Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Week 3!!

Life's still good in the MTC.  It's hard to pay attention sometimes because of the lack of sleep, but I'm making do.  We got a fan in our room -  left over from the other Dutch group which left on Monday.  Last night was my best night.  I went to bed and I swear five minutes later I woke up.  It was great.
Still loving my district.  They're all great guys.  Their names are Elders Mower (my collega), Mathis, Wayman, Burton, McKee, Stoddard, Andrews and Sisters Stout and Palinekova.  Sister...Palinelinaskjova is from Slovakia and speaks like, 5 languages.  How crazy is that?  She speaks better English that some people in our group.  Most of the guys are from Utah--a lot of the time less than an hour away.  Only Elder Burton, Andrews and I are from somewhere else.  Elder Andrews is from Colorado.
So yeah,  some minor, kinda boring details.  There are three bunk beds in our room, but there are only four of us.  I sleep on the bottom bunk, with Elder Mower above me and the other two in our room sleep on bottom bunks too.  The other guys in the district now have six people in their room--with two from a different district altogether.  It's interesting haveing it that way....we only really see those two guys, from a different district, at nighttime.
I mentioned earlier that the other Dutch guys left on Monday.  There were four of them.  They were awesome guys, super inspirational.  When they left, we crammed like 20 people in their room and sang "Till we meet".  It was really powerful.  I'll miss them.
The Danish elders, however, are here for a few more weeks.  There are only three of them.  (One of them has a glass eye).  They're super fun loving and hang with us all the time.  Ha, for the last few days, I've been going into their room and writing stuff like "take off, you hosers!,  Love Elder Burton" and they really believe it's him.  I wonder how long I can get away with it.
Speaking of jokes.  The...second night the new guys in the other Dutch room were here, I ventured into their room while one of the greenies was looking at pictures from home.  One of them was a girl, so I went "Ooo!" over his shoulder, thinking it was his girlfriend or something.  He looked up at me, somewhat solem-faced and said "that's my sister".  Wham, that was embarrassing.  I got my butt back to my room so fast.  How do you look someone in the face after that?  I think he understands I was just joking.
Last night, we had Elder Christofferson of the Quorum of the 12 speak to us.  OF THE 12!  How awesome is that?  Very awesome indeed.  He said some pretty great things, but one thing stuck out in particular.  He said something like "We need to yield our hearts to God."  That phrase goes so perfectly with what I said a few weeks ago, about having a new heart in me.  We gotta change ourselves if we are to be the Missionaries God wants us to be.  I dunno.  I'm not good with the squishy words.  I just feel like God's trying to tell me something, you know?  That I have to surrender myself to him.  Does that make sense?  I explained it better to my district during our mini-testimony meeting afterwards.  It's written somewhere in my journal too.
The language is coming along well  -  as well as the lessons/teaching.  I feel like we're teaching with stronger conviction, and really listening to the needs of our investigators.  Our "onderzoekers" (investigators) are just our teachers acting, but I take the lessons very seriously.  I'm super proud with our (Elder Mower and my) progress.  Before, we'd prepare our lesson and essentially read it off our notepads.  Now we discuss what they need and prepare a basic outline.  Everything we tell them is strung together on the spot--no more memorization or reading. Sweet stuff.  Dutch is way cooler than German.  Het Nederlands is leuk!  Don't tell Mama Jean that.
But man are there some crazy words.  Tegenwoordikijt means presence.  Pretty huge.  Some words just get gigantic, because a lot of the time, they just smoosh a bunch of words together to make it mean something.  In English, we've got a lot of specialized words that mean specific things.  Not so much in Dutch.  Singing hymns is awesome.  The "Spirit of God" has one part that has three "ge"s in a row.  If you remember, g's make a guttural *flem* sound.  Love that song.
Tell Mia happy birthday!  It sounds like you guys are still having fun without me.  That's kinda hard to believe.  Oh, and tell dad to stop moving my stuff around!  I want it to be exactly how I left it when I get back! Kidding, of course. 
Let's see...  Anything else?  We're going to have a big service day tomorrow for Thanksgiving.  We're putting together a billion million relief packages or something.  Should be interesting.  Thursdays are the worst--I'll pick service over Thursdays! 
Want to hear a Dutch sentence?  "Wij danken u ons te zegenen met uw Geest."  We ask thee to bless us with thy spirit.  Fun stuff.
Ooo, want to hear something interesting?
Vaccination is het nederlands is spelt "Vaccinatie"  Guess how it's pronounced--and I kid you NOT--"foxy-nazi."  Whoops.  That led to some interesting conversations for the first week or so! 
Hey, Sam, draw me a picture!
Love you a billion times over!
Till next P-day,
Elder Burgess

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