“You don’t ever realize how strong you are until being strong is all you have left.”

I am nonstop busy here. It’s crazy. Lunch time feels like it should be dinner and then dinner time is only 445 and it feels like 10 or 11 some days. I never get as much sleep as I would like…I always feel like I was in a deep sleep when I get rudely awoken to the morning.

Also…great devotional we had by Elder Corbridge of the 70 and his wife had a story and someone said to a sister missionary that didn’t really get the language. “You have a light. You don’t need words.” I hope to be like that. I won’t have the language so I need to have the light.

I am so excited to see Alex (von Schlegell) today! I hope he is in my zone!(he is a friend from CA going to serve a mission in Ukraine) That would be so great. We went to the temple earlier today and laundry later so we could go together with our district. We love them. I love them. some of our elders and sister dexter and I bonded last night and i felt SO great about it. It was so needed for the four of us and we love each other so much more!

It is so hard to not compare sometimes. Esp0ecially when (I feel like) my companion is rubbing it in my face that she is easily able to speak the language. I watched a mormon messages video on Esther (see below) and it hit me so hard. I loved it. although I hated it because it means it is not going to get easier.”You don’t ever realize how strong you are until being strong is all you have left.” I am strong enough to do this and my limits are being tested. Daily I have deelings of inadequacy, doubt, and frustration but I KNOW that I can be successful and more with Faith and if I rely on the Lord. My prayers have continually become more sincere and I have been praying for Humility and patience probably….in every prayer that I give. I need to be like Esther and have faith that with the lord and a LOT of work I will be able to communicate with the Russian people in their language and I will also be able to enjoy my companions presence a little bit more. I love her, I just don’t “like” her a lot of times.

Alma 22–I am a mouthpiece of the Lord like Aaron was. I can convert kingdoms if I am able to live worthy of the spirit and help them to understand the gospel and Heavenly Fathers Love for them through the Holy Ghost.

One of the biggest things I learned….The Lord is willing to shower miracles around me if I go out of my comfort zone (which means speaking Russian even though I feel like I know NOTHING) and have Faith. Also, If I do not have faith he will not be blessed with the gift of tongues.

We have one of THE best teachers at the MTC. I am convinced. His name is Brother Williams. He served in the Baltic Mission and is recently married. He is so good at letting us have fun for a second but redirecting us immediately and bringing the Spirit back to the room so we are able to focus, understand and learn more. However, although he is my favorite teacher (we have three), I am the most terrified of him. He has this expectation for us and faith in us that is beyond me. I never feel like I can meet his expectations yet at the same time I KNOW that I can meet these expectations. He looks at me with this look and I say “BEPA!” (Which means Faith.) Also, Lazarus’s story… I need to have faith. Somewhere in the middle he looks at martha and basically says Do you have faith in me? I can heal him.

Question to all. How can I be more compassionate and less selfish? How can I serve others and stop trying to put myself first? Christ always put us first and served us when if we had been in his position we would have chosen to be selfish.
Also, Am I truly converted unto the Lord??

Love you guys so much!!!!!! Miss you like crazy but then I don’t at the same time. I will write letters too after we go eat lunch now.

XOXO
Cectpa Schaff

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First Impressions

entering the mtc

This place is wild. Russian is THE HARDEST thing that I have ever tried to learn. It’s like I sit here and read, listen, and try to pronounce but it is SO HARD. Sometimes I feel so incapable. The Spirit is so strong here. I love it. It’s not what I expected. I mean the classes all day…so many people…etc. is the same, but the way things are done and my attitude is different (I still get irritated all the time, annoyed by the stupid things people do and etc.-I know you’re laughing at me). 

All the sisters in my district are going to St Petersburg. There are 6 of us. And 5 Elders…none of them going to st petersburg. All of the elders are 18. and VERY 18. But, I know that they will grow up. They are good kids, and remind me of the boys in our ward. The most…. worldly? elder last night after devotional was talking about it and he was SO spiritual and just said things that I know he loves the Lord and is such a great son of God but he just has a little molding that the lord will help him with here on the mission. 
 
I don’t think I have ever been such a quiet person. I mean I have my loud moments and I think I’m funny pretty often still but I go for so long having such silences. I don’t really talk while we are walking places and I don’t really make too much conversation. (editor’s note: clearly the Lord can do miracles if He can quiet Rebekah) The Spirit is so great. I am trying to figure out exactly how he communicates with me and trying to understand how I can understand his promptings better. Ether 12 talks about Faith a ton and I have been trying to work on that and really have more faith and KNOW that I will understand the language better. I feel like I could give a pretty good lesson in English right now (the things I have been learning and the way I have been progressing) but I feel like it’s so hard to just teach by the spirit in russian when I have such a limited bank of words that I can use. And I need to have more FAITH that I can communicate and show my investigator love and help him know that the lord loves him. 
 
All you preparing for missions: DON’T prepare your lessons and teach them word for word like youre saying lines in a play. That’s not going to bring the Spirit people need. You need to teach PEOPLE. NOT LESSONS. I know it’s hard. So so so hard. But, with practice, prayer, and faith, YOU CAN DO IT! I can too. I am trying. So hard. 
 

PS. Shelby Lattin says hi! I love her so much. She leaves next Tuesday for Chile and while I’m SO excited for her I don’t want her to leave! 😦 

And Jenessa Peterson left tuesday morning and I miss her so much. It’s so interesting how much you can bond over being here together and having the same trials and issues but being able to rely on each other to get through it. 

Sacrament meeting is ALL IN RUSSIAN. We have to prepare talks EVERY week and in the opening announcements they call two people to give the talks. Panic mode? YES. Hahaha! 
 

My companion is great. We are SO different. She reminds me (exactly) of my last semesters chemistry lab partner. She is from Logan Utah, and is a dancer and an Elementary Ed Major at Utah State. She just barely turned 20 last month.

 
Love you guys so much and I am so grateful for all of the things you have taught me and the lessons I have learned. Just so you don’t think it was just with you, i sometimes still roll my eyes and get annoyed when people say “k lets pray or-should we pray now?” hahah IM AWFUL!
But I love the support that you give me and I know that I have so many people in the ward that are thinking about me and that makes me feel so grateful and blessed. I LOVE EVERYONE!

Tell them that when they ask about me! I AM SO GRATEFUL for the examples of everyone at home. 

Dad——tell the boys to write me if they want! Any questions about missions, they want to just send a silly message or anything. 

I LOVE MAIL. really though. It makes me feel SO SO SO LOVED. 

xoxoxo
I think ive been on too long. love you!

Write me!

If you would like to write me, I mean I would love for you to write me… here are the ways you can do that! ALso, my big 21st birthday is in three weeks while I am in the MTC. If you feel so inclined, you may send me something! A card, a practical joke, a snack…whatever you want! [I will accept anything you feel like sending–this birthday only ;)] 

So here are my addresses! Also, if you like typing, you may “email” me a letter by sending it through dearelder.com and entering my mailing info and they will send it to me FREE of charge to anyone! YAY! (maybe this means more people will write me…hopefully.)

General apology: If you went on a mission and I didn’t write you; I am sorry! I promise I will write you back if you write me!

MTC-I will be there until May 14.
Sister Rebekah Anne Schaff
MTC Mailbox # 22
RUS-SPET 0514
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

 

Russia: May 14, 2013-September 2014

Sister Rebekah Schaff
Russia St Petersburg Mission
Pr Malookhtinsky 16/1
POM 11-H, 12-H 
Saint Petersburg 195112
RUSSIA

Package address in Russia

Russia St Petersburg Mission
a/Я 122Centralized Religious Organization
“Religious Association Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Russia”
Saint Petersburg 190000, RUSSIA

 

So, write me! Or don’t…but, please do!