And thus the lesson went.
Later on I was asking them to keep the law of chastity when one of them piped up and said "Wellll, I kinda like my girlfriend a lot, and I don't want her to be angry with me" So I said (sort of accidentally, it just came out) "Well you should like God more." Needless to say, it was an interesting, an informative lesson.
Spiritual thought "Studies are a lesson, where you are the investigator, and God is the missionary" Personal study time is a huge blessing if you will prepare for it and spend your time well. I have learned so much. For instance, The other day, I wanted to research Humility. I started in second Nefí y ended up in Ether 12:27. With scriptures in most of the major books in el Libro de Mormón.
And I learned a lot. God blesses us when we search diligently and with faith.
Something I learned (yesterday actually) is how important members are in this Work. They are the anchors that keep converts from falling away. I learned a frightening statistic. In the U.S., We have a 48% retention rate for converts, that means that HALF of all converts are becoming inactive. Outside of the U.S. we have only a 25% retention rate. 25!!! More than three fourths of converts are becoming inactive.
Something needs to change.
And that something is us as members. Us as families. Are we doing absolutely everything we can to make new members feel fellow shipped? What an absolute tragedy that people are brought so close to the Light and then fall away at least in part because of us.
The other thing that needs to change are the missionaries. Me. Be the change you want to see, I believe in that. My job is not done after baptism. In fact that's just the start, the start of the strait and narrow path mentioned in 2 Nephi 31 (amazing chapter, y'all should read it) I apologize for the preachiness, but my heart aches when I think of all those who still need Christs light in their life and are so close to having it if we'd only reach out our arms.
It's crazy thinking I only have three days left in the mtc. I absolutely cannot wait for the mission field. I've learned a lot here. Like Russian. i don't know why, but I absolutely love that language. I talk with nearly every Russian I meet, And I now have a vocabulary of nearly 15 russian words. I have also learned phrases in 6 different Asiatic languages. Speciba. Onyong hasayo! (I have no clue how to spell them, only how to say them) I have also learned that English Elders can be very annoying (not all, but many) I thought my focus was shot to heck, but they display a impressive new height of time efficacy-less-ness.
Yes I made that up. Something about being here for only two weeks fails to instill proper respect for their elders (haha get the pun?) Naw I'm kidding. But it is crazy thinking that I'm here three times as long. Don't even mention the poor Russians. Speaking of which, I met fellow Hoosier Justin Taylor the other day, hopefully I'll get a picture before I leave. Well this letter is absurdly long. Also, it's been snowing lately, I am feeling the fact that I own no warm clothing here. Although it really isn't that bad. I look forward to the 70 degree weather in Costa Rica. Three more days. Brrrrrrr.
Elder Noah Toney
|Don't ask me why I did this, there is no satisfactory answer.|