It feels like I've been in here for 10 weeks already, but it's only been 2. I didn't understand why all the missionaries said that the time blurs together, but it really does. When you're in the same classroom doing the same thing all day, you can't separate the days. I should just get a calendar, but I wouldn't even have time to mark it. They fill up every hour here with activities and lessons and meals. It's crazy to try to describe it.
We taught our investigator, Lena (Лена), for the last time last week. :( But, we now have a new investigator named Vasya (Вася). He says that he doesn't know God, so we are trying to help him know that God loves him and is really there. We're getting better at teaching in every lesson, but we still need to learn how to rely on the Spirit more. We'll get there! The devotionals have really helped me to feel the Spirit. We had 2 this week: one by Chad Lewis, the football player, and one by Elder Carlos A. Godoy of the seventy. Brother Lewis (can I call him Chad?) talked about being an example and having the light of Christ with us. He shared lots of examples about how he has had the opportunity to be an example to others through his football career and being an ambassador to China. (He served his mission in Taiwan if I remember correctly, so that's why he speaks Chinese and why they asked him to be the Chinese ambassador.) Elder Godoy talked about the steps to being a successful missionary. He used a verse in Alma 26:22. He said that if a missionary wanted to come home worthy to go to the temple, all he had to do was 1) repent. If the missionary wanted to have baptism, he would have to 2) work hard and 3) pray/fast/study scriptures. If a missionary 4) has faith, that's when he will have miracles. It was so good, and he presented it in a real, down-to-earth way. He's from Brazil, and one thing he said was something along the lines of "You speak Portuguese?" in Portuguese, and I actually understood the "falle Portuguese" part. (Thank you mother, for teaching me that word in Jamaica, even if I can't spell it right.)
So many funny things happen all the time, and I wish I could remember them all. My cheeks get sore from laughing so hard. I'll try to remember at least some. Sister Balls-Barker and I are doing P-90X (P90-X? P90X?) ab workouts every day. We're going to have an 8-pack by the end of the MTC. Yep. Sister Brayton and I are getting really good at four-square. We can usually hold our own against the elders. At week 9, we're going to be pro. Wait and see. Also, they have early morning work-out classes for Sisters, and today we went to one that was called "Pure Cardio." They're pretty fun, and a good-workout, but it's hard waking up even 1/2 hour earlier for the class because every moment of sleep is precious.
We always have fun in class with our teachers. Brat Spjut never spoke English to us until yesterday, and whenever we didn't know what he was saying, Sister Balls-Barker would tell him to act it out. One day she asked him to act out the word "beautiful," so he just pointed to himself and said "Вот!" (pronounced Vot), and it means "behold." We all laughed, and we still talk about it all the time. Another Elder got a tide-to-go stick and wrote "to-go" in Russian after the Tide part. It was funny then, but it doesn't sound as funny in the email. Trust me. It was funny.
When we were preparing to teach another lesson last night, we were trying to decide who would say what, and Sister Balls-Barker shouted, "Quick, Sister Springer, what's family in Russian?" And I said "Семья!" And she said in a serious voice, "You're ready." It struck me as really funny when she said it because it was so unexpected. She and Sister Brayton make fun of my "zone-out face." Whenever I don't understand what the teacher is saying, I reach a point where I stop trying to understand and I just sit there and stare at the teacher until somebody translates it to English. That's my "zone-out face." I wish they would take a picture of it so I know what it looks like!
Poor Sister Brayton was sick this weekend. She had a sore throat and her voice was nearly gone. She's a lot better now, but the sickness is going around the MTC. I haven't gotten it yet (knock on wood), so I hope I can stay that way. Sister Brayton was asked by the 1st counselor of the MTC presidency to do a little some'in-some'in in the mission conference on November 2nd. I don't know if I can tell you what it is now, but you'll have to wait and hear because it's going to be really cool!
We were supposed to watch Meet the Mormons on Sunday, but they had some problems, so hopefully they'll get it soon. I've heard so many great things about it, and if you haven't seen it yet, you should. Everyone loves it.
This email is so much longer than last week! I'm finally starting to get into the groove of how the day is organized and how I can best utilize my time, which is great. If you're not organized as a missionary, you're going to have a tough time of it, whether or not you're learning a language. I keep seeing more people from home who are in the MTC: Sister Wood, Sister Slaughter, and Elder Larson. My companions think I know everyone at the MTC, and I'm starting to believe it myself.
My time's almost up, but this should get you through the week. I can't believe how much I didn't cover, but I'm trying to fit 7 days worth of stuff into one hour. 'Til next week! :)