This week was pretty mellow, but it was good. Nothing too exciting happened, but it's just been dandy.
Last Thursday after our P day was over, we went to class and had our LAST TRC! To be completely honest I don't know what TRC stands for, but it's just a program where we teach members in Czech, they're usually returned missionaries since they need to speak Czech to understand and communicate with us. But we had our last TRC lesson, and it went well, but we're not terribly sad it's over. It was fun to meet returned missionaries from our mission, but teaching them was stressful and intimidating.
Since we had our last TRC, this week we got to Skype. That's right. Skype a real person in the Czech Republic RIGHT NOW! It was so hard! We did it yesterday (Wednesday) morning, since the Czech Republic is 8 hours ahead of us we did it relatively early in the day. It was kind of hard for me, because even though I speak better Czech than Sestra Bailey, it just seemed like the people all liked her a lot more. They would laugh and speak back to her, but when I talked I swear I could hear crickets chirping in the background. That was rough and I don't really know what I did wrong. But I'm glad Sestra Bailey enjoyed it. It was cool to hear natives speak, even though it was super hard to understand through the speakers.
Because of Skyping I was kind of down yesterday, but Brother Knapp (one of our teachers) told me something that really helped me feel better. I had coaching with him last night, coaching is just like a one on one evaluation type thing where our teachers can teach us alone what we need to work on. I had been working on pronunciation with Bro. Knapp. So last night we were working, and after we were done we left the room we were in and started heading back to the class room when Bro. Knapp told me he had one more thing to tell me. So we went back to the room we were in and he told me that about 90% of the Czech sister missionaries never speak as well as the elders. He told me that for some reason, the sisters are just never as good. But he told me that I have been doing so well, that I have the opportunity to really run with the language and become really good at it. He told me that the things we had been working on coaching are way more specific details than he hardly ever gets to with missionaries while they are still in the MTC. That made me feel really good, and made me want to just work really really hard so that I can be better than the elders!!
Well, the Slovenes, Croatians, and Bulgarians all left on Monday. It was sad to say goodbye, but we're really happy for them. The new Croatians and Slovenes came yesterday, but we haven't really had a chance to meet them yet.
Alright, let me clear one thing up, and I apologize for not making this clear earlier: Our investigators are our teachers. Crazy I know, you might be thinking, "but they all have different names and are different people." Well, they are. Kind of. Our teachers take turns acting as a real investigator that they had on their missions, and we teach them. At first I thought this was bazar, role play was one of the things I absolutely hated in my mission prep class, but here it's different. Our teachers are so good at becoming these other people, that it's not like role play at all, we really are teaching Petra, Viktor, Jitka, and Lucie, even though they may be Bro. Knapp, Sis. Roubicek, or Sis. Donaldson. It's kind of weird, but it works.
I'll finish off this week's email with a funny story:
Once upon a time Elder Tingey received a package from home, and in this package were a bunch of dollar store toys. One of these just so happened to be a snake that if you let it soak in water for a few days, would grow like 6 times it's size. So we did this, in our classroom. When Bro. Knapp found out, he was a little upset, so he took Malcolm (for thus was the snake called) and threw him in the trash in the men's restroom. Without Bro. Knapp's knowing, the elders in our district snuck in and got Malcolm out of the trash. Later that same day, we put Malcolm in Bro. Knapp's backpack right before he went home. The next day, Bro. Knapp still hadn't found Malcolm in his backpack, but he did find him there before he left class. So he took Malcolm and threw him in a trashcan in a random classroom on our floor. Little did he know, we found Malcolm in the Norwegian and took him back out of the trash. We then kept Malcolm hidden for the space of a few days and waited until April Fool's Day. So yesterday, we put Malcolm in an empty Pringle's can (thanks Mom!) and put the can in Bro. Knapp's backpack. Before he left, Bro. Knapp found the Pringle's can and knew that there weren't Pringles in it, but when he opened it he saw Malcolm and just yelled, "HOW?" We had a great laugh, but unfortunately Bro. Knapp planned to take Malcolm home and dispose of him there. We then knelt and prayed to end class and I had the fortunate position to be right next to Bro. Knapp's open backpack (we kneel for every prayer). So right after the prayer, while the rest of the class was distracted, I pulled Malcolm (still in the Pringle can) out of Bro. Knapp's backpack without his knowing. It was really funny because no one in my class noticed either, and had no idea until I told them about an hour later. So Malcolm is still in our possession, and will probably make a reappearance sometime before we leave.
Anyway, sorry for the long weird story, but Happy April Fool's Day!
I love you all and I hope that through my weird emails you can see that I know this gospel is true. It has been such a blessing in my life and I can't wait to share it with the people in the Czech Republic. I'll end with a quote from Elder Teh of the Seventy, who came to speak to us on Tuesday. He said, "All of you are here at the MTC having the most spiritual experience of your lives, yet you are all looking forward to one day. The day that you can leave the MTC, and go out and share the gospel with those that don't have it." I thought that was awesome because it's true, we can't wait to get out of the MTC, but I hadn't really thought of it that way, that we are looking forward to the day we can really get to work sharing the gospel.
I love you all and hope you have a great week! :)
P.S. Here are some pictures from this week. Our companionship with another threesome companionship, each of us matched up with our twin. And our whole zone the day before we lost 10 elders and sisters to Slovenia, Croatia, and Bulgaria/Chicago (they are in Chicago visa waiting, the others went to their countries though).