Sunday, January 29, 2012


Jan 25
Mom, in one of your dearelders to me you said about my experience here at the MTC that "He is breaking you down to rebuild your faith and trust in Him, so that you trust yourself. You see, He knows what you can do, but you need to know what you can do and you need to really learn what it is to depend on the Lord." I've thought about that a lot since and thought alot about how I need to completely align my will with the Lord's. It is definitely a hard thing to do though. One of my companions, Sister Schwab found a scripture in 1 Corinthians 3:9 that kind of hit me, "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." Ye are God's building? What's that about? Well I found a quote in a conference talk by C.S. Lewis that I think helps me at least understand this idea:
"Imagine yourself a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that these jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of- throwing out a new wing here, putting up an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace..." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Sometimes I really wonder what on earth the Lord is doing/thinking because I just am not understanding what He has planned. But when I remember that the Lord's ways are higher than mine and He really does have a plan for me, it makes it easier for me to have faith even though I can't see the blueprints.
I am really glad that I have the Lord in my life and that through all these experiences I  am able to see his hand at work. not just with me, but with those around me as well.

Just a few more weeks til I'm going!!! Can you believe it?! Time here has just flown by for me!!! AHHH!!! :)

I have gotten letters from my friend Ian so that's nice. I've also seen some friends here I met at EFY or know from BYU and I've gotten letters from Grandma Catletts, one of my roommates (Kendra), and one of my EFY roommates (Kayla) in the last couple of weeks. It's nice that they think of me :) I love everyone here and back home and at school and everywhere and am so excited to meet more people to love. It's a nice feeling, love is. Oh, and let Sister Catlett know I appreciate her wave at the MTC, haha that's cute :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jan. 20th

I am sorry I am a little behind in the posts. Needless to say that Rebecca is still growing and learning in the spirit, Dutch language and life lessons. One sad moment for me was, without an address so close to Christmas, when everyone in the district opened presents together, Becky didn't have any to open. Of course she got most of hers before she left, but it still bothered me. She didn't really say anything about it, just told us things about Elder Bednar and others who tried to make Christmas in the MTC nice. Still I have since made up for it in  two packages and soon I will send another. If ever anyone wants to send anything I will be sending packages about once a month. I hear it is a bit more expensive sending them to her mission overseas, so keep that in mind. 

So on with Zuster  Hinchcliff! In her latest letter she tells us of the power of testimonies when there are so missionaries together. The strength of the spirit is amazing!

I loved how Elder Bednar described selflessness as a turning outward when the natural man turns inward. The bible dictionary descibes repentance as a "turning "of the hearts and will to God. My mission isn't about what I want it is about the will of the Father, same with everything in my life. I am grateful for the reminders the Lord gives me to humble myself. As I am sure you can attest to, I can be quite the bratt...sorry about that.
So my goal is to really become selfless. One of my favoite quotes that helps me along is by Elder Richard G. Scott, "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day. I guess a better wording for my goal is to consistently be selfless rather than "really become".

Brother /stephen B. Allen gave a devotional on Christmas. If you ever get to hear him talkhe hold some position with the MTC in Salt Lake.I loved his talk! He is one of those people blessed with the ease of speaking. He would tell tell us a story, have us all laughing and then use his story to illlustrate a spiritual concept. His talk gave me peace, comfort, encouragement, and other fruits of the spirit. He based a lot of his talk off of Alma 26:27-30 to show us how Ammon and his brethren, missionaries who we would like to be like, had thier own struggles too, but look at all the good they did by trusting in the Lord!

Zuster Christensen said she truly believes that one of the reasons she went to a Dutch-speaking mission is because  if she was familiar with the language she'd just keep talking and talking. What do you think? Is Heavenly Father trying to help me be more simple in my speaking to others? haha, I definitely need to learn prudence and frugality with talking.

 Things going on:

  • The Elders borrowed my camera so I'm not sure what kind of pictures will be on it when I sen them home. 
  • My companion, Zuster Schwab, likes the same movies , TV shows, quotes and both of us are familiar with brown-sugar pop tarts. We also both love whistling!
  • In Dutch if you say you know someone you have to be careful which verb you use. "Weten" means to know, like I know I can; 2+2=4 or God is our Heavenly Father. "Kennen" means to know as in be familiar with, like I know/am familiar with a person. If you mix up the two verbs and use "weten" to say you know someone, then you're saying you know them biblical like Adam knew Eve. Soooo glad I learned the difference! Can't you just see me being a total ditz and using weten incorrectly?! Talk about potential embarrassment! hahaha!
  • Jonathan McCormick has been at he MTC the past few weeks with me. He just left for Mexico City on Monday. We got a picture together though, so shout-out to the Hope Mills wards and McCormic family!
  • We had to leave the MTC and take zuster Schwab to the clinic in Provo. We were psyched to be free only to find out that without all that is going on at the MTC we were resting, bored and tired! By the time we got back we were feeling weird. I guess there is a definite difference between the fatness of the spirit at the MTC and when we are out. 
Finally, I left this analogy out of my farewell talk and I was so excited to share it! So cotton plants are rather small and insignificant and the actual cotton on the plants can be more of a nuisance at times, especially when the thorns are in them. but, collectively cotton can bring about so much good. some really great things like clothes, paper towels, linens, and a whole lost of things I printed off of Wikpikia for my talk. The by-products of cotton would never be without all the individual fluffs coming together similarly all the Small things we do such as reading scriptures, praying, going to church, visiting a bunch of girls after a devotional, etc. may be small and even insignificant, but collectively all these things make something really great. We just have to recognize it. The same is true of us as people too. Individually we have flaws, "thorns" if you will. We may not feel like much sometimes. Thanks to the atonement we can be refined and worked until we're really and truly great.

This is all for tonight. Sorry I jabber too much, even in my writing! hahahI love you all so much!

P.S. I 've started reading parts of the Book of Mormon in Dutch! It is slow, like a few verses an hour, but I can see the help it gives me.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jan. 11, 2012

So this winter in UT in exceptionally dry, it's only snowed once maybe twice and it has melted pretty quickly. This is super bad for the spring/summer, but right not it is super bad for me because my hands are majorly cracking! I'm putting lotion on all the time and I still have permanent sores/cuts/cracks that stay open. It hurts to bend my pointer finger, weird huh? Stinks for UT too.
So you asked me in a DearElder letter how to say daughter, I'm pretty sure it dochter (like docter) but not 100% on that...I've never actually said it. Mother is Moeder though and Father is Vader (not like Darth Vader, it's pronounced F-O-Der and Moeder is pronounced moo-der). Some more fun words are moe (pronounced moo) meaning tired, grap (the g is guttural so it sounds like crap) meaning joke, and heel (pronounced hale) meaning very. Nederlands les van de dag!

Elder Nelson gave us devotional yesterday! As in Elder Russel M. Nelson of the Quorom of the Twelve Apostles! It was awesome!!! I wrote about it in my letter to you all though, so I'll leave it at that :) (We will fill that in later when the letter comes.)

Let everyone know that I want to hear from them too. Whether email, letter, or dearelder (honestly preferably dearelder because it's faster for me to see). Even if all it is is a good joke or what happened at school, work, church, seminary, whatever. I'd like to get some testimonies :)
Anyway, I love you all!!!! Choose the Right :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jan. 4th update

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday :) So Christmas here at the MTC has been fun, they have been taking good care of us. For Christmas Eve the MTC put on a production of the Nativity but sing-along style so in between the narration we'd sing hymns that applied to the scene. Afterwards they gave us candied popcorn while we watched some production of "A Christmas Carol." There was this scene where the ghost of the Christmas present opened his robes and there were two starving children underneath in rags. It was seriously creepy and I could not stop laughing for either scene. It is fun to watch old movies with a bunch of 19 year old boys too, things suddenly seem a lot funnier than they normally are. After the movie we went back to our residence hall and girls on the hall did their own production of the nativity scene. Quality entertainment, let me tell you...the costumes were put together with whatever was in the rooms so out of cotton balls came Joseph's beard, pig tails were sheep ears, a yellow pillow the star, and there were some other elements added too. Another girl had red footie pajamas she stuffed to be santa and put pink shaving cream for her legs on her face for a beard. She even had a belt. The Zusters and I got pictures with santa and a kinda creepy sister joined to be sent soon. After that we got ready for Christmas morning.....

Christmas morning! We could've slept in but the Zusters and I woke up early so we could get ready, go to a floor breakfast (we'd been saving food all week to contribute), and get things done for the elders. All of the elders in our district are fresh from high school so this is their first time being away from home. We've been planning Christmas for them all week. We used some socks as stockings and put in oranges, candy, little notes, a book mark with our district name (Deze Dingen Zendilingen) and what each of them wanted most for Christmas. Elder Roemer wanted white gloves so he could look like Mario, and Zuster Jones got some in a package. She gave his companion Elder Douglas the pair that came with the set so they could be "matching" b/c he got what he really wanted from his parents. Elder Taylor wanted a Christmas tie so we made him one from paper, and Elder Christensen wanted gifts from home so Zuster Townsend gave him a giant candy kiss she got in one of her packages and we wrote him a note saying it was a gift from his MTC family. We also made paper chains and snowflakes to decorate our classroom and at 8 we met with the elders for gift exchanging (breakfast was at 7). We took pictures, and exchanged gifts, it was a lot of fun. My district is so awesome, we're all close and enjoy spending time together. The elders gave us some really thoughtful gifts...hahahah. Elder Roemer gave each Zuster a note and when we put them together they formed a picture of a snowman. My note said "Zuster Hinchcliff I licked this paper right here X" because yesterday I convinced him and elder Douglas that if they licked paper it would stick to more paper...priceless. Elder Douglas gave us each a copy of the Christmas orange story with a chocolate orange. and Elder taylor gave me a bag of mints since I sent all my gum home. They also gave us candy. Then we went to Music and the Spoken Word. For sacrament meeting we met with the entire MTC and Elder Bednar and his wife spoke! It was an excellent meeting :) I'll write you more about that Wednesday, I wish I could now, but there are a kajillion missionaries online right now and the server is reallllly's taken me about 30 minutes to write this much and thats all the time I have :/ lame. But I will tell you that Bednar imitated Cookie Monster in his talk..super funny!!!

There are 4 elders and 5 Zusters in the district and they are all going to the same mission. The Elders are all fresh from high School, they are Elder Rocmer, Elder Douglass, Elder Taylor, and Elder Christianson. they have the same mailing address. The zusters are zuster Jones, zuster Davis, Zuster Schwab, Zuster townsend and of course Zuster Hinchcliff. Some of the Elders and Zusters don't get any letters. My companions are Zuster Townsend & zuster Schwab. I love them both!! Actually, they are all wonderful. Just don't expect a reply b/c writing letters is hard to find the time to do. I know I haven't been here a week yet, but I am learning so much and am receiving so many insights to the gospel. I am learning every time I open my scriptures.

Oh, guess what? I joined the MTC choir, unexpected right? I just feel like I needed to, so I did. Our whole district is doing it together minus one zuster. last week we sang at a fireside and Elder Clayton of the 70 spoke. It was such a good devotional about giving and receiving. Our district  and our Branch 2nd Counselor and Brother Hill touched on something Sister Clayton said about how a gift is receiving gives it value. He related giving and receiving to a game of catch. the game would be lame if the giving and receiving weren't reciprocated. I can see it and relate it to our investigator. Unfortunately, he is going back to the Netherlands now  that Christmas is over so we won't see him again. HE did take a book of Mormon (Boek van Mormon) with our testimonies (getquikenis) written on post its. (which I need many more of. Index cards too!) 

Don't forget the best gift of all at this Christmas time. Our Savior Jesus Christ. His whole idea was dedicated to us. The least we can do is dedicate ourselves to each other to be good receivers of the gift of his life and love. I want to challenge each of you to give something of yourselves for the holiday and new year. I know as you do, you will experience the best year yet. I love you all!!! Zuster Hinchcliff

Jan. 4th,
The DearElder letters are coming through and working great! Thanks :) It's exciting when I get one! If you want to write to the others in my District too, feel free. They don't all get letters and even a I know you'll do great! quick message would make their day. I really want to send you pictures of my district, but we can't upload to the computer at the MTC and machines they have in the bookstore take 2+ weeks to print the pictures and are currently broken :/ Fingers crossed I can get some out to you all soon!!

Rebecca's MTC address is Bel-Neth 0214, 2005 N 900E, Provo UT 84604-1793. You can just write my name, box # 331, and then the MTC address and it'll get to me. My departure date is February 13th. As a district we want to make paper valentines and pass them out on the plane with messages of love (aka the gospel)...we'll see if any of us are brave enough/if anyone accepts our valentines, but we're really excited!

My district is awesome, I love them sooo much!! We have lots of fun together and learn a lot.

If anyone wants to join us, we were thinking that as a family or as friends we could help the valentine effort by making valentines with messages of gospel love. We can send them in a big envelope so they have them to hand out as they travel. Let me know if you are interested.  Julie (mother)