Saturday, February 27, 2016

2016-02-25 One Week Less in the MTC!

okay here's what i've been up to BLOG FORSE (maybe)
still getting along with my comp really well.  every conversation that is easy for everyone else in our branch is a back-slapping, high-fiving experience for us to be able to understand each other.  she's seriously an angel, there's no way she could survive living in america and learning italian without the disposition she has.

So we received some big news today!  well, it's big for us but for everyone not in the MTC and who thinks the MTC is a miniscule part of the mission, trust me, it was BIG big news.  we're leaving to italy a week early!!  so instead of 6 weeks, we only have five.  rome leaves on the 7th and milano leaves on the 8th.  we found out when a different teacher came in and started talking really rapid italian to our substitute because she didn't want us to understand.  afterwards i was like w/e and was studying but i guess some sort of understanding had occurred because a few seconds later i hear someone in my district, "we're leaving a week earlier??"  and i was like, "what?? Scerzo!!" (joke, i joke) and our sub was just dead-pan and i guess the other teacher had said that she told her class so we might as well know too.  she was dead serious just like, no we found ou tthis morning and i wasn't gonna tell you guys but you were gonna find out.  so then some sort of weird uncontrollable laughter came over me ans sister rushton for several minutes but i was overjoyed!! the mtc is super stressful and it's also amazing and spiritual but like, i'm excited to have real investigators and live in italy and really help people and be people's friend and cook italian food and like why would i want to spend another week in provo when i could get a head start on this mission?  so i'm pumped but that night we had some girls weeping and really panicky.  i think one thing people don't get is that the mtc feels like it lasts and ETERNITY so i think they weren't really hurting for one less week but now all the sudden it just seems so much closer.  we have 1/3 of a normal week left and then next week is our last full week, and it won't even be a normal one because we'll have in-field orientation ("love everyone and open your mouth," probably) and culture day which is when we bombard our teacher with more questions about slang and how fat he got and how good the fashion is and if italians really say "mama mia" (surprise, they do and it's hilarious)

oh, speaking of which, we have an actual italian elder in our building!  he's going to france.  we have filipino and french missionaries in our building.  so we run into the french ones a lot.  i'll try to include a pic of the italian elder cuz he came in to our class and was talking to us for so long, so exuberantly, that he was late for his patriarchal blessing :D  hahaha we kept trying to shoo him out and his companion was trying too (he's from england, i couldn't help myself from shouting how beautiful his language is every time he talked and he just laughed) a true taste of italy, that elder is.  love it.  never felt more cultured than when i was having a conversation with the italian, the brit, the frenchy, and the american.  belissimo.

studying is good, hard to stay on task sometimes but it's good to have some fun too.  and sometimes naps, shame on us.  we've all accumulated a few good shots of each other sleeping on our desks.  i know anziano polombo has one of me and sister poletz wide awake right next to me, laughing, but i probably won't get it.  the funniest was when we walked in and two of the elders were quietly enjoying the scene of elder kim fast asleep with his head tilted full back in his chair.  that was funny enough as is and we tried our hardest to laugh silently, but a couple seconds later we heard him snore and then it got really hard to laugh quietly.  every time he took a breath i wanted to cry real tears.

so i want to share a cool thing i learned!!  i'm geeking out on the gospel because it's so profound, every time you learn a new principle it's like reading poetry.  i think mom and dad will appreciate this one just because it's so fresh and beautiful.  but first of all our lessons are going soo much better than they used to because i (idk about my comp, i'm sure a lot goes on in her head that i miss) but i'm not here to teach lessons.  i'm here to bring people closer to Christ and the lessons are just a tool i have to do that.  so i stopped worrying about what I'M saying and what OUR lesson plan is and started focusing all my attention on whether the investigator (cuz we're still teaching lessons every day, our teachers take on the character of real investigators that they had) is coming closer to Christ.  it's a game-changer.

so the cool thing i learned came from "simone" who is a 14-year-old punk who is also amazing cuz he wants to know the gospel.  and he asked me why we pray in the name of Jesus Christ and after i shamed myself by trying to answer what i thought the answer was in english, in italian, i told him we'd answer tomorrow haha.  so i spent a lot of time looking for the answer, and aside from it being a commandment there was nothing and i don't function like that, that's not enough for me or for my investigator.  so after searching for definitely at least an hour over a couple days, i asked a different class's teacher and she pulled her phone out and started looking cuz she's smart but she didn't know either.  so i had read in the BD that prayer is the way in which the will of the father and the will of the child are brought together.  now remember that the will of the Father is perfect, and we are imperfect so that's important.  but I had always thought that prayer is just giving thanks, asking for righteous stuff, and asking for forgiveness from sins.  
now the reason we pray in the name of Jesus Christ is because it's through the power of the atonement that we can pray.  doesn't make sense, right?  cuz you don't need the atonement to ask for righteous things or give thanks.  BUT THIS IS WHERE IT GETS COOL.  I didn't know what repentance really is!  because i thought repentance was specifically saying "im sorry for swearing" or whatever you're sorry for.  but like prayer, repentance is ANY action or thought that turns us away from the natural man and towards perfection, towards God, towards His will.  So basically when we give thanks and ask for righteous things, we ARE repenting because we're BECOMING more like God!!  However, we are fallen, si?  So we can't pray to God without the Atonement because prayer perfects us by aligning our will with His will and we can't become more perfect without the atonement that Jesus Christ suffered for us and that is why we pray in the name of Jesus Christ.


(Martha's Note:  Jill did not include this as part of what to post on this blog, but I want to include it.)

okay so in other news i also got called as a sister training leadr whish is the highest position a sister can get but i'm a sister training leader ovre like, 15 girls for 2 weeks so its nbd but it was kind of cool because sevral hours after i got the call, some guy in our branch pres (we get basically a bishop and counselors when we get here cuz we have sacrament meeting as a branch which is again the italian missionaries in our case) told me that they wanted to call me right away cuz they could tell i was a leader but they wanted to give sister poletz some time to adjust cuz she got called too.  that made me feel pretty good!  i go to meetings sunday morning, for two sundays lol, and conduct interviews and assign people stuff for RS.  so a crazy thing though was i was conducting interviews yesterday and i thought it'd be like 
how are things?
good! ciao!

(I'm not going to post how the interviews really went down, to protect other women's privacy.  But rest assured that Jill quickly learned that being a leader was not all "good, good, ciao!" :)

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