Elder Jenson and Hermano Toledo (Elder Jenson's MTC teacher)
What an incredible week this has been. I didn't get to mention this in my last letter home, but as Mom said in one of her letters to me, this past Saturday through Wednesday was the week where new Mission Presidents come to the MTC to learn and train. Tons of General Authorities were here throughout the week. The security was crazy and everything was roped off so there was no way of seeing them. I just heard about who was here. We did however get to see them in our Tuesday night Devotional as I will talk about a little later in the email.
FRIDAY: This was just a normal P-Day. During the class time from 530-830 (Normal class time on P-Day), we weren't able to teach any of the investigators. It was still a good night and a relaxing day. My comp and I were able to do a "telephone call" and connect with Edwin (pretend he's right next to us). We talked to him about how he's doing. We invited him to come to a baptism of one of our friends and see what it will be like when he is baptized so that he has an idea of what to expect. We followed up on how his reading is going and how his praying is going as well.
SATURDAY: There wasn't alot of things out of the ordinary today except that there were a ton of things roped off and places that we couldn't go. Mainly in the Main Building where all the General Authorities were having their meetings with the 110 new Mission Presidents and their wives. Saturday night we were able to watch a movie in the gym while all the Elders and Sisters that had their new Mission Presidents at the MTC were meeting them for the first time (President and Sister Essig, Elder Jenson's Mission President began their service July 1, 2011 and are currently serving in the Chile Santiago North Mission). We watched the movie,"The Other Side of Heaven". If you haven't seen this movie, I recommend it! It's a great story about a boy in the 50s or 60s that goes on his mission to Guam and shows his experiences he has there. This movie taught me alot about the challenges that I will have on my mission. The challenges I'll have are not even going to be close to the challenges that he had while on this tiny island. This movie strengthened my testimony and gave me the reassurance that I can do this.
SUNDAY: This day would have to be the best day at the MTC by far! This one and Tuesday (the one I will talk about later). There were 3 talks given and they were all incredible. The first one was during Priesthood Meeting in the morning with all of the Elders in the MTC. It was given by the District President. The talk was on Coming to Christ ourselves before we invite others to Come Unto Christ. I'm just going to list some of the great points that he made. Close to the beginning of his talk, he asked the question, "How long will you take to Come Unto Him?" I thought that was an excellent question and very inspiring. That made me think where I was at personally. President said that Coming Unto Christ is a journey and that's what the stories in the scriptures are all about. He said that you can make a physical journey and not a spiritual one (just like Laman and Lemuel did in the wilderness). One interesting point that he made was that we need to ask for faith in our DAILY prayers. "If you have your eyes always set on the Savior, you'll be able to "walk on water". Then he asked, What is the water that is distracting you? Fear, can't teach well, don't know the doctrine well enough, etc. He said that "there's no better day to come Unto Christ than today." That hit me! Another great quote that he shared that I really love is "changed men will set fire in others because they are on fire." Such an amazing talk that I had to get up there and shake his hand. I felt the Spirit throughout his whole talk. Scriptures that he used were Moroni 10:31-33, Luke 15:11-12, Matt 14:22-23, Mosiah 3:17 and John 14:16. The next talk that was given was during the Sunday Fireside. It was given by President Richard Brady and his wife Sister Brady. His topic was "How to Recognize the Spirit". The first thing that President Brady did in his talk was a demonstration. He asked President Brown, the MTC President, to come to the pulpit. President Brady then proceeded to blindfold President Brown. President Brown's wife then talked into the mic saying a simple sentence like "President Brown, I know who you are, but do you know who I am?" President Brown was then asked to tell the missionaries whose voice it was. He also did this with his two Counselors and he obviously got them all right. President Brady said that President Brown recognized the voices and picked out the names of the people who were talking. This illustrated that we need to know the Spirit so well that we can recognize His voice and promptings. President Brady then talked about how to receive the promptings. The Holy Ghost stimulates, enlightens, guides, stirs our memory, allignes us with our Heavenly Father etc. The best quote that I got out of this talk was "think about the difference of having the Holy Ghost in your lives and not...is it worth it to not have the Holy Ghost?" Wow, that's a powerful statement that when you are tempted to do something bad, you can remember that statement and always want that companionship of the Holy Ghost. Directly after the Devotional ended, another talk was shown in the Gym. It was David A. Bednar's talk he gave a few years ago on Christmas morning on a Sunday in the MTC. The topic he talked on was "Learning OF Christ".He talked a lot about the characteristics of Christ and when we as humans would normally turn inward in certain situations, Christ turns outward. In Matt 4:2-11, it talks about when Christ was tempted by Satan. Elder Bednar said that the temptation was giving into Satan's temptation of proving that you're the Son of God. There were secondary temptations as talked about in these verses, but those were not the primary temptations. Another insight with these verses is that the ministering of angels that Christ called down were not called to Him, they were called to John. The Savior sent them to John because he was in prison if I remember correctly...something like that. The Savior sent them and turned himself outward. When you turn outward as a missionary, you're developing that Christlike attribute. If you're down and thinking about yourself and feeling sorry, you're turning inward. Conversion is constantly following the Lord and His teachings. In Alma 30:5-6, it says that as many obtained a testimony (1) and were converted unto the Lord (2) never fell away. You need both. Know the Gospel is true and then CONSISTENTLY LIVE IT! Become a saint through the Atonement of Christ.
MONDAY: There was a great workshop in the afternoon on Faith. It really strengthened my testimony. In the night, Elder Nelson and I taught Luis for the 5th time. Our main focus for the lesson was to focus on the commitments and really let Luis know that it was super important to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, because with the book, he will know of the true church and want to be baptized. At this point, Luis knows that it's all on him to find out if the church is true. We also taught Edwin. For the fourth lesson with him we finally finished the Plan of Salvation. We then talked about how Families Can Be Together Forever and he can be with his wife, Diana, forever. He said that that would be incredible for him to know that. He's really progressing and we had him set a date for his wedding with Diana for the 30th of June! He's excited and nervous and so am I. What a great step in the right direction.
These last few days have been such a spiritual feast. Boy am I feasting from all the words being said. My testimony is being strengthened and is growing so much! It's such a great feeling as I'm becoming closer and closer to Christ. My comp and I also fasted today. We had a fast for food and also an English fast (no English the whole day)! What an experience! The fast was to know how I can Come Unto Christ more fully and what things specifically I need to implement in my life.
Well, I don't have any more time...But I love you so much!!! I'll talk abut the Devotional and the last few days in my letter home. Hope you like it!