Sunday, November 27, 2011

MTC: I'm Outta Here

So, I jet out of this joint on Tuesday, November 29. I'm flying on Delta and have a quick flight to Washington, with no stops. I'll be there by the early afternoon.

Now time to fill you in on more MTC life...

So each Sunday after Sacrament, our Branch President randomly announced missionaries to give talks on the theme. That means that during the week we all individually prepare a 5 minute talk in Spanish on the week's theme. Last week's was "The Gift of the Holy Ghost by the Laying on of Hands" and guess who he called up....ME. :) I knew it before he even announced it. Hahaha. It went well...a little less casual than I would've liked since I wanted the doctrine to be clear in spanish...anyway, it is good to have the talks prepared each week even if you don't speak because then you have them for your mission because randomly having to speak will not become so random anymore for a missionary.


Elder Christofferson of the 12 apostles spoke to  us on Tuesday...I was stoked! And I sang "Come Thou Fount" (Alex's favorito) with the choir. He started his talk out by telling us that one time he was visiting a Spanish Ward and the pulpit had a sign by the mic that read, "Please speak slowly, you are being translated." HAHAHAHA! Love the gospel jokes...but really that's a good one. :) He discussed D&C 112 and thanked us over and over again for serving...that we are companions with the 12 and the Quorums of 70, "We are honored to be your companions. We go shoulder to shoulder in this apostolic work." He also talked about serving his mission in Argentina and how Elder Richard G. Scott was his mission president, so that was cool. Also he talked about yielding our hearts to God (Heleman 3:25, 35) and said "Everything that ocurrs to you in your mission will be swallowed up in the Joy of Christ." referring to Alma 31:38. He then felt impressed to bless us and that was really special telling us that God is who gives us the increase and carries the burden, "Do what He asks; it is not that much." "Bind yourself to Him and it all comes out well."

Then if that was not enough, Elder Nelson and his wife Wendy surprised us Thanksgiving morning...I can barely describe to you how it feels to have one of the Lord's special witnesses walk in and to stand in silence...we were all so full of way to celebrate. Of course Elder Nelson's address was amazing as he shared the miracles that happened when he was a Junior apostle called to open up missions in Communist countries and specifically in Russia. It would take too long and be too complicated to just trust me. However for me, Sister Nelson was the real heart surgeon yesterday...full on open heart surgery on Hermana Alard. I was enthralled with her and her words. She gave 4 situations of where men were asked to do something the Lord's way and not after the manner of men.
1. "Nephi's Impecable Obedience" - He had no clue how to do what the Lord asked...EVER. (Laban, The Ship, His brothers etc.) 1 Nephi 17:8
2. Joseph Smith building temples - The Architect disagreed with circular windows and said that that made no sense, but Joseph knew what the Lord had shown him.
3. Dr. Russel M. Nelson (Elder Nelson) - He honored the scriptures more than his medical textbooks and pioneered "open heart surgery" against conflicting medical views/beliefs because passages in scripture inspired him to think on how this could be done and the Lord showed him how. Also, when he was called to be an apostle, he immediately "Laid down his nets" (Matthew 4) because he did not want to live his life after the manner of men and he closed his practice after he was a world renowned surgeon accomplishing incredible medical feats.
4. Parley P. Pratt - had a dream of a man asking him to join a greater work, the Lord's work and to CEASE working on his crops and fence...but he ignored the dream and planted his crop. Later he wrote, "I never reaped." meaning literally from his crops and spiritually from the Lord's work because he followed after the manner of men.

She then had us all promise to our Heavenly Father outloud, "I will serve my mission for the Lord after the manner He will show me and not after the manner of men." This was super powerful. That's all I have time to tell you but, this topic was amazing because this is something that I have really been studying and working on because all the things that used to work for me being effiicient at church, work etc. do not seem to be working for me here and so my "best"/Raven's way has been must be done in the Lord's way.

Ok, I'm over my time...Love you all and please pray for me! LOVE YOU and hope to talk soon!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MTC Week 1

Nov 17th, 2011

As of Monday I have been moved to Advanced Spanish and will be leaving the MTC in 2.5 weeks. I am in the same Zone, but a 
different District which means new companions, new room and new Mailbox #.
·   Zone 47, District D
·   Companions with Hermanas Franck (Fresno, CA Mission) and Harding (Phoenix, AZ) spanish speaking
·   Mailbox #284 (My address stays the same, just the Box# changes.)
·   Residence 17M, Richards Building
·   Class 7M, Kimball Building
·   Pday on Thursdays

The cafeteria served Graham Canyon Ice cream for lunch and Marionberry for dinner...that is the extent of my excitement these days...oh, and the temple was great of course!

I'll have to tell you about the craziness of the Spanish class they placed me in when I get back...but I feel so grateful because I love my first District so so so much! A huge blessing in my life...and then this whirwind happened and I have fun with the Advanced District (Elders all 1/2 or full Latin and Sisters both white). The class is at my level and although I get frustrated with myself teaching, the new companionship is trying my patience the most. But it is all good...I am adaptable and the Lord knows what is best and the sooner I can serve the better. I do miss my other District a ton though.

The MTC is not my fav...but it is not terrible. :) I mostly just don't like so much sitting, standing and eating (processed/heavy foods)...I use gym time to the MAX! I love Predicad Mi is the BOMB and I would die without it. I also really love the CHOIR! Singing has been a major stress release and the Director is super duper funny! We sang "Be Still My Soul" for the devotional Tuesday and me and Alex's old Raintree Stake President conducted the choir that night. He is incredible..booming voice/testimony and I sat on the front row and he asked me to was cool. And I am trying to get out of the habit of saying "Guys, Dudes, Gals, Ladies" etc. and use Elderes y Hermanas. I call my new district Elderitos/Doritos...they love it and they love me. :) Most of all I am in love with the Sabbath...the sacrament and Music and the Spoken word rock my soul. ;)