July 21, 2010

First Week Gone?

Dear Family,
Buenos dias! Greetings from the MTC! So...where to begin? This last week has been a whirlwind of learning and spiritual growth. I feel like I've been here forever and I never want to leave! However, it turns out that contrary to what my original MTC departure date said, I will be leaving after 3 short weeks after all. That's okay though, because I'm excited to go meet the people of the Dominican Republic and begin the Lord's work! So...I'll try and cover what feels like a lifetime since I saw you last.
The first day was pretty crazy, but I think because I prepared for the worst, it really wasn't so bad. I LOVE how everything is scheduled out for us and split into different kinds of study, but sometimes it's still hard to keep up. My district is AWESOME and I'm really sad I'll have to say goodbye to them in a few short weeks. My companion's name is Hermana Petty and she's from Australia! Sometimes I just make her pray so I can listen to her lovely accent. It reminds me of my dear old friend Liz...even though her accent is British. They all sound the same to my ignorant ears lol. Anyways, she is amazing and so prepared to teach the gospel, but a little shaky on the language. On the other hand, I feel like I can just get by on the language and no nothing about preaching the gospel, so we make a good team. She'll be going to the San Diego California mission at the end of her 9 weeks. There's 4 elders and 1 sister in my district going to San Antonio Texas, another sister going to the Argentina Mendoza mission, and then 4 elders that will head to the D.R. with me in 2 weeks. But for now, we all laugh alot together and try to learn spanish. Unfortunately I tend to open my big mouth too much and now everyone wants me to move to the intermediate spanish class. But I want to stay with my district, so they'll just have to put up with me. It's funny though, I feel like in the last week I have grasped the language more fully than 2 years of high school spanish and 3 semesters of college spanish. I guess that's what happens with the gift of the Spirit!
Yesterday we had our first TRC meeting where we spent 15 minutes speaking in spanish to 3 different people about the gospel and their lives, and then we spent 30 minutes with a volunteer "investigator" teaching the first lesson in English. While it wasn't a perfect lesson by any means, I think Hermana Petty and I work well together and really sought to teach by the spirit. After the lesson I was so excited and happy that we had made it through it! I walked out the door with the stupidest grin on my face and turned to Hma. Petty and said "That was so much FUN!". I have always known the gospel was true and that missionary work was important, but I don't think I expected it to be this fun lol. The Lord has so much more to teach me. But really, it was an amazing experience and I can't wait to go in again next week and smooth out the wrinkles. The more practice teaching the lessons and contacting, the more I like it.
We've had some incredible firesides and devotionals this past week as well. On Sunday we had the adminstrative director of the MTC speak to us about the importance of prayer. He emphasized to us that each person has to establish a relationship with the Lord through prayer. Their communication with God is the "main event" and we should be doing everything we can to strengthen that, instead of simply acting as their "guide" to the Lord. That's what I love most about this gospel, that is unique and individual. We don't have to depend on anyone else to know if it is true. We simply pray and ask for ourselves. :-)
I'm so glad Sara is enjoying her new area in Tacoma with Sister Fox. Her new investigators Amanda and Ariana sound amazing! I can't wait to hear of their progress.
Well I'm almost out of time, but I want to try and bear my testimony in the broken spanish....without accents. So ignore my poor grammar...
Yo se que dios ama todos sus hijos. Se que jose smith fue un profeta verdadero de dios y que el libro de mormon es la palabra de dios. Yo se que esta evangelio es verdad y que jesucristo murio por nuestros pecados. Digo estas cosas en el nombre de jesucristo, amen.
Hermana Bradley

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