Wow. I'm actually here. The MTC is definitely different than anything that I've ever experienced before. I am on a spiritual high. I think we pray at least 20 times a day and everything is focused on our purpose: Inviting others to come to Christ by helping them understand repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
My companion is Sister Zavala, funny story, we are actually friends on instragram :) I saw her on the misisonariescomingsoon page, and now we're companions! She is so awesome and we get along great!
I'm so excited to be here, but this is by far the hardest thing that I have EVER done. What makes it so hard is, I know this gospel, but trying to simplify it and make it easy for someone to understand is where I struggle. Sister Zavala and I are teaching two "investigators", our teachers role-playing, and we feel like we are trying to follow where the spirit is guiding us, but we kinda over load them with information. One of our investigators is a girl named Miranda. In our first lesson we really tried to get to know her. We found out that she's had some trouble in the past and she doesn't feel like God is there for her. I was inspired to share Micah 7:7-8 with her. This scripture has really helped me in the past. When I shared that the spirit was so strong! But then Sister Zavala and I tried to get back into the lesson that we'd initially planned and we lost that spirit. We realized that if we would have followed the spirit more than that lesson would have been great instead of good.
In our second lesson with her we tried to focus on the Plan of Salvation, more specifically, the Atonement. But the Atonement is such a hard concept to grasp, so I don't feel like we really got across to her what we were trying to say. We invited her to come to church with us towards the end of the lesson. She initially said no, but I just bore my testimony to her that she could learn so much from church and to really think about coming. I don't remember everything that I said, but she considered it more and eventually agreed to come! It was a little success and Sister Zavala and I were super excited. We decided that for our next lesson we would talk to her about what she had learned in our previous discussions and then we were going to try and focus on the story of Enos. We chose this because we really think that this story could connect with her in the fact that we think she needs to forgive herself for her past mistakes.
The hardest thing about these lessons is the fact that our purpose is to help people draw closer to Christ. Sister Zavala and I just don't feel like we are accomplishing this very well.
My testimony has definitely grown in the 6 days that I've been here. I have seen evidence of the Savior's love every single day. The spirit is so strong in everything that we do! I think that the one thing I've really learned from this so far, Heavenly Father knows His children personally. He really is aware of my needs. When I am at a spiritual low and I feel like I've failed after a lesson or after a discussion. Or when I feel like I really don't know anything. Something is always there that let's me know "I can do this!" One scripture in particular that has really helped me is Ether 12:27. I am weak as to the things of the gospel, but I know that as I continue to press forward and rely on my Savior, then He will make my weaknesses into my strengths.
Last night we had the opportunity to watch a talk that Elder Bednar gave called "Characters of Christ". This was something that I really needed. It was about an hour and a half talk, but what I really learned from it is, it's not all about me! Nobody cares that I'm sad, who cares if my day has been a struggle. The important thing to remember is that it is all about somebody else. All throughout the New Testament Jesus was always reaching out to others. He'd had a long day but he still insisted that the children come to him so they could be blessed. He'd been tempted by the devil but he insisted that angels go and minister to John the Baptist in prison. He was betrayed by his apostle but he still healed the guard's ear. My purpose as a missionary is to represent Jesus Christ. I wear his name on my chest. That being said, my purpose is to do as Christ would do. Constantly putting other's before myself.
I just want to bare my testimony that this church is true. God really does know us personally, and if you struggle with that knowledge, then go right to the source, read the Book of Mormon. There is so much love in every story, every chapter in there. I also know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, he suffered for me so that he could know how to help me through my trials (Alma 7:11-12) and that has been shown to me as I've been here. He has truly helped me through every struggle I've had. He knows me! but more importantly, He knows you!
I've just started reading the Book of Mormon again, I invite all of you to read it with me. I'll just be reading it in my spare time. So I'll set a goal for a chapter a day. I really hope that you accept this challenge. I know that you'll grow closer to the Savior and to your Heavenly Father. If possible, read it with your family! This gospel is centered around families :) strengthen your relationships by reading it!
This email has been all over the place! sorry about that ;) I won't be able to send long emails like this every week, and I also won't be able to answer everyone's personal emails, just because of lack of time. But I love you all! This Church is true!
Ps I'll try and send pictures next week :)