Thursday, August 13, 2015

MTC Week 4

It's been a great week at the MTC! I'm learning so much about following the Spirit during discussions or lessons. This is the most profound thing I've seen on my mission so far. I used to have to write everything out I was going to say. Now, I don't take anything but scriptures and maybe a pamphlet to our "discussions." Before lessons, we always pray as a companionship to have the guidance of the Spirit with us as we teach, and this has made all the difference. The language comes easier when we are teaching than any other time (we are teaching "investigator" role plays with our teachers that are like teaching lessons to a real investigator). I don't think I ever really knew how to recognize the Spirit before I came out here, and this is something that always concerned me because I didn't always know if it came from my mind or from the Holy Ghost. We watched a video of a talk by Elder Bednar is class this week that was exactly about that feeling. In response to the concern about now knowing whether or not it was the Spirit speaking to us, he said, "Quit worrying about it." He then shared a story of when he was on his mission. He was picking up an apostle (Elder Packer) in Germany because their flight was canceled, and he dropped the apostle and his wife off at a train station. In the moment, Elder Bednar decided to give Elder Packer twenty marks for food or anything else he might. Then, Elder Packer went on his way. It wasn't until about forty years later that Elder Bednar spoke with him again and learned what that twenty marks had done for Elder Packer. When the train crossed into East Germany, a guard began giving trouble to Elder Packer's wife for having a three-year passport that had been extended to five years. The guard probably would have taken her off the train, and it would have been a serious situation. But, almost without thinking, Elder Packer reached into his pocket and put the twenty marks into the passport and handed it to the guard. A few minutes later, the guard returned the passport (with the marks not in it) and sent them on their way. (Elder Bednar called this a "righteous exchange," not a bribe.) Elder Bednar had no idea until forty years later that handing the marks to Elder Packer had been a prompting from the Spirit and that it had saved the Lord's Apostle from a lot of grief and trouble. Likewise, in our own lives, we may not know exactly how, when, or why we received a prompting. But if we do what we feel is right, stay obedient, and do as we feel we must and are directed, we will begin to see times that the Spirit has guided and helped us. 

I'm also learning to be more diligent and focused in studying. It's a lot of work to study for so long every day on the language and on the gospel, and I find that I too often will lose focus for a time. C. Scott Grow from the Seventy came this Tuesday and talked to us about consecrating out heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord. To consecrate is to give all, nothing withheld. This is something I've committed to do. As a district, we talked about how important it is to be 100% focused on the work, not just 98%. When we are totally focused, we give ourselves to be instruments of the Lord. The sons of Mosiah are possibly the best examples of missionaries we have. They were diligent every day in preaching and serving the people. They bore all their afflictions patiently. They were entirely selfless and focused on the Lord and those they served. Had they not been, and had Ammon not done exactly as the Spirit directed him, he could never have converted King Lamoni or the other Lamanites. We don't know who is looking for the truth or how to find them, or even what their needs are. But the Lord does. We need Him to guide us and help us. A true representative of Christ is one in whom who others can see the love, humility, and power of Christ manifest in. Christ loved all and dedicated his life to serving them, and we feel his love each and every day through His Atonement. Our job as missionaries is to share a piece of that love with others so that they will feel prompted and inspired to get to know Christ themselves and partake in the same love and joy that we have. I have so far to go, but my goal is to be like the sons of Mosiah - loving and feasting upon the words of Christ and consecrating all my time and thoughts toward Him. 

Elder Crisp

Here are some pictures from the temple on Sunday.

Left to Right: Elder Anderson, Elder Biesinger, Elder Gottfredson, Elder Sander, Elder Crisp, Elder Cable, Elder Peterson, Elder Lujan​

Left to Right: Elder Anderson, Elder Biesinger, Elder Gottfredson, Elder Sander, Elder Crisp, Elder Cable, Elder Peterson, Elder Lujan​

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