Tuesday, February 25, 2014

3 Weeks In 3 Weeks Left

Hi everybody,

I'd like to start off by saying thanks for all the random emails, letters, and random goodies. They certainly add extra brightness to my day!

I know you might all get sick of hearing it, but the MTC is seriously one of the greatest experiences of my life and even an hour of attempting to explain why wouldn't ever do it justice.  I wish you all could come here and experience it for yourself.  I'm pretty sure I've learned more about...almost everything in the last few weeks then I have my entire life!

This week didn't include any new additions to our zone but boy did our zone get closer and I am so thankful for each of them.  I truly believe that God places the people we need in our lives to keep us smiling and to help us grow in every aspect.  I could not be more thankful for my companion and the smiles and encouragement she always gives me.  Plus the laughter, which is in such abundance, always keeps my spirits high.  I cannot believe that it has already been another week.  I feel like I was just here at the computer and at the same time I also feel like a month's worth of activities has occurred.

We are now teaching four lessons a day which is actually less stressful then the first week when we were only teaching one.  It's certainly something that you have to get the hang of and then you just can go and go and go.  I get really excited and doubly nervous before each lesson (at least that hasn't changed), but I'm more aware of how to teach to my investigators' needs now, and less focused on trying to dump all my knowledge right back at them.  I love to see the way their faces light up when they feel the Spirit and i hate when my "shattered" Spanish causes them to get bored and drift off.  There are moments where I swear I'm gonna scream cause I simply want to express to these people the power of what I know and how happy it'll make them, but I don't have the words for it.  The other day we were attempting to teach the plan of salvation, which is truly the plan of happiness which I've come to realize in even greater force now that I'm studying it, and I had no words to elaborate on how truly amazing Heavenly Father's plan is for all his children.  I just sat in the lesson and was like, "the plan of salvation is good....it's important...it's beautiful.  Gosh I wanted to break into English so badly!!! But though the struggle is real, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm striving each day to become better at explaining it so that one day, hopefully, I might even be better at explaining it in Spanish then i am at explaining it in English.

I love watching how much everyone here has grown and constantly hearing their testimonies, which I know strengthens my own.  When I have self doubts they're all there for me with a scripture, a hug, and the most amazing loving words you'd think we'd all known each other for years.  I love how much we rely on each other because it's further proof that the Lord realizes we cannot do this work alone.  This week we talked a lot more about the atonement and I truly learned more on a subject matter that I already believed I knew a ton about.  The atonement is everything; the center of the plan of salvation, the only way we can make it back to live with God, the only way we can truly be forgiven of our sins, and the greatest gift everyone on the earth possesses that they don't even realize is theirs.  Though I know I will never truly understand the magnitude of the Savior's sacrifice I know with certainty that there is nothing more personal and applicable to each of our own individual lives.  He truly died for me! Even if I had been the only person the Atonement would have benefited, Jesus Christ would have suffered for me.  The atonement was not simply an act, it was a an act for us, an extremely selfless action, that freed all men from every struggle, pain affliction, and sorrow they have ever felt if only they will turn to Christ and except it.  I know of the power this gift has given me in my own life and the comfort it has brought me in times of trial.  I have truly felt my burdens become lightened.  That's what I want my investigators to come to know, that this gift is for them if they will follow Christ.  I want them to feel that power and significance.  Without Christ we can do nothing, but with Christ we can do everything!  (Phillipians 4:13) I once again stand all amazed at how deeply grateful I am for this work and the ability it has of teaching me while I attempt to teach it.  I love how little I truly know and the opportunity it gives me to learn and grow in leaps and bounds each day.  I truly am clay waiting to be shaped and molded in His hands.  

On Sunday my zone took group pics by this creek that runs through the middle of our campus.  The guys tried to do all these boy band pics that just ended up hilarious.  I also took a ton of pics with my comp and keep thinking about how much I'm gonna miss her in three weeks (HOW DO I ONLY HAVE THREE WEEKS LEFT?!?!).  I seriously don't know what I'm going to do without the influence of her sweet spirit in my life and her gorgeous smile!  On the way home from the devotional we had our entire bus singing and I'm pretty sure the music hasn't stopped since.   On Monday night I got hit with the giggles and did a tap dance routine for everyone.  I'm sure most of you have experienced a Kristi Lee meltdown, I like to call it a happy high, and boy was I enjoying myself.  One of the elders started writing deep gospel questions on the board and me and Elder Sturt had so much fun attempting to answer them. Basically it's been the perfect week!

Remember how much the Lord loves you and look for his hand in your life this week,
With smiles, laughter, and joy,
Hermana Neuberger

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Update!

Hello Everybody,

Has it really been another week, because I'm pretty certain it was just last week i was sitting in this exact chair attempting to write faster than the wind.  We literally have very little time to write and when we walked away from the computers last week .  .  .  well I really can't even remember what I said so I hope it made at least a little sense.  If you only got one thing out of it I hope that it was that I LOVE IT HERE and that the work I am doing is the most important thing I could be doing with my life right now.  I feel so blessed to have this opportunity and couldn't be more excited at all!!!

Everyday is basically the same schedule-wise so there's not a whole lot to express in that regard.  The best way to summarize it is laughter till our abs hurt and spiritual highs that brighten my life in a way I can't explain.  The spirit here is phenomenal and like nothing I've ever experienced...and i thought girls camp and youth conference were pretty great.  Everyone here is aware of their divine calling and working harder then ever to live up to it.  I'm pretty sure I was blessed with the greatest teachers on earth.  They know what they're talking about and bring the Spirit into every lesson.  We committed our investigator to baptism in our last lesson with him and he accepted.  I once again had an "ah ha" moment, this is exactly why I am here.  The spirit was incredible and i felt an extreme love for this person I had only known for a few short days.

There is nothing I can complain about.  My mind is going a million miles a minute, I can't stop speaking Spanish when I want to speak English and vice a versa.  It's impossible to truly explain the feelings of my heart to my investigators, we never have a free moment, AND I LOVE IT!!! This truly is the Lord's work and there is no possibility that I could do it on my own, I need his help with everything I do.  This week truly stressed the importance of inviting the S

pirit and letting it do all the talking which is what we should do in our own lives.  There is nothing more important than letting an investigator take a moment to simply recognize the power of the spirit in the room.  Often times it has a greater power of conversion then the scripture you are thrusting in their direction.

With smiles, laughter, and a ton of joy,
Hermana Neuberger

All Smiles and Joy!!

Hello everyone, where ever you might be!

Feb 11, 2014
This could not have been a better week of learning, gaining strength, spiritual moments, and laughter.  I don't even know how to go about informing you all about my happenings over the past couple of days, it's simply been crazy! Whoever said that each day feels like a month was totally lying, because I feel like the time is flying and there is NEVER enough time to get everything I want to/need to done.  I have learned more Spanish in the last few days then I did in all three years of high school combined and even right now I'm translating this email into Spanish in my head :)

Well I got to the MTC late but it naturally all worked out because I got to say goodbye to the brothers and Challie and share one last meal together which was perfect!  When I finally arrived they couldn't locate my district so I just traveled around with the older district in our zone until we had a zone meeting that night (for all of you who for whom that didn't make sense, I apologize).  Basically, there were four districts in our zone, two districts arrived Wednesday and two districts were leaving Monday.  The two older districts were amazing and took my district completely under their wing.  One of them was completely made up of natives so they were fluent and a huge help.  The native district studies in the apartment next to ours, but they always leave their apartment to come over and talk to us except now they're all gone and it's crazy how quickly you can become close to people.  We took a ton of pictures with them before they left and miss them all like crazy even though it's only been a day.

About my district: Well my companion, Hermana Chynoweth, is simply perfect if not one of the most beautiful people I've ever met inside and out! She was actually one of the people I kind of knew before coming thanks to the facebook group and I could not be happier to have her as my companion.  We balance each other out extremely well in lessons and in everyday matters.  We share an apartment with Hermana Sturt and Hermana Metler who I cannot say enough good things about.  I'm sure we win the award for happiest apartment at any hour of the day.  The three of them are all from different parts of Utah and each brings so much to the table.  We're basically a companionship of four cause we do everything and go everywhere together! We just all love each other so much we can't imagine being separated :) There are also 4 elders in our district all with EXTREMELY different personalities.  Elder Laufenberg is quiet but makes really random witty comments and is a walking giant.  Elder Vance looks like Chris (Travis' roommate) and slightly reminds me of him with his off the wall comments but randomly serious side.  Elder Snell is probably my favorite, if i can even have favorites, and ALWAYS carries around his dictionary speaking more Spanish then any of us.  He's extremely humble and all about the rules but in a totally positive, keeps us smiling kind of way.  AND Elder Milligan.....is crazy.  I think his focus level is worse then mine, but he literally has us all laughing for the last hour of study time while Elder Snell (his companion) just rolls his eyes.  Basically, I couldn't have asked for a better district!!! We do everything together and are excited to start challenging other districts to volleyball because we've got some game!

For MTC West we live in Wyview and then walk to Raintree for classes.  All of the Raintree apartments have been converted into classrooms with the front room and the back room both being classrooms, one room being an investigator room, and a spare room for study use.  The Church has added a white board and a big screen TV to every room to help with our learning and it's simply incredible.  They also built a cafeteria and a bookstore in the Raintree parking lot AND bought out another parking lot and placed three mini climatrons (sorry those of you not native to STL) to use as our gym facilities.  Gym time, which is part of our schedule everyday, is thrilling (there truly is no other word to describe it).  Volleyball = intense, but four square = out of this world!! I feel like I'm playing with Travis and Kevin all over again.  You can't just stand in your square or you'll be out in seconds.  It's all simply incredible and I love that we get to go outside everyday multiple times, even though it was raining all week! Plus waking up to the mountains staring you down is always a huge plus :)

It blows my mind to think that BYU is just up the street and everyone is there studying and going to classes just like me.  Basically the MTC is one giant Spanish class after another.  The teachers are fabulous and dying to help you with anything.  I finally resolved three years worth of Spanish questions and am learning tons.  When it's time for bed it's hard to shut down all the Spanish that is running rampant through my brain, plus all i want to do is learn, so it's hard to fall asleep or even go to meals because I just want to keep studying and learning more and more!!! No one pre-warned me that I would be teaching an investigator the second day and I can honestly say that I froze up completely.  I felt terrible for Hermana Chynoweth who had to totally carry the lesson, but the horrible experience was also the perfect learning experience because I resolved from that moment on to never allow myself to be unprepared.  Like the Spanish elders always say, "being nervous doesn't help anything, so just forget it" :)

I think the highlight of this week was our second lesson, for which I prepared like crazy  because I wanted to make sure it would go well.  (Side note: for those of you who don't know, while in the MTC we teach "investigators" or people pretending to be investigators to the church.  We teach them everyday lessons about the gospel of Jesus Christ and invite them to come unto Christ.  It's the same investigator everyday and the entire lesson has to be in Spanish.  That's why teaching the second day blew my mind!)  We prayed as a companionship to be guided by the Spirit in everything we said and the words simply flowed.  In the middle of the lesson, when words began to fail and the Spirit was simply incredible, I had my "Elder Rogers" moment (Best 2 Years reference).  It was in that moment that I was hit strongly with the great work I have been called to do.  Though this investigator may just be an actor, the very act of teaching is quite real and so very important to our purpose as members of the gospel.  This is real and the work is not only important to Heavenly Father, it's extremely important for those we are giving it to! I came out of the lesson and just reveled in the remarkable ability I have to impact others lives simply through the spirit I can bring.  I could not be more thankful for this work in my life!  I know it, I live it, I love it!!! This truly is the gospel of Jesus Christ and we need to do all we can to share it with all those around us.  If I thought the fire was set inside of me before, it is now blazing even brighter.  I hope my investigators now and in Mexico will be able to see it burning in my eyes at those moments where I completely lack the words to speak!!

This is my purpose and this is my joy, to bring just one soul to Christ!!

Love you all tons,
Thank you for your letters and prayers I truly feel them,
Hermana Neuberger

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission! I know that I was called of God to serve the people of Mexico for the next 18 months and rejoice in this knowledge.

Alma 29: 9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.