Sunday, September 7, 2014

Last Week at the MTC

August 14, 2014
Is it really here... has the time really come??? The next time I email anyone will be from the country of Poland. Yes, we are finally done with our nine week stay here at the MTC. Wow what a journey, and yet it is still just barely beginning! Apparently the two Polish districts here will be the biggest group of sisters and elders to ever go to the Poland Warsaw mission. Our arrival is going to make a heck of a splash! So last Friday we finally got to open up our travel plans. My group leaves for the Salt Lake airport on Monday morning at 4:30 am. We then fly to Minneapolis Minnesota, and from Minnesota to Amsterdam Netherlands, and then we fly into Warsaw Poland around 11:30 Polish time. Crazy! I am so nervous but so excited. Now I just need to figure out how to get my luggage underweight because I am pushing it hardcore. I guess I will just have to leave all of my good ole' American toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc. behind. (Sigh) Hopefully the Poles make good deodorant haha! Hopefully they are also forgiving of dumb American's who do not speak the language well! 

Our last week here has been pretty bittersweet. It will be so good to finally get out there and actually be real missionaries. Sometimes I still look down and am surprised to find a name tag with the name Sister Benson Kościół Jezusa Chrystusa on it, especially since sometimes I don't even recognize the language... whoops. At the MTC everyone has a name tag, everyone is some kind of missionary/ teacher/ employee, I have almost forgotten what it is like for people to see your name tag and say hey look, they are a representative of Jesus Christ. Many probably do not know what that means, but it is something that is different out there in the big wide world that will draw attention. I will be sad to leave my two crazy companions Sister Woodward and Sister Slagowski. We have sure been through thick and thin together and they have taught me more about myself than I have probably ever learned in such a short amount of time. I also will miss the many other great sisters in our zone who will be serving in Czech, Adriatic North, Baltic States, Bulgaria, and Croatia missions. It is my personal opinion is that the Eastern European missionaries have the most attractive sister missionaries haha.

A mission has been the most important decisions I have ever had to make. It was such a hard choice, and I worried for so long that I was making the wrong choice. Now that I am here I see the goodness of God ever single day! The more I look for miracles the more that I find them. Going on a mission is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is hard in way's that are hard to describe. Leaving family and friends for a year and a half sometimes leaves your soul feeling empty, being forced out of your comfort zone is just plain painful, learning to love those you serve and those who serve with is so difficult sometimes. Plus as a missionary you are forced to question your own beliefs and testimony countless times because how can you be a missionary and teach the people things that you yourself do not believe or understand. Investigators ask, well... how do you know that for sure, where is the evidence??? Sometimes you are just not sure how to explain how you just simply know inside. But somewhere in this journey that I am on I am finding myself and my personal relationship with God. Other than my beautiful family, that is probably one of the best gifts I could ever receive. Finally coming to have a surety and confidence in who I am and what I mean to Heavenly Father and Christ. I definitely do not know everything, but I do still know for a fact that the greatest happiness I have discovered in this life has come through God and being a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Also that God is actively involved in each of our lives, even if we do not see Him ourselves.  

So one of my teachers Brat Smalley told me that if I wanted to get a better grasp of grammar I needed to memorize the grammar case chart which is a beast! Its huge! But I did it in about a week. ( I also finally got the first vision memorized, but some parts I have to like ghetto american white girl Idaho rap it to remember, its pretty strange, maybe I will be able to recite it normally within the next week). So I was like... now that I have this huge case chart memorized, how do I apply it!!! But we finished our last online audio learning assessments, and my teacher Brat Tribe (who finally got home from his honeymoon this week yayyy he is our favorite teacher), went over my learning assessment with me. He was like, okay I am going to be super nit picky with this so that you can correct your mistakes. We would listen to my shoddy audio recording and then he would say, okay this was this mistake fix it! And then I was just busting it out perfectly fixing and casing all of the grammer on the fly from memory. The case chart works! It was probably the first time that Polish grammar has ever made sence to me. Though it was a small miracle, it really made me feel good. Especially since we have wasted so much time at the residence in the past few weeks with the sickness, I worried I would never get it down, but work pays off! 

Well that was the highlight, but we also practiced contacting for the first time in Polish in our class this week. Sounds like no big deal right... well it is. When you can’t speak the language properly and can't fake it with real people in Poland it is pretty dang difficult and intimidating. During our class exercise I ended up getting paired with our teacher Brat Smalley. Needless to say I messed up hardcore! It was so bad he made me start over like 4 times. That was probably one of the first legit times when I wanted to throw in the towel and say hey I quite. It was super defeating. I wanted to just rage and throw my desk and say I didn't sign up for public humiliation, especially with the name of Jesus Christ on my name tag getting dragged through it as well, but I waited out the day and will just have to practice harder. I am glad that I have the example of my big brother who already showed me how it is supposed to be done! Who went out to Italy and just was fearless and talked with everyone without reservation even though I can't speak the language. I just can't figure out how I am supposed to put away that fear of failure quite yet! I am also nervous the people are not going to like me. Apparently Polish people don't smile... like ever. I am going to have to get used to that kind of personality because that is so not me! I am praying for love for them and that they may have love for me!
Ready or not here I come.
Love Sister Benson

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