Week Three

Hey there!

So the MTC is pretty exciting. Only kind of, actually I’m really ready to head out but I have six more weeks out. Three weeks in I feel like I’ve been here for at least a month and a half. I’ve probably said it before, but time is so weird.

Here’s the most exciting things this week.

On Sunday the fire alarm went off at 6:10 in the morning. It was quite exciting. All the girls in my building went outside in the cold in their pajamas. I think there were even a few that forgot coats. We were outside for about twenty minutes before they let us into a different building. I met lots of fun people on my floor. One of the girls going to Cambodia even tried to have hymns going and she was directing us. It was okay for the first hymn but after that everyone decided they would rather sleep. A police man came in and told us the problem was a dust mite that got into the fire alarm system and set it off. Even though it wasn’t a real fire, we had to wait for the electrician to come and reset the alarm. We got back into the building at 7 right when we were supposed to be in study time. So we took our time getting ready afterwards.

Sunday Ann M Dibb came to Relief Society. She’s in the young women’s presidency and is also President Monson’s daughter. We had a question and answer session with her about her dad. One of the stories I liked was how she found out her call to the yw presidency. Her dad asked her if she wanted to know the new presidency. She thought it was a secret her dad was telling her. He read her the official document and then got to her name. When he said it, she started crying and said she didn’t want to do it. But obviously she said yes and has been great.

It snowed this week! And I desperately hoped I wouldn’t see snow this winter. It’s going to be fun here with my summery CA clothes.

Wednesday is one of the best days of the week. Why? All the newbies come! They walk around with orange dots on their badges to signify their newness and they ask us questions because they definitely don’t know what’s going on. My zone has gym at 12:30 right when the new people are coming in. The first Wednesday gym we were in 18M which has a couple floors of work out stuff. We saw a couple of guys surrounding a window and we were confused why. They explained that from their view they can watch all the newbies saying goodbye to their parents. So I get on an eliptical by the window and watch, and we’ve done it for three weeks now. This week, my favorite was watching a grandma take pictures with her ipad. She didn’t look like she knew how to use it very well.

KARA BUNNY BETTY WHITE PRESTWICH. What time are you getting here next week? And what car will you come in? I will try to creep (watch) for you.

Four of our elders are now in Guatemala. It’s sad. But good, it means we are a little more focused now.

We’re learning the EFY medley in Spanish for Sunday. I’m sure it will be really good. I’m pretty excited for it.

This last week Hermana Billings asked Elder Johansen what something on his face was. The rest of us knew exactly what it was and we were embarrassed for the conversation. She asked if it was a scar, he said “sure we’ll call it that”. She was concerned, she thought someone had gouged his nose and wanted to know the truth. He said, “Oh…. Yep, yep… that’s acne.” After that we sat at the table for at least five more minutes dying with laughter.

Anna Johnson did you get my two letters? I’m not sure, you haven’t responded to anything. I might have the wrong address so let me know.

My teacher Brother Gunter gave a prayer and specifically blessed each one of us individually. It was cool. He said exactly what everyone needed.

Planchas de oro=gold plates
Plantas de oro=gold plants

Someone made that error in a lesson and our teacher laughed a lot.

pecado=sin
pescado=fish
I’m pretty sure I made that mistake, our teacher wouldn’t say who it was though.

My companion is obsessed with candy at the moment. In our lesson she asked our investigator if he eats candy a lot. I just looked at her and laughed I was like seriously? Candy?!?

I accidentally am a thief. The guy next to me kept saying he couldn’t find stuff. Then later when I looked through my desk I found one, and the next day another of the things he lost. Then other people couldn’t find stuff, they jokingly said I had their stuff, which I didn’t.

OH, family!! Thanks for the package! I was excited to get it, I wasn’t expecting it or anything.

Also just so people don’t think I’m a drama queen, I have gotten mail, and I am sorry if you thought I rebuked you (which I kind of was… because I was mad). But anyways… don’t worry about me! Although if anyone has pictures that would be cool, you can just attach them to an email or something.

The church is true and I’m glad I’m doing a good thing here and that I can teach!

Love,
Hermana Laura Johnson

Week 2

Hello!

This week was pretty good. I got a calling! I’m the Music Coordinator for the zone. I get to pick the hymns for sacrament and approve musical numbers. Also I get to teach the new districts how to lead music. Speaking of which, we got a new district in our zone this week. We haven’t met them but from what I hear they’re nice. They are all elders unfortunately, so there is still only four sisters in our zone, all from my district.

I also picked up a viral infection! It was very interesting. I’ve been coughing all week, and even waking up in the middle of the night. I had to go to the doctor here and get some decongestant, and some medicine to suppress my coughing. I’m not sure how but my companion didn’t get it, or anyone else in my district and we are together for almost 16 hours a day. In the MTC they have an intercom that you can talk back to. Hermana Connelly and I were outside when she called on the intercom for me to get my prescription. Apparently she quite angrily said, “She has five minutes or she’s out!” I’m not really sure what that means, “she’s out!” but I did pick it up in time and she seemed nice in person.

Sadly not too many funny stories, but a lot of funny quotes.
“I committed him to a (baptismal) date.” -Elder Steenhoek
“You’re going on a date!!” -Hermana Billings

“Broma.” -Brother Gunter
“Bromance?” -Everyone
It means a funny story or something like that

We got feedback from the TRC (we talk in Spanish to members). In another group–For what the members we talk to feel they should do after hearing their message (it’s something like that I just can’t remember), “Pray for the missionaries.”

“What is get in Spanish?”
“Getto?” -Elder Crane

Casarse-to get married
Cazar-to hunt
(pretty much the same thing at BYU)
“I married that deer!!” -Elder Steenhoek

Learning about Me gusta (I like)
Deportes-sports
“Deportes sounds like deporting. I love the migra!!” -Elder Steenhoek

A good way to end a mission story (much like and then I found five dollars)– “And then he was baptized!”

One funny story. Elder Steenhoek dropped his cup at lunch and it broke. His face was hilarious, he looked around as if to wonder if anyone heard with this silly frightened face. We all definitely heard because it was glass shattering. Then Elder Bruggeman yelled “STEINHOOK” to the whole cafeteria.

“Why do you have to bust my biscuits man?!” -Elder Green

“Elder, have you noticed how amazing my sweater vest is?”

“What am I going to put in this notebook?  Notes?” – Sister Connelly

“I thought you wanted a low five and I went to hit your hand, but then you moved it and now I’m searching for your hand” – Sister Connelly to me

” Yes, I do have girly handwriting, and you were all thinking it” – Brother Tanner

“Are you at the point where your head is about to explode? Let it explode!” -Brother Gunter

We have issues with Spanish still, even for things we know.
In Elder Crane and Elder Bruggeman’s lesson, they were talking about siblings then Angel asked how old they were. Elder Crane didn’t catch the question and accidentally said he was four years old because he thought they were still talking about siblings.
Elder Steenhoek was reading straight from Preach My Gospel in a lesson. He asked whether they could call Rancho, “Hermana Rancho.” And Rancho replied that he preferred Hermano Rancho. That’s what you get when you just read straight and don’t pay attention.
Hahahaha both of these made me laugh so hard in class I was crying

So we had a fake investigator.  Hermana Connelly and I gave him a Book of Mormon to read.  It was the classroom copy so we needed it back, but we weren’t sure how to get it.  We told another group to get it and they did, but the investigator was suspicious.  “What if he says he didn’t read it because someone stole his Book of Mormon?!”

I don’t even remember what I said last week. But we had an investigator, Santiago. Well he’s our teacher now, but we knew that because the other group spoiled that (sorry to my friends about to serve spoiler!). His name is Brother Christofferson. Well, can you guess who his uncle is? Elder Christofferson! Yesterday we sat in class and he told us to ask any question we wanted about the gospel. He had an answer for everything, even all the deep doctrine things, right off the top of his head. It was crazy! He is so smart, and spiritual. He is encouraging that we all can be great missionaries. He says it’s all due to obedience and following the spirit, so we’re trying to do that. We can have the ability to call down all the blessings of heaven if we just have the faith and desire.

We have two new investigators Rancho and Angel. They’re both pretty good. Rancho’s big thing is that he doesn’t think God exists, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many bad things in the world. We’re not sure too much on Angel, but in our second lesson we read 2 NE 31 13, 20-21 and were about to ask about baptism but time was up. Although he asked when we could come back which was a good sign that he took to baptism. That’s the biggest thing, running out of time! We don’t have enough time to say all that we want to anymore.

OH! There’s some big news with the new age change. Apparently this means that as soon as February, I could be training a new 19 year old missionary. That would mean only two transfers out in the field for me!!! HOLY COW! They are shortening the time, starting January 1, down one third. So Spanish will now be 6 weeks and English 2 weeks and Cantonese will be 9 weeks. So we will have those young girls out in February.

Anyways I know the church is true and that God really loves us, and that he loves to bless us. He blesses us with families, and with friends and the prophets and apostles on this earth. They truly do they work of God and they receive direct revelation from Him. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon was translated through Joseph Smith by God’s hand. It is amazing to me that so many can look at the Book of Mormon and not realize this. I have a testimony of these things and I am so excited to share it with the Spanish speaking people in California!

Love,
Hermana Laura Johnson

Week one in the MTC

Dear everyone,

The MTC is good. Spanish is going good. High school Spanish has pretty much come back from day one. That isn’t the same for everyone else though, a lot of others had taken it so I was just blessed I guess. We had to give a lesson in Spanish on the second day and I think my companion and I did okay. We had to do lessons almost daily for a few days but it got harder. There was so much new vocabulary for every lesson it got a little overwhelming.

My companion is from Tennessee, in fact I’m developing a slight accent. I think its funny I’m getting it from her and not because I “live in the South”. She is super sweet and really funny. She’s also quite a bit shorter than me. We have two other sisters in our district and our room. Hermanas Snow and Billings. They’re both from Utah. We all get along and spend a lot of time together. Hermana Connelly is also going to Arcadia with me but the others are not. There’s four or five others in our district (12 people in our class) going to Arcadia as well, and a whole district (8) in our zone is going to Arcadia. Apparently Arcadia is only 30×30 miles which is really tiny.

Just so everyone knows, if you send me a letter through Dear Elder it comes through on the same day and for now it’s free. That would be the best way to contact me. If you email I only get it on Preparation Day (P-day) and I have 30 minutes to read and respond to emails. SO I would rather use my time writing than reading. Also, I haven’t gotten a single thing from anyone, letters or packages, just two emails from my parents so…. If anyone is so inclined to write that would be nice.

Funny story 1: Hermana Connelly and I sat on a bench to eat sandwiches. I put the mayo on the top of the bread and put it together. Then I slightly moved my leg or something and the top fell off and mayo got all over my workout pants. Hermana Connelly got me a napkin and I tried to clean off the mayo. Instead the napkin started shredding and I had all these nasty white chunks on the front of my pants and it looked worse than before. I stood up to clean it off right when two guys from our district walked by. I just turned around with my back to them and tried to look inconspicuous. Pretty sure that didn’t work. After they left I cleaned up and the two of us laughed.

Funny story 2: I related the pants story to the two other Hermanas in our district that night. They laughed about it and as soon as I finished telling it, I leaned back on my bed and the front of my pajama pants ripped. Luckily it did not make a hole because it was serged together still but it was just too perfect timing wise. Then I exclaimed, “I’m just having crotch issues today!!!”
Coincidentally, the button on my jeans fell off today. There’s a dry cleaners here and I’m going to see if they can put in a new button or whether someone will have to send me new pants. I’ll let you know what I need.

Funny story 3: I wrote about this to people I had addresses for but anyways…. (Side note my alarm clock is ridiculous, we could not figure out how to set it for like 3 days). It’s a sphere and you can only see the time if you press a button on it. I wanted to check if it was set but after the lights were out. Since I couldn’t see it I felt for it. I ended up knocking it onto the floor and since it’s a sphere it rolled around under one of the beds. Then I turned on the lights and apologized while they laughed at me.

Funny quote: My teacher was talking about filler words and one other piped up, “I use feather words too.” We’re having problems understanding English now, so pretty much we can’t talk in any language.

Can you send me Sister Brett Hoffman’s mission home address? She wrote me and I brought that address but I don’t know if its the mission home or their apartment and I know she got transferred. Also could you send me her weekly updates from her blog? And same with Katie Cutler’s. That would be lovely.

Also Conference here in the MTC was cool. Especially the new announcement. There was an audible gasp from everyone. And a lot of guys started talking about their girlfriends who were waiting for them. So a lot of those girls are going, including one guy in my district’s girlfriend. We had Elder Bednar on Tuesday for a devotional. He told us that he thought it was really funny to hear all the rumors about why the announcement came. He told us it is all in the Lord’s timing why and when he needs to hasten the work and we may never know why it came just now. Anyone else I know going on a mission soon?

I saw Elder Bleyl on Saturday right before he flew out to Arizona on Monday. And Elder Dial last Wednesday before he went to Pennsylvania (woohoo!).

The church is true, much love,
Hermana Laura Johnson

PS- The food is ridiculous. I’m pretty sure I’ve never eaten so much in my life. But I’m trying to eat more salads so I will still be able still wear my clothes by the end of 9 weeks. Image