Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 2 in England

Hellooooooo everyone! :) 

Week 2 has also been great!! There were some very very high highs, and some very very low lows!! But that's life (haha.) 

So this morning we went to the temple again! We pretty much go every p-day, and I forgot to say this last time, but last week was Sister J's first time going through the temple!! Sister J is a convert of 17 months from Thailand, and she is the happiest and sweetest girl in the entire world. She understands a lot of English, but it's hard for her to speak it sometimes, but just seeing her go through that experience for the first time was so amazing! And it was so cool that we all got to be there for her!! She loved it :) We have missionaries from all over the world here! It's crazy! We have mishs from Thailand, Norway, Ireland, Scotland, Hungary, France, Dubai, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, Brazil, England, US, Madagascar, Austria, and South Africa. And most of those missionaries just left yesterday actually because they're all english-speaking two-weekers! But tomorrow we are getting 12 new sisters and a lot more elders! We only lost 2 sisters so it's gonna be so crowded upstairs for the girls (haha.) The Sister from Madagascar is Sister A and she speaks French and Malagasi. She's learning English and so we all help her a lot and she is just wonderful too :)

So early this week every single missionary in this MTC got to bus down to Manchester and proselyte on the streets EXCEPT for the Germans!!! I was so sad!! Like what the heck??? It's because we are the only ones here without visas for England so we aren't legally allowed to proselyte. The Greeks are all European because you're not allowed to serve in Greece unless you're European so they even got to go :( So that whole day the Germans were all alone just moping around (haha.) 

Since the first day here our district has been singing hymns only in German, and it is so fun! And it really helps!! It's funny because a lot of the hymns in German are in different keys than they are in the English hymnbook, and in German the songs are just so much more meaningful and descriptive. It's crazy! And they also have Come thou Fount in the German hymnbook :) Sacrament is always cool because we always have three languages going on, German, Greek, and English. And then most of the time we all get confused and it doesn't work out so everyone reverts back to English (haha.) 

So p-days here are awesome. We take a coach to the local supermarket called Asda. It's basically Walmart. I actually think they're owned by the same person cuz they have the same slogan. But the first time we went there we were ooohing and ahhhing about everything, and now we are realizing how silly that was because it's exactly like Walmart (haha.) Then the coach takes us to the post office where we can mail letters or get stamps and stuff (by the way, I can get letters and packages here at the MTC. I didn't know that before), and then they drop us off at the LDS bookstore! It's like a 15-minute walk back to the MTC from the bookstore so we take our time and snap lots of pictures (haha.)

So our MTC President, President Preston, has been in the hospital since we have been here, with septic arthritis, but he just got released this week! So we finally got to meet him and he's awesome! He talked to my companion and I for a long time the other day in the hallway, and then just yesterday he came into our district room and gave us some really great advice :) He said that technically we have only been learning German for like 6 or 7 days cuz Sundays and pdays and our first day here don't count! And he said that with what he has heard us speaking just at meals and in the halls he is so proud of us and we are advancing so much! Which was comforting to hear because I feel like my German is coming along veeerrryyyy slowly. But here is my German word of the week for everyone! Entscheidungsfreiheit. (ent-shy-doongs-fry-height) It means agency :)'s crazy how long some of these words we learn are, but what's even crazier is that I can read and pronounce them now without hesitation! German pronunciation is simpler than I thought! The grammar on the other hand is still inching along.

We sang the EFY medley on Sunday to President and Sister Preston, and Mommy, I'm not joking I totally called it, I was the only one here who knew how to play it! I'm the only sister here who can play the piano! And the only other person is another elder who is in my district, so I made him learn it and play it (haha) because I was so nervous when we were practicing that I couldn't play it while everyone was singing.

So we have started to teach 1-2 lessons every day, and the other day we had our best lesson yet. It was with an investigator named Danny (brother fields) and my companion and I just played off of each other so well and I had an actual conversation with him! I am so surprised at how much I can understand now. Friday we are having German day, we're only speaking in German, and honestly it's gonna be great because we speak 50% German on normal days anyway so I'm ready!!

I've definitely found that I am way harder on myself than I should be. My comp and I are study rats.  We study and practice teaching and speaking German and grammar concepts like 24/7 while a lot of the other mishs like to take breaks and goof off sometimes, and I still feel like I'm not learning as much as I'm supposed to be. But on Sunday both President and Sister Preston were basically praising the sisters for how great their language was coming along and how wonderful we are and how we are doing everything perfectly, and then they were SO HARSH on the elders! It's crazy, I feel so bad for them. But I guess I'm harsh enough on myself that I don't need them to tell me I'm doing everything wrong too. My companion and I are so strict with the obedience thing. I was told EXACT obedience brings blessings, so we are EXACTLY obedient! But sometimes I hold myself to too high of a standard, I guess.

Our worst lesson so far has been with Sabina. We walked in and she said she only had five minutes to talk with us, so we basically gave her 5 commitments in five minutes. Will you read the Book of Mormon? Will you pray about it? Will you come to church on Sunday? Will you be baptized if you find out it is true? And will you bring your husband and sons to meet with us next time. too? hahaha...we were honestly cracking up so much when we walked out and realized what we had done. We were just trying to do what Preach My Gospel says, though! But we have learned from our mistakes.

Wow I'm sorry this is so long! I just have a couple more things to say! So this week has been really spiritual for me. I've had some breakdowns, but I've also learned how to rely on Heavenly Father for what I need. I am so used to running to people for help, and now I need to learn to run to Heavenly Father for help, and He really will help you. As a missionary, I am authorized to receive personal revelation for not only myself but also for my investigators, and I have the blessing of having the spirit with me so strongly every second of the day as long as I am doing what I should be doing. I have seriously prayed about the silliest things, and I receive immediate help and comfort. So I know without a doubt that my Heavenly Father knows me personally and loves me. I am part of His army, so He wants to be there for me and help me! I also know that feelings of incompetence or negativity are not from God. They are from Satan so don't listen to them. I am so glad I am a missionary!!! 

I have so much more I could say, but this email is so long already. Thank you again everyone for all the kind emails!! I love hearing from you!!

Sister Thunell

1 comment:

  1. Love sharing this journey with you both, my friend.
    I thought of you this morning.
    And looked to you for strength. I was simply making Madison's bed while she got ready for work....
    I began to cry knowing that next year she will most likely be across the ocean studying.
    And how am I going to handle that?
    But I know you are. And you will help me through. : )
    Hugs from cozy Pa!