a really great testimony in sacrament meeting on Sunday and you could tell that he is just so excited and so ready to be a missionary. The other Milan elders and Milan sisters will get to see him soon enough when we all leave in 3 weeks, but it’s weird to think that I may never see him again.
Some cool news is that they are having a sister missionary choir sing during the Relief Society broadcast this upcoming Saturday. Not so cool news is that I wasn’t chosen to sing in it hahaha. I guess my lack of any vocal training didn’t work in my favor. But Sora O’Brien and the two Rome sisters (Sorella Price and Sorella Clyde) are singing in it, so if you see someone you recognize from my pictures, you might just be right! They’ve been practicing every morning for a couple hours and missing class, so I’m kind of glad I’m not in it — I think I’d be too stressed out especially with all that we’ve been learning.
We’ve had some cool experiences with our “investigators” recently. One was pretty funny because we were explaining faith to Alexandru and he tells us that he doesn’t have any faith. And Sora O’Brien goes “NU!!!! Eu știu că TU ȘTII că TU ai credința!!” (“NO!!!! I know that YOU KNOW that YOU have faith!!”) Our teacher was kind of taken aback and I tried to take the lesson a calmer route and explain Alma 32 and having even a seed of faith. We laughed about it pretty hard afterward…the look on Fratele Vizante’s face was priceless. It’s been cool to see our language progress though. The first week, I think we read every single word we said off of a page. But now we can actually explain things — probably at a kindergarten level at best — but we don’t need to read the words, we can say them from our hearts. I’m sure once I get to Romania I will be extremely overwhelmed by how little I know and how little I can say, but the best way to learn is to keep speaking it.
Here’s a picture of me and my companions with the sisters going to Rome in front of the temple this afternoon!
We also have something here at the MTC called TRC — once a week volunteers from the community come in to be taught by the missionaries. They aren’t acting like anybody, they are just themselves. Since we speak a pretty weird language, we only get members generally, but usually English speakers or Spanish speakers will get non-members that come in to be taught. But generally the only people who speak Romanian in Utah are return missionaries who still know the language. We got to teach the Valentines, two return missionaries who are married, and they brought along their two kids! It was cool to see what it will be like when we actually teach families in the field. It was difficult to focus when every two seconds we had to check to make sure the kids weren’t going to crack their heads open…but it was such a cool experience to teach members. Kinda more like visiting teaching since you don’t have to explain what repentance is, but much more difficult cause we can’t say more than that haha.
We had a couple great devotionals this week. One was from Merrill J. Bateman who was BYU president and used to be in the Seventy. For some reason, my companions and I got to sit in the front row so that was a pretty cool experience. He talked a lot about using and recognizing the influence of the Holy Ghost to be able to access the power and authority of God we have been promised as missionaries. He used many examples — Paul, the sons of Mosiah, Wilford Woodruff, and modern day missionaries — to show how following the promptings of the Holy Ghost in small things can lead to great missionary experiences. Last night we heard from Don R. Clarke of the Seventy who spoke to us about the promised blessings that come from being an obedient missionary and doing all that is asked of us. One thing I liked is that he emphasized that the blessings promised to all those missionaries that are called in the D&C are the same blessings promised to us now. He also said that we as missionaries have a right to ask for our families to be blessed if we are doing all that we can. He promised us that if the Lord trusts us to open our mouths, He will put the people in our path and He will provide a way for us to communicate.
Sora Merkley and I had a freak-out moment this week when we realized we leave for Romania in less than 3 weeks!!!!! WHAT?! I still can’t believe that I am actually going to get on a plane and live in Romania and Moldova for about 17 months. That’s two whole Christmas cards where my updates will be about Romania.
Here’s a picture of me with Sorella Yost (one of the Milan sisters) — she and I were accidentally matching today. I guess when there are only a couple stores with mission-appropriate clothes, outfits tend to repeat haha.
Here’s a candid photo of me and Sora Merkley with our SUPER tall elders — both of them are 6’8″. I think Sora Merkley’s shoulder goes to Anziano Bowman’s hips, even when she stands up straight haha.
Shoutout to Kt Yu Esq. and Shannon for sending me letters! I absolutely loved them 🙂
I miss you all dearly and I am just loving it here. I think of you all the time and hope that things are going well. Let me know how you’re doing with a quick note! I’d love to hear from you
Sora Amy Bray