Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Letter!!

Hi everyone!
I hope you all are doing well!  So far the MTC is amazing.  I came on Wednesday with 37 french-speaking missionaries... we more than doubled the size of our french branch.  My companion is Sister Johnson from Delta, Utah.  She's great, we get along well and she is teaching me a lot. And, as far as my district goes: I feel like I'm starting to understand what it's like to have little brothers!  haha They really are so much fun. Soeur Johnson and I are the only sisters in our district and they make life in the MTC fun. haha.... and it's only week one so I can only imagine what week nine will be like!  We fly to San Fransisco on Thursday to finish up our visas (so hopefully that means we will leave for France on time!) 
During our first class session on Wednesday our teacher told us that by Friday we would be teaching our 30 min. first lesson in french to a new investigator (they're mock investigators that supposedly become our teachers in like two weeks from now.)  I thought that would be completely impossible to do by Friday.  Friday came and seriously I was SO nervous at first!  We started talking about God's love for us and the opportunity we have to live with our families forever.  After about 15 minutes of teaching, I asked her if she believed in God.  No, she didn't.  Soooo... we continued on with our planned lesson in french because that was really the only vocabulary we had.  Anyways, we taught her a third lesson last night and it was amazing.  We prepared for hours before but honestly we didn't exactly know what kind of a lesson to prepare based on what she needed, if she had accepted our challenge to pray for the first time, etc.  Because the truth of the matter is, she says she doesn't believe in God.  We were a little bit at a loss of how to help her develop that belief.
In preparation for lesson number three we were struggling to know how to help her develop a belief in God.  Then it hit us.  Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come to Christ.  In order to know God, we need to know Christ.  So we decided to change the approach to our lesson and to focus on how we could help her develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.  
We knocked on her door and again I was so nervous because it was really the first time we went in there without a lot of notes.  Basically, we were attempting to teach a 30 minute lesson in french without any notes.  We had some idea of what we were going to say but a lot we were unsure about.  It was an incredible experience.  It's so cool how even though it's a fake situation the spirit is still so strong whenever we bear testimony of Jesus Christ.  It was also cool to see how important it is to work well together as a companionship and to feel inspiration about what we should say.  We bore testimony of Jesus Christ, of our ability to develop a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  We challenged her to read 3 Nephi 11 when Christ comes to the Americas.  Although our french was incorrect in so many ways, I felt the spirit so strongly as we did bear our testimonies.  It was awesome.
It's hard, it really is.  There are points every single day that i feel so discouraged, that I feel completely inadequate and I honestly wonder how I am going to learn everything I need to to preach the gospel fluently.  It is such a humbling experience to be in a situation where I want so badly to express myself the way that I want to and I feel so limited in the language at this point.  But, every single day so far I have had experiences that have strengthened my testimony of Jesus Christ and the Atonement and also of the reality of the Book of Mormon.  There are times when I speak in french and it is so imperfect but I still can't help but think, "wow, I would not have been able to say that yesterday."  I know that the spirit is here in the MTC to help all of us as missionaries learn the things we need to so that we can help others come to Christ and it so cool to be part of that. 
I know that Christ lives and that through Him we can experience true happiness in our lives.  I love you all, have a fabulous week!
Soeur Chard

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