Tuesday night we had our regular devotional. Rumor was that someone big was coming. I sang in the choir (along with over half of the MTC). The devotional was broadcasted to all the other MTC's as well. Apparently this is the first time they've done that. So guess who came. ELDER SCOTT. Oh man. We were so excited. I had no idea until he walked into the Marriott Center. He talked about prayer. I wanted to just share some of what he said.
-Every good thing that's happened in his life came from serving a mission
-He talked specifically to the sisters and said how much his wife's mission blessed their home
-To reach a goal never before attained, you must do things you have never before done
-Prayer is a GIFT... think about it. The most supreme being has allowed us a way to communicate with Him. What's better is He WANTS to hear from us. Get down on yours knees and don't rush.
-He sent us to this earth to succeed. That means He knows we can do it. It also means that any trials we are given are ones that we can overcome.
-Seek for His will and pray for the ability to fulfill it.
-Sometimes when we don't get an answer, it is because he wants to test us a bit. We need to keep moving forward, choose the right, and act in faith. Be patient. He WILL answer.
-Do not wait passively for an answer, act.
-Pray even when you have no desire to.
-Check out D&C 6:14-15,23 and 8:1-2,10-11
-He also left an Apostolic blessing that we would be able to learn our mission language if we put in the work.
So amazing. I am so grateful I could be here for that devotional.
Wednesday we had our first lesson with a new "investigator" (teacher pretends to be an investigator... they usually act like someone they taught on their mission). His name is Vander and he started to fall asleep during our lesson. Totally threw me off. He did the same thing for most of the missionaries in my district. He was trying to teach us the importance of asking our investigators lots of questions.
Thursday I could see that our studying has become more effective. It's kind of hard to figure out the most effective ways to study and how to be focused all the time, but we're getting better. We had our first experience with TRC that day as well. TRC is when members who speak your mission language volunteer. They come in and you teach them as a member in your language. Our first was Irmao Haynie. Oh my goodness. He was the Sweetest. We walked out feeling so much better about our abilities. He gave the closing prayer and just asked Heavenly Father to bless us. It was such a tender mercy to be able to spend 20 minutes with him. At dinner, I ran into Elder Brian Steiner! He was really concerned about his first lesson in Portuguese the next day. I told him it gets better. His classroom is down the hall from mine, so I talk to him every once in a while. It's good to see familiar faces :)
Friday we had our second lesson with Vander. Good news! He stayed awake! Better news! He said yes to being baptized! I cannot tell you what it feels like when they say yes. I cannot imagine what it will be like when it is really someone saying yes instead of your teaching pretending. We also started teaching Landon who has fallen away from the church. During gym time, I got to enjoy some sand volleyball with my wonderful district! Too fun. I love that they have volleyball stuff here. I still have some of my reflexes! I love it.
Saturday. I realized that a year ago Saturday was the day I left home for BYU. What great memories! That year changed my life forever. I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend school here in Provo, for all my experiences, and for all the people I met. I cannot wait to return to begin the nursing program! (I'm wearing scrub bottoms right now in honor of making it into the nursing program... just kidding... they're just really comfortable P-Day clothes. Everyone's jealous). Later that day, Sister Marchant and I memorized Moroni 10:4-5 in Portuguese! Now we have James 1:5, JSH 1:16-17, and Moroni 10:4-5 down in Portuguese! YAY! So great to feel like your making progress.
Sundays are the best days. It's a nice break. Relief Society was so good. Sister Torres from the General Relief Society Board came and talked to us about her mission and how it's blessed her life. We got to attend yet another New Sister's meeting. Unfortunately, this one was not as entertaining as last week's. They took a picture of all the Sisters here in the MTC. They said they were going to put it in a time capsule. Hopefully I get a hold of that picture someday. I'm wearing a brownish/grayish shirt in kind of the back corner (just a reminder to myself if that picture ever does show up in my possession). The temple walk was so nice. I walked over with my district, we found some shade, sat down, and just talked. On the way to the temple, there was a protester holding a cross, a Bible, and yelling at us. It made me sad. I don't know what point he was trying to make. All I know is I am right where I need to be doing what I need to be doing. I know what I'm doing is right and I know the message I'm going forth to share is true.
Monday. It's like a frustrating game trying to get a Brazil shirt from the bookstore here. They never have any. We found out they got a shipment in, ran over there, found out they only had XL and XXL left and the shipment had only come in 2 hours earlier. I give up. We had our second lesson with Landon. We were really just trying to get a feel for where he was and what he needed. He gave us a lot to think about. The thing about Landon is it's still our teaching pretending to be someone they know, but instead of a former investigator they had on their mission, Irmao Taylor picked someone he knows now that is struggling. This way it's more personal to both of us. It's a real person. We're praying for them. He doesn't know the outcome and neither do we. As we teach, the Spirit is present and we are hoping that it will bring ideas to Irmao Taylor as to how to help his friend. So after our second lesson, we knew we needed something different and something big for our next lesson. Sister Marchant and I talked a lot about him and kind of threw some ideas around. We took a couple minutes to ourselves to think about Landon. She looked in the scriptures while I got on LDS.org. The talk "Where is the Pavilion" by President Eyring popped into my head. (I love this talk so much. If you don't remember it or haven't read it, look it up on lds.org and listen to it or read it. It will be worth your time, I promise). It talks about periods of time in our life when we feel like a pavilion is covering God. He explains that God never hides from us, but sometimes a pavilion is covering us and keeps us from seeing Him in our lives. Sister Marchant and I watched it during one of our study times and feel that it is perfect for him. I'll let you know next week how this lesson goes! I'm excited!
My Portuguese is continuing to come along. I learned a lot of conjugations yesterday. I find that I have to plan less and less in Portuguese for lessons. We write down the main idea of what we want to say in English, get to the lesson, and figure out how to say it in Portuguese. It's working well. I just talk pretty slow. But hey, always improving. I love it :) I love Portuguese and I cannot wait to fluently speak it.
I've really been focusing on personal study this week. I started reading the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. I start out with a prayer and ask to know what Heavenly Father would have me do this week. As I read, thoughts come into my mind. Most of the time it has nothing to do with what I am reading, but the fact that I am reading the scriptures shows Heavenly Father that I love Him and am trying to follow His commandments and therefore invites the Spirit. It puts me in the right mindset to listen, brings the Spirit which is the means by which Heavenly Father speaks to us, and provides an opportunity for inspiration. This week for instance, some of the thoughts were just "hey, I should write so and so." Whenever those thoughts are good, act on it. I know the Lord hears your prayers, knows your situation, and will speak to you through thoughts and feelings if you allow Him to. I love this gospel and know that it is true. It has blessed my life tremendously and I know that it will bless everyone that will accept and act on it. I know the Book of Mormon is true and will truly bring us to Christ if we will read it and make it a part of our lives. Have a good week, y'all! I think about and pray for you often.