Oh my goodness! Last email from the MTC! What is going on?! Wow. No I'm not freaking out.
First things first, Elder Ringer did get his visa! They called into our classroom on the intercom Tuesday (one more reason the MTC is exactly like elementary school) and asked Elder Ringer to come down to the travel office. Obviously, we kind of had a little fiesta right then and there. He was pumped. When the lady asked if Elder Ringer could come down to the travel office, I think the only intelligible response she got was Elder Ringer screaming "GET YOUR GLORY!" So yeah, he was pumped. He went up to the consolate Wednesday and he's all good to go this Monday.
So, what else happened this week? Saturday we taught TRC (which is where volunteers from the outside world come in and you just teach them as they are. No pretending.). We taught this nice Chilean guy named Jonathan. What a man! He joined the church when he was 18 and left on his mission 11 months later. It was so cool to talk to him! We talked about receiving revelation through prayer. I've been thinking about how important this must be lately, since there are SO MANY models of it in the Book of Mormon. There are so many different examples of people who hear/read the word of God, ponder about it, pray, and receive an answer (Lehi, Nephi, Enos, Alma the younger, Lamoni, Lamoni's father, etc.). Jesus tells the Nephites in 2 Nephi 17:3 to go to their homes and ponder and pray about the things he has taught them before he visits them again. In the last chapter of this book, Moroni exhorts us to read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon and we'll know it is true. Also, this is exactly what Joseph Smith did to get an answer to his prayer, which eventually led to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. One of the main themes of the Book of Mormon is to show us that this formula works, and I know it does, and that by doing it we can grow closer to hour Heavenly Father and become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.
Monday was our last day with Hermano Miller, because he "had to go to Hawaii with his family." I'm going to miss that guy. Actually, I already do. He's super great!
Dylan and Austin left Tuesday. I miss them too. (Taran's BYU roommates who were in the MTC with him and lived in the same building.)
Wednesday we were hosts again. It was pretty fun. Also, Nicolas had his baptismal interview that night. He passed! He was very happy. He told me he felt really close to God after the interview. So great. Also, if someone would like to explain how the investigators work around here to Sister Groneman, I think she'd appreciate that. ;) *What we understand is that their teachers pretend to be people they actually encountered on their missions and follow that storyline. It seems pretty real because they are teaching real, true principles they feel the spirit very strong. Taran and his companion were asked to share some of their teaching techniques to some new missionaries a few weeks ago. He told us this in a snail mail letter.*
Thursday night was our last night with the Vasquez family. Luis apparently took on Moroni's challenge after we had left Moroni 10 for him to read, and he knows the Book of Mormon's true now. Mario's still a little iffy, but progressing. It's too bad we don't get to keep teaching them.
The reason my P-Day is today is because yesterday was in-field orientation. It was basically a day full of little workshop things from super-awesome teachers here at the MTC about things we haven't really talked about up to this point, such as finding people and working with the ward. It was really great. It helped me get excited to leave again, because I feel like every day since I got here my excitement level has depleted a little, since I'd gotten to the point where I just felt like I've been here forever and will be here forever. But yeah. I'm all fired up now!
Thank you everyone for all the packages this week! I think I may have broken an MTC record (I won't say how many).
Mom & Family--thank you for the candy and letters and Martinelli's. And the pictures. We are all very excited to celebrate with the drinks tonight! Also Mom, Hermana Rood wanted me to specifically tell you she loves you.
Teresa (aunt) -- Those Oreo things were incredible! Wow! They didn't last very long after I opened them. Also, thanks for the card. You are wonderful!
Granny and Grandpa --Thank you so much for the hummus! You know it's my favorite! Also we had a fun time with the See's candies guessing what was inside of them and trying to avoid getting the one filled with toothpaste or something weird like that. But the actually were all really good! Also, those cinammon rolls were absolutely divine. So good! Thank you so very much!
And if anyone else who may have sent me something happens to ask, you can tell them that they'll be receiving their thank you very soon.
Well, I'm about out of time. 9 weeks later and look where I am. In such a short time, it's amazing how much this has changed my life. I'm definitely not the same person that walked in here nine weeks ago. I don't say this to brag about myself, but the power of the Atonement of Christ. Before my mission, I had a great relationship with my Heavenly Father--I prayed to him and talked to him every day and he answered my prayers--but I didn't feel like I had that great of a relationship with my Savior, and it really bothered me, especially since I didn't really know what to do about it. But now since getting here, focusing on His work and becoming more like Him every day, I can feel Him in my life so much more. I can feel it when I look back and see how much it's changed my life, and when I testify of Him and see the faces of those I am teaching. I know He lives! I know He died for us and was resurrected. I know He appeared to the Nephites and that He will appear again to us someday. I want to be ready for that day. And I want each one of you to be there with me.
Thank you for everything! I'll talk to you all very soon! Hopefully Monday morning, but if not, definitely Monday afternoon!
Here are photos from Taran's broken camera so we got no explanation, sorry...
|Elder Pew with BYU roommates Taylor and Austin at 'THE MAP'|