Sunday, November 1, 2015

Get over whatever is holding you back

So the candy is called our stash. And it comes from many different sources, as districts in our zone leave, they bequeath their personal food stashes to the next district. So we've had three districts leave, and pass on their food. Also whenever we get packages we pool them in together, creating an amalgam of awesomeness and glory.  As such we have more than could be expected. Also, left to right in the picture: E. Williams, E. Wahlquist, E. Brooks, Yours truly, and E. Liddiard.

This week has been amazing, although now that the time is winding down we're all pretty ready to get out in the field (at least we think are). A sad point was watching the last of the original zone leave. One thing that I absolutely love about the mtc is the personal revelation that I'm able to receive. Usually during personal study time or when an Apostle comes to speak with us (yes that happened it was AWESOME) Often we hear about the special spirit of this place, and boy is it true. I challenge anyone who hasn't read Our Heritage to read it. It gave me a testimony of the early Saints.

Sometimes I look at my name tag in wonder. Half of me doesn't believe that I'm actually here, that I actually made it. I'm not saying that I've made lots of egregious mistakes in my life, but all the same I am in wonder. I love the MTC, I love being a missionary. I'm supposed to be here. Often I hear talk about what we sacrificed to be here, but that just makes me feel strange. I honestly don't feel as though there is much that I've sacrificed, at least not in the face of what this mission is already doing for me, only one month in. My heart is being softened daily, my numerous rough edges and prideful spirit soothed. I'm not going to say it isn't tough, cause it is. And sometimes I think we're having a little too much fun (as a district we are super close) I know that we are expected to be at our best, but the class time is making us all slowly crazy. That excepted things are coming along. I love the Spanish language, even though I'm sure I sound like a two year old.

Something we did this week that was super fun, our teacher took us outside y dice, "Muy Bien misioneros, ahora vamos a practicar contactando" (Google translate if you need to) Basically we walked around the mtc looking for random people that we could share a short gospel message with. It was absolutely invigorating!!! I loved it. People might have thought that we were crazy, but hopefully it helped.

Did you get the pictures of the mustaches? I couldn't stop laughing while wearing it because the little hairs on the mustache would tickle my nose. Sorry Jacqueline I know you might want to censor this part of the email but dadgummit it was hilarious. The people need to know. That was a great night, pretty soon we're gonna be breaking up that piƱata and having a fiesta. No puedo esperar!

A lesson I've learned (or am trying to learn) is to simplify doctrine. We had our last lesson with our Investigator Esperanza. We were teaching the plan of salvation and butchering it, I mean it was the fire hose analogy (where a person comes looking for a sip of water so instead you give them a blast from a fire hose, they may get a little water, but mostly it just hurts) We were talking about baptism and the Spirit and the Savior and His Atonement and it was just too much! So about half-way through the lesson I stopped, noticing she was rather confused, and spent the rest of the lesson addressing her concerns and questions. She was worried that only after we were perfect would we be happy, so we helped explain that there is much happiness in the journey. If you are not happy right now (this applies to everyone) Then you are doing something wrong, Heavenly Father's plan is one of happiness, so get over whatever it is that is holding you back, and be happy! Do the things, the easy things, like exercising, taking a walk and enjoying this beautiful world, read the scriptures, PRAY, that make you happy. None of these things take much time, bu they will make a WORLD of difference, this I promise you. Anyway, once she understood that happiness is a now sort of thing, things got much better. Although we are awful teachers, the Spirit is not. And let me tell you, the spirit was incredibly strong, through our blunders and mishaps alike. As we were getting ready to leave, she shared with us that she has taken many lessons from missionaries, but never before has she had an actual desire to learn more and act. She was taking notes in the lesson, she's been keeping all of her commitments (well mostly), and there was a definite change in her countenance. When I walked into that lesson, I felt a difference in her, she was smiling, and no se pero she just looked different. God does miracles, this I testify, cause I've seen them myself. Me being here is a miracle. Go look at your life and see if you can't see some serious miracles going on. I betcha you will, por supuesto.

Right, the Apostle. Neil L. Anderson came and spoke to us, and well, let's just say there's a reason why they're Apostles. I'm not going to give a full transcript but he spoke mainly about four points, Sacrifice, Opposition, The Adversary, and Deliverance. Since I'm in the choir we got to sing for him, and we sang "More Holiness Give Me" which was AMAZING. The composer of the song Phillip Bliss has an amazing story which I encourage all of you to look up. (Random moment of pride, I'm told that this devotional was broadcasted to all of the MTC's, and also that the camera totally panned in on my section (I promise I didn't look at the big screen in front of us, that would have been taking the focus off of the spirit) So all of the mtc's in the world got to see me face. Those poor missionaries, but some things can't be unseen) Elder Anderson is surprisingly funny, he made a comment about how in America, we give participation trophies to all the kids, and that missions are not the same, there are no participation trophies, so get your hinies out there and work hard, because The Lord returns a thousand fold that which you give Him.

Time for lunch, errr dinner. Time has lost its meaning here.


Elder Noah Toney

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