Monday, January 3, 2011

Love, Kristen - Week 10


Well, this week was very difficult at times, with my district leaving and me missing them a lot and having to get into a new routine, but it was also full of lots of joy as well. I know this is where I'm supposed to be, and I'll leave for the Philippines in due time. Yes, it's true that the MTC is no longer a new experience for me, and yes, I am soooo itching to get out there, but all in due time, all in the Lord's time. Thank you for the letters of support I received this week. They were greatly needed and I appreciated them so much.

Right now I am extremely happy though. I received an email from Sister Lyman!!! She's doing so well over in the Philippines, and she met my trainer who is apparenly very nice and great. She told me to keep learning Tagalog because I can use it in my lessons. I've been told that they do understand Tagalog in Iloilo, but they do not really speak it. So they'll reply in Ilonggo. That's just hear-say though and we all know how that goes. BUT, Sister Lyman told me that she's pretty sure in my first area they speak Tagalog!!!! So it's not a waste for me to learn it! I never thought it was to begin with, but it does cross my mind every once in awhile. I'm also getting really good at it. I love being able to review what I've learned the last three weeks, especially since my first last three weeks I didn't put my heart and soul into it because I was certain I'd be switching over the Ilonggo soon, and the stuff we were learning was pretty advanced. But now that I have this extra time I'm going to review it, and I've felt a great need to get good at it. I thought it might be because there would be someone on the plane ride from Manila to Iloilo or something that I needed to communicate with, but it turns out I may need it for my first area. Anyways though, it was so great to hear from her! I miss her lots. We really were a great team. I love Sister Budge and Sister Decker, but Sister Lyman and I really were a great team, and I'm not with Sister Budge and Sister Decker all the time so it's not really the same. Anyways, I was happy to hear from her.

Also, quick shoutout to Brother Welch if he reads this! I got your email, but of course can't email you back! CONGRATULATIONS though!!! She said yes!! Haha, I'm sooo happy for you, and am so excited to see you this week and get the details!! And you must sign my journal while we are both still here!

Anyways, so back to this week. As I said in the beginning, it was very difficult to let my district go. I cried for about two days. I know that sounds stupid, but I really came to love them, and was so sad that I had to stay behind and miss out on taking such a great adventure with them. I felt horrible because I could tell my sadness was affecting my new district and my new companions. Everyone knew that I didn't want to be here. I prayed A LOT and asked for help though because I knew I was supposed to be here. The real trial came when the doctor told me that I may not be ready to leave by January 17th. He was actually very rude about it. He must've been in a bad mood though because later that day he called me back down to his office, and we talked, and I asked him to tell me what the heck a compression fracture even is because NO ONE was giving me any details! He explained everything to me, and I asked him how likely it was I'd be ready to leave by the 17th. He said it was very likely. I set up an appointment to meet with the wrist specialist this Wednesday morning to make sure everything is healing correctly. He didn't think it was necessary, but I all but demanded it. It's my wrist, and if I want to make sure it's healing correctly then I can. I wasn't mean, just very determined to get my way. Anyways, my wrist hasn't hurt in days, and I'm hoping I'll get to take my brace off this Wednesday and start Physical Therapy. I'm not going to hope too much though. Apparently my fracture is very weird and rare and it just takes time to heal.

I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday. I wasn't sure what I wanted to say, I just knew that I wanted to get up and bear it. I hadn't done so the last two Fast Sundays and I figured this was probably my last chance to do so in the MTC. So I got up with just a few minutes left, and bore a brief testimony about how I know this church is true and that I was so grateful for it. It helps me to keep things in perspective so much when I'm having a bad day. I bore my testimony on how I knew that I had a purpose here, and that I was sure I was here to help others (I strongly feel that), but also to continue to learn and improve myself. I told my new district of all elders how awesome they are. They all smiled and blushed and chuckled and looked away. I said that they may not think they are, but I know they are. They help my testimony grow so much each day, and I can tell that they're all here for the right reasons. I bore my testimony on how much we can learn while at the MTC, and that although my time here is technically up, I'm still learning every day. I again said that I love this gospel, and I sat down.

People thanked me afterwards for my testimony, and President Stott came up to me and Sister Decker and Budge and said, "Sister Danner, thank you so much for your testimony. I think you're here for a two-fold purpose. One is to help yourself. There are still things the Lord needs you to learn before you are sent out into the field. And the second is to help those elders in your district. They've already told me how much you help them stay focused just by being there and being an example."

Sister Decker then chimed in, "And to help the sisters! We need her!"

Sister Budge then said how happy they were when they found out I was staying. They were so happy they got to keep at least one of us from the departing group, haha.

I was really surprised. I hadn't felt like I'd affected anyone this week, but was pleased to learn that I had. I said thank you, and President Stott shook my hand and said, "You're needed Sister Danner." It was really nice to hear that.

So, I'm here to help others. My district is great. They take such good care of me. The elders are not happy with the fact I only have one coat and walk around in crocs (they're comfy!) and always offer me sweaters and jackets. I didn't take them up on it until this morning to walk to the temple early in the morning. Oh it was so good to go to the temple this morning when I thought my last time was 2 weeks ago! But anyways, half of the elders are Tongan and half are American. I love all of them. I LOVE hearing about the Tongans culture. One day I was asking one of them questions, and one of them overheard and said, "Hey! Do you want to see Tonga?" I replied, "Yeah I want to see Tonga!" We got on to the google earth area (we've figured out how to do that), and he showed me his old school that the church built there, his old homes, the temple, a church, the prince's palace, and the other islands, and the places to swim. He took me on a whole tour. It was wonderful! The Americans and Tongans unfortunately don't really get along for some reason, that I think is deep-rooted and I'm trying to figure out, but I love them all and I think am starting to bring them together. Hopefully, hopefully.

I'm learning so much about focusing on needs when I'm teaching and not lessons. I got to teach Kostiya again this week, my progressing investigator, and learned that while I'm skilled at teaching and helping people understand difficult concepts, I do not teach according to my investigators needs! Kostiya understood everything, but did not really learn because I did not focus on why he hasn't prayed yet or any other deeper concerns. So that is what I'm going to work on this week. I hope to meet with Kostiya again soon.

Out of time. Love you all!
Sister Danner

P.S. Regarding her visit with the doctor....She is SO her mother's daughter! Haha!
Suzie :-)