Monday, November 29, 2010

Love, Kristen - Week 5

Kamusta Lahatsa!

Apparently "Lahat" is not the word for everyone. It means "all." I've been using it wrong. So sorry :).

Anyways, Thanksgiving was great. We didn't have any lessons that day--in fact the teachers weren't allowed to come to the MTC at all. Sister Lyman and I got some candy, and I got some plastic gloves from the custodian, and we stuffed the gloves with candy to make little candy turkeys for the elders. I then colored the turkeys and sister lyman made some pilgram hats out of cookies and reeses bells. Super cute. We put in on the elders desks and they absolutely LOVED them. It made us so happy. We really enjoyed doing it, and helping them feel happy too.

The best part of Thanksgiving though, by far, was at 10:00am when Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, came to speak to us! He brought his entire family too. All his kids and grandchildren and his wife. He got up and said, "We are delighted to be here. Today, the Holland's are your family. I don't want any of you feeling homesick. In fact,don't you dare wish you were anywhere else." :) His wife then got up to speak to us briefly, a few missionaries bore their testimonies, his grandchildren sang a primary song to us, "Whenever I hear the song of a bird..." that one, and then Elder Holland spoke to us for 45-60 min. It was AMAZING!!!! The spirit was sooo strong! He bore a powerful, powerful testimony of the Savior and his atoning sacrifice for us. He reminded us of all that we have to be greateful for especially those of us going to poor countries. What an opporutnity we have to eat what they eat, slleep where they sleep, and experience their lifestyle. I cannot wait. The spirit was so strong. The most powerful I've ever felt the spirit while listenign to an apostle of the Lord speak, and I've eben fortunute enough to hear from them many times.

Dinner was good. It was at 11:30 am. Weird, but fine. We ate a sack dinner as a district later with a Kentucky Derby Pie from Elder Waggoner's dad (delicious) and an Apple Pie from Sister Lyman's mom (again, delicious). Thank you! We then did a service project for the Humanitarian Center. We cut out patterns for 33,400 backpacks in 3 hours to be given to children in poorer countries. It was great!

So Thanksgiving was definitely a day of spiritual feasting as well as physical feasting. It was really wonderful.

Mom: Sorry my spelling is so bad. I'm just trying to hurry.

Yesterday I was called on to give a talk in Sacrament meeting. Each week the branch presidency assigns us a topic to write a five min talk on, and each week we all write a talk (everyone in the zone), and then on Sunday he calls on two missionaries to give their talks (out of about 30 or so of us). Yesterday it was me and Elder T. His last name is Tongan. I'm not even gogin to try to spell it. My talk was on baptism, and I prepared it the night before, dilgently, not hurriedly, and practiced it once. I ddin't want to stiress about it ebcause I didn't know if I'd be giveing it or not. Gah, spelling is horrible. ANyways, I fiocused mainly on the covenants we make at baptism as well as the promises we are given if we keep those covenants. I learned a lot. When I was called on to give it, i prayed that the spirit would be with me, so that the importance of these doctriens would be conveyed to the hearts of those listening. I'd only pracitced once. I couldn't do it alone. When I got up to speak. I felt the spirit with me, and as I opened my mouth, I felt the spirit guiding my words, helping me know when to pause while reading a scripture or just when speaking, helping me know when to inflect my voice a certain way for emphasis, etc. Mostly. just a peaceful feeling that what I was teaching was true. I learned a lot while giving the talk, and as I looked into the audience, I could see the spirit touching their hearts as well. When I finished and sat down, the second counselor in the presidency stood up to give his talk, but he paused a moment and then, looking into the audience said, "Well, I think we all can agree that we have been spiritually fed today. Thank you Sister Danner for that wonderful talk." Many people came up to me afterwards and thanked me as well, one Elder shook my hand and told me that it was "Absolutely inspiring." I'd only spoken for five minutes, but because the spirit was with me, it was able to teach these, my peers and leaders, what they needed to hear in those five minutes. How grateful I am that the Lord let me be part of that.

Saturday was Tagalog only day for my district. Wow, that was difficult. There's just so mcuh that I want to be able to express in Tagalog the way I do in English! I'm learning that I need to find ways to simplify my language for now, and that as I learn more Tagalog I'll be able to get more creative. We're teaching the first lesson in Tagalog this week :). That should be interesting. Sister Lyman and I are working hard to be prepared for it though. I'll be sure to try to remember to let you know how ti goes!

Thank you for the kind journal notes. There have been times when I've needed to read them, because I'm having a rough moment, or I just need to hear the voice of a friend through their words. I think I've read every single on by n ow. thank you. My journal is almost finished. I write so much! It'll probably only last one more week and then I'll need to get a new one. Haha.

Funny thing about the MTC. People are confused on how to pronoucne my last name :). It's funny. I think part of it is because so many of us are learning a new language taht we take on the pronunciation of that new language. So people will come up to me, read my name tag, and with a confused look say, "Um, how do you pronounce your last name? Is it Dahn--er? Dahn-air? Dan-air?" Haha. And I'll just look at them and be like, "No. It's Dan-ner." Then they'll smack themselves and be like, "Oh! Of course! Geez." If Elder Waggoner's around it's especially funny. He pronounces averything with the "apple" A sound so he thinks they're ridiculous. He pronounces (just for fun) Salamat (all "Ah) Slam-it. Haha. Thank you= Salamat.

Out of time!

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Danner

P.S. From Kristen's mom....I would have corrected her spelling, etc., before posting this, but she mentioned it so much, and I figured many of you would find it amusing from this English major who most likely has corrected you a time or two. :-)