1.01.2012

Hola!!

How is everyone!! I've been getting great letters and they've been making my day! So thanks to everyone :)
The first day wasn't bad: I met my two companions, Sisters Arts and O'farrell. They're super sweet and nice, and from Provo and Pittsburgh, respectively. 
 I love our district and zone. The district is made up of four elders going to Birmingham Alabama and one to San Antonio Texas. They're great at role playing, which we do A LOT. It's fascinating to me that the spirit could be there so strongly and helping my companionship with teaching, when it's really a "faux" investigator. Really cool, actually. The piece of advice I learned this week that helped me through the whole week, was: listen to the spirit while you're teaching, and he will tell you what to say, and which direction to go. (A piece of advice I had received from my SCOTTISH! Roommate--Sister Richardson. Her companions are Sisters Pickerel and King, and they're going to temple square. So cool, I've heard.) To have the spirit with me twenty-four/seven, is incredible. mostly because I notice the absence of its testifying, almost immediately. ESPECIALLY while teaching. The fourth day was the hardest for me, because I didn't have the spirit while I was teaching Elder Allan, one of the elders in my district. I got discouraged and was confused and didn't know what to do. I was supremely distracted. I was thinking about how cute the substitute teacher was and what everyone was going to think of me if I messed up. I had done a really good lesson the first time, but then had to redo the lesson to include the restoration. I forgot why I was there: it just turned into an exercise instead of a revelatory experience. A second piece of advice came in handy, helping me to regain my testimony. It was said by one of our teachers: Brother Chubbuck. He was quoting Elder Ballard? Who said, be your own first convert. All the things you want your investigators to do: read fervently the scriptures, pray mightily to understand, and be inspired, Heavenly Father wants for us. I feel the spirit so strongly here, and it's weird how easy it is to tell the difference now, between my own thoughts and the persistent thoughts that will bring me happiness and closeness to my Heavenly Father. I was in testimony meeting with my zone (which includes many Elders and Sisters going to a Philippians mission that speak Cuebano--look it up--it's so COOL and made up of Spanish roots and "jungle language"--words that could change within a week or two, if one person were so inclined to make it that way.) And I felt like I should bear my testimony. I got up and started out by saying that when I came to the MTC, I knew only two things for sure: that I was supposed to be here, and that God loves me. I talked about the convert quote, and then said that was something I needed to work on, but then I bore my testimony that I knew we had modern revelation, that Thomas S. Monson was a prophet, and other things. As I said them, I knew they were truth. I felt a lot like I always knew, like you know two plus two, and you never really have to check on it, but then you learn trigonometry, and you forget two plus two. Whoops, right? But you really just have to check on where your heart and mind are. When your testimony weakens, it's not a tell that the Church and the Gospel aren't true anymore, it's that your relationship with God isn't as close as it could be. Work on it. That. whateves. Haha
BEST STORY EVER! And I dunno if I have time to tell more, but once upon a time, I was FHE co-leaders with Cameron Jensen. We had a great time, went on a date, but then nothing ever happened: I couldn't tell him I liked him, because my roommate did, as well, and blah blah. So he dates other people and we stay super close, telling each other about who we're dating, etc. One week before finals, I get super sick, and he comes over, really nicely with his current girlfriend. They bring me over pediasure, cause I'm dying, and then leave. ... cause I'm dying.
fast forward to last Thursday in the bathroom/common area, and Sister Arts is trying to figure out who we know in common, "Where'd you live last year?" South of campus, 4/6th, I answered. Did you have any moon apartments in your ward? Probably not, right? Oh, yeah, I did. Did you know anyone in moon D? Or whatever building it was. Oh, well, not really... oh, wait, an ex-boyfriend of mine, Cameron.
It was her.
Blew my mind for an easy thirty minutes. We all laugh SO SO SO SO SO SO So hard around here. There's a lot of study time to practice our teaching, but we often break it up with fits of hysteric laughter, because we're all so funny. Hahah.
Thursday morning, my alarm went off to go workout and I could not get out of bed. I wanted to, and prayed to be less selfish, because I knew Sister Arts--a starter on the BYU rugby team, really would want to go. For like ten minutes. Went back to bed cause I felt peaceful. She came and woke me up an hour later, because my alarm had moved forward an hour in the middle of the night. They're all great girls and great Elders, and I've learned so much. The peace class brings, is incredible as well.
2 Nephi 31, people. EVERYONE go read it. And pray about it. We don't ask you to go on our testimonies alone. Not even close. You have to read and pray for yourselves. And I'm serious about that. Cause it and the MTC have changed my life, and I know this chapter will change you, too.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Bothwell

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