This past week has been amazing! Christmas at the MTC is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Yeah we had presents and a nativity, but the rest of the day was totally, 100% focused on Christ and His Atonement. I loved being able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and everything that Christ has done for us. We had the opportunity to hear from Elder Russell M. Nelson on Christmas day. It was amazing to see an apostle that close and in person. When he first walked in it didn’t feel real. It looked like his picture had come to life and he was walking on to the stand. He spoke to us about our missions and how we can be safe from all danger if we are obedient. He also talked about how we shouldn´t believe rumors, but we should stop them anytime we can. It reminded me of the mormonad about gossip with everybody passing a chunk of tar. We can pass it on, but we won´t be any cleaner by doing it and we will only be dirtying another person by passing it on. Elder Nelson´s wife talked alot about the difference between a gift and a gift card. A gift card is a pre-paid gift that we have to go pick out and take home. It made me think about how the Atonement is like a gift-card. It is something that has been given to everyone, we just have to use it to recieve the true gift which is forgiveness of our sins. She also talked about how many of us forget we have gift-cards or lose them. It made me think about how we as children of God all have this gift, but sometimes forget we have it or don’t know how to use it. It is our job as members to use it often, and teach others how to use it and to gain that gift that Christ wants us to have. I’m so excited to be able to share that joy that comes through repentance with people who have never experienced it before.
Christmas eve we were able to watch ‘A Christmas Carol’. I loved being able to see how much a man can change, and how much joy it can bring. I don’t think I would have noticed it if I hadn’t been in the MTC, but the whole time I was thinking that all Scrooge really needs is the Gospel. It answers every question a person could have and brings true joy to their life. I love the MTC, but I want to get into the field start teaching real people and sharing the amazing message we have with them!
So in other news, it has been snowing like non-stop for the past 2 days. There is over a foot of snow just sitting on the ground. At first I really didn’t like the snow because it was freezing and wet, but the more it snows the more I enjoy the beauty of everything being white. It reminds me of the scripture in Isaiah about the power of the Atonement being able to make our sins be ‘as white as snow’. Not only is the snow here perfectly white, but it covers EVERYTHING. Similarly, the Atonement is able to cover every sin that we commit.
As I was studying this morning in Moroni 7, I realized something that I had never really noticed before. That is the relationship between Faith, Hope, and Charity. I still don’t fully understand it, but I tried focusing on it and this is what I’ve gotten so far. Faith is believing in Christ and all that He has done for us. Hope is trusting and expecting that everything He has promised will come to pass. The relationship between Charity and Hope is what I’m a little iffy on, but I think it is how we act to others becasue of what we believe in and hope for. In the spanish Book of Mormon, the phrase ‘charity never faileth’ is translated to ‘nunca deja de ser’ which means literally ‘never ceases to be’. I thought that was a cool difference between the English and Spanish versions that brings a little more clarity and insight.
Well, we work on inviting people to come unto Christ as missionaries. That is our purpose. So I would like to invite you all to invite others to come unto Christ, because aren’t we all missionaries? Pray about people you know who may be ready to hear the message of the restoration. You might be surprised or unsure, but I know that if the Spirit tells you to do something, it is because God has prepared a way for it to happen.
Elder Zachary Willis