Monday, September 10, 2012

Last Week in the MTC!!!

Lots of letter writing:)
One of our favorite Elders! (Elder Killpack)
Always studying:)
Bok, Bok, Bok!
Yep, that time that we never thought would come came! We have officially started our last week in the MTC. Now I understand how other missionaries could say that the time flies by. It does! This week we have really been focusing and solidifying our grammar so that we know how to make correct sentences with the words we know, then we will just have to widen our vocabulary so we can actually speak to people about the real world! I have recently learned the word for sandwich, which is sanVich, so I feel that I am on the right track. :)
Oh yeah, one more thing....WE GOT OUR TRAVEL PLANS!! We leave at 8:00am next Monday and fly to Chicago, then to Munic Germany and arrive at the airport in Zagreb at 12:04 in the afternoon. 24 hours STRAIGHT travelling, I'm not really sure how I will fend, so keep me in your prayers! haha We are only allowed to have 18 lbs in our carry-ons so Sestra Compare and I are trying to figure out what is really the most important to have. We are allowed to have 50lbs in each of our checked bags, so that is nice. I thought I would be just fine with the weight in my luggage until I realized that I need to bring the 15 lbs of books they gave me when I came into the MTC too! I may just have to carry them in my arms and say that I am going to be studying them the whole time we are on the plane. I'm super studious, right? :)
This week has been a little strange for me because as much as I want to go out into the field, I kind of like my bubble in the MTC! As a creature of habit I've really come to love the schedule here and the life that we have, NOT TO MENTION THAT I AM SO NERVOUS TO SPEAK CROATIAN TO CROATIANS! We did a contacting activity with our teacher, Brother Morris, this past week where each time we had to choose a card out of a stack and do what the card said as the other two people were trying to contact us as missionaries. Brother Morris picked the first card and took off jogging down the hall. We were a little confused, but we followed. Eventually, we realized that we needed to chase him to have us be able to contact him! We finally caught up and started to talk with him. First of all, he was probably speaking 12 times more quickly than he had ever before AND about every other sentence included the mord machka (it's hard to spell without the croatian alphabet! haha). I didn't know what the word machka meant so I was just trying to be a good missionary and bear my testimony! In the middle of it he just kind of walked off and we were left standing in the middle of the hall. When we got back into the classroom I was THOUROUGHLY confused until I looked at the senario he was given. "You are a little off your rocker and you keep talking about your cats." MACHKA means cat people! All I could think after that experience is that if that is what contacting is going to be like I have quite the vocabulary to learn if I want to have acutal conversations with people. I'm doomed!
We have been working a lot on Cyrillic this week. It's really fun! It's hard because you have to translate your english in to Croatian and then your Croatian into the Cyrillic alphabet to make it Serbian. Not to mention you have to change some of the conguations and the words that you used. :) It's so exciting to think that we could go to Croatia, Bosnia or Serbia right off the bat and then have the challenge of learning the different dialect of the country that we are called to serve in. What an adventure!
Throughout this week I have really learned that we are ALWAYS in the process of coming closer to Christ. No matter what we are doing, where we are or who we are, we are never finished. I have felt a little like the Nephites and the Lamanites this week in my own little pride cycle. As I master a grammar principle and can teach well with it, I seem to forget the fact that I was fervently praying quite a few days prior to when I felt like I had mastered that skill. It wasn't because I had studied a lot or practiced alot (although I was doing my part), it was because of the help and strength of my Heavenly Father that I was able to really finally make a break through with that language principle. It's the same in our lives! We will have ups and downs, but it is important to realize where our help and our ability to overcome those trials comes from. Our Heavenly Father knows us and it is through the enabling power of the Atonement of His son that we can be strengthened.
I love you all and miss you very much!

Sestra Giles

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