Friday, September 25, 2015

Week 3 - MTC


I can't believe it's already been almost three weeks. This week went so fast. 

It is getting hard to think of new things to talk about because every day is basically the same. Breakfast then class, lunch then class, then dinner and class with 45 minutes of gym time thrown in.
For gym time I play volleyball. There are a lot of Polynesians in our zone so playing volleyball with them is super fun cause they're really good and they get into it. It sucks we only get 45 minutes a day though.

 In the other Samoan district there is an Elder from Tonga going to Samoa. He only spoke Tongan when he got to the MTC so he had to learn English and Samoan.  To learn the languages, he'll get a Tongan, Samoan, and English  "Preach my Gospel" book, read the Tongan one then the Samoan one and then the English one and will understand it.  It's crazy, we can carry out conversations in English and he understands it. I wish that happened to me.

 The lessons we've been giving in Samoan with no notes to investigators have been getting better. I just have to memorize so much and I know I wouldn't be able to do it without a lot of prayer. The language is very slowly getting better.

I'm excited for General Conference next weekend because that means no class for 11 hours. I'll definitely be able to focus more on what the speakers say and I think it's cool that I'll be in the MTC when it happens.
 I do miss my music. Church music is growing on me but it's still no Royal Blood or Cage the Elephant. 
I heard one group of new missionaries got picked up at the airport in Samoa (they get picked up in a big van) and there were a bunch of huge Samoans listening to NWA in the van - I thought that was funny. I think it would make my transition a little easier to see them having fun and messing around a little bit. 
I found a scripture that describes the food here at the MTC perfectly Jeremiah 4:19 and 20

 19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

 20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the wholeland is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment. 

After attending the temple we go get breakfast at the cafeteria there.  It's one of the main highlights of my week. 
I just know that if I keep working hard and doing my part the Lord will fill in all the missing parts. I'm so grateful to be where I am but I'm ready for Samoa

Love Elder Sitana

Friday, September 18, 2015

Week 2 -MTC


​28 days to Samoa. Can't wait.
Everyone says the days are long but the weeks go fast and it's true. Every day is the same so they're starting to all mesh into one long day it feels like. It's crazy to think I've already been here for about 10 days. Each day consists of 12 hours of studying the language and other stuff with breaks thrown in every few hours for food and we get 45 minutes for gym time.
The language is very slowly coming along. On Monday, we have to teach a lesson to an "investigator" (our teacher) IN SAMOAN WITH NO NOTES. I'm freaking out because I can't even put a sentence together let alone a 10 minute lesson. So I've been studying like crazy knowing if I do my part to the best of my ability, the Lord will do the rest. 
The first couple days with the language I was struggling and was extremely frustrated.  So one night I just got on my knees and prayed the hardest I've ever prayed that I could understand what's going on in class trying and trying to learn the language. After I finsished the prayer, I felt a calmness come over me and I knew that everything would be okay. That next day in class I understood more than I had the past few days combined and I know it was an answer to my prayers.
We have to do service around the MTC on Tuesdays and Lucky Justin got stuck with cleaning toilets! Safe to say, I dry- heaved a couple times.
One thing I'm learning is to have an eternal perspective. My being frustrated and annoyed with not being able to understand the language is such a small road bump if I think with an eternal perspective. 
At our devotional on Tuesday, for our closing hymn we sang the Army of Helaman song and changed the lyrics from "we will be the Lord's missionaries" to "We are now the Lord's missionaries." It was such a great feeling singing with 2,000 other missionaries and it just gets me more and more excited to get out in the field and serve the people of Samoa. I love and miss everyone and think about you guys all the time.
Love, Elder Sitana (Sterner in Samoan)

Friday, September 11, 2015

week #1

Hey everyone,

      I made it safe and sound and I know I am in the right place at the right time.  I got dropped off at the MTC at 1:45 and a missionary helped me get situated. The first thing I did was get my name tag.  Putting it on was something I had anticipated for a really long time. I feel like a different person with it knowing that I'm a representative of Christ. Then I went to go get all my Samoan books and learning materials, dropped everything off in my room and then went straight to my classroom. I walked in and all the teacher was speaking was Samoan. No English whatsoever. I was completely overwhelmed and was totally lost but at the same time it was super cool just to listen.  I've been here for just three days but I'm starting to understand and recognize what people are saying sometimes.  My companion is Elder Redd. He is from Logan, Utah. Later, we went to a big meeting with all of the new missionaries.  It is so comforting and amazing knowing that there are 2,000 plus people here with the same purpose and goals as me.  As a new missionary something they put on your name tag is an orange dot letting people know you're new.  I took it off within the first couple hours cause I couldn't handle everyone all over the place saying, "Welcome to the MTC!!!" Our Branch (a bunch of districts) is by far the coolest at the MTC. Our district has 10 people in it all learning Samoan. Elders and Sisters in our branch are all going to island missions in the South Pacific speaking either Samoan, Tongan, Marshallese, and Fijian. In the dorms where we sleep there are a ton of Polynesians. Quiet time starts at 10:15 and bed time is at 10:30. From about 10 to 11 all you hear is the Polynesians doing the Haka all over the place. It's cool but at the same time I'm trying to sleep. These past couple days have been so awesome. I love this gospel and the happiness it brings me. I'll write y'all in a week.

Elder Sterner