Friday, August 10, 2012

August 3, 2012   "Halfway There!"

Hermana Hansen and I do this math everyday . . . how much longer we have of endless studying and teaching the same people in the MTC. And we are halfway through with the MTC! Sunday is our halfway point. We got to go to the BYU health clinic on Monday and there were real people in the waiting room! All of a sudden I was thinking, "I want to talk to ALL of these people!" It was funny. Even though they are all members of the church, we still talked to them about the church and we got in a few discussions. I love the real world outside of the MTC. It made me so excited to get out into the field and see different faces :)
I have to say this before I forget: Mother. I can never remember the Spanish word for "to try" (it's intentar). So I can never use that word when I'm saying that I'll try to do something! So it made me think of you when you always said "Do or do not, there is no try." I'm sure there's a reason why I can't remember how to say "try."
Thanks for the letters from Sister Crandall and Sister Ellingson! I also got two letters each from Sarah and Jentry, P.S. I miss them a ton, and Matt and Stacy Hartelius, and George Hazel (oh man, she's THE best!). Mom, I was reading your letter out loud to the elders and they were laughing at what you said about the dogs and about the ducks. They think you're the best.
The other night, Hermana Hansen asked me what music I used to listen to before we came out here. And then I couldn't remember. I was like, "ummmm . . . hymns?" It was weird.
So I have a cold right now . . . it's super great. Hermana Obrigawitch says that I sound like Squidward off of Spongebob. I decided that Hermana Obrigawitch is a combination of Jessica Russell/Sarah Bragg/Paul Bragg. She's super great.
So we always have these awesome musical numbers before devotionals and firesides. I need to learn how to play the violin when I get home. Take note of that :)
So we've been teaching Victor (Hermano Johnson) and Pedro (Hermano Doxey) some more! Those lessons have been great! Hermano Doxey was gone for a little over a week, so we just did a follow-up lesson with him to see how he was doing in order to prepare for his baptism. I think he's a little bit confused as to what he needs to know and do before his baptism, mostly due to the fact that he was the first person we taught and he was gone for so long! Our Spanish has gotten tons better, so don't worry. He said our best lesson was a few days ago when we came to his "house" (an empty classroom) and he was worried because his "friend" (Juan) had just gotten into a car accident and he didn't know what to do or how to feel. We had to scratch our whole lesson that we had planned and give him a lesson on the Atonement and how to find comfort and relief from reading the Book of Mormon during these hard times in his life. It was just a really awesome lesson.
We continued to teach Victor, he's pretty much my favorite person to teach. Our lessons are more focused and they better meet the needs of Victor, mostly because he has a lot of concerns :) So we taught about the Priesthood authority and how we have the proper authority from God to perform the ordinances necessary for our salvation. He had a ton of questions, which we were able to answer right on the fly (in Spanish!). But then he brought up his family and how they would be mad at him if he joined a different church since they were all Catholic. So we had him continue to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know of the truthfulness of this church. We came back the next day and he still had some concerns, so we scratched our lesson again and went on the fly. I love those lessons, they're pretty much the best. So we told him that sometimes we have to do hard things by ourselves. This isn't easy because salvation isn't easy. It was easy for Jesus Christ. I told him that we couldn't promise him that he'd get a job (he's out of work) or that his family would be pleased with his decision from the start, but I did promise him that he would be blessed and be more happy with his life because of the covenant that he would enter into (that's as good as it gets in Spanish). And then I asked him if he would be baptized . . . and he said yes! So now we just have to get him married before August 20th! I just love it.
On Tuesday we thought Elder Holland would come speak to us for the devotional, so we sang in the choir. I know. I can't sing too well. But we went to choir practice and we had good seats in the main building. But then we got there and it wasn't him :( But the devotional was still really, really great! I feel like the last two weeks I've been platauing (mom, fix my spelling :) ) and that I was not progressing in any aspect. But this last week I feel like I've turned 180 degrees and my desire to be here has shot through the roof. This is probably the only opportunity that I have to devote 18 months of my life to the church, which is the most important thing to me in my life (besides my family). I'll never have another opportunity to leave "all other personal affairs behind." I'm not going to waste this time. I am here because my Heavenly Father sent me, a living prophet called me to this mission. For the longest time I struggled with where I'm serving my mission: Salt Lake City, UT. But at the devotional (Elder Pinegar spoke) he asked us this question: Do you see who's name is at the bottom of your call? Thomas S. Monson. A living prophet. I am going where I'm going because Heavenly Father knows where I need to be. I trust Him. If I didn't, I wouldn't be here. He knows me very well and He knows of my committment to him. I am committed to it all, because I know that committment to do the work with bring results. An elder said "If I knew that this was going to be this hard, I don't think I would've come." But now I know that I can do hard things and that whom the Lord calls, He qualifies. I love it.
I love you all!! Thank you for your letters and prayers!!
Hermana Jenny Bragg

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