HOLA! This is my last email from the MTC and the next one will be from Florida! As I am typing this it is snowing outside and it is making me laugh. I cannot wait to be in the warm weather again. Utah is just sad to see me go so it is sending me off with some light snow.
This week was great, on Tuesday we heard from Elder Gong, who is a member of the Seventy, and his wife. They talked about repentance and said, “We can all change. We must picture our converts in the waters of baptism dressed in white and see them changed.” WOW. Then we had a Skype TRC where we talked with someone in Mexico, a native speaker! It was really interesting and we get to do it one last time tomorrow. Our TRC investigator Diana had a great last lesson with us. We committed her to be baptized on April 23rd! It was super amazing and the Spirit was crazy strong in the lesson the whole time.
We got our flight plans on Friday and… I leave the MTC at 2:30 in the morning on Tuesday. I just knew I was going to have the worst flight our of my district. My flight is at 5:55 with one layover and my 3:00 Tuesday and then I will be in Fort Lauderdale! This week better go by fast because I don’t know if I could take it anymore. I cannot imagine speaking a language that makes you stay here for 9 or 12 weeks because that might kill me.
We only have 3 more days of class and then we are off! This Friday we have in-field orientation which is like a training ALL day and then Saturday we have General Conference so we don’t have class at all and we get to watch the Women’s conference (which we heard was super amazing) while the Elders watch their meeting. We have 2 more lessons with our teacher “investigators” and then we are done teaching them too. It is going to be a crazy week trying to pack everything up and be under the 50 pound weight limit…
My Spanish is coming along. We did our last grammar lesson and it was on subjunctive which just went straight over my head so that was interesting. I know all the grammar concepts but actually using them and applying them in the moment that I need to is what I struggle with. Hopefully, I will get it soon, but I love Spanish and am so glad that I get this opportunity to learn it and to speak it to people so they can hear the message in their own tongue.
On Sunday it was Easter and we got to hear from Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Let me tell you… it was amazing and pretty indescribable. It was a broadcast to all the MTC’s in the world. We were in the choir and sang to all the missionaries in the MTC’s! We sang “Jesus, Once of Humble Birth” and it was beautiful. And to sing that to an Apostle of the Lord is even cooler. He spoke a lot about missionary work obviously but we got to hear a story that I had actually never heard before! It was the story of his grandpa Melvin J. Ballard who was also an Apostle. He told the words from his grandpa about his vision of Jesus Christ in the temple. He read the exact minutes and transcript from that temple meeting and you can’t find those exact words published anywhere. If you want to read the summarized version of it you can read it in “Our Search for Happiness” by Elder Ballard. It was amazing and the Spirit in the room was incredible. Some other things I got from his talk:
-When fortified by the knowledge of Christ and the Gospel, all missionaries have increased spiritual power.
-Faith can turn life’s lows into high mountains.
-We cannot express how important the Bible is because it testifies of Christ’s life, but the Restoration and the Book of Mormon provide the map of the Doctrine of Christ.
-Your enthusiasm as a missionary is contagious.
-This work is not easy, but it is essential.
We went and watched the Character of Christ, by Elder Bednar again because it might be our last week of a Sunday film, and loved it even more than the first time. It is only available in the MTC for missionaries but here are just some points that I got out of it this time around:
-Learn OF Christ on your mission. Not about Him.
-Turn out, not in, like Christ does. Do not focus on yourself.
-“This mission is NOT about you. Get over yourself.” (Direct quote….BOOM!)
-We should be our own first convert.
-Evidence of the Lord in your life will lead to knowledge of the Lord in your life.
-“If you think ‘I cannot do this. It is too hard.’ YOU ARE RIGHT. You need the Lord in all you do” (another direct quote that shakes you to your core when he says it)
We heard from Brother Richard Heaton, who is the administrative director of the Provo MTC, aka he has to deal with all of us and the problems we all bring. He spoke about how all of our lessons MUST be focused on Christ. If our investigators do not realize that we are there to teach of Christ, and think we are there to talk about Joseph Smith or the Plan of Salvation, we are doing it wrong. Christ has to be the center of literally everything you say as a missionary. One thing that I have realized as I am reading the Book of Mormon again is that it is all about missionary work. It seems like every other chapter relates to the work we are doing now as missionaries and I love the new perspective that it brings, reading it again as a missionary.
This week for the Passover week I was reading the stories of what happened the last week of Christ’s life and it was really interesting to read them on the day that they happened and then just progress through the story. We have about 30 minutes in class before breakfast and it was a really good way to start off my day by reading about His last week of His life. If you haven’t read that in a while I encourage you to do that, whether its in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. My favorite verse that is in all of the books says “He is not here, for He is risen.” I just love the simplicity of that statement yet it carries such a big weight in all our lives. Because He did rise on the third day, all of us will rise again. Check out the new Easter video #Hallelujah and watch it if you haven’t already or go here: https://www.mormon.org/easter?cid=HP_SU_3-13-2016_dMIS_fSPC_xLIDyL1-A_
I hope that everyone had an amazing Easter and has a great week! I cannot wait to be in Florida and see what the Lord has planned for me there. I am so excited to be able to hear from our Apostles and Prophets on the earth today. I know that the Savior lives and because He lives, all of us will live again. I know that this church is true and that serving a mission is exactly where I need to be right now! I know that the Lord is preparing people right now in Florida to hear this message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and cannot wait to find them and share it!
Adios amigos! Tengan una buena semana!