Well, I”m officially past my halfway point at the MTC! I’ve learned more Spanish in 3 weeks than I learned in 4 years in school! It’s really a miracle. I know that God is helping me. I had my first dream in Spanish and I’m getting to the point where I think in Spanish sometimes too. Teaching in Spanish no longer terrifies me and I”m actually enjoying teaching. I’ve accidentally taught some false doctrines because of messing up Spanish… let’s just say that it’s a good thing we have time to practice with actors before real investigators! My favorite was when I told someone that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ had “bodas” (weddings) but the Spirit didn’t. I meant to say bodies but I mixed up the words. It wasn’t until much later that I realized why my investigator had been confused. haha
Sometimes it’s hard to be here and not have my usual support group and comforts. Sometimes I just want to talk to a friend, take a nap, have 5 extra minutes in the shower, or listen to Imagine Dragons while I work out! These are luxuries that I took for granted! I have 2 main sources of comfort – chocolate and prayer. Mostly prayer. I love that anytime I need to talk to Heavenly Father, I can. Especially while I’m here where communication is so limited. I pray ALL the time. Even during lessons. It works really well. While my companion is talking, I’m silently praying for her and for the investigator. Really powerful. I love it. It also helps me realize that we are never alone in this work. The Holy Ghost is with us, God is with us, and angels who love the people we teach will be all around us too. It’s amazing to see how many missionaries are overflowing the MTC from every corner of the world. We are a massive force. There is a powerful feeling that I can’t begin to describe. We feel like a giant army preparing to war against evil. We basically are. We can feel the prayers of millions of members on our shoulders. The Lord is hastening His work. Big things are happening right now and I’m super excited to be involved!
My companion and I taught our district lesson on Sunday and we talked about enduring to the end. We focused on the idea of memories and how a big part of enduring to the end is REMEMBERING until the end. One of the things that makes this life a test is that we can’t remember our life before and maybe that’s the same reason we forget things – so it can continue to be a test. If we remembered everything with perfect clarity, it wouldn’t require effort. It’s a human frailty to forget things we once understood and it’s part of the natural man. This is why we have to give ourselves constant reminders by going to church every week and reading scriptures every day. The strongest members in the world would fall away from the church if they weren’t constantly reminding themselves of the things they learned. We talked a lot about memory and why it fades. We also thinks that it’s a blessing to help relieve us of pain. Events are painful not just when they happen, but for as long as we can remember them clearly. Time heals pain because the memories slowly become less clear. It’s a blessing that through repentance we can forget the pain of our sins entirely. It also amazes me that God not only completed the atonement, but chose to remember it. This shows that it was not just a one-time painful experience. As long as the memory of the atonement is still perfectly clear in His mind, Christ can still feel the pain of those memories. He feels our pains with us as we experience them. When He was resurrected, he chose to keep the scars on his hands and feet as His constant reminder of what he suffered for us. Check out 1 Ne. 21:14-16. Amazing. I’m so grateful for Jesus Christ and what he suffered for me. I don’t think it’s something I will ever understand completely.
This is an amazing time to be alive! We are so blessed! Don’t forget how much you have to be grateful for every day. I love you all! Thank you for the letters and support. Thanks for the mysterious package of bread and cookies! I still haven’t figured out who to thank for that! I love the MTC more and more every day.
P.S. The mission scripture I want to use for my plaque is D&C 31:3. Thanks!
Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.