Hola Querido Familia,
I can't believe it's already P-day again. The days seem to go by slow, but the weeks go by fast!
1. What's new at the MTC?
last week I think I failed to mention that we taught an "investigator"
all in Spanish. Talk about difficult. My companion has a great knowledge
of the scriptures (which I love!). Our lessons went well. Our spanish
not so well, but the spirit was really strong. My eyes started tearing
up as I attempted to share a personal experience with this investigator
with the little spanish I knew. I think he got it. I testified to him
that the Lord answers prayers, because of a specific time he had
answered mine. The spirit was so strong. My companion and I both had our
eyes watering. Don't worry we held back the tears...mostly ;). Not to
mention this investigator was attractive...shouldn't there be some sort
of requirement for people we're teaching not to be attractive men? Haha
just kidding. I forget that just because I'm a missionary doesn't mean I
don't find men attractive. Although we are teaching "investigators" who
are already members of the church, we can still feel the spirit very
strong, which surprised me. But, then I remembered how the Holy Ghost
confirms truth, regardless of the situation. I had a lot of "hard"
moments yesterday. For a number of reasons. I really prayed to the Lord
to help me. The next day quite some time later, I was really filled with
the love of God--or the spirit. I felt at peace. I felt happy.
Something cool--I think because of the experiences we shared with our
investigator when we committed him to be baptized he said he would. He
only committed to baptism for us. Out of all the companionships in our
district. Really cool. P.S. Something funny. I've been trying to speak
spanish more often. I was speaking spanish in the bathroom to myself. I
can't remember what I was saying. Something like...I know nothing
ever...always (I said this in spanish because I was trying to use the
words I learned). And apparently there was an hermana in the bathroom
who left and to my companion waiting outside she said, "I wasn't sure if
I was supposed to respond to that...". Haha anyways, I still talk to
myself if you were wondering ;).
2. Quick Messages
-Paul! I was so happy to hear from you. I'll
tell you straight up--I almost cried when I got that package from you.
Almost. I just feel really grateful to have you as a brother. Thank you
for your letter and advice. I laughed quite a bit. I showed one of the
sisters (who shares my odd sense of humor) and we both laughed at the
line about how after a few weeks we'll start referring to the MTC as a
"compound." Haha. Too funny. Thank you for your journal. I haven't had a
chance to read much of it, but I'm sure it will help me. I don't have a
lot of free time...ever. I feel like I need to be learning Spanish, yet
we're teaching investigators every day or other day, attending class,
reading BOM, etc. Anyways. Thank you. I love you.
-Mary. I hope to send you a letter this week too. Every time I write
letters my hand starts cramping because I feel so rushed, so my
apologies for my handwriting that may be illegible... :)
2. What I have learned this week
I want to share one thing I
learned this week. I watched a talk by Elder David A. Bednar, and felt
the spirit so strong when he testified of the character of Christ. He
explained that the natural man is an enemy to God, and how we are all
like the cookie monster-- "we want what we want and we want it now...we
want cookie now...we want baptism now...we want blessings now....etc."
The focus should not be on us. If we want to come unto Christ, like we
convenant to do when we were baptized, we must develop the character of
Christ--turn our focus outward. Elder Bednar then explained three
examples of when Christ was in the greatest of suffering and STILL
reached outward. (After fasting for 40 days and Satan tempts him--he
sends angels to John who is in prison (JS translation), after suffering
in the Garden of Gethsemane AND the disciples falling asleep AND Judas
betraying him...what does he do? He heals the ear of the guard who Peter
hit with his sword. Can you imagine how exhausted he was? While on the
cross, whom did Christ reach out to? He immediately was concerned for
the welfare His mother, and even preached to the men on the crosses next
to him. Never once did he complain, "poor me" or focus on how much
suffering He was going through. The reason WHY the atonement is so
powerful is because Christ never has focused on Himself--he is selfless.
The atonement of Jesus Christ is real. I have felt His love for me,
when I have prayed in my darkest hours. He is there. He is quick to turn
3. Questions to think about What are times in your life where
you are suffering? How can you react differently to your suffering so
that you become like Christ? This is something I know I can really work
on. I pray to be quick to reach out.
4. A challenge
This week when you are really stressed or
experiencing your own personal suffering, make the choice to serve
someone. Make the choice to focus on others and not feel self-pity. I
know we will be blessed if we try to develop the character of Christ and
I love you all. I would love to hear your thoughts or testimonies. Have a great week. Wow the time flies,
I have my travel plans! I'm supposed to leave next week for the PERU
MTC, but I don't have my visa yet so we'll see. I'll keep you posted.