Week 2: General Authority!!!!!

Hoi everyone!

This last week has been fantastic! We had a very special devotional guest last Tuesday night. It was ELDER BEDNAR!!!! It was really cool, because the MTC choir sang a song that he’d written titled “One by One”. It was the first time this song has ever been performed! (The music is going to be published in the New Era next month). I got chills singing in the choir that night the Spirit was so strong. A quote I really like from his talk said “We preach the gospel two-by-two to teach one-by-one”.  His talk was all about how God knows us personally and teaches us one-by-one. It’s an interesting thing to think about. With temple work, it would be so much more efficient to perform ordinances for the dead in big groups (like, just one baptism for a group of people). But that’s not how we do it. Each ordinance is performed one-by-one. Apparently next week all the new mission presidents will be at the MTC being trained by the general authorities, so I might get to see some more apostles! We’ve been instructed not to approach or bother any of the general authorities, but we can talk to them if they approach us first 🙂 Fingers crossed!
I think I’m finally starting to get used to the schedule here. Wake up at 6:30, go to classes, teach, in bed at 10:30, etc. Some days feel really long, but we have a lot of fun! My district is super funny and we’re always laughing about something. Exercise is our favorite time of the day! I always run a couple miles with Zuster Lechtenberg, then stretch with Zuster De Moors (pronounced ‘de moss’). Zus. Lechtenberg, Zus. Leman, and I have been stretching every day to see if we can get our splits before we leave. Anyway, we have a lot of fun together 🙂
Our teacher gave us an 8 day challenge last week (which ends tomorrow). We had 8 days to learn 250 words, 40 phrases, and 4 scriptures in Dutch. We did pretty well with the scriptures and most of the words, but not so much with the phrases 🙂 We memorized D&C 6:3618:10, and Moroni 10:5. We’re working on JSH 1:17, but that scripture’s going to take a bit longer to memorize 🙂 We’re also trying to learn Uw Doel (our purpose) and the baptismal invitation in Dutch as well.
Last week was our last lesson with our onderzoeker (investigator) Juni. She’s moving to Seattle for the summer, so we won’t be able to teach her anymore 😦 But, she did accept our baptismal invitation before she left! We are super excited (even though she’s not a real investigator:). It’s amazing how much love we’ve been able to feel for Juni, even though we’ve known her for less than 2 weeks! I’m excited to meet our next investigator, Greet, tomorrow!
Random funny things from this week:
.Elder Voigt cut himself on a piece of beef jerky. He said “I wanted you to know I cut myself eating beef jerky. Not shaving. That would be embarrasing.” lol
.I learned that Graham Elder’s (an elder from the Hungarian district that just left) grandpa was the guy who invented Graham Canyon ice cream!
.Elder Tolman got dressed one day and was so tired that he forgot to take his pajama shirt off. So, he came to class with it under his white shirt! It was super funny!
.We all were trying to guess each other’s first names yesterday during lunch. Apparently, I look like a “Lauren” or “Meredith” 🙂
.We got our matching MTC mission t-shirts yesterday!!!! We took some great “squad photos” 🙂
I love you all so much!
Zuster Mangum

Week 1: Ik kan Nederlands spreken!

Hi, everyone!

My first week at the MTC has been great! I’m in a trio companionship with Zuster Lechtenberg and Zuster Fordiani. They are such nice girls and I feel so blessed to be in a companionship with them!
We just jumped right into it our first week! We had our first Dutch class Wednesday night, and our teacher was only speaking Dutch! It was really cool, and I can understand a little bit because of my German. We also taught our first lesson on Friday. Our investigator’s (onderzoeker) name is Juni, and she’s super nice. She used a lot of hand motions so we could attempt to understand what she was saying! Since none of us really spoke any Dutch at that point, we had to read our entire lesson out of our notebooks like a script! We write out what we want to say in English, then translate the whole thing into Dutch. Hopefully in a couple weeks we won’t have to do that as much 🙂 We’re teaching her again tonight about feeling and recognizing the Holy Ghost.
For our living arrangements, we’re sharing a room with three Albanian sisters who are also in a trio. They’re Motra Risk, Motra Grigg, and Motra Saldana. They are very funny and have us laughing all night! They’ll leave a week before we do in July.
There are two different districts of Dutch Elders and Sisters. We only have 7 people in our district, which is fun because we’re all really close. The Elders in our district are Elder Voigt (District Leader), Elder Tolman, Elder Guevera (from Peru! We’ve had some good conversations about the food there) and Elder Groendel. Our Zone consists of the Turkish, Hungarian, Dutch, and Albanian missionaries. They’re all really awesome, and every week we play sand volleyball together outside.
I feel like my testimony has really grown a lot in the past couple of days. The Spirit here in the MTC is SUPER strong, especially when we’re singing. Last night we had a devotional by Sheri Dew! She is such an inspiring speaker and I learned so much! We also watched the talk “The Character of Christ” by Elder Bednar last night. People always talk about how that talk “changed their life”, and they’re right! That talk gave me a whole new perspective on Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to represent Jesus Christ and serve others for the next 18 months.
Ik houd van jullie!
Zuster Mangum
Here are some photos: