Well my big news for the week is... My visa was approved and I'm leaving to the Madrid MTC on Monday! I was so excited and a little sad to leave here. I met with the Spain Consulate yesterday to get my visa and he also told me and the other Elder I'm traveling with a little about the culture, people, food, religion, etc in Spain. It made me even that much more exciting to go! I can't wait to get there. I did realize that I'm a little sad to leave here because of my companions, district, zone, teachers and investigators. Some of my teaching lesson practice comes from teaching my teachers or members of the church who volunteer to come to the MTC for that. Although they aren't necessarily real investigators, I find myself really wanting that person to progress and come closer to Christ. We have a TRC investigator (don't know if she is a real investigator or member), Hely. I think I mentioned her last week. She is from Guatemala. She is progressing and has some great, and difficult, questions for us. I'm really going to miss her. Each time we teach her, I understand more of what she is saying (actually quite a bit now) and grow to love her more. It's amazing how quickly and easily I can have a strong desire for those I'm teaching to draw closer to Christ.
We had a missionary conference last Sunday since it was fast Sunday. It was wonderful, as every meeting here is. I will highlight a few of my favorite things I learned. Mckinley Oswald said that faith is not about everything being okay, it is about being okay no matter what happens. I love this. Our attitude and perspective in life have a huge impact. No matter how righteous we are, there will always being trials in our life, even if it comes from bad choices others have made. We need to learn to have faith and be okay and have a positive attitude no matter what happens. Annette Burgess, the MTC president's wife, talked about testimonies. I loved it. I am currently striving to strengthen my testimony even more and trying to do so with the perspective of helping investigators realize that they are gaining a testimony. I learned testimonies start with a righteous, sincere desire, they will come through the quiet influence of the HG, they will gradually grow through experiences, and they will increase as we share them. I'm already finding these true from the past 3 weeks.
For the Tuesday night devotional this week Jo Ann and Gregory Schwitzer (of the Seventy) spoke. Gregory Schwitzer spoke about commitments leading to covenants. In order to help investigators come unto Christ, they must make commitments (such as reading/praying about Book of Mormon, coming to church, etc) in order to be ready to keep covenants (such as baptism).
At the beginning of the week, my class practiced doing a 5 min street contact. We focused on really being able to connect with the person and make them think you want to be their best friend. And then relating what they need in their life to a gospel principle. I'm not going to lie, this was really hard for me. I realized my Spanish is really coming along.. in gospel talking. But the everyday words and get to know you conversations need improvement. In my language study I practiced coming up with questions and have been continually trying to use my Spanish dictionary for random words as I'm talking with Hermana Tuaira and Hermana Dexter. Although I have a long way to go, the Spanish is continually getting easier and better.
Sorry I kinda rambled in this email... just had a lot of stuff I wanted to get out. I've loved my experience here at the Provo MTC, but am also ready and excited to go to the Madrid MTC. Here is my address for the Madrid MTC. I think I'll be there 3 more weeks.
Hermana Hilary Bingham
Calle del Templo No 2
Thank you all for emails/letters/packages, I love them all!
Love you all lots!