[A NOTE FROM YOUR FRIENDLY EDITOR: Natalie was unable to send pictures this week because she was too busy. Also, she only has an hour for e-mails, so she is focusing her energy on writing a general e-mail to be placed on the blog. She cannot watch videos, so please do not send them in e-mails.
I have added some pictures to illustrate this e-mail.]
Where to start for this week? Seriously the weeks are just flying by. I feel like in a few days I’ll be going to Panama, and then time will just melt away. Sunday’s devotional was really good. It was elder Holland from February last year on knowing the Book of Mormon, and making sure your investigators know it too. It was awesome.
So, we had one bad lesson this week, and to be honest it was my fault. I thought we were discussing one thing,and we weren’t at all. Spanish is really hard to understand, and here it seems like your expected to pick it up overnight, which totally is not happening for me. I can speak some, but not a ton, and I still can´t remember past or future, or any of the weird rules they’ve given us. Plus they expect us to read the entire Book of Mormon in Spanish while were here, and do all the pre-work for our language classes and post work, and prepare for lessons and do personal study. I feel like I can’t fit it all in. I know there is probably a way I can, but it´s fun to gripe.
Anyway the lesson.
We were discussing something else and I accidentally went straight bam into the Restoration. Totally did not pay attention to the investigator’s needs. Luckily Pula backed me up,and we sort of got it around to the needs of the investigator (Eloy, or in other words our teacher Hermano Flores). Then our next lesson with him we basically had to do some damage control. But we got him to a point that I think is good. We got him to say he would do anything to follow Jesus Christ to be with his family again, and we challenged him to read 2 Nephi ch. 31-32.
I feel really bad about how little I say in the lessons. I’m having the hardest time figuring out what to say,and what to ask,and what it is they need to hear. I can’t understand a fair portion of what they say, and am not sure how to say most things back. I feel bad because Pula doesn’t feel like she can turn to me for help. I’m not sure what I can do to fix that. I’m going to try studying preach my gospel more, but I don’t know if it will help or not. I feel like my memory is my biggest problem, because I have the hardest time memorizing things. I´m going to try some new stuff this week to see if I can improve. I got some 3 x 5 cards and am going to make flash cards to memorize verbs. I’m dividing my study time into five parts to try and do all the work that I have to do. I don´t know if I will be successful, but at least I am making the effort. I do say my testimony in the lessons, that is the one thing I do have down, and I can pretty much guarantee that the spirit will come when I do that.
On a happier note I spoke in our branch´s sacrament meeting. It’s a random pick,and we all have to prepare talks. This week was on the Book of Mormon. I was the last speaker. I guess I kind of called it on myself because I was sitting there feeling really bored by the other talks, and thinking that if I got up there I would wake people up. Next thing I know my name gets called after the rest hymn. So, I had written out a short talk. They only need to be 5 minutes. Most of my talk was in Spanish, but part of it was in English. I told everyone that the book of Mormon is the most important thing we have. That we need to read it and find answers for ourselves. Then I read D&C 6:11, I think, and it talks about knowing the mysteries of god and needing to impart that to people. I ended up going into English, because I went with what the spirit told me and I couldn’t say it in Spanish. I basically said that people in the world need this book desperately. They don’t know what their purpose is or God’s love for them, and that the most important thing we could ever give them is the Book of Mormon. I ended up asking that if people did not have a testimony of the Book of Mormon that they read it and find one, because then they could testify with power. I got a fair amount of compliments on my talk,and some of the Hermanas commented that I spoke with power. Now if I could just channel that into lessons it would be awesome.
We went to the temple this morning at 7 am. I got up at 5.30 because I needed to do my laundry, and we had to eat breakfast by 6:45. Breakfast was awesome though because they had Nutella and peanut butter. We didn’t have waffles like usual, because it was too early but that didn’t matter. We all kind of got into a tizzy because there was Nutella. Most of us ended up putting it on a spoon and having it with a croissant or some sort of bread. They feed us so much bread. I don’t eat most of it, and have lost a little wait despite all the carbs. Anyway I didn’t take any pictures cause I didn’t think about it,and because I was tired. Oh, by the way all the other girls in my room are sick. I am the only one without some sort of cold. Hopefully I won’t get it, but if I do at least I have cold medicine, which nobody else seemed to think to bring.
Anyway the temple was awesome as always. i understood a little more, when I wasn’t yawning. Our MTC president and his wife came to our session. They were the example couple,and then helped at the veil too. I got them at the veil, so I got to do it in English. It was great. I was sitting in the celestial room and got the feeling that Heavenly Father had given me a little package from home. I get teary just writing about it. But it was just one of those moments where you feel that heavenly father knows I needed something that felt like home. I love going to the temple, and this one is really pretty. Plus you get to ride escalators in it. How cool is that.
On the way back I saw three dogs, but I didn’t take pictures, because my camera was in my bag, and I was half asleep. One was being walked, another was definitely a stray (which makes me sad) and the third I’m not sure. It was around people, but I don’t know if it was with an owner or not. I want to pet a dog! I´ll live though.
Oh, we had about two earthquake alarms this week, which means we leave the buildings were in and go out to these circles painted on the ground, and wait for the all clear. The only problem is that it’s cold here, and I’m not really prepared for that so standing in the cold for a while is not fun. I can’t wait to be in Panama where it’s warm.
I really liked hearing from all of you. But you guys aren’t supposed to be having dramatic things happen to you, right? You’ve got a missionary out your supposed to be getting blessings. (Teasing. Just teasing). I hope you get better Mom, you’re not allowed to let yourself get hurt or sick anymore, I think we had enough of that this year. But really, I love you guys a lot. Miss you, but there is no way I am coming home until the 17 months from now. Give everybody a hug for me, and pet the dogs tummy.
Love Hermana Palmer
E-mail Hermana Natalie Palmer directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even a short, encouraging e-mail would be great!