Estoy muy animado to email you all. Thanks to everyone who is DearEldering/emailing! The highlight of the day is after dinner when I get to check the mail box. I'm the envy of the whole zone. I've set a record with 10 DearElder's in 2 days, and it's all thanks to you! Thanks for your love and prayers!
MTC life is going great. I'm gonna skip boring day to day stuff and get to the highlights. Our zone had the great chance to have an Elder by the name of McWhorter who was waiting for his flight info to Madrid, Spain. He was he for my first week. Spiritual giant, stud, and hilarious dude all around. My favorite thing: He claimed that a previous district had passed down the power of the "Chamen" to him - the being that assigns spirit animals. Every night he was here, we squeezed in our room and watched him/ helped connect with the Chamen. We would all close our eyes and run with some descriptions until we narrowed down to some sort of exotic animal. That's why I asked for the field guide of exotic animals - any luck? Some examples have been the hammerhead shark, albino python, poison dart frog, North American Moose, silverback gorilla, and mine, the wild boar (don't ask me why). Tons of fun and a great way to connect as a zone. The night before he left, he passed down the connection tom Elder Padgett, and by extension me as his companion.
|The new companionship! (Moody, Bradshaw, then Me)|
However, we are unfortunately no longer companions. They finally split the district in half: a beginner and an intermediate district. My new companions are Elder Bradshaw and Elder Moody. They're both way cool and we're learning a lot faster now that we're closer in level. I'm learning super fast, all thanks to the Holy Ghost and el don de lenguas!
|The old District. Left to right: Elders Goar, Bradshaw, Valdez, Padgett, and Moody|
I'll end with some spiritual thoughts. It'll be tough to keep this short, and for that, estoy muuuuuyyyyy agradecido! Sunday night, we got to watch a recording of an MTC devotion Elder Bednar gave a few Christmas' ago titled "Character of Christ". Unfortunately, I don't know if MTC devotionals are online, but if they are, WATCH IT! I think I can safely say it was the best talk I've ever seen. I felt the Spirit soooo strongly and was moved to tears on multiple occasions. The take-away: There is a difference between having a testimony and being converted. Anyone can have a testimony and feel the Spirit, but until they are converted, they are always susceptible to Satan's power and could always fall away from activity. On the contrary, if we strive to and become converted, we will always have too strong a foundation to fall away. The road-map he gave to becoming converted is in Mosiah 3, specifically verse 19! Que una escritura marvillosa!
To overcome the Natural Man, we must repent. The definition he gave of repentance was to "turn out, or turn to Christ." Two defs, both of which we must do. In turning out, we need to put others before ourselves, to put their needs before our own. Easier said than done, but the blessings are remarkable. It's kinda paradoxical, but he said that in order to become converted, we must forget about our own needs and conversions and help others become converted. About a mission (which we are all on, cada dia), he said something like: "The most important convert on your mission is you, but that won't happen if it's what you're trying to do."
The second incredible experience I've had this week was a phenomenally powerful temple session this morning. While waiting to perform proxy ordinances, I had casi un hora to read the Scriptures. In a place as holy and sacred as the temple, one hour of scripture study is opportunity to receive a ton of revelation and peace. That's exactly what happened. I've had some emphases of study lately pertaining to sharing the gospel, specifically how to share it with friends and investigators with boldness but not overbearance. I had collected about 5 chapters spanning both the BoM and the Bible: Psalm 23, Isaiah 49, Matthew 28 (S/o to Robin!!!), Alma 38, and Ether 12. EACH book of scripture helped to answer my questions and assuage my fears/anxieties. I felt such a strong presence of the Spirit the entire time, and I even had a random fellow Elder thank me "for my Spirit." I say this not to brag, but to remind you all that we are always being watched! Member or not, we have the responsibility to be examples of righteousness and good works to everyone that sees us.
I've probably forgotten some stuff, but I've gotten down what's important. Just 10 days on the mission has increased my faith across the board immensely. I know that Christ is the ultimate example of good, the only way through which salvation comes! I'm grateful for everyone that has been an example to me and allowed me to come closer to Him. Y'all rock!
Until next week,
PS - a lot of these computers stink when it comes to pics. I'm gonna go try and find one that works and send em!