In the morning Hermana Jensen and I studied to prepare for our next lesson with Valentin and our new investigator, Mercedes. We found out that our last lesson with Hely was the last one we would have with her, but we were really glad we had such a great last lesson with her even though we didn't know at the time that it would be the last one. Because our district is really close, we set goals to make Ciclo (daily hour of personal study, hour of companionship study, and hour of language study together in the classroom) more effective so we don't get off track. Our Ciclos since have been really great. In the evening we had a substitute teacher that is a member of BYU Vocal Point. After the class he sang Nearer My God, to Thee (my favorite hymn) for us. During the class, we had the opportunity to have a lesson with him acting as an investigator and it turned out to be almost exactly the lesson we planned for Mercedes. The unexpected answer to our questions of how we should teach her.
In the morning, we had Missionary Conference for fast Sunday. The conference talks had a focus on exercising faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, which was the topic of the lesson that Hermana Jensen and I were asked to teach in District Meeting (Sunday school at the MTC). During Sacrament Meeting with our Branch (Zone) Hermana Jensen and I officially received the assignment to be Sister Training Leaders, or leaders for the sisters in our zone. Our former district leader and his companion are now our Zone Leaders too. Since my district is now the only senior missionary district in our zone, we all have different assignments (music coordinators, sacrament greeters, etc.) We also were able to bear our testimonies in English, so I shared mine. Breakfast and lunch aren't served here on fast Sunday, so it was much easier to fast, lol. Our evening devotional was with the international MTC director and his wife, and they spoke on how the mission will change us, but that those positive changes are not the purpose of our missions. I realized that maybe I had the wrong idea; I really wanted to learn Spanish on my mission, but I'm not actually learning Spanish for me. If I think that I am learning it for me, I won't learn it. Heavenly Father is blessing me with help with the language to do His works, not mine.
Today is the first day of our new schedules. Before, we had gym in the middle of the day, either before or after lunch, and now we have it early at 6:40AM, which is much nicer. We taught Mercedes, and my companion and I felt like we did much better than before at introducing who we are and establishing our expectations as missionaries. The lesson got a little repetitive, but it started and ended strong. It motivated me to try harder in speaking Spanish. I decided to set a goal to read through the Book of Mormon in Spanish, with the hope that at some point I will be able to read it fluently and be more comfortable speaking the language. We finally got our second permanent teacher along with Hermano Croft, Hermano Allred. He got back from his mission only 6 months ago and is only 20 years old. We've had a total of 7 different teachers over the past couple weeks, so we're really glad to have him!
This morning we went to the temple as a Zone (now very small with only two districts) and it was such a great experience to go with so many other missionaries.
Tomorrow we are getting in two new districts, 17 new missionaries, to add to our Zone. 9 out of the 17 are Sisters! An MTC leader told me that this is a neat time of the year because before graduations in June, we will generally have more Sisters coming in than Elders. We're so excited to meet our new "dork dots" and help them adapt to the MTC.
Thank you to everyone for the love and support and prayers! I feel so blessed to be here. Until next Tuesday!