Friday, July 25, 2014

Week 2: fysiske dod & A Day In The Life of Me @ the MTC

Oohoo, Hello Family: 

Danish word of Week 2: fysiske død. Pronounced: foosiskuh dool. This means: Physical Death. It was one of the first danish phrases we learned, and it has kind of become our district's war cry. When we play volleyball during gym time we always yell fysiske død when we serve. Also when we answer questions really wrong in class. Missionaries are real cool. It's actually hilarious. :)

Week one down! Everyone in the MTC says that if you can make it to your first Sunday, you can make it through your whole mission. The first few days are full of every single up and down you can imagine-but for me, it was mostly ups. I am loving it here. It is such an amazing way to prepare to be out in the field!

A day in the life of me
I wake up at six thirty-feelin like P-diddy obviously, and we go work out...which is the best. And then we go to class for three hours and cram Danish into our brains. We also teach a lesson with an investigator every day. That has been the most amazing/terrifying experience. We plan and prepare these lessons entirely in Danish and basically just have to follow the spirit to be able to semi-communicate with him. Our investigator's name is Peter. (He's actually one of our teachers but we're not supposed to know that yet. We're so onto him.) The biggest thing I've learned about trying to teach lessons with a 50 word vocabulary is that the spirit that we bring when we bear our testimonies fluently in English is the same exact spirit that is there as we struggle through Danish. As long as we rely on that spirit, the lessons go well and the spirit teaches our investigator the things he needs to feel and know. That being said, I'm really happy with how quickly Danish is coming. The gift of tongues is so real! There is no way I could do this without Heavenly Father's help. 

Also, I know that 99% of what I say in lessons is grammatically incorrect at this point. We are never going to have a grammatically perfect lesson in the MTC, but we can have lessons with a perfect spirit. All we can do is our best!

So after that we go eat food-we're all starving by then-and the MTC food isn't bad. I usually get a giant salad or a wrap. And a cookie. Always a cookie.

Then we go to class again and learn more Danish. Then personal study, companionship study, and language study. 

Being in a trio companionship is challenging, but I love both of my companions. We're all very different. Sister Floyd is a talker. Like...all the time. She's really funny and just loves everyone. Sister Moseley is quiet, but still really fun and comfortable to be around. We all get along great, but we're still trying to figure out how to teach lessons more as a team. 

Our district is the bomb. K-so how this works is that all of the Danish speakers are in a district. There are 12 of us. Those are the people that I have class with every day. Our zone includes the Norwegians, the Dutch speakers, the three Icelandic speakers, and the Swedes. We go to church and the temple as a Zone. The branch president of our zone is like our mission president while we're here. 

But, as I was saying. The Danes are the bomb. We have so much fun together. One of the Elders in our district does dramatic readings of all of our letters every day-the letters from people's girlfriends are always the best ones. Oh, funny language slip-up. død is death, and dopt is baptized. Elder Sakurada asked Peter if he would commit to blive død (become dead) instead of blive dopt in his last lesson. Woops

Keep writing me DearElders! They are printed out and delivered twice a day in the MTC, so it's fun to get a physical letter in between classes. BUT (Momma), you can also still email me. We have email time every Wednesday! I love emails too! Basically I just love hearing from you guys. Even the little things. It's fantastic.
EMMA VAN ORDEN LISTEN UP. My companion loves the Mindy Project. We have been quoting it all week, and it makes me miss you. Our favorite this week is, "We used to have a car, but then RayRon forgot where he parked it..."

DAMIAN'S CHALLENGE: Ok Damian, I accept your challenge. My challenge to you is to read the entire Book of Mormon, to share your testimony with a friend, and to beat Frandy in an arm wrestle. That kid needs to be taken down a peg :) haha. And tell your family Hi I love you for me!

I'm running out of time, but know that I love you all so much and think of you every day. This is a lot of hard work, but I am so excited and happy about what I'm doing! The message of Jesus Christ's gospel is simple, and yet it can provide comfort and answers to all of life's questions. The gospel really is for everyone! Heavenly Father wants everyone to receive it. There is a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants where God promises that everyone will hear the gospel preached to them in their own language, and I am so humbled and thrilled to be a part of fulfilling that promise!

I love you all, (Jeg elsker jer)
Sister Van Orden

Week 1: tungemalsgaven & I haven't lost my keys one single time!!

Hey everyone! 
Danish word of Week 1: tungemalsgaven. pronounced toonguh-malls-GKAY-ven. Means-the gift of tongues.

I'm here-I made it-I haven't lost my keys one single time since I've been here. So. Rest easy. 

I absolutely love it here. Five minutes after I arrived I walked right into the middle of a Danish lesson on was completely in Danish. Like. Completely. They didn't even break to say hi in English. And I was like okay, buckle up, here I go! I sat there feeling a little lost for a few minutes, but then I remembered to say a quick prayer. After that, I was able to follow the lesson and I even prayed in Danish at the end! It was pretty bomb. Miracle number one. 

I'm in a trio-Sister Moseley and Sister Floyd. Both of them are girls who went to San Francisco with me, so we're already besties.  

We are teaching our first lesson-completely in Danish-TOMORROW. What. Yes. You heard me right. I know how to say that I am a missionary, I love you, and the numbers this will go really well I think. 

But seriously, the spirit is so strong here. I am so happy, and I'm learning really quickly. The gift of tongues is real, and I'm learning to be proud of the baby steps I make in every class.   My teacher told us today that we aren't here in the MTC to learn Danish, we're here to learn how to invite others to come to Christ. If we focus on that, the language will come. I love that. Mark 5: 36-"be not afraid, only believe."

This is amazing. You are all amazing, and I hope you have a happy week! My P-Days are on Wednesdays, so you'll hear from me soon!

Much love,
Sister V.O.