Thursday, June 6, 2013

Big News, We think we leave June 17 not July 8

June 6 2013
Dear Family
Drumroll please..... We are only here for 6 weeks total! Remember how they told us that we were 90% likely to be here for 9 weeks? Well apparently the Indonesian district has slipped through the cracks on a few things (haha I could’a told you that) but now we are 99% sure that we leave on June 17th!!! CRAZY! If we get travel plans today then we know for sure. I really dislike email time because it is not nearly satisfying enough.
I always get such fun letters from you after I email and have to wait a week to respond (I should get better at handwriting letters although we are only supposed to write on p-day) and then such big news will come after I've emailed in the morning! (PS I LOVED your letters last week. I love hearing about all the fun things you are doing. And Andrew, thanks for the letter and scripture scouts songs! Haha I needed Elder Barrus's help to remember how they all went!) SO after we taught a couple members last Thursday at TRC, we went back to our classroom and they told us 2 announcements. 1. We got a new teacher (Bro. Rawle-- he is the BEST!) and 2. we were officially only going to be at the MTC for 6 weeks meaning that we were already more than halfway done with the MTC! I kinda went into shock mode. It was the worst feeling because I felt disappointed in myself. Would I really be ready to go in just a few more weeks? Had I taken full advantage of the MTC while I had been there? But I want to go out there and serve!
But the next morning our district kicked into gear. We did SYL (speak your language) at breakfast and our new teacher, Bro. Rawle, is an extremely fast talker and we asked him to only really speak in Indonesian. After having such a rollercoaster p-day, Friday was a fulfilling day! We were teaching our Progressing Investigator "Jon" and the spirit was so strong that I committed him to baptism! We hadn't even planned on it but it was too perfect of a moment to pass up on! Sister Jibson and I left that lesson and ran out to the parking lot to do a celebratory dance! We were laughing and smiling because we knew that the spirit had touched him! I can't imaging what it will feel like once we are really in the field!
Bro. Rawle
But I know the Lord gives us extreme lows and highs on a mission. It is the only way to be humbled and learn and still love your mission and be full of the spirit. Side note: I have a new favorite hymn-- Secret Prayer. But I love it in Indonesia! The chorus goes: "Berdoa setiap hari, dengan sepenuh hati. Semoga 'kan menyatu, surga dengan jiwaku!" Meaning pray every day with sincere heart. Hopefully will ____ heaven with spirit (I actually realized I don't know what menyatu is) Anyways...
Saturday we started with a service project at 6:05 AM and then had gym time. We had another great day of class. It's so funny. Our teacher Sister Collins will speak Bahasa Campur or Englonesian and this is what it sounds like. "What did you suka about these iyat's we've membaca'd?" (What did you like about these verses we've read). Hahaha it's so hard to take seriously sometimes. We practiced contacting as if we were on the bus with someone and only had 3 minutes to talk. Things like that make me have a lot of faith that the Lord will have to help me when I am in Indonesia. I mean, no one does well when they first get there, but they all learn and become effective missionaries! But I also get SO excited to go when we do things like that! PS there is a word in Indonesian that reminds me of that really really really long name from that children's book we love about the boy who fell in the well. What is it? Like kichikichi-kumi-no-sa-rumbi-barri-barri... no clue. But the Indonesian word is memperingatkan and it actually means "to warn"! (My email is so scattered because I am just going through my small daily journal and these are some of the things I write during the day. We also have had some fun with Indonesian words that are easily mistaken for the wrong thing. More on that later.
Sunday was our first time attending alllllll of the leadership meetings since we are now Sister Training Leaders. But we had an excellent fast sunday. We had a 2 hour district conference where we heard from Sister and Elder Jenkins. I LOVED his talk. He talked about the  devil's tool of casual-ness. We should not bring our Lord, Jesus Christ, down to our level in order to make us closer to him. He is a God. He is not our buddy, He is not a man, He is SO much more. He is our Savior and Redeemer. We must reverence him and worship him. Then we heard from Sister and President Roach. They talked about using the scriptures and keeping a missionary attitude always. Sister Nally spoke of the Priesthood and the blessings it brings. President Nally spoke about enduring to the end. We sang the hymn, if you could hie to Kolob. President Nally said if he could add a verse he would add a line about "there is no end to enduring". I am on my mission to serve others. I also have many selfish reasons like learning a language and growing closer to Christ. There are no bad reasons but some reasons will make you happier and help you endure to the end. I also realized that our MTC experience is similar to the parable of the 10 virgins. When the 6 weeks come will we be prepared to leave even if we had planned for longer?

Later that night we had a Devo by brother Ted Gibbons who did a unique thing. He played Willard Richards, a friend and companion of Joseph Smith and spent the entire hour telling about the story of the restoration from Willard's perspective. We sang Praise to the Man afterwards and it was intense. That night we had to say goodbye to all the Greeks from our zone. I miss them so much! Sister Blanchard and Sis. Nilsson are darling! We have gotten so close! And Elder Johansson, Elder Mead and Elder Martinez are such great friends of mine now. It feels strange that we really aren't even in the same mission when our whole time so far has been with each other. But to "celebrate" we (the sisters) melted cheese on tortilla's using a blow dryer. It wasn't that successful but we had a lot of laughs. Sis Blanchard also brought Vegamite for us all to try but you know how my gag reflexes are.... I felt sick even the next day when I thought about that nasty stuff! Our theme for the night was "Tomorrow you'll be worlds away! And yet with you my world has started!" How grateful I am that the Lord blessed me with wonderful new friendships here on my mission. And now when I take a European tour, I have 5 friends to stay with haha. Kidding!
Monday was typical. We are speaking the language as often as we can (well trying to) and sister jibson and I fell alseep on our apartment's couch that night reviewing flashcards. PS Andrew: instead of doing your Bane voice and saying "where is she?!" you need to say it in Indonesian! "Di mana dia?!" haha so much better right?!

Tuesday morning gym was exciting because the sand volleyball court had flooded making it mud volleyball (kinda). But I lost my CTR ring! I miss it dearly. I think I am going to try to buy one today but if you remember what my old one looked like (silver band with a small protruding light green shield size 7.5) would you mind sending one. I know it shouldn’t matter but I haven’t ever not worn one! Back to my email! In class we practiced contacting in a minute. It really helps you focus on what the most important part of our message is for others you know. So that was helpful! But we don't really understand everything our teachers say so when one elder said (in Indo) "hello! Where are you going? Our teacher said "the hospital" and Elder Heiner was like "Good, good! So I am from..." hahahaha.
But you know everyone is a truth seeker and we need to be confident in what we are sharing because this message is what every single person needs. I answered an investigator's question about how we are baptized using the scriptures and that felt good. Our devo. was by Sister and Elder Callister. He talked about the blueprint of Christ's church and how ours is the ONLY church that is exactly that blueprint. Did you know Christ had 70's? I didn't but it is right there in Luke 10:1!

Yesterday we asked Sis Collins a little about what we should take to Indonesia. We also snuck ice cream out of the lunchroom to put in our classroom freezer for our teachers. And we discovered that the word for devil and wife are VERY similar and the word for peacock and hell are VERY similar. Some elders have made the mistakes in saying "You and your devil can live together forever!" or "We believe in heaven but not really peacocks." Haha and the word for smell and kiss are exactly the same! I am not sure why we know that one actually but it makes for good jokes. When we taught our investigator that night, his wife walked in during the lesson (remember these are just our teachers playing roles but it feels very real) which was a total shock! We wanted to teach Jon about receiving the Holy Ghost after baptism but his wife wanted to know about Joseph Smith and the Kitab Mormon (Book of Mormon). Although I didn't feel like it was our best lesson. Our teachers were impressed. We had some rough patches but were able to teach her and had Jon help us by bearing his testimony to her, which also increased his faith and knowledge. It's funny from that experience and also seeing our teacher in street clothes when he was leaving a meeting, we consider both to be "crazy!" Maybe it's because we do so much of the same everyday but it is funny how your brain is almost wired differently on your mission. Anytime I see a boy and girl at the temple or walking past campus I have to remember that they’re not missionaries so its ok to hold hands, haha.

If I had to sum up my week in a sentance.... Everyday is full of highs and lows but write them all down: the highs so you can laugh at them later and the lows so you can learn and grow from what you were supposed to.
I love my mission. I love the people I see every day: companion, district, teachers, zone. I love the truths I am learning. I love the new skills and talents I'm discovering. I love the crazy changes every day. I love the mail I get. I love the schedule and rules we follow. I love this gospel. But besides all of the things that I love, I know that this is not about me and I am here to serve the Lord. I love my family ;) Gotta love inside jokes right?
Jacob- I can't believe you've already grown taller! You sound like you're having so much fun!
Samuel-  Well you're the best brother in the universe no call backs!
Joshua- WHAT? You can’t be a freshman! Holy cow. PS I'm rooting for you to outgrow Mom!
Andrew- how was the mountain biking? Are you excited for Italy? "Di mana dia!?" P.S. They keep telling us that the MTC is not EFY or youth conference and that we need to be above that so it is funny that you've said a couple times that that’s what it sounds like hahaha.
Mom- thanks for all of the notes. I love you to the moon and back plus infinity! Have fun in Italy! You will be gone when I leave for Indonesia!
Dad- I love you! Thanks for all of the things you have taught me both by word and example.
P.S. I don't know anything about the visa situation. It could become a problem now that we leave sooner.
P.P.S. give everyone my love!

Love Sister Sheffield

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