Sunday, September 8, 2013
Segunda Semana en la CCM (Sent August 24, 2013)
FAMILY! I want you all to know how much I love you all!
The MTC keeps getting better and harder all the time. They call it the "Refiner's Fire" for a reason. I've never been so humbled and so inspired simultaneously like I have while I'm in here. I don't know where they find these teachers, but they are absolutely incredible. Our main teacher, Hermano Salisbury is probably the most knowledgeable person I've ever met. He explains things that have been confusing in such a clear way. We got a new addition to our district with Hermana Hext. We both swear that we know each other from somewhere, but we can't figure it out, and as far as we can tell, we probably won't ever figure it out.
The Elders in my district continue to be shocked by how many people I know. Every time I say hi to a friend, they yell "Goff dang it!" But they do love that I know President and Sister Nally. They asked me to see if I could get front row seats for us when an Apostle speaks, and President Nally winked and said "I'll pray about it." They're awesome.
The Provo Temple is beautiful! I love it so much. It's incredibly busy with all the missionaries, but I'm so grateful that I got here just in time for it's reopening. I don't know if you can see in one of the pictures, but a pair of Elders are posing in a proposing scene in the background. The MTC makes your sense of humor so weird.
For example, when we first came here, the older Elders in our zone would come up to us, and slowly rub our ties in between their pinky and their thumb. After about 30 seconds of awkwardness they would look at us and say "Está bien." We decided to make up something that wierd, so this last Wednesday, we would yell "Bienvenidos, Élderes! Eeeehhh!! Oppa!" I know it doesn't make any sense, but it made them happy. Then Elder Fillerup would run up to them and say "Espera." And knock on their tag, listen, then laugh and say "Buenas suerte, Élder." The weirdest thing is that the Host who is escorting the new Elder doesn't even look phased by it.
Our next lessons with Marco went amazingly well. Our teachers kept telling us to study with the investigator in mind, and we would receive revelations. Even thought this "investigator" was actually just a teacher, it was amazing how we would really receive revelation for him. He didn't have any religious background, but he loved "la paz" he felt in his friend, Jim's, home. We focused our lessons all around how he can feel this peace and how it was the Holy Ghost telling him that the things Jim was doing were right. He was extremely receptive. We challenged him to be baptized and he accepted! Everyone in our district was successful. They are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. We all really want to learn and are diligent to studying for the investigator. I'm so glad to have examples and experiences like this. They will be invaluable to me in the mission field.
Castellano es muy divertido! Estoy aprendado muy rápido, y digo todas de mis oraciones en castellano. It´s a little weird to hear a prayer said in English, but I´m excited about how much I can say in a personal prayer. One of the best parts of Sunday is how many Hymns we get to sing in Spanish. I don´t know what it is, but singing Los Himnos is much more fun than singing The Hymns. By the way, "Castellano" is how they say "Español" in Argentina. When ever someone says "hablamos español--" we interrupt and say "no no no, Élder, es Castellano." Hermano Salisbury doesn't really like it, but we are just so excited to learn how to say everything the Argentines say.
We've recently been learning about how the Gospel should be taught simply, and always be shared by a happy and excited representative. After a lesson, Hermano Salisbury invited us to take a walk and reflect outside. There was an evangelical preacher across the street yelling his sermon to the entire MTC and waving a cardboard cross around. (Apparently that happens all the time, but not for very long; since the MTC owns that land, they are asked to leave pretty quickly.) I was pondering about that experience, and I realized why the Gospel must be shared simply and calmly, but with joy. The Spirit doesn't dwell with contention. Ever. All things must be done out of love for God's children. Alma talks a lot in chapter 36 about the joy he felt when he repented, and his desire to share this joy with others. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is exciting and joyful! Why should it be shared over shouting? That was a great lesson for me to learn that an effective representative of Christ doesn't scream a sermon, but guides people to receive their own revelation by being a loving and caring friend.
I wish I could spend more time writing emails and letters to you all. Receiving letters and emails is one of the most exciting things. Thank you for the "Be my Pal" cupcakes, they made me laugh. If you haven't checked out DearElder.com, please do. It's free, and you can send letters just like an email, but I can actually read and reply to them throughout the week rather than just on P-day. I love you all so much! Thank you for supporting me on this great experience. I'm serving a mission because I love the Lord. I want all of His children to feel of His love like I have on so many occasions.
The computer's being weird with pictures. I'll send them later tonight when the computer cools off and stops being such a baby.
Talk to you in a week!
P.S. Jesus the Christ is absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for that gift. The insights in it are the most inspired thoughts I've ever heard, and I'm addicted to reading it. :)
Also, there is a tree here that smells like Cream Soda. I'm not kidding.