So stoked that I am on my last week here at the MTC! It has been great, though. Long, and short at the same time. Frustrating but completely un-explainable as well. This past week was another good one. I decided I don't like going through each individual day, so I am just going to write about the main parts of the week! So here is how last week went:
Got to go to another temple session this week, and it was the most peaceful one I have had yet. I don't think my mind and body have been that calm ever in my life. Fittingly, the devotional that night was about the Temple and the osum and myriad of blessings we are promised from the ordinances we do there (D&C 109). It is funny to me when things seem ironic or coincidental. I just laugh and thank Heavenly Father for putting things together for me, because I know He is the one making the coincidences happen. Elder Ence and I taught our last lesson with Paulo this week. At the end of the lesson we were discussing baptism and invited Paulo to attend a baptismal service to see how it works. Elder Ence bore his testimony at the end.... background real quick, Elder Ence struggles with Portuguese. He always defers to me and asks me questions in English to ask to the investigator in Portuguese... but anyways he bore his testimony at the end of the lesson and it was perfect. I understood none of it! Not because he wasn't speaking Portuguese well, but because he was saying things neither of us knew how to say. He was just opening his mouth and the Spirit was speaking through him... needless to say that was pretty osum! This week I went into my personal study with more of a purpose than I have before. I had specific things I wanted answers to or help with, and I noticed that because of this I was finding notable scriptures and answers all over the place. I realized we have to have a purpose or a plan in mind so that we can give Heavenly Father something to work with some way to prompt us and guide us. Irmao Belchoir told us more of his life story as well. In short, his mom and dad died before he was 13 and his brother had to put them in an orphanage because he wanted to serve a mission. His brother got sick on his mission and was sent home so Belchoir got to go live with him again, but then his brother died before he was 15. He and his little brother and sister went back to the orphanage before being adopted and moving to Arizona at 17! What a sad/inspiring story. I love that man. He makes me so excited to teach people like him in his home country. That got me thinking about my life and the challenges I have faced that I have thought were the most difficult things in the world. I started realizing last year at the Academy how blessed my life has been. I attributed that to being a member of the church. My thoughts have changed since being here. My life has just been blessed! I know missionaries who are being disowned by their parents for serving, or missionaries whose moms have passed away, or both parents and an older brother, or whatever they are struggling with/have struggled with. All of my obstacles in my life has essentially been self-induced. I don't know exactly my thought process or how I arrived to this conclusion, but Heavenly Father has loved me from the start and has put up with me and given me 198343294823 chances, even though I have not earned them nor do I deserve, but I am not complaining! "Ironically" the devotional Sunday was basically about how much God loves us and how a simple faith in Him can bring so much joy, peace, and happiness. There was a Mormon Message shared called "Hope of God's Light"
It is the most inspirational video I have ever watched. I related to it so well. For me I feel like I have a similar story. Not that I was going to kill myself or anything, and I have know God my whole life. But as I was watching I couldn't help but think about how much I really feel like I have my own conversion to this Gospel. And for me, like Todd Sylvester in the video, it took me hitting the bottom, my lowest of lows to be compelled to be humble and to realize I need God in my life. That just progressed and turned into how I need His Gospel, His Church, and His Plan of Happiness to ever have the hope of being truly happy in this life, or the life to come for that matter (Moroni 7:42-43)`. Like I said the devotional and video really struck a chord with me! I got to participate in giving a blessing this week. This is the second time I have done that here, but I don't think I ever told you all about the first one. This one was a comfort blessing for Elder Mortensen. He is probably my favorite Elder here. We get along great and I love being around him, but he was really struggling this week so Elder Couch and I gave him a blessing. Elder Couch gave the actual blessing and I laid my hands on his head with him. I don't remember a single word Elder Couch said because I was just praying in my head the whole time. Just asking that it would be the right blessing, that Elder Couch would be guided in what to say, that Elder Mortensen would be touched, that he would feel comforted. It worked. The instant it was over you could see the relief of Elder Mortensen's soldiers. He was teary eyed and just so happy. He has been like a new man ever since. Amazing what faith can do through actions!
Well on a lighter note there were some funny things that happened this week as well. First, THANK YOU all for all the birthday wishes and goodies. I have never appreciated them so much. The lax sticks have been a hit in the dorms. We broke and exit sign (not me) but luckily we put it back together. No other incidents to report of as of now, though. You all will love this next one. This morning I went to get my hair cut so I would look fresh for the trip on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (since I am traveling for 51 hours!). But the lady did not do a good job, you know how picky I am with my haircuts! So I was mad and went back to the dorms and was fixing it up, and I fixed it up just fine. BUT then another Elder let me borrow his trimmer and I was gonna get it a little bit better and it was going just dandy until the trimmer slipped settings from a 4 on the sides to a ZERO! I now have a lovely bald stripe on the side of my head. I will grudgingly send a photo later :( I am pumped to see what my branch presidency says about it haha.... NOT! Well that was my week I love you all so very much! So cool, next time I email you I will be IN AFRICA hanging out with my main people AKA Black people ;)
|The whole zone at the temple (can you spy Elder Hruby cheesin' with his eyes closed?)|
|When you play lacrosse in the hallway, things break|
|Don't worry, they fixed it|
|Elder Hruby's awesome haircut...haha|