Sunday, April 7

April 4, 2013

Hello everyone!
The MTC has been incredible so far! It is hard, exciting, exhilarating, frustrating, and all those things wrapped up into one!! It is great though and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! It is an incredible experience so far. The spirit is amazing here and there are some great devotionals and talks to keep the spirit rich and abundant while in the MTC. I love it!! My companion is Masa (sister) Ormsby. She's great so far. I really like her. She's been so uplifting and positive, and so far we get along okay. The rest of my zone is made up of two small districts. My district is those of us that all arrived on Wednesday together. There are the Latvian speakers (five of them including me), one Lithuanian speaker (she is a solo sister), Armenian speakers (two sisters), and the Georgian speakers (two sisters). In my class there are five of us, four sisters and one elder. The elder's name is Elder Web from Spokane, Washington. He is a solo elder. A solo means they don't have an assigned companion. He just has to make sure that he is with either a companion of sisters or elders at all times. He gets down hearted sometimes not having a companion, but we include him in everything we do. The four sisters are Sister Stout (from Latyon, in Grandma Connie's stake), Sister Woodland (from Pocatello, Idaho), my companion Sister Ormsby (from Perry, UT), and myself. We also have the Lithuanian sister. Her name is Sister Bates. She's from Utah, but I'm not sure what part. I know it is about an hour and half north of here, but I can't recall where exactly it is. The Armenian and Georgian sisters are both going to the Armenian mission, but just speaking different languages. They are really awesome. The cool thing though is that the Georgian sisters are the first sisters to be sent to Georgia which will be so cool! They are incredibly positive people. I know that they are going to make waves in Georgia. I'm excited for the work they will do. For both the Georgian and Armenian sisters, they are service missions. They can teach if they get referrals or are asked about the church, but they are not allowed to proselyte. It will be interesting for them, but I know that they will do well. 
The language is coming along. I get frustrated that I can't speak it all right now, but I just keep reminding myself that I've only been here for a week and I can already speak so much. I can testify, pray, say some simple sentences, and teach lessons if I write it out before hand. It is pretty cool. I love that I can do that! I'm also memorizing the first vision (simplified version from Preach My gospel) and the baptismal commitment from Preach My Gospel, both in Latvian. Pray for me that I can learn the language with patience, because that is my biggest problem right now.
I've also taught for lessons in Latvian to an investigator already. We have another one tonight. Our first three lessons went really well, and our investrigator progressed alot!! It was really cool, but we had a set back in our fourth lessons when she asked a question about a scripture we shared and we weren't able to answer it and as we attempted to answer it in Latvian we just confused her even more. We ended up going over our allowed time which stunk, so sadly the lesson didn't end well. We're hoping that she'll commit to be baptized tonight, but ultimately we want to help her understand that she can take her questions to Heavenly Father through prayer as well. 
I'm not sure what else to share about. I didn't get any emails which was sad, but that is probably my fault since I'm not sure I gave you the correct email address. I hope that you'll send me a dear elder before next week so I don't have to wait to hear from my parents until next Thursday. Thanks to Shayla, Haley, and Melissa for the letters they are the highlight of my day a lot of the time!! I hope that I have more to tell you next week.
I'll end with a little spiritual thought and tell you a little bit about the devotionals and talks we've had. Easter Sunday was a special Sunday and we had a big meeting in the morning where they served sacrament to all 3000 missionaries. That is the first time that they've done that. The Presiding Bishop of the church and his wife. They were great. I didn't know that they both were from France which I thought was cool. Sister Causse talked about how we can speak a foreign language. She said that through Christ we can do everything and learning a language falls under that as well. That was awesome to hear. Bishop Causse talked aobut the atonement and how our understanding of it will be gradual, but as we begin to understand it we will grow so much. He also said that as our understanding of the atonement increases so will our desire to share the gospel. That was pretty cool to hear. I wish I had time to tell you about the rest, but Sheri Dew came Sunday night and gave an amazing talk! As well, as Tuesday Devotional a member of the seventy came and talked to us. I'm looking forward to conference this weekend!! It will be so great to hear from our beloved prophet. He's incredible. 
Love you all and hope to see from you soon.
Masa Klauvarda
PS: My MTC Address has changed a little bit. If you use the old one it isn't a big deal, but the new one is:
Sister Sarah Leigh Cloward
MTC Mailbox #250
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UTah 84606-1793
You can also use this address to do dear elder which is free!!!!

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