4 more days!

Well, FOUR days left in the MTC! It’s wild! I can’t believe that I am leaving here! It is crazy how long we have been here, yet…sometimes it feels like I don’t know any more than I knew the second week. (However, I know that is false!) We have been doing a lot of review, and a lot of lasts! It’s crazy how much we have gone over in 9 weeks and how much I have (and have not) retained. It’s wild! Today has been busy with packing an dgetting things done that I need to do before we leave. I have almost everything packed and including my book weight I think both of my bags are under 40 pounds! I am stoked! That means less for me to carry and lug around next week while I go to the mission home and then to wherever I end up serving! SO that’s cool. Never thought that day would come. I thought that I would be in the MTC forever!! Hahah!! I see Emily Braithwaite all the time and I LOVE that. It makes me so happy to see people I know because it’s just a familiar happiness and comfort. It’s just great. I lvoe her! And her speaking japanese is so cool! 

This week was mission conference, so that was LONG…plus it was fast sunday. It’s basically stake conference. and it was a good time I loved hearing everything and I love hearing talks but some days I just am so tired of sitting all day. It gets exhausting.

 
Sunday night. AWESOME devotional by Chad Lewis. Seriously. Like one of the best devotionals that I have heard in these 8.2 weeks! It was PHENOMENAL. He has written a book too…so yeah. Look that up. He just was real and made a lot of sense and always was like I have done this I kNOW it worls and I have seen it in my life! He talked to us about the choices that we are making and reminded us that the choices that we make today will never go away. He also reminded us that we will always be a missionary. I will not alway swear a name badge, but I will always be a missionary, if I make that choice to be. I need to not go back to being the same old Rebekah since before the mission I need to be a new and improved Rebekah that is always serving and showing love to those around me. I Know what is right and wrong and I know that little decisions affect my life. Also, another great point that he made was that the things that we do over and over and over here are so that we can do them without thinking about it once we get out into the field. THere are so many repetetive things that happen that we need to remember to still do. Sometimes I know at least I check out when we are doing dumb little things that I think, “Uh we do this every day…I know how to do this” I need to remember that I won’t be in a bubble of the MTC with teachers reminding me of what to do so when I get out into the field… (Wedesday)…I need to be ready to react in a way that I have thought about! He also talked about a time that he and some othjer pro football players hiked mt kilimanjaro with some “warriors” –veterans, and how hard it was but they kept going. We are warriors too and we need to not give up no matter what. We cannot give up. The lord WILL help us! NO MATTER WHAT! 

We have been talking a lot about contacting and being in the mission lately because…well. we are leaving here… haha. and we have been talking a lot about being a missionary and BEING the message. I thought that was so interesting. We need to be the message because that is why people will first stop to listen. They will continue to listen because of curiosity, the spirit, or other reasons, but: Would I want to stop and talk to me on the street if I were a Russian person and I saw me out contacting?” (I hope that makes sense). It is so true though! Just like I used to always want to make sure my FHE lessons were something that I would wan tto come to, I need to be sure to present my message in a way that people will want to listen to. It is really important because I don’t wnat someone that could be a “golden investigator” to miss out on the gospel because I was too  boring and robotic about it. It is SO important htat we TEACH PEOPLE NOT LESSONS. I hear that ALL the time. Hah. Yay. We have also been talking a lot about success as a missionary. I know that I vcan be successful….bhut How!??? My attitude. Do I have a good attitude about the work> Do I want to share the gospel today? Am I going to keep contacting even when the last two hours have been -10 and every person has said no? Yes. I will. Because being successful depends on my attitude and I want to be successful and so I want to have a good attitude. That is all it takes. Simple as that. Also, in 2 Ne 2:26 it talks about acting and not being acted upon/. That means that I have to act and decide how I would like to feel and not be acted upon and let someone make my decisions for me. It is up to me. What I want to feel, how I want to act, how I want my life to be. So, I can and will be a successful missionary because I will act. I will decide. It is my choice!

 
I cna’t believe that two months of my mission are gone. It is crazy. I love this gospel. I am so grateful for the plan of salvation. I am sograteful that families can live together forever. I am so grateful for the atonement of my savior, jesus christ, and that he went through every emotion that I feel. I know that he can help us when we feel  loss and when we feel frustration or confusion or hurt. I know that. i ahve felt his love all throughout my life. I know that he lvoes me. I love him and am so grateful for him. I am so grateful that I can talk to my father in heaven at any time and that he listens to me. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the prom,ptiogs that I can feel and the comfort that I can geel through him. I love my family and I am so thankful for them!!!! 

MUCH LOVE, 
SISTER SCHAFF 
сестра шафф

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communicating in a universal way

So…the big news of this week is that they changed our schedule! SO RUDE. We finally got so used to our schedules every day and then with two weeks left they decided it would be fun to change it. Oh well. We’re surviving. But, the sad thing about that is that we aren’t on the same scheduel as the other Russian zone. They have Tuesday P-Day  now, and we still have Wednesday so that is sad. Can’t complain too much because we only have ELEVEN days left!! WAHOO! It’s crazy what a time warp this place is because seriously I have no concept of time anymore. It’s great. But, sad. 

More about my week. We….ate, slept, studied, studied, taught, and then studied some more. And…ate some more. 

We brought a member to our lesson (one of our elders) yesterday and it was AMAZING! It is crazy to see the difference in reaction from an investigator when you have someone that they can relate to in the lesson. All he did was bear his testimony, but when he did it, our (practice) investigator, Dima, was so much more attentive and it was so powerful. We had a new investigator for a little while, Roma, who is an ER doctor, and 26 years old. He is very intereested in tons of churches, and has met with the missionaries before. The big thing with him to us was, does he have a desire to know the truth? Or does he just want to learn more about churches because he loves to learn and he loves to know more about churches. I have been going into lessons with only a notecard with some vocab of things that I know I might need and that I have needed in our “practice” lessons as a companionship. 

OH OH OH!!! THE FIELD IS OPEN!!! IT’S SO GREAT! I love it. So much. We play lots of soccer, some softball, and it is so wonderful! 

This week we have been doing something new, thanks to Adam Ostergar! He just left yesterday (Tuesday morning at 4am) for Italy! But, while he was here, he and his companionm would testify to X amount of companionships every day. They testified to us a couple of different times, and it was SO cool to see how confident they were in their speaking and how they sounded like it flowed SO well. We decided to follow in their footsteps! We now testify to 10 companionships a day. It’s cool, because I have come to figure out what I am super comfortable talking about, and what I feel like I have nothing to say about. So, they I go back and make a list of words for the next day or two that I have to use in my testimony and those are words that I will practice, and hopefully retain. The cool thing about this is that not very many people here at the MTC are speaking Russian. So, when we go and testify to people they are almost never people that understand what we are saying.  There have been tons of times where the missionaries that we have testified to will say, I have no idea what you said, but I can feel that you know it is true, and I can feel something when you testified. This elder from Mexico, that didn’t speak very good english, said, “You are going to be a wonderful missionary because you know it’s true. I can feel your knowledge and testimony! People aren’t going to care so much what you say as what they feel, because that is what converts people!” That was such a wonderful reminder at that moment to me of the Spirit and how it testifies to people and it really is not me. Yes, I am here. Yes, I am the one testifying. However, the spirit is the one speaking to people and softening their hearts and showing them what is important, and helping them to feel a difference in their life when they are exposed to the gospel. I am so grateful that the Lord is here for me no matter what and that he always has my back even when I can’t really speak any Russia, and he will help me communicate in a universal way. 

I need to be worthy of having the Spirit with me ALWAYS, and I need to be able to llisten to him so that I can teach in a way that will better facilitate other peoples learning. 

Also, last nights devotional was on Family History. At first, I didn’t really like it. but then thinking about it more I appreciated it some more! It is cool because people care about their family. We all have one. That is something that we can tell people about in a non-threatening way, and spark their interest. Even if someone isn’t interested in the gospel they might be so excited to hear about family history because of parents or grandparents or siblings that might have passed on. I might not love family history yet, but I am coming to understand it more and I feel like it will be a wonderful tool to introduce people in Russia to the gospel. 

I know this church is true, and I love it so much. My testimony grows every day. I love my family so much and am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation! I am so glad that I can live with them ALL again one day when we return to our Father in Heaven! 

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. I just think about that when I am having a hard day! 

Love you all. Hope you have a wonderful day! LOVE YOU SO MUCH! 

Love, SISTER SCHAFF

These pictures… the one smelling the flower is elder shepherd…that’s what happens when the elders have my camera…
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me and parker, thank goodness he just loves to smile! Hahaha.
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one of the portrait elder hunter drew me–I look GREAT don’t I??!?!?! hahahah. 
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