Thank you for all your wonderful notes and packages--we really enjoyed wearing the mustache/glasses while Brat Bateman tried to teach us how to conjugate verbs (he ended up teaching us with his back turned to us because he was laughing so hard--and the cookies from the candy counter! SO GOOD! I've been doing so well at eating healthy but I can't resist those chocolate chip cookies. My district appreciated it too.
I love the Spirit I feel here. I'm not sure if I have ever really felt the "constant companionship" of the Holy Ghost in my life, but this week has been exhausting and overwhelming because of the amount of the Spirit we have felt. Sestra Parsons and I have been on the verge of tears all week because we are so happy and feel so close to God right now. We have already taught five discussions to our "investigator" Peter, and it is incredible how much we have learned. Our vocabulary is very limited to the gospel terms, so it is kind of funny when we go in to teach a lesson because there is literally no small talk. But the spirit has been so strong! When we taught him about the Book of Mormon and testified of its truthfulness, we asked him to pray if he knew it was true, and he says (in Slovak), "Right now" and we say "Yeah!" So he does, and immediately, the room was full of the Holy Ghost and all three of us walked out crying. Yesterday we got him to commit to baptism next month. (Of course, he is really just the head of the Slovak department here, but it is still fun because he is so good at pretending he doesn't know anything).
Sestra Parsons and I have so much in common it is crazy. We have already had multiple people tell us that we look and act like sisters, and we are sure we must have been best friends in the pre-earth life. One glance from each other and we can see an entire conversation. Today we were blessed to go to the temple, and the first name of the girl I got was Catherine. I looked over at her name, and it was Katherine. What are the chances! We have begun to think that there were no chances, and no coincidences. We are sure there are trials ahead of us that we are going to have to face together, and that is why we have been blessed with this friendship. Our voices are the same, we both say "literally" literally every two seconds, "We finish each other's sandwiches", and etc etc. We both chew on our pens which was a terrible discovery because we were sharing our colored pens. So either we break the habit, or both get sick. I'm sure we will be lifelong friends.
Also weirdness---I know the girl that introduced her to the church from jr high.
SO MANY WEIRD THINGS
We were so blessed to sing in the choir on tuesday for the devotional--What an incredible experience! We sang "precious savior, dear redeemer", and it touched me so deeply. Sister Oscarson, YW general president, spoke at the fireside and was just incredible. She had so many missionary stories!
I loved Sunday too. It is a little strange because church meetings are kind of scattered throughout the day, but it is also really relaxing. The sisters get to go watch Music and the Spoken word, and since there aren't a ton of sisters here, we all have a big Relief Society together. I loved sacrament meeting--it was pretty emotional because all of the Polish starsi and sestry left on monday, and I actually know a lot of them from BYU. But they were so ready! After nine weeks, they said it went by fast--we will see if I say the same thing.
From what our teachers tell us about Slovakia, it is 1) Freezing, freezing cold. 2) Beautiful, and the language is also so beautiful. The throaty sound isn't really there. it is more like a whisper. 3) Delicious tasting--except a lot of the meals are apparently animal organs, but they say it is good 4) No members. They said about half of the 230 listed on the LDS newsroom are inactive. So...
Haha. The language is really coming. It is kind of ridiculous how much we have learned in only a week, but I guess you learn it quick if every single hour of the 12 hours a day you spend in class is in Slovak. Well, not all 12 hours because 1 hour is personal study, 1 hour companion time. Our district is really really great. We joke because we are all so similar--outgoing, musical, funny, stubborn. Well, what is actually really funny is that the one Elder Bowen actually going to Leeds, England, speaking Slovak, is less outgoing and funny. He is always telling us to "Zamarat sa!" Or focus. We laugh, but know that we do need to focus most of the time.
I don't really know what has happened...Haha. I love the early morning exercise classes--my companion doesn't really but it is good because we have authorization to go on companion exchanges for that. We are really bad at getting to bed on time because we all get along very well.
Something spiritual for you peeps: In the MTC, they keep reading the scripture in D&C about bringing one soul unto me, and if you bring many, how great will be your joy (Sorry I don't have my scriptures with me. I will look it up.) But they put so much emphasis on that one soul being yourself! First, bring yourself to the Lord, and then you can find others. I'm so happy that I was able to become converted through personal study and revelation before I came on my mission, because otherwise, this would all probably be really hard.
Second, everyone should read Mosiah 27 verse by verse. I wrote a mini testimony/a couple sentences from each verse, and I've never been more spiritually fed in my life. I discovered so many new things!
Third, in Matthew 3, when it talks about Jesus Christ being baptized, look at the Joseph Smith Translation! Who knew that it was John the Baptist who witnessed the heavens opening and the Holy Ghost descending like a dove and hearing the Lord's voice! I always assumed it was Christ!
So incredible--I can't even explain how much of the Spirit I have felt. THIS IS REAL. This is true, and I know that this is exactly where the Lord wants me! I'm so grateful for this opportunity and for all the people around me who build me up every day! Sometimes it is hard to "zamarat sa", but a little prayer can fix anything. Anyway,
P.S. Please send me Dear Elders! They are so fun to read and receive throughout the day! I loved the ones you already sent! It is nice because I don't have much email time on P-Day. Which, by the way, is Thursday.