So first semester of Senior Year when I was in Mrs. Lanier's class centered on Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time we had a bunch of different discussions on pretty much every topic under the sun. I remember one Tuesday we talked for about forty minutes on time travel, on time warps especially. I'm pretty sure that I've been living in one. Today is p-day, and yet i'm pretty sure that it was also p-day yesterday....time warp. So weird. The days go slow but the weeks pass by ever so quickly. The MTC is still amazing. It is such an amazing leaning environment, I really think I'm progressing. The progression is slow, but noticeable. I've learned that this place is so great and with the Lord I can take leaps and bounds forward in my progression, but moving forward is completely determined by me. By my commitment and by my diligence. I love the words of Richard G. Scott: "The Lord will not force you to learn. You must exercise your agency to authorize the Holy Ghost to teach you." I have all the help I could possibly need just a prayer away. By being baptized, confirmed a member of the Church and by receiving the gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost if I live righteously I can call down the powers of heaven to help me with anything, but that power is still predicated on my agency and on my inviting the Spirit to help. If you want to receive then you've got to ask.
One of the favorite experiences of the last week was teaching TRC (teaching resource c..something..) My companion and I prepare a twenty minute-ish lesson and deliver it to a Korean speaking volunteer. Oftentimes it is a BYU student but sometimes local Korean families come in to. It ends up being the equivalent of sharing a message with members. It was sweet. It felt more like a real teaching experience than even our daily investigator lessons in Korean. It was also nice that the first person we taught was John Tucker's good friend.. (#tendermercy) Even though it's difficult to communicate in my language, the spirit was there and I felt like she really understood what I meant and that was a sweet experience.
This week has been terrific. I've seen three friends and counting! Cannon Cowley, Mike Pace, and now Gabe Smith (who is my Korean brother-albeit half brother because he's going to Seoul, but I don't hold that against him...) It is always great to see friends and to see them doing such great things. I feel like I can relate a little bit with Alma and my homeboys the Sons of Mosiah from Alma Chapter 17. So sweet!
Thank you mom, Ashley, dad, and Tara for your DearElder letters. They mean so much to me and hearing from you and hearing about what you're learning and doing means so much to me. Mail always makes my day!
The Devotional Addresses this week were from Stephen middle initial Allen and Lowell M. Snow. Elder Allen is the Managing Director of the Missionary Department and Elder Snow is a former mission president and former 70. Both were fantastic and I will include some of their remarks in my 2.0
As part of Elder Allen's message he shared with us a bunch of old church commercials that they ran in the 70's and 80's as part of the "home front campaign" question mark on the name. Each commercial was shorter than thirty seconds and each had a tag line that was pretty great. Here are a few:
"When everything else tells can't, believe in the part of you that tells you you can!"
"It's not who you aren't, it's who you are! And being yourself is what makes you great!"....there could be a semi-colon. not sure!
"Sometimes the most important thing you can share is yourself."
"it's often life's smallest moments that bring the greatest memories. Don't let their magic pass you by." I also thought of those small moments as the those moments with the still small voice. They can be so sweet-they will be so sweet. Don't let those moments pass you by.
"The people in your heart can't know they're in your heart. Let them know they're in your heart." This one was nice. It was an Australian commercial and thus-ly made much more sense in a down under accent. it's nice.
"What children think about themselves is often determined by how you label them." And not just children. Friends, companions, spouses, whatever. Only ever think and say the best of people, including yourself and they will live up to the label.
and "sharing. It's the icing on the cake." this one is so cute. It's that video with the girls and the cupcakes at the tea party that we used to watch at the visitor center all the time..Ah, good times. so many feels!
As part of Sunday we made district goals and one of them was to study a Christ like attribute from chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel. this week we studied diligence. It was so good! I feel like I leaned a lot about application and the critical nature of giving my all all of the time. I would suggest that everyone study diligence in PMG and in the topical guide. There are some real gems there. For anyone who is goal setting right now, or who just wants to see improvement in their lives read D&C 124:4. And remember D&C 123: 17 in it all. Give your all but make sure to do it cheerfully. After all, this is the plan of happiness and if you are not happy right now then you're not following the plan properly.
If any of you have questions or are looking for direction right now look up Omni 1:18 (I think). [Editor's note: He likely is referring to Mosiah 2:6.] I re wrote it to serve my purposes: "go up to the temple to hear the words which [my Father] should speak to [me]." I know that this is true. There is so much power in the temple and if you go there you will receive the Lord's guidance.
Last thought, In Elder Snow's address he shared the story of a young man, Dan Ito, who suffers from skeletal muscular atrophy (I think that was it). He can't move any of his limbs. He need help doing everything and he probably won't live past twenty-five. He is a church service missionary and attending LDSBC. He always has a smile on his face and positively impacts everyone he encounters. I love his life goal: "It sounds crazy, but I want to change the world!" That resonated with me and I love President Yost's slight misquote that ended up hitting me harder "As we come unto Christ, He empowers us to change the world." That is true.This work is true. Through Him I can change the world and so can you.
I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. I feel them and you're in mine!
|with Elder Cannon Cowley who will be serving in Spain|