Thursday, May 1, 2014
Boze Ojcze Nie Opuszczaj Nas
This week was quite emotional, for several reasons, still good, just... powerful... that's the only word I can think of to describe it, Polish is doing all kinds of crazy things to my English... First we found out Thursday night that Brat Jensen was going to be leaving for vacation on Saturday, going to Italy... Romania?... and Poland. He won't be back for a couple of weeks, and that was kind of a bummer, cuz we like having sassy Brat Jensen around to roll his eyes when we think we are speaking Polish well and whatnot. The more heartbreaking moment of last week came on Friday morning. We were just chilling in class with Siostra McAdams when she suddenly announces that she got a job in Kansas City and that was going to be her last day teaching, her last day in Provo even! There were many shocked cries of "czamu!" (a word which literally translates to a dramatic why!? and is pronounced like chamoo!). Then she bore her testimony, mostly in English, everyone got teary and she told us "when you start teaching at the MTC they tell you would will never forget your first group or your last and I know that is a true statement"(she said it better than that but I can't remember her exact wording. They she gave us all her email address and told us she'd love to hear from us, Siostra Holden and I got to hug her, and we all got a picture with her and then she was gone! it was so sad, she was my first investigator (fake, but still) she was my favorite teacher, and she had such an impact on my testimony and my teaching ability.
And the worst part was that latter that night we realised that she had foreshadowed her leaving at the start of the class when she had us sing "God be with you till we meet again". So, as we realised and collectively bulbbed and mentally kicked ourselves over that, we decided we would learn to sing that song in Polish, perfectly, get one of the other teachers to take a video of us singing it and send it to her. We haven't been able to do it yet though because after she left all but two of us in the whole class steadily got sick...
And thus begins the beginning of this week... which has been sucky! Only because of the sickness though. I am still sick and have almost completely lost my voice which is super dumb because I am just starting to feel like I am really getting the hang of the Language. We started learning cases and possessives and tenses and it's all just clicking in my brain, Polish words and making their way in to my everyday vocabulary without me even trying and I'm finally learning enough words and becoming confident enough in them to be able to say whole sentences and even think in Polish! (really simple sentences, but still) Everyone except Starszy Johnson and Starszy Burdick is miserably sick, Starszy Wieler was fine, but yesterday he started coughing and we fear for him...
Oh! and, before I tell the next story I wanted to say, I realised a couple of days ago that all my MTC family members are a character in Mass Effect. Now you're thinking, uh oh, Jensen's lost it, but seriously, when I started to think about it, it was totally obvious! Laney is probably the only one that will really follow this, so I'm including a short summary for each as well, I want you all to get a feel for these Elders and Sisters, as much as possible without actually meeting them.
Starszy Wieler - Thane - He's funny and he jokes around with us but when he talks about spiritual things he becomes so soft spoken and wise, he is so spiritual and kind!
Starszy Burdick - Garrus - He's a convert and he's like that backbone of the group, he doesn't aim for leadership position, but when he is put in the position he excels, he is always willing top let others take the wheel though, and when others are despairing he comes by and picks them up, and gives them encouragement.
Starszy Johnson - Joker - He is always making jokes, he cracks me up constantly! His sense of humor is often kind of dark, and it usually involves saying something just to get a rise out of Sestra Dubios. However, when he needs to step up and be a leader he can, though he still makes jokes the whole way.
Starszy Owens - Javik - He is so packed full of information, has an opinion on everything, and he is determined to share it all with you all the time even if you already know it! However, you can't imagine the group without him and you wouldn't want to!
Starszy Torres - Grunt - He's the youngest of us all, always trying to prove himself, sometimes he makes dumb discussions and puts his foot in his mouth but he is such a strong warrior and has an amazing testimony.
Starszy Sidwell - Mordin - He's a toothpick. He's hilarious, always making making us laugh. He's a fast talker who sings show tunes and he's a total Dramat Krolowa! lol, drama queen! those are his favorite word and he loves to use them when talking about himself. He was the first Starszy that I met, it was actually only about a minute after you guys dropped me off, I passed him with my bags and we started talking.
Starszy Jourdan - James - He's hilarious, a total jock, completely reckless in a really funny way, but you know that he can also be a great leader. He was our district leader for the last 3 weeks and he did a fantastic job, but he's still always really to make us laugh. Usually by pretending to get offended and dropping his stuff on the floor or storming out of the room pretending to cry, or by telling us some of the horrible things he did when he was a kid, like throwing a flaming roll of toilet paper at his brother, inside the house!
Siostra Holden - Miranda - She is super nice and funny, but also very centered on our task, which is great because I love to goof off! She's also really good with languages and which has been super helpful in teaching. She doesn't take guff from any of the Elders and acts almost like a mom to them, keeping them in line when they say stupid things and whatnot. (as an example, as I'm writing this I can hear Siostra Holden say to Starszy Jourdan and Torres "are you two being mean?" And Starszy Jourdan says "No MOM, we're being nice!")
Sestra Dubios - Jack - Unless she is laughing or making a joke she always seems to have a look on her face that says "I'm not listening to a word you are saying, I could care less" but you know that she is listening, that's just her face. She cracks me up all the time, her sense of humor is pretty dry and she does not take anyone's crap!
That's the group, district F and Sestra Dubios, who is honorary district F. Now, this week we were all sick, and the week before Starszy Wieler had gone out and gotten himself a TON of consecrated oil... just for fun, he's got like 5 vials hanging off his keys. So he kept telling everyone, "If you need a blessing, I'm prepared!" (Laney, picture him as Thane) So that's what everyone did! And when I got my blessing, I asked Starszy Wieler to perform it, because he is Thane and my train of thought was, if I were Shepard, choosing from my crew, who would I choose to perform it. The answer was obvious after that. When I chose him he said it would be the first time he'd actually get to preform the blessing, he'd only ever anointed before. The blessing he said was so sweet and so perfect for me I almost burst into tears right away. He said things that were almost word for word straight from my Patriarchal Blessing, he blessed me in learning the language and in becoming a teacher and a missionary. I felt sooo good after!
Soon after that day, I can't actually remember which day though because the days are sooo weird here! We taught our new investigator Olek, who is Brat Tribe. Teaching Olek has been hard because he is Agnostic, he doesn't believe in god and he doesn't understand how people can believe in things they can't see and he won't commit to praying, even on his own, he doesn't see the point in it. When we taught him, my throat was still pretty sore, on the mend, but still torn up, so I wasn't planing to say much. Once we got in there though I found myself talking more that Siostra Holden, which is way outside the norm for our lessons. He said that he wanted to know for sure, one way or the other if there is or isn't a God. I bore my testimony to him and told him firmly, that the ONLY way he would know for sure was by praying with a sincere heart and real faith that he would receive an answer, a feeling in his heart, or a sense of clam, something like that. I might have been a bit frustrated with him at this point because we've basically said the same thing for three lessons now and he has not budged! He asked what faith was though and I had him read Ether 12:6, he asked what a trial of faith was and I told about Edison failing to invent the light bulb over 2000 times.
Basically I said that Edison knew he could do it, he never lost faith and his failures made him stronger, and because he succeeded, he changed the world. Anyway, after that it seemed to finally click with him and he said he would think about praying. There's still a chance he might not, but it's the closest we've gotten with him so far. It was all the spirit, it was crazy! Anyway, those were the highlights of my week, it's been crazy, and different and we are all kind of annoyed about the schedule change ( again, sorry about the absence of a letter yesterday, P-day is now Thursdays).
I love you all! Kocham cie!
P.S. I'm way over time, so I can't write any more, but will ya'll send me pictures of those mass effect characters that correspond with my MTC family members? they want to see pictures of their characters, only Burdick knows what they look like. Also, Laney, look at your email!