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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Week 3 at the MTC!

Wow was this a crazy week! So my companion, Sister Kirk, found out that she got her visa on Wednesday!! She flew off to the Brazil MTC this morning. So now I am in a trio with the two other sisters that I room with. They are so fun, I love them. Four other people in our zone got their visas this week too!! Most of them went through the Houston or Chicago consulate, so we are predicting that a few others will get their visas from those consulates this week too. I have no clue about mine, but I'm starting to get excited about the idea of potentially serving in another state for a little while. We'll see!

We got to do this cool thing this week called TRC. Basically, you get to teach short lessons to volunteers, and they are not pretending to be anyone. You just teach them as themselves, and usually they are members of the church so it is a little easier. It's so awesome and fun though! I am progressing pretty well in Portuguese, but I know it is not me. Without help from Heavenly Father, I would not be able to do any of this. In Alma 26:12 in the Book of Mormon it explains how I am feeling pretty well: Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Lately, we have been learning and teaching our investigators a LOT about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He suffered and died for all of our sins, pains, worries, fears, challenges, EVERYTHING. Because of that, we can repent, forsake our sins, and change. We can become better, and grow and learn. Christ is our closest advocate and best friend because He knows us perfectly. We can learn answers through reading the scriptures, which testify of His life and gospel. The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and His love for us. It clarifies and provides a second witness of the plan of God for His children and of Jesus Christ. I love being able to teach people about this because I can see how that knowledge changes their lives. They have a new hope and desire for good. I love it, and it makes me want to be a better person too.

I am so grateful to be here at this time. I know it is what I need to be doing in my life right now, and even though it is hard, I have been prepared to do it. Through faith in God, and enduring hard times, we can accomplish way more than we think. Prayer is so important because it is how we talk to God. I have been striving to make my prayers more sincere and more like a conversation with God, than just a laundry list of requests and gratitude. Prayers are answered and we are blessed each day way more than we notice. I love the gospel and know that it is true. Without it, I don't know what I would do. I am so grateful for the hope and understanding that I receive from prayer, reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and learning from others. I love you and want to hear from you more! :)

Sister Dieter

Our district's interpretation of the Plan of Salvation. Who said missionaries don't know how to have fun?

District 2A!

Sisters :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Week 2 at the MTC

Oi! Tudo bem?

This week was so much better than the first! I mean, harder of course, but I am a lot more used to the schedule and things like that so I know it is a challenge that I can manage. Everything is going great. We finished up teaching our first investigator, "'Pedro'', who decided to be baptized! It was pretty cool, even if it is a pretend investigator. So this week we have two new "investigators", but it is just going to be our teachers pretending to be people that they taught on their missions or that they know now. We met with one of them yesterday and it was so hard because he is a less-active member of the church who has had drug and addiction problems in the past. We asked him to pray at the end of the lesson and he told us he didn't feel worthy. That just makes me so sad! Everyone is worthy to pray whenever, and it is especially important to pray when you are feeling like you don't want to. We helped him to feel more comfortable praying though.

The language is coming along. I am actually doing pretty well with it compared to others in my district, mostly because my Spanish knowledge is helping a LOT. I didn't realize how much I remembered! I love Portuguese and I am so excited for that day when I can just communicate and understand without thinking. No word on any of our visas, but that's ok! I love my district so much already, even just after 2 weeks. They are becoming some of my best friends. The elders are from Las Vegas, Texas, Utah, South Dakota, New Mexico, and Florida, and then the other sisters are from Texas, California, Montana, Oregon, and Colorado. They are so fun and we really help each other and love spending time learning together.

On Sundays, we have some free time to spend watching church films. Our district decided to watch a devotional given by David Bednar called the "Character of Christ". I don't know if it is online, but I would highly recommend trying to read it or watch it somehow. He emphasized that Christ was loving and serving at all times, and that He always turned outward, especially at the hardest times in His life. Turning outward in service will help us to grow and become less selfish, which believe it or not, will actually make us happier. Mom and Dad, I'm so excited for you to be teaching those Primary kids. I substituted for that class once, and they are definitely rambunctious, but so smart and eager to learn. Try to help them and be patient with them. Primary is a special experience. Bednar also emphasized that although you may have a testimony of something, that testimony could be shaken. In order to not be shaken in your testimony, you have to continually cultivate it until it becomes true conversion. Prayer, scripture study, and trying to do the best you can each day will help to make dealing with the trials of life so much easier. I know that this church is true and that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can repent and be forgiven and relieved of our sins and burdens. I'm so grateful I have this knowledge, and I can't wait to teach more people about it.

Te amo muito!
Sister Dieter

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week 1 at the MTC!

Oi Familia!

This week has been great! It has been literally the hardest week of my life, but in a good way. I am learning so much and having a lot of fun. Wednesday was all about orientation and things like that at first. We met our district, which is a group of elders and sisters who are speaking the same language. We are in the same class and have the same schedules every day, so we've all become pretty good friends already. My companion is Sister Kirk from Allen, Texas. She goes to BYU too and is a year older than me. My district is mostly made up of missionaries who are waiting on visas to Brazil, although two elders are headed off to Cape Verde in Western Africa! None of us have heard anything about our visas at all we'll see what happens I guess! One sister in our zone (a couple of districts put together) did just get her visa and flew off to Brazil this morning! So there is hope!

Anyways, most of my day every day is spent in some sort of study or teaching time. We have a teacher named Irmao Taylor who comes in for 3 hrs each day to teach us some Portuguese and how to effectively teach people. He's super funny and really helpful. We have an hour for personal scripture study each day, which has been a saving grace for me. We study as companionships, and mostly use that time to plan our lessons. We also have language study time and we get to use this computer program for an hour each day in which we can listen to native speakers. I had already learned most of the basics before getting here because I studied a lot over the summer, but I still have way more to learn! I've been trying to help out my district as much as I can since most of them didn't learn any Portuguese before they came.

So far, Sister Kirk and I have taught our "investigator" (Pedro) 3 lessons! Each has gotten progressively better. The first one was hard because we hadn't learned much yet, so it was a lot of memorization. But yesterday, we actually were able to communicate more and even though our Portuguese was not much better, we connected with Pedro on a more personal and spiritual level. We have been praying so hard for the Holy Spirit to be with us and to inspire us as we teach, and I felt it soo strong as we taught yesterday! Pedro told us that he prayed and discovered that the Book of Mormon is true, and now he is going to pray about being baptized! I know he's just an actor, but it is still so exciting!! I love learning how to help people and teach them what they need to know to be happy. The gospel is so wonderful and I want to show others the peace that it brings to my life.

Funny Portuguese mess-up of the the word for to live with someone in Portuguese is morar, and the word for to die is can see how that could be confusing...well, I kinda sorta asked Pedro if he DIED with his parents....hahahaha. You can imagine his confusion. Luckily it kind of broke the ice, so that was good. :) I'm so happy to be here! Please write me letters everyone! It is by far the easiest way for me to talk to you personally, and it totally makes a missionary's day to receive a hand-written letter!

Love you! Tchau!

Sister Dieter