Learning and studying all I can before I leave for Santiago Chile on July 30th!
July 13, 2012
FRIDAY: The temple is actually closed! It doesn't re-open for another couple of weeks so my comp and I haven't had the opportunity to go to the temple these last few weeks which is kind of a bummer. There's a lot more time to write letters and relax though which is kind of nice. Friday night, my comp and I taught Edwin for the last time before his baptism. Then we had an Entrevista Bautismal just as a class to make sure that he was ready to be baptized. He passed! Not a lot of stuff happened on Friday, mainly just that.
SATURDAY: This was a crazy day, but in a good way! The main things that I want to share are the TRC and Edwin's baptism! We'll start with the TRC since that was first. A few days before Saturday I had actually sent Jonathan a few texts through my teacher's phone to make sure that he was going to be at the TRC on Saturday at the same time my District was. The purpose of the TRC visit was to get the address of Jonathan's family in Chile and then write it down so that I could contact them when I arrive. It didn't go according to plan, but it was actually really great! Jonathan couldn't get the direct address of his family yet. He's working on it. What he did give me was 3 more referrals! Two of them are his sisters who are inactive in the Church and the other referral is his cousin that lives with one of his sisters! He gave me their telephone numbers. Wow! I cant believe I have 4 referrals even before I get to the field. Jonathan said that we would meet up again this next Saturday (Tomorrow) so he can find the addresses and also write his brother Isaac a letter. He wants to send it with me so I can give it to him when I arrive in Chile. Maybe that will be another thing that can break the ice. Right after the TRC was Edwin's baptism! I was one of Edwin's friends, so I didn't have anything to do with the program really, but I was an Investigator of the Church. I was able to sit right next to Edwin the whole time as his baptism was happening. Cool feeling. The Spirit was incredibly strong. You wouldn't think that the Spirit would be so strong at a pretend baptism, but it was! This made me really want to strive hard to fulfill my purpose and invite as many people as I can to be baptized and reap the benefits and blessings that I have as a member of the Church.
SUNDAY: This was a really laid back day. There was a lot of studying going on. I wrote a talk on "Recognizing the Spirit" and I think I did pretty well on it! I'm starting to be able to say pretty much anything I want to say. If there's a word I don't know, I can work around it. I used a scripture in D&C 88:11 and it says "I will enlighten thy mind and quicken thine understanding" What a great fruit of the Spirit. I learned that I always need to be worthy of the Spirit so that I can partake of the fruits therein. The Sunday Devotional was given by Richard I. Heaton: MTC Administrating Director. He made a lot of references to 2 Nephi 31 which is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. He talked a lot about the doctrine of Christ which is in that chapter. This is a perfect chapter for the Investigators we are teaching to read. Brother Heaton talked about the success as a missionary and that success is not measured by baptisms, but your commitment to your purpose. I thought that was great.
MONDAY: We got a new investigator! His name is Luis, just like the last one (Hno Johnston is playing him. This is a real person from his mission). We taught Luis for the first time. His story is that his sister was just baptized in the Church and now he's very interested in it. Luis has one daughter who is 6 yrs old I think, but his wife and he separated about a year ago. Luis is a great person and is really receptive to our teachings. Another cool experience I had was getting 10 letters on Monday night from family and friends! Wow... As I read all of the letters that night, it was incredible the amount of love I felt from my family and friends and also my Heavenly Father. One of the letters was from Logan. As I laid in my bed thinking about his letter, I got pretty emotional just thinking of his great example to me and the way that he has set for me to follow. I thought of all the examples in my life and the righteous decisions that I must follow. I felt Heavenly Father's love for me literally pouring out on me. What an experience that was.
TUESDAY: We taught Jorge for the third time! He has so many questions with every single visit that we have. It seems like we spend all our time answering all of his questions he has about the Church, which is good, but it's a little hard to get anywhere in the lessons. We just have to make sure that we stay focused. My comp and I are now learning to teach people, not lessons. It's really good for us to do that. Tuesday night there was a great Devotional given by Robert R. Steuer: Emeritus Seventy. He made a lot of great points and quoted a lot of General Authorities. I liked the quotes the best, so I'll just share those with you. Dallin H. Oaks said that "Powerful words influence our behavior." I just thought of what a Priesthood holder should say and how he should act, one holding the Priesthood of God. He also talked about the powerfulness in the scriptures with the words said in them. James E. Faust said that "a testimony is an earned legacy." There's no way that we can ever inherit a testimony and we don't gain one because our ancestors came across the Plains. A testimony has to be earned. The first way that you gain a testimony is with the reading of the scriptures. We need to make that clear to our investigators. M. Russell Ballard said that, "The Lord gets to know you on your mission." If you fall or triumph is up to you. If I can remember this quote, I will be a very successful missionary. President Kimball said that, "Any excuse, no matter how valid, always weakens character." I know Dad'll love that one. In 1 Peter 3 it says that the "eyes are upon the righteous." If I can be righteous, I will be looked after.
***HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK***
Letters from Friends and Family!
Gift from Linda Hansen and family with some of her cookies! Thank-you so much!
Logan Smith's letter from Russia!!!! It was really thoughtful of him! I received it on Monday and he sent the letter on June 11th! Took a whole month to get to me. I'm writing him back today.
I saw Brett Thawley on Wednesday! We talked for a little bit (about 2 min). He said that he was liking his first day in the MTC. Cool to see him!
Well that's all the time that I have! I will send the rest today with pictures! Love you all! Hope you have a great week...