Mom and Dad, MTC four square is more intense than any game of wacky 6 we have ever played. Wednesday's ice cream bar is very coveted. And I have yet to walk into the bathroom in our building and not hear someone singing.
This week instead of having Canadian Elders we have Asian Elders!
How doing everyone?
I HAVE THE BEST FAMILY IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!
Much thanks to Mom, Dad, Brad, Chelsey, Auntie Carrie, and Aunt Rose for the packages!! I am so grateful to have so many people supporting me and influencing me for the better. I love you all dearly.
If I thought my first week was a whirl wind, I couldn't have been more wrong! Granted this week our days have been far more structured, I feel like I am doing 1 million things in each 16 hour day ahhhhhh but I love every. single. moment. We have hammered down in our studies, TRC's, and teaching skills. Needless to say the treats everyone sent me kept me alive so thank you! They are also contributing nicely to the celestial celulite:)
Elder Niel L. Anderson:
Last week's Tuesday devotional we were blessed to have Elder Anderson speak to us. He taught
1. Only with time can you see the full benefits of missionary services
2. Look for mid-teens and mid-twenties who are spiritually seeking
3. As we testify of the Savior, He will confess us before our Father
Much counsel went into these three main points and how they can help us expand our calling as missionaries. A favorite quote of mine from the devotional is "If you don't know what to say, speak of the Savior". Every day we should be seeking to learn more about the Savior. As we learn more about him we will find comfort in testifying of his life and his teachings. This overwhelming love we fell for our Savior will provide the means for others to come unto Him. Thus exemplifying the entire purpose I have as missionary!
Her full name is Phathinne Rojanasarot but her English name is Peet for our sake:) Last Saturday was the last day we will ever teach her. She is the most uplifting person I have ever met. She has this deep desire to be the most humble, charitable, endearing person. Every day she dedicates so much time to studying the Book of Mormon and the things we teach her. The questions she asks are intense and heart felt. I often feel inadequate teaching her, but she is so patient with us. And Dad, my Thai is coming along nicely!! Every lesson we have with her she teaches us something in Thai in return. I was so sad to leave her. We gave her our emails incase she has any questions for us and she has already been email us. It has been amazing to have this opportunity to be surrounded by someone who is so ready for the Gospel and filled with so much light.
This week my Companion taught me: "If you want to talk to God, pray. If you want God to talk to you, read the Book of Mormon."
Lesson with Leah:
This week I had the chance to be on the other side of missionary work. One of the Sister Denison and Sister Hogge's investigators asked if we would be willing to let her teach us a lesson during our personal study time. The Investigators name is Leah. She is about 35 years old and suffers from sever Roomatory Arthritis. Her personality is infectious, but her self doubt often overshadows that. Leah has an absolutely amazing voice, using it to sing many many disney songs and religious songs (you should hear her sing Amazing Grace- Amazing doesn't quite fit). This is her 3rd year working at the MTC as an investigator. Certain circumstances have lead her to have PTSD from Mormons, so it has taken quite a while for her to warm up to anyone, let alone trust us. She has read almost every and any religious book yet still doesn't quite believe in the Book of Mormon nor the Bible. In spite of this, she has a burning testimony of Christ's love for her! Sister Denison and Sister Hogge have gotten along with her really well during their lessons and invited her to sit with us at meals. This is where I first met her!
Walking into her room, I wanted nothing more than to help take away her pain. She is so sweet and doesn't deserve to have such terrible circumstances in her life. Regardless of how she was feeling, she sat up and taught us an passionate lesson. As she began telling us about all the pain and hurt she has been through, she pulled something out of her pocket. Her words transformed from hurt and pain to warmth, comfort, and peace. In her hand she held a little nail that was bent. Continuing her lesson, she testified to us of Christ's love for her. She told us that we had come into her life at a time she was really frustrated with all missionaries, she felt so alone, and she was doubing any love from anyone. She told us she could feel some of God's love through us. Following this was a unique statement that I have never heard before:
"If we are created in the image of God, then we all have a piece of God in ourselves".
God-like traits are found in each and every one of us. We have this growing potentential inside ourselves just waiting to be shared. I have been reviewing my patriarchale blessing lately trying to find traits I have been promised with. If these are God-given and God-like I want to learn how to share them and use them to help others come unto Christ. I also have been able to notice those Godly traits in those around me. As our district is with one another for over 9 hours a day this is really helping me practice my patience and love for everyone around me:))
The other things Leah shared with us was this thought that we have been teaching her as an individual, not a lesson. The advice she gave for the rest of our missions is to
"Minister unto their hearts"
Don't teach off of a manuscript or an outline. Teach from your hearts in a way that the message will be received into their hearts.
Getting back to the main point in her lesson...(:
She pulled out this bent nail and told us this nail represents herself. She is bent from trials, tribulations, and pain. When we force our beliefs into her head, we are essentially pounding in a bent nail.
Having the background in construction I hope all of the Roberts family understands this!!
What happens when you try to hammer in a bent nail? It becomes more bent. When we force our beliefs on others, it does not help them come unto Christ.
The beauty of it all is that when we pat each other on the backs or tap the bent part in the nail, the nail becomes straight again. Instead of forcing our beliefs, we have to encourage the learning, listening, and developing testimony of Christ.
How can we build the Kingdom of God? Certainly not with bent nails.
I am so grateful to get to know Leah. I have really learned the importance of the views of investigators. I have to learn to listen, understand, and befriend investigators if I want them to trust me.
And trust leads to the highest level of Love.
The Lord can answer questions if we as missionaries can provide the opportunity.
The 2 scriptures provide explanations of this:
2 Nephi 31:3- 3 For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.
John 14:26- 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
In John we learn that the Holy Ghost brings ALL things to remembrance. How much is all? 100%. In Nephi we learn that we as missionaries teach with the intent for others to understand. People are truly taught by the Spirit. They know, feel, and act in direction of the Spirit. My role as a missionary is to help strengthen understanding of God's teachings.
Okay. So apparently missionaries are like elephants. And funeral potatoes are like a watering hole. Our district sits with Leah in the very back corner of the dinning area near the left overs. During the duration of our meal we watched the cafeteria employees bring out ELEVEN trays of funeral potatoes. We sat in awe as Elders and Sisters would flock to the potatoes and fill PLATES full of them. It was absolutely absurd. A real life watering hole. haha The best was when the usual customers would come back and they recognized we were watching them and just smiled at us. By far the most entertainment I have experienced in the last 2 weeks:)
Only 6 more days left here at the MTC, I can't believe how fast time really does fly, but I am more eager than ever to get out and start teaching!
|Sister Carter and her investigator!|