Tuesday, April 23, 2013

23 April 2013- Week #5

*** Note from Mom: Kori flies out on Delta flight 619 from SLC Airport on April 30
Family is allowed to see her off at the airport if you are interested:

Dear Family & Friends,

So much happened last week, I can't remember what I included in the last email and what is new!  The curse of the missionary time...

First off, we got our travel plans on Friday!  It's been so hard to focus, we're just all so excited that we're so close, and in 7 days I'll be on a plane to Deutschland!  It's hard to envision my mission past the MTC, it feels like I've been here forever! (and at the same time, it feels like it went by so fast.)  On the other hand, it's also been extrememly stressful.  We realize that our German is anything but fluent, we can communicate great but our grammar makes us sound like 2-year olds, and we're going to be living in Germany in a week.  We have 10-12 hours to study a day, but only 6 of those hours are in the classroom with a teacher, and at most 2 of those hours are spent with a teacher learning German.  So most of it we learn ourselves.  And lately, our teachers have been giving such great gospel lessons and 'how to be a better missionary' type of lessons that we don't have time to learn German.  Which is great, I love gospel lessons and all, but TEACH ME DEUTSCH!

Richard G. Scott's talk was pretty darn cool.  I think it's amazing how most of the things that we learn in devotionals are things that we've learned previously at some point in our life, but the Spirit can help apply the principles to our life and circumstances NOW.  Even though everyone had told me a million times that serving a mission would bless my future family, and that missionaries are promised all the power of heaven to accomplish what we need to do, it was just so cool to recieve an Apostolic blessing that promised us those things.  Psh, I love the church.

The BYU men's chorus came for our Sunday devotional.  I'm pretty sure that one of the most beloved songs here at the MTC (well, at least among the German districts!) is Komm du Quelle jeden Segnen (Come thou fount of every blessing.)  It's not in the English hymn book anymore for some bizarre reason, so I only know the words auf Deutsch.  But the men's chorus sang it in English, which was super cool!  (It's still prettier auf Deutsch though, sorry English!)  I got to see a few of my old friends afterwards who sang in Men's chorus, which was nice to have some sort of contact with the outside world!  

Man, after I got the email about the Boston bomb last week, I realized how much of a bubble I live in right now!  Texas could break away from the United States, California could sink into the ocean, and I would never know lol even when I leave the MTC I'll be in another country, so that won't be much help either lol Whoever thinks that BYU is a little happy mormon bubble never went to the MTC!

So the first day that we arrived at the MTC, there was a demonstration on 'How to Teach.'  They had us move from room to room, with 3 different "investigators", and they had a pair of missionaries come in, get aquainted with the investigator, begin a lesson, and then they would stop the demonstration and have all the new missionaries practice teaching the lesson as a giant companionship.  It was super fun to do, and Sister Regnier and I were really bummed that we only get to do it once in the MTC.  But we were asked to be the missionaries for that activity this week for all the new missionaries!  That'll be so fun!  We were so excited, and then we realized that we're supposed to talk in English...we've never given a lesson in English!  It's all been in German!  I'm sure we'll do fine, it'll just be weird.  I'll have to really catch myself to make sure I don't say any German words, I wouldn't want to confuse the poor new missionaries coming in!

So the MTC has been at a rough 60/40 for Elders/Sister ratio.  But this last Wednesday, there was more Sisters that arrived than Elders!  We're almost at 50/50 right now!  All of the speakers that come to talk always mention how the MTC looks more colorful than it ever has! 

We got our first "investigator" to commit to baptism last week!  It was so cool!  If I was able to get that excited over a rollplay baptism, how rewarding will it be in the field to know that I actually gave a person that much joy and happiness?  I'm so excited!  But our other 'investigator' is really tough; he's a Catholic Priest and only meets with us because he thinks that we are interesting.  I get SO FRUSTRATED whenever we teach him!  I have to resist the urge to Bible bash, and remember that he has his agency to reject our message, and he has the freedom to have a testimony for another church.  It's just frustrating because we want him to have all the joy and blessings that we have as members of the church, but he doesn't understand that our church is the only one that can offer certain blessings and promises.  And I'm sure that the majority of the people that I'm going to teach are going to be like him, having no interest in what we're saying, only thinking that it's interesting.  So it's been a really good thing for me to practice my patience, practice having love for everyone I teach, and practice teaching the gospel in all of it's simplicity.  That's one of the greatest things about having a language barrier-we can't go in depth about the gospel like we would be able to if we were speaking English.  So we have to slow down and teach the Gospel simply, clearly, as if we would be teaching a child.  Which really, that's what we should be doing.  The investigators don't need to know everything about all of the degrees of glory, and how to shake an angel's hand to tell if it's a messenger from God or from the devil, or exactly how many stripling warriors there were.  They need to know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, that he has a plan for us in this life to have joy, and he has a plan for us to return to him in the next life and life with God and our families forever.  That's what the language is forcing us to do; slow down and speak simply.  Which is a huge blessing.  I'm so grateful that I'm able to learn German, and to go to such an amazing mission! 

Tschüss Brudern und Schwestern!
-Sister Peterson

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