Tuesday, August 12, 2014
LIFT UP YOUR VOICE!
Hi Family!!!!! This week has been even better than the last!!! I LOOOOVEEE THEEE MTC!!!!!!!!!! Yessirreee. This week had so many awesome things happen!!!
I want to start out with saying how grateful I am for all of the letters, support, Dear Elders, and packages. Seriously. The smallest things get me through the super long days here!!!! Thank you with all of my heart. Everything at the MTC is amplified ... the good feelings, the Spirit, the church movies, the talks, the lessons, the scriptures, the prayers ... Everything is just taken up about ten notches! It's such an amazing feeling all of the time!
I love you guys so much! I miss you a lot, but I know this is where I’m supposed to be. Last Tuesday, we challenged the other district to a soccer game and killed ‘em (not that we kept score haha). We also studied super hard all day, taught a lesson, and it went terribly. I was a little sad, but I knew that the next day would be better. At the devotional Tuesday, we sang Sweet Hour of Prayer, and it was just incredible. I seriously want to sing my testimony all of the time. Song is so powerful!!!!! The speaker spoke about temple covenants and how we all visited the temple before we came to the MTC. It made me think of my family, and the first time I went through the temple with them and my friends in Bountiful. I know that those covenants we've made are very sacred and promise us incredible blessings if we do our part. Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Wednesday was awesome too!! I finally memorized the First Vision and My Purpose in Chinese!! We also had garlic toast steak sandwiches for lunch ... I might have eaten three of them. Best thing I've eaten here so far!!!! While I was chowing down, Ryan Curtis came up and tackled me from behind. Two seconds later I was hit in the side by Clayton! It was so good to see them!! I'm so lucky to have all of my friends as examples here. A few minutes later, Mike Hibbert sat down next to me and we talked the rest of lunch. What a day!!!!!
Later that night, I had a tender mercy... my headphones I was practicing Chinese with had a one second delay. When I'd whistle into them it would sound super cool and echo!!! Haha! I definitely did that a little too much, but I think the happiness I gained made it worth it :)
Thursday was great, but it was a super long day. One bright spot was finishing service early and having time to take a five minute shower and play around a bit before class. We picked up a basketball hoop from another Elder, so we've been playing PIG in our room at night. Good stuff. While we were walking from class, there was a semi-good looking sister who has certainly caught the eye of one of the Elders in my district. I told him if you don't look once you're not a man, but if you look twice you're not a missionary. We all had a good laugh because the line was from one of the general authorities that had given a talk here a while back.
Friday was awesome and ended well!!! Saturday was the best day in the MTC I've had so far!!! We had something called TRC at eleven that we've never done and hadn't prepared a lesson for. You're supposed to teach a member a more in depth lesson and work harder at developing your conversational Chinese during TRC. I was super nervous. So around 11, we went in and taught two twenty-three-year old BYU students who served in Taiwan. They were super personable, and I was speaking Chinese I didn't even know! The Spirit was so strong! We shared our favorite scriptures, and one of them bore their testimony about Ether 12:27 and weaknesses on your mission. At the end he asked me if I was leaving this week, and I was like I've only been here for two weeks! He was amazed at how far we'd progressed in our language. It was awesome. He also said his biggest regret was worrying too much on his mission... I've gotta work on that!
After we taught the two students, we went to another room and taught two twenty- something year old girls from Taiwan. We started in, got to know them a bit, and then tried to share some scriptures and bear our testimony of prayer. Halfway through, we asked if they knew Nephi 3:7, and one of the sisters was like, no, do you want to share it? It turns out, she wasn't a member, and she was going back to Taiwan that night. I freaked out!!!! I can't believe they trusted us with an actual real investigator after only a couple weeks haha. We buckled down the rest of the lesson and tried to be very sincere in our testimonies and questions. She prayed at the end, and it was very powerful. Just an awesome experience.
Later that night we started teaching the Plan of Salvation to one of our "fake" investigators that we teach about every day. It was super hard to try and remember all of the new vocabulary, but I still felt the Spirit. I'm so grateful for the peace this gospel brings-especially in families. Another great thing Saturday was the arrival of Ali's letter from July! She sent me an amazing talk and shared some very personal things that helped me deal with some problems I've been having. It was incredible, and definitely an answer to my prayers.
Sunday was the day that I once again realized that the MTC is just the closest thing to Hogwarts in the world! It's magical haha. At choir practice we sang Nearer My God to Thee. It's in my top two, and it was the coolest version I've ever heard. The choir director shared a story about what the song is about, and it made the song a million times better and more personal. Jacob is just amazing!!!! At the devotional the speaker (Richard Heaton) invited a convert to share his story and testimony. It was so powerful and so true. I was just overcome by the Spirit. I also said bye to Bleak and Cheney...it was sad but super happy too. I love those guys!
After the devotional we watched the Testaments. I've seen it before, but I learn something new every time I do something here in the MTC. While watching it I really just felt how blessed I am to have the family I have. I am so lucky for parents that have sacrificed everything for me to be happy. I love you :)
This might be bad doctrine...so I'm sorry if this is wrong, but something hit me yesterday. I was thinking back to the difference of testimony and conversion. I think Satan probably had a pretty strong testimony-he knew God existed and loved us and is our Father, but he wasn't converted because he wasn't willing to act on that knowledge and follow our Father's plan. We need to be more willing to act and submit to the Spirit's promptings.
Thank you again to everyone who continues to support me in so many ways - I am so blessed and I love you so very much.
Read Jacob and D & C 121-123...think of actual people writing the Book of Mormon and sacrificing their lives for us. It is so humbling.
I love you all!!!!!!!