Well this is it! Final p-day in the MTC this time next week I'll be in Mexico stuck with the squirts! ha
I have so much to say about this week but so little time! Hopefully I'll be guided and will be able to say what is most important! I have actually loved the MTC despite all the class time and sitting so much it has been such a cool experience and I have met some truly fantastic people! We spend each day surrounded by the spirit and the gospel, It is wonderful! With this week (our last week) coming to an end our District has been a little more off topic than the usual which led to some great discussions on how we can use this (should use this) time to become more prepared to serve our Savior as well as prepare to serve the people the Lord has prepared for us! We read as a distric a talk titled "The 4th missionary" If you can find it I reccommend it to all and suggest you apply it to your life! It discusses 4 types of missionaries 1. the one who is there for others that doesnt desire to do the work and is not worthy to. This missionary eventually gets sent home or sends himself home. he returns with no honor and regrets his desicions and often falls away. 2. The missionary similar to the first however does just enough to not get sent home and serves a complete mission. However has no honor in himself as well as will regret his choices. also often falls away. 3. the third follows all the rules, teaches and does well. He has success and returns home honorably ...however everything he did he did because he had to. He did not follow the rules for his own desires but becuse he was told to... because of this he has little joy in the mission and is blessed sparringly. 4. The fourth is the ideal missionary, he does all he is supposed to and has plenty of success, same as the third, however this time it is done becuse of his own desire. This missionary is blessed in abundance and loves every bit of the mission. There are many more blessings and consequences givin in the talk but I think this conveys the point... so without saying more I will leave that but maybe challenge you to apply this to your own life to look upon yourself and instead of what kind of missionary but what kind of member are you? Are you the first or the fourth? Could you imagine if we were all the fourth all the time?
One thing that everyone here is excited for is the world wide broadcast on the 23rd! It is a new mission president seminar and we will get to attend a devotional where the presidency and most of the quorum of the 12 will be present! It is bound to be a wonderful time! I can't wait to hear the things the leaders of this church will have to say to the missionaries! I also made it into the choir haha! so keep an eye out in the broadcast... I may become famous and end up on TV haha!
The theme this week has kind of been centered around the spirit and how we need that to do the work and also to find success in life. It is such an amazing thing to see as a missionary even here in the MTC how just one insprired question can lead to the changing of someones life. I think that if there was one thing of most importance in this church it would be for all of us to know when the spirit is speaking and to hear the words. This is not only for our benifit but for the benifit of others. Through us (those worthy and willing to listen to the spirit) we can be directed to help others in so many different ways! We can save lives, bless others, and help them through acting on any prompting to help them. This is such an important piece of the gospel! I challenge all to remember this and to really try to listen to promptings. The more we listen to, Hear and act upon the more we will recieve, and what a blessing!
I didn't get much of a chance in the rush of leaving but I wanted to thank you all. First off my Mom who was helping me get ready every step of the way, whether in Hawaii or back at home she was doing all she could to serve me in preparing for the mish! Secondly for a father who through example has shown me the kind of man I need to be and I am so greatfull for that as I have seen that rub off in my life. And lastly to all the family that was there to support me when I left as well as all the amazing friends I found in Hawaii! It was there were I grew the most and was able to best prepare for my mission and for life, It was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything and I never thought I'd miss it so much! You all are wonderful and I look up to you all!
Sorry this weeks letter is short but the MTC can get pretty repetitive so I dont have much else to say, Other than I would love to share experiences with you all so if you have questions or would like just a cool experience I have had write me.. I'm not a fan of email but can write anytime!
Wish me luck in Mexico! and Talk to you all next week!
Well there has been many more days and many more dollars! Its been a great week and I have done and learned so much! Hopefully I can get half of it into this letter!
First off Viva Las Vegas! Me and the three other elders in my district were able to go to the Vegas Mexico Consolate to recieve our visas! It was a good day out of the MTC and helped us realize in a way that "dang we're really missionaries"! In the travel packet we recieved a bunch of pass along cards to hand out and I challenged all the elders to really make the most of their cards. I was the travel leader of our district and another district (all of us going to the same mission). My "card" experiance was cool. I was talking to a guy and mentioned that I was from Soda Springs ID and another guy's ears perked up and came to listen in.... come to find out he is from Soda too and was just in vegas to visit his wife and boy for the first time in 6 weeks! I had a good chat with him and was able to talk a little on the importance of our message to have the opportunity to live with our families forever! it was a cool experience and I hope something maybe will come of it!
The second recent cool thing is now that we have so many missionaries we are meeting in the marriott center at byu for devotionals and on the 23rd I am in the choir who will be singing for the presidency of the church and several apostles! It will be on a worldwide "special" missionary broadcast to announce something new about missionary work! What could it be!? that should be exciting! I dont think Ive been in the same room with such important people!
As Dawson accidently said "I hope we do bad things and repent" I have something similar to say but not on accident. I hope we ask our Heavenly Father for trials that we might become stronger! If my time in Hawaii taught me anything it is this... Making a lot of money is awesome! Ha but also that no matter what the trial is, the Savior knows us and our potential and I promise that if we endure the trial well and are humbled we will walk away better people than we could have hoped to be! keep that in mind because we should love trials!
to answer some questions..... The challenging rules at the mtc are not really any rule in specific but more the fact many come in having been given very few rules in life as well as such demanding scheduals. With this many enter and get the mentality that there are too many rules and do not have the faith that they can or should follow all of them... I have been guilty of this myself but in our devotional last night I recieved an answer that I will hold for my mission and hopefully throughout life..... entering the devotional I was hoping for a talk that would chastize me and others for rules and the importance of the work we are doing as I and all the missionaries could use help in this aspect. Elder Arnold of the 70 gave an amazing talk and I recieved something so powerful through him in a way that I wanted to hear it... I might take the time to relate the experience! I believe the spirit was attempting to say something like this:
(Imagine Elder Holland speaking this because it was with that power it was recieved)
When we signed our papers we signed our life over to the lord. We should have been aware (and i think we were) of the commitment and challenge we were looking at. We should be willing to give ALL of our time to the lord. Anything from our past is unimportant at this time. If we are not willing to try to follow all the rules to our very best we ARE NOT worthy to put such a name as sacred as the Saviors on our chest!
That hit me witch such power I cannot deny the divinity of it. And despite the devotional we have the opportunity to bear testimony of things heard and felt... I bore testimony of that in a way as close to as i had felt it.... And then it hit me even stronger!
I know without a doubt that this is were I am meant to be... That being said all of those considering, preparing or passing up a mission; I know this is where you need to be! The Lord is hastening his work and for a great cause. You will forever regret passing up such an opportunity to serve! and I leave that testimony with you.
and now back to questions ....
To not have phone and internet has been so nice! the first couple of days i found myself looking in my pocket for a phone but i havent really missed that or facebook or anything but my car and bike ha......
I have given up on excersise... we have some time but its not enought to do anything with so ive accepted I will be fat until I aquire the travelers diarraeah in mexico that dawson blessed me with prior to leaveing!
lastly the best thing I did to prepare for a mission and the best thing I think that you could do is pray to be humbled and start falling in love with rules and why we have them. those are to key things that have helped me!
I'm not sure I have much else to say other than only a week and a half left!
I will conclude with my testimony in espanol...sorry for the spelling as i cant spell in english let alone spanish!
Me gusata compartir mi testimonio, yo se que Jesucristo es mi salvador y con la expacion yo puedo recibir muchas bendiciones y feliz en mi vida porque Jescuristo reciben todos mi pecadas. Yo se que Jose Smith es una egemplar persona y a Dios. Yo se que este inglesia es verdadero y con este englesia nosotros podemos vivir con Dios, Jesucristo y la Familias pro eternidad. Yo se que el spiritu santo giuar me in mi vidia y demonstrar la manera para me. yo se que con este evengelio todos personas puede reciben vida eterna y felizidad en este vida porque el plan de salvacion. en el nombre de jesucristo amen.
I love you all and thank you for the support! Hasta!
Third week down at the mtc! It's been another great week! We've had some reall good devotionals as well as I am realizing the crazy amount of spanish that I am learning! But as always there is always good with the bad. I wont go into detail but companions are hard but I have learned I can live with anyone if I will just see them as the lord does.
It's amazing how relaxed elders and sisters get with the rules... I feel that they feel they are more suggestions rather than goals... or that if they choose some and follow a few of those chosen their doing well?? I think that this may be true in all of our lives, the Lord has given us mandenmientos to follow (commandments) and sometimes we will go about doing as nephi tells in 2 nephi 6 vs. 7-9 i think it is that says only commit a little sin as for tommorrow we die and if so the lord will only beat us with a few stripes... (very roughly quoted) but you get the idea.... Here at the MTC people think it is not possible to follow ALL of the rules and feel if they try at those rules that they have chosen they will do fine. In this I am not saying I follow all the rules either however I do try my best; and that what we should all be doing. Don't look at rules to be to difficult or think that is too much to be expected but rather press forward and put your shoulder to the wheel and give it your best effort.... not quit when the rules get hard... You will not be blessed unless you try.
The language has been going great! I feel I am really progressing in the language. I have tons more to learn but as of this week I am able to have and talk in full conversations in spanish and understand and respond to most gospel things. For example we have a class called TRC where volunteers members or not come in to have a lesson taught to them in spanish. Yesterday we did this and me and my companion taugh two thirty minuet lessons in spanish with nothing but each other, scriptures and an investigator. The gift of tounges is here... unfortunatley for now only in gospel things as far as outside world we have been taught nothing.
The news of the week however is this:
Yesterday my district was called to the travel office and were informed we are going to go get our Visas! This is great news as we have seen many elders and sisters be re-assigned and or held at the MTC to provide more time to recieve visas. Its is also exciting becuse to recieve our visas we have to travel to the Mexico consulate tommorrow to prove we are real people! so as of now we are going to leave MTC campus for a day of flying out of SLC and into LAS to go to the consulate and vegas! we are all very excited to go to recieve our Visas as well as a break form the routien classes and MTC "stuff" that we embark on each day!
The MTC has been good and among the negativity that surrounds me I really am enjoying it. We're in spiritual guidence nearly every second of the day! I am coming to find scriptures and stories that I have never recognized as well as sharing the experiences that I have had to stregthen my district. In some testimony meetings I have had the opportunity to share or hear some great things some of which are:
That the "deep doctrine" of the church we dont need to know right now to be saved, with the simple baisic truths that we are learning to teach is missionaries is the only knowledge we need to be saved. We are a simple while complex organization.
It was amazing to hear all the stories of the sisters and why they are here on their missions. It is clearly evident that the lord is hastening his work to see all these wonderful sisters who are here that had never planned on a mission! Right now the church is seeing more missionaries that ever before and a lot of that is becuase of the sisters who are listening to the lords promptings and answering his call!
I am out of time and mostly out of things to say as the MTC is relatively the same each week. However the lord never stops finding ways to humble and teach me! I am so glad to hear from you that have been writing and emailing me here! I know I am here to serve the lord and am so excited for all the expreience and growth I will have in the sight of the lord! If there was any one thing I could say this week it would be this. READ YOUR SCRIPTURES! not once a week or every few days but daily and twice daily if at all possile. Its is here you will find truth, confort, answers and peace. As Tad R. Collister said in our devotional last night the B.O.M is a blueprint for our ever channging lives. so read it often and diligently and you will never go or be led astray... also for those who are considering Missions... stop considering and do! and for those of you who aren't considering that should (you know who you are) get your crap together and get out here!
Love you all thanks for the support!
no time to describe pictures some of campus and what not maybe mom will attempt some descriptions!
Dear elder me if you want to learn or say anything... it is quicker and makes my email time more efficient!