Called To Serve

Called To Serve

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

All is Well

Amongst the other April Fool's pranks that went on in the Sybrowsky Family and MTC (which included but were not limited to: fake sushi, a gorilla running around the cafeteria, and fire alarms going off at 7 am), my Dad sent out a text informing his side of the family that I had been, "Sent home from the MTC for being bad." The transparent text was easily put off an an ineffective prank so imagine my family's surprise when I walked through the door at a family party the next day. APRIL FOOLS! I am home - yes this is real, and part of the reason for my delay in posting is so that you wont need a run in with me at Day's Market to prove the validity of this post.

Though my behavior didn't solicit me being voted off the island, Tuesday the 31st's diagnosis of seizures seemed to do the trick. Since entering the MTC I had been having dizzy and fainting spells followed a myriad of other bazaar symptoms. I had experienced these on and off for several years and after some minor inquisition with no results and figuring it just another strange manifestation of my virus prone body, I shrugged it off and passed my MTC medical example with flying colors. I have already been able to see the timing of the symptom's manifestation as a blessing, but within days of entering the MTC it was apparent that I had ignored something significant. 

After fighting off the good people at the MTC for weeks, thousands of protestations that I was "just fine", and over a dozen tests and doctors visits, the first tentative diagnosis of partial complex seizures of the left temporal lobe came back. I still don't really know what that means or what it's ramifications are but I know the Lord was clear and direct when he told me the best and fastest way to be 100% of a missionary was to go home. I took a while to hear that message but through many wonderful examples I found the faith to make my mission on the Lord's time and not on my own. 

I loved the MTC more than I have ever loved any experience in my life and I am so excited and hopeful for the opportunity to get better and make it back there to learn once again. I loved my teachers, companions, district, investigators, I loved feeling the spirit all the time, and working hard every moment, and being happy every minute because my purpose and work were so clear and important. But as I have struggled to find my place since being home I have realized those same things I loved about the MTC can be real and tangible things at home if I will have the discipline and faith to keep putting the Lord as my numero uno. 

When people started trying to talk me into going home I was terrified to the point of being hysterical. The thought of changing plans, of waiting indefinitely, of admitting I was sick - I don't know what it was but as a member of the MTC presidency put it, I had the Egyptian disease : DeNile. 

But I now know this more clearly that anything else in my life, THE LORD WILL PROVIDE - my terror melted into calm and peaceful assurance that I was doing what needed to be done, that this was a blessing in an infinite number of ways, and this was happening for a tangible, exact, and eternal purpose. 

I am not worried that I will make it to California, hopefully sooner and not later, but most of all hopefully on the Lord's time. I am not even worried a shred about these seizures, or about coming home. You know you are blessed when your biggest struggle is needed to adapt emotionally to living with your loving and wonderful family. So now the plan: medicine, more tests, maybe school, lots of scriptures and prayers, family, love, trying to entendo espanol, learn to play piano, eat cookies, pray, watch my baby brother grow into the craziest toddler in the world, and marvel in the grace of God. Oh, estรก todo bien!  

Friday, March 27, 2015

March 27, 2015

This week has been crazy, awesome and crazy. My poor group of Hermana's has been through the rigner. At the beginning of the week we were known by the Branch Presidency as the Infirmary. One Hermana has clinical depression and anxiety (and went home yesterday), one has siatic nerve pain in her legs everytime she walks, I have been dizzy and they tried to make me go home twice, and my companion got food poisioning and an inner ear infection. It seems that between the four of us we have been to every doctor in Provo and Orem but despite it all we are supporting and loving each other. I am doing alot better now and it looks like attempts to boot me off the island might be at an end. Today we all are doing a bit better and instead of the Infirmary we are calling ourselves the Pharmacy because we collectivly are on enough medication to open a buisness. (Don't worry Dad, alot of mine is herbal :)

Me companiara es a santo y estoy es muy agradacida por ella. Nosotros hacamos (that isn't conjugated correcly) une meta unico hablar en espanol por une dia. Es muy difficil y me espanol es muy mal porque la citas de la doctor. Mas yo sa practica hacer perfecto. 

We got to see "Characters of Christ" a recording of a devotional by Elder Bednar that they show all missionaries on Sunday. WOW. Please try and find it online because it is the most amazing testimonies of the beauty of the Saviors life and Atonement. What a blessing to be in an environment where they let me learn all day long. 

Yesterday was kind of hard because we were in the Urgent Care with my companion for almost four hours and then once we got back she promptly passed out again. Es no bueno. I was reading in Alma capitilo 4 versiculo 15 reallly hit me. "And now it came to pass that Alma, having seen the afflictions of the humble follwers of God, and the persecutions which  were heaped upon themby the remainder of his people, and seeing all their inequality, began to be very sorrowful ; nevertheless the Spirit of the Lord did not fail him." That is what this week has felt like. Seeing so many of the people in my District suffering - one talking about being abused by her father, another abandoned by his mother, another with no family support or members, one sweet Sister who went home because of mental illness - it is easy to feel sorrowful for their suffering but I know that the Spirit of the Lord has been with all of us and that with it we can not fail. We are happy and laughing at how sick we all are, and making quote walls, and doing 'true laugh', and drawing charactures of each other in our very little spare time.  We are reading, and praying, and singing, and testifying, and supporting, and blessing, and crying with each other and, "The Spirit of the Lord," has not failed us.

Love you all,
Hermana Sybrowsky

Friday, March 20, 2015

March 20, 2015

I seriously love the MTC. Things have been good despite the little medical hiccup that you seriously shouldn't worry about. Our district is great and we have so much fun together. There are still lots of problems but we really love and take care for each other. Mostly our days just consist of lots of studying and getting ready to teach fake investigators. Wow, teaching in Spanish is hard. The hardest thing about it is making your lessons flexible enough that you can go in and ask your "investigator" (played currently by an MTC teacher) what they are feeling and teach them according to what they want to hear while still being prepared enough to say something in Spanish. We are working with someone named Jose and it is pretty hard. Our first lesson was horrible because we way over planned and then he didn't have time to hear everything so we had to take a 30 minute lesson to 5 en espanol. We didn't do a very good job but we are already better. We can communicate badly without anything scripted or written down and I know things will just get better. 

On Tuesday we got to hear Don Clark of the Missionary Board/Department speak and it was amazing. One of the best talks I have heard and was so powerful for what I need to change as a missionary. We also had this amazing experience to be part of a beta training experience and I learned so much. As missionaries our purpose says nothing about  "teaching" but we are to "invite" and "help." I seriously love every bit of what we are learning and I think I could live here if we could have Mom's cooking... and famila of course. 

One of the hard parts about being here is just the lack of time to take care of yourself and tie up loose ends. We have about 35 minutes in the morning to get ready and about 50 at night to wrap things up. It sound like a lot of time but those are the only time to write/read letters, iron for the next day, shower and do hair, write in journal, etc. It would be fine but as Sister Training leader I have to interview the Sisters once a week and/or every time they are having problems. We have a companionship that is having lots of problems so interviews are long and it hard to help them get through their relationship and personal problems. I am not alone it that and they have been making lots of progress but it just means I am always rushing at night. 

I am really glad that we didn't get a new district this week though cause I just barely feel like I have everything worked out at the same time though it will be so fun to bond with another group. Our group gets along so perfectly it is so easy to feel the love of the savior in every part of what we do. Just to clarify, currently our branch, district, and zone are all the same thing. If another district comes in they will be part of our branch and zone and it will be my job to help train the sisters. (That is for you mom)

Anyways, things are great. I LOVE LEARNING and GROWING and LOVING and HELPING. This is the best place ever because there are so many people who are so clear on their purpose and the love of a Heavenly Father. I am so excited to help other people feel that too.

Love you all,
Hermana Rachel Sybrowsky
St. Patrick's Day Party

 Matching Companions

Hermana Sybrowsky's District

Friday, March 13, 2015

March 13, 2015

 Hi! I am alive and doing well.  

The MTC has been great. Hermana Reynolds, my companion is very nice and we all have been getting along. She is really from Boise, Idaho, and going to SLC is pretty quiet and easy to get along with. She took a few years of Spanish in high school so that has been helpful. The other Hermanas in my district are Hermana Valarez from Oahu going to Portland  and Hermana Fisher from Montana going to Pittsburgh. Hermana Valarez is pretty loud and very Hawaiian while Hermana Fisher is more quiet. All of their family situations have made me very grateful. Hermana Reynold's Dad wasn't a member till she was 8 and her Mom wasn't active growing up. Hermana Valarez has lots of 1/2 siblings and neither one of her parents are active or supportive of her going on her mission. She is the first person ever in her family to serve. Hermana Fisher's Dad isn't active and her only older sibling didn't serve a mission and just got married outside the temple. They are all wonderful but it has just made me even more grateful for my awesome family and being raised in the gospel.

Our district has 4 Elders all going to Mendoza, Argentina and all the Sisters are stateside Spanish speaking. Our teacher Hermana Avery is wonderful and we are learning a lot. So far all I can do in Spanish is give a few greetings and pray but considering I have been in for a day and a half that is pretty good. We went to the temple this morning and that was super. The other great time of the day is meals and gym time. Really any time we get to get out of our little classroom seats is wonderful.

I have seen so many people I know here it is crazy. People from my BYU ward, Timpview, and lots of adults from the stake or who somehow know either set of Grandparents. My poor companion is constantly having to stop while I say hi to someone else I know. It is fun but I hope I don't burn out Hermana Reynolds.  

Our days so far have just been spent either in class or workshops with the other first week Missionaries. Last night we met our Zone and Branch presidency. They assigned me to be -- something -- I honestly can't even remember the whole title. Something like Assistant District Leader. Pretty much I am the District/Zone leader for the Sisters starting on Sunday. It is crazy that we have to take over so fast. The District in our Zone that is older than us was here for 5 weeks before they were assigned leadership positions because they had an older District but we were here less than 48 hours and already have assignments. I guess that must happen regularly and it will be great I am just hoping to learn the lingo and where everything is before I get a new district that we have to train. 

Things are going as expected which I guess is a good sign. We have has some good spiritual moments, we are laughing lots and getting to know each other and eating lots of bad cafeteria food (which Hermana Alvarez thinks is delicious),the days are busy, we are tired and the days are long but everyone is staying in good spirits and learning lots. 

Anyways, all is well, hope to hear from you before I get on again in a few hours. 
Rachel aka Hermana Sybrowsky