Monday, April 29, 2013

Tearing People Down on a Mission

I'M HALFWAY DONEEEEEE, with the MTC. And man oh man, I couldn't be more excited to get to the Czech Republic... and then I think, oh wait, I don't know Czech so I guess I can wait another 4 weeks to go!
This week has been really hard for me.
Tuesday's devotional they called us to repentence and I wasn't even really sure what I needed to repent of but I just felt so horrible afterwords that I went home and prayed forever. I am so guilty of comparing myself to other missionaries because I guess I'm just used to being pretty good at things and my how the tables have turned. I seriously needed to ask God to forgive me for looking at the other missionaries and being jealous of their wonderful talents. I just realized how terrible it is to break people down just so that you can feel better. I feel so terrible for ever having done that to anyone. It's just not worth it, because you actually get strengthened by being able to experience everyone's talents and you get to grow!
 I just started teaching a new "investigator" because we are at the part where we teach each other. And it wouldn't be so bad except that all the Czech sisters got paired up to teach one of the Slovak sisters so I am teaching a girl named Kathy... who is Catholic... by myself... in Czech and she is speaking Slovak back and then she teaches me in Slovak and I speak Czech and it is just a HOT MESS. (I hope that made sense) Just to be clear Slovak and Czech are like 90% the same, but still there are times where she might as well be speaking Chinese beacuse I don't understand her at all... That might be because she is just a way better speaker than I am... probably that is the reason. Anyways I taught Kathy about the Restoration and she basically told me that she didn't believe something like that could happen, so I just didn't know what to say, so I just handed her the Restoration pamplete, told her to read it and said that I would explain it better the next time I came. Then later that day we had 2 board displays and I just didn't understand anything that my teachers were teaching me and I felt really stupid, which is kind of hard for me. (MAN! What a smartaleck I must have been before coming here! Sorry about that!!! ) The MTC never ceases to humble me! I can't tell you how many times I have realized what I have been doing is wrong! So after that horrible horrible day, I just cried and cried and cried and had a minature panic attack because I just didn't feel like a very good missionary! And I felt like I didn't understand Czech, and that I was just a huge idiot and I was confused why I was going to the Czech Republic and learning this language, which my teachers tell me is one of the hardest languages ON THE WHOLE PLANET TO LEARN(which is not comforting by the way, it just makes it worse). I just felt like a giant, huge, fat failure. Then I just prayed for what felt like 15 minutes. And then the next day luckily was Sunday so we got to have Relief Society and a Devotional and I was also praying for comfort. I can't tell you how many answers I recieved yesterday. Elder Allen, a general authority who is the managing director of the MTC told us that if we have felt inadequate, it doesn't mean that we are horrible people, it just means that we are becoming missionaries. Then he reassured me that I am here for a reason, and I'm learning to speak Czech for a reason. It just made me feel soooooo much better!!!!
Then my companion was really sick yesterday and I didn't know what to do and we had to go back to our room early and missed the movie and I was just so nervous for her, but she is doing a lot better now and everything is good.
Anywhoooooo this week, not my best. But I learned a lot. And I have grown and that's worth the hard times. Also sorry if this e-mail sounds like I'm complaining because I promise that's not what I am trying to do!!!! 
TELL ME HOW EVERYONE IS DOING!!! I feel like I haven't heard from any of you in a really long time. HOW IS THE SUMMER GOING? Has Michael graduated yet? I want to see pictures!!!! I miss you all!!!!!!!!
s lasku
Sestra Bruno

Monday, April 22, 2013

People Understand by the Spirit

AHOJ RODINA! Jak se mas??? That's not the right way to spell it in czech but I don't have enough time to keep changing the keyboard back and forth to Czech because I want to tell you all the amazing things that happened this past week.
FIRST OF ALL, WE GOT TO HEAR FROM AN APOSTLE!!!! AHHHH Elder Scott came and talked to us about prayer. It was so amazing. Being in the room with an apostle of the Lord was exactly what I needed especially after all the experiences that I have been having with prayer. He encouraged us to pray out loud. It was amazing. AND THEN he gave an apostolic blessing that we would learn our language and love one another and just ahhhhh, it was amazing. I still can't believe how amazing I felt. The spirit is so strong here. I can't believe I'm a missionary! I seriously can't wait to get to the Czech Republic. Only 4-5 more weeks!!! It's my one-month aniversary and it feels like I got here last week. Which is weird because the days go by so slowly but the weeks go by in a flash. I really hope I'm doing enough and I'm working hard enough.
I got to have an interview with one of my teachers and it made me feel a lot better about the language (and the blessing helped too) but he said this language was really hard and that I was right were I needed to be. I am also learning that I will leave the MTC not knowing how to speak Czech. It's really sad. And that doesn't make me discouraged and it doesn't make me want to try less because I'm discovering that even though my Czech will be horrible, people will always understand the spirit!
Another amazing thing that happened this week was me and my companion were having a really bad day and so we took a walk around the MTC during our companion study and while we walked we were getting emotional about how our lessons were going and how we didn't know Czech and how we struggling but didn't want to be struggling because we knew how selfish it was, and then a teacher that we didn't know came up to us and told us that he had a prompting to read a scripture to us. He read Romans 8:18. It felt like something straight out of the Ensign magazine. That scripture was exactly what we needed. GO AND READ IT NOW! It's amazing. My companion and I then went and sat down on this little strip of grass overlooking a huge dumpster and prayed to Heavenly Father because we knew we needed help. I have been really trying to go to the Lord with a plan. I don't want him to think I'm lazy!!! But it seems like everytime I pray he tells me to do something differently, which is hard but has been good for me. I have been so humbled these past 4 weeks.But sometimes I just have to pray please help me to feel happy. It's hard, but it's good.
Finally yesterday was sunday, which is starting to be my favorite day of the week. I love having time to just think of all that I am blessed with! I hope you guys are taking time to feel the blessings of the Lord because he is blessing us so much! We got to hear from Sister Esplin, in the primary presidency and then from the BYU mens chorus. It was so awesome. Our topic was on faith in Jesus Christ and repentence. Both are so amazing. I am starting to love everyone in my district. They all have such strong testimonies! One guy was roommates with Davis Michaelson from our Stake in South Carolina. I didn't really know him, but it's cool how small the mormon world is.
Make sure you guys are praying. It's so important. I can't believe how stupid I was before my mission. These simple things we can do really bless us and they are so easy! So JUST DO IT. And if you have time you should watch the testiments. I had never seen it before and it's such a good movie.
Tell me everything that is happening at home. MICHAEL WENT TO PROM? What is Nikki up to? How is the Chicken (Gen)?
Thanks for everything you guys do!
s lasku,
Sestra Bruno

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Point of Missionary Work

AHOY RODINY! Jak se mas?
How are all you? I miss you sooooo much! This week was a blessing and a struggle. Did you all get my e-mail? I'm concerned because I don't have all your e-mails so I can't write to you!!!! So I guess I'll just write it in this e-mail sorry if I get personal
Dad-Love you. Did you and Michael and Nikki watch conference? It was so good. If you didn't then I'm going to punch you. Not really, but saying that reminded me of pre-mish days. And now I regret putting that. So I won't really punch you I just want you guys to watch it so much.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED every single talk. Probably my favorite was Pres. Uchtdorf's on light. It just struck me to my very soul it seems. I think I have been so focused on what I can do to make myself and my companion better missionaries that I missed the point of missionary work. THE PEOPLE! So after hearing all the talks on light and being a difference in this dark world, I finally realized, OH you are suppose to serve others rather than trying to fix them, or worrying how much Czech you know. So I am still going to work diligently but also remember that charity to our fellow men matters more. I loved the quote given in conference "His arms are outstretched with yours in service to fellow beings, including your family. So if there is anything I can do for you guys let me know! I'll try my best, but I'm staying pretty busy!
Also I loved when sister Dalton said to "Step out of the world and into Heaven" How beautiful! That's kind of how I feel being a missionary. It's my opportunity to step out of the world and find Heaven on earth. And you guys can do it to. Families were stressed (as usual) in conference and it made me miss you guys sooooo much. Speaking of
Gigi and Eric- Thanks so much for the dearelder. You seriously got me with the pregnancy April Fools. I WAS SO MAD, but then I laughed so hard. Thank you sooooo much for helping me get on my mission! I couldn't have done it with out you.
And speaking of my Birthday, I got heart attacked by my zone and they left letters on hearts with candy. I was so grateful. They are seriously so nice and so funny.
I still can't believe I am at the MTC, and I will be for the next 6 weeks. I am learning so much.
On Sunday after conference we had a devotional where Vocal Point sang, if you can get every song ever from them. They are so great.
Basically I cry and laugh and love so much here. And everything is really hard but I know that it's for my benefit and for the people of the Czech Republic. I can't wait to gooooo!!!!
I miss you all and want to hear everything that's happening. Is Michael done with his papers? Did Nikki watch the Young Women's broadcast? Did any of you? If you didn't watch it. It made my heart soar.
Just want to Leave you with the scripture Pres. Monson gave in his talk D&C 1:39. Truth abideth forever. And the truth is I love you so so much and want you to be happy.
Sestra Bruno

Monday, April 1, 2013

Teach with the Spirit

Hey I forgot to write down everyone's e-mail before I left to can you forward my letter to everyone and then send it back so I have all their e-mails!!!! My first week in the MTC has been a roller coaster. My companion is sooooo quiet, but only when it's just us and she really misses her family. Like. A. Lot. When we are working on our lessons we really flow so I think that our spirits must get along but as far as our physical bodies it has been kind of hard. But then again she reminds me of Kamilla Cunningham so much so I am hopeful that we will become friends once we can both kind of work through whatever we need to work through.

We already taught our first lesson to our "investigator" Stepan (Sh-Teh-Paaaan) His name is kind of hard to say. He is 34 and married with children. He is interested in the church because of the opportunities that it will give his family. He isn't really sure about God or Jesus Christ though. And we taught him all in Czech!!! It was so hard because me and Sestra Steglich planned our lesson out in English and had such a clear idea what we would teach. We wanted to commit him to being baptized after the first lesson, but we couldn't figure out how to say anything in Czech so we just talked about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and how Jesus is God's son and we are Jesus' brother and God's children too. Basically all I know how to do is bear my testimony, say a prayer, and a few other phrases in Czech.

My teachers are very funny because they said that Czech is like a cheese grater because once we leave the MTC we won't be able to speak Czech or English. I can feel that because now I am having a hard time writing in English already and it is just my 6th Day. AND MY BIRTHDAY. I'm 20!!!!!! But it's funny because I forgot it was my birthday until my companion said happy birthday to me this morning! Anyways the next day after we taught our investigator we were suppose to teach him again but he didn't show. So we practiced our lesson with one of the Slovak teachers. Our district and the Slovaks have a different district but I've heard that we will serve one transfer in Slovakia? I don't know though.

Also I'M HERE FOR 9 WEEKS, not 6 like I thought. So I don't leave the MTC until May 27th! Practicing with the Slovak teacher was harder because Sestra Steglich and I were both really frustrated because we had memorized phrases but then the teacher read a passage that basically told us not to do that and to work with the Spirit. So as soon as I started the lesson, I began to cry. I just really felt the meaning of the phrases so strongly even though they were in Czech and I wasn't pronouncing them correctly. Also all of the things we memorized went out of my head and I just started to say things I knew were true, even though they weren't what we had planned. Sestra Steglich began to cry too because we started to testify of his family and how we know families are eternal, and then I cried because I missed you guys so much!

 Rodiny jsou vecne (families are eternal)

There were so many tears that day because we were all frustrated and tired and wanted to be able to speak more Czech! Then on Sundays miracles happened. We bore our testimonies and I really felt the spirit. Then we had to go to a different room for Sacrament Meeting but since there are soo many missionaries we couldn't all fit in the room with the general authority who was Bishop Causse (the presiding bishop of the church) so we had to line up in this huge line. Me and Sestra Steglich and the other two girls in our district Sestra Roubicek and Rosenvall wanted to be in the room so bad and feel the spirit so we waited in line for an hour and a half then we got to the door and they told us our backpacks were too big and we would have to go put them in our classroom. (rookie mistake) So me and Sestra Steglich ran back and put everyone's bags away and they said they would save us seats.

When we got back we looked everywhere and the usher said there were no more seats but we could take a minute to look. We couldn't find them and we just kept looking. Then finally one of the ushers held their hands up telling us there were 7 seats and her fingers just kept going down. 5. 4. We started running and finally we got seats. We thought we were going to sit way in the back if in the room at all, but we just kept walking to the front and walking to the front until finally we were in the FIRST ROW!!!!! Right in front of the Presiding Bishop of the Church. I sat down and started to cry. God knows the desires of my heart! The spirit was so strong that I didn't stop crying the whole meeting. At the end one of the wives of the MTC presidency came down and handed me a tissue and I just kept saying how I couldn't believe I was here. I am so blessed. It was such a small thing but I was so happy!!!

Then after we got to hear from Sister Sheri Dew on Christ. Then we watched movie that was the talk the Elder Bednar gave this Christmas at the MTC. PLEASE LOOK IT UP. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIVES. I love Easter so much. I will never forget how much Christ loves us or my first Sunday in the MTC being Easter. It was a miraculous event!!!

I loved the Sunday walk and everything I did yesterday. And I love the MTC. And all of you guys! Seriously. I wish I could write more but I am running out of time and I am still trying to figure everything out. Hopefully I will have more for you next week! Also,

Flora will you please post this on Chelsea Hildt's facebook wall:

I MISS YOU SO MUCH CHELSEA!!!! Thanks for the Dear John's they are so beautiful. I laughed and cried during them. You are such a wonderful friend and I just love you so much. Good luck during school!!!! I will talk to you soon, but I need your e-mail because I can e-mail you now. And Paige and Derek's e-mail!!!! AHHH Love you!!!!!