April 16, 2014

Week Three

Hey hey hey!

I finally made it to the MTC halfway point! Hallelujah.

So, I know you've all been dying, waiting at the edge of your seat, for me to let you all know whether or not I got transferred up to the Intermediate Spanish class. *drumrolls* I did! Although it took me a while to really be happy about the transfer. I had to switch companions, districts, and apartments, not just the class I went to. Luckily I'm still in the same zone, and it was just the neighboring apartment, but still. It took some adjustment, but I can see now that I definitely am supposed to be in this class.

It's finally been warming up lately (thank heavens) which means I don't actually have to wear layers of tights and sweaters and coats every time I step outside. When it's really nice out, Hna Johnson and I will study out on the benches by a little stream. We probably shouldn't though because there are a few super friendly ducks who live out there and they are incredibly distracting because they are just so dang cute. It's fun to watch them waddle around the grass and then swim around the little stream.

Teaching has gotten a lot better in the past week. It was so stressful before, but this week I have really tried to rely more upon the Lord and the lessons have gone so much better. And yes, I have teared up in a few lessons-- no shame :) Some of the investigators I'm teaching right now have just gone through so much heartache and trial, and I really want them to know the peace and joy that the Gospel of Christ can bring to everyone.

It cracks me up every time we get on the bus to ride over to the Provo Temple because the driver will be blasting Justin Timberlake or Katy Perry or whomever and it just seems so odd to me. It's funny how excited we all get to hear "secular music" instead of just the Hymns.

Another weird reminder of my pre-mission life is that everywhere I go I see things that remind me of being at BYU and living in Provo. We ride past my old apartments all the time, and I'm living in housing down in Wyview, so I have a few friends who live literally minutes away from me (don't worry, I won't go trying to meet up with them).

This past Sunday devotional we had the BYU Men's Chorus come perform. They were AMAZING. Seriously. I have no idea why I love music so much, but I do. The power that accompanies uplifting, inspiring songs will always amaze me. And then Tuesday night devotional we had Elder Neil L. Andersen and his wife come and speak to us. He spoke on Christ and the Atonement, and we looked for the best scriptures in the Book of Mormon that discuss that. (Alma 7:11-13, Mosiah 15:5,7 etc...)

I've been singing in the MTC choir with my district, so that has been pretty fun. If I'm totally honest though, sometimes I'll just mouth the words because I don't always know the notes, but it's still a blast! Especially since all the teachers and leaders here have been telling us that Easter Sunday we are having someone really wonderful come to speak to us, and the choir will be singing for him. (Everyone's betting it will be Elder Holland, but who knows.)

Speaking of Easter, I'm seriously so excited for it this year! It's really strange to me that I've never really thought about it that much before. It's kind of a big deal. I just always remember Christmas as the holiday where we celebrate Christ, but Easter is kind of spectacular. It's the day when Christ accomplished all. He had taken upon all the sins and pains of the world, He had suffered the crucifixion, and He had been laid to rest in the tomb. But then He triumphantly broke the bands of death and was resurrected, reuniting His spirit with a perfect body. How crazy is that?! It makes me embarrassed now that I used to just associate Easter with those pink and yellow marshmallow Peeps (which ARE incredibly delicious, to be fair). It's one of the most exciting holidays, but people don't seem to care about it as much. I absolutely love the new Mormon Message titled "Because of Him." It's all about Christ and the Easter story. Everyone should just stop reading this letter and go watch the video. It's powerful.

Well, I've rambled on enough. Alma 22:14 seems a pretty fitting scripture to close with: "And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory;" I am so grateful for the sacrifice Christ made as He took upon Himself all the pains and sickness and sins of the world. Because of Him, I can someday return to live with Him and my Heavenly Father for eternity after this life. Jesus Christ was more than just some carpenter's son from Bethlehem, He truly is the Redeemer of the world, the Savior of all. But even better than that, He is MY Redeemer, He is MY Savior, and I love Him so much for that.

Happy Easter everyone!
Hermana Simmons

My old companion, Hermana Martindale has the very curly blonde hair (She and two of the other Hnas are all going to the San Diego Mormon Battalion Mission). They are all in my old District.

Hna Hafer and Hna Brown are also going to San Diego. I used to share an apartment with them :( But I had to move after my transfer

Even while waiting for laundry we have to be productive (even though I really would just rather take a nap). I study, write talks, or prepare lessons while we wait for our laundry.

This is our old zone. The Elders all already left, and we have two districts of sisters here (the beginner spanish class and the intermediate spanish class)

My new companion, Hna Johnson. She is going to Buenos Aires South. We both got moved up into the intermediate spanish class

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