This has been another awesome week here at the MTC! Sister Mariah Hatch and Elder Ryan Tuckett showed up on Wednesday and my super talented companion sang at their welcome fireside so I was able to see them and say hi! Its funny to see the nervous and scared looks on the new missionaries faces, because I know we must have looked the same way when we got here. Good thing adapting to the MTC goes super fast! By the 3rd day everyone is laughing and loving it!
We got new teachers this week, because of the new semester at BYU and all the teachers getting their schedules changed. Our new teacher is Hermano Thompson and he is absolutely amazing!! I know that he truly does care about us and loves us so much. We had a discussion yesterday about what we are willing to give up in order to come closer to Christ. He likened it to Alma chapter 20 and 22 about what King Lamoni’s father was willing to give up. It started out at half of his kingdom for his life, then his whole kingdom to receive the great joy that the gospel brings, and finally he was willing to give up all of his sins to know Christ. I love how applicable this is to our own lives! How much are we willing to give up to follow Christ? He had us think about how as missionaries, we have given up music and movies, but have we given up talking about movies or singing those same songs? Not that quoting a movie or singing a song is bad, but are we holding on to the world too much instead of following Christ with all of our strength. Just some cool food for though!
Hermano Thompson is also my favorite investigator. When we teach him, he doesn’t just accept everything we throw at him in our broken Spanish. He makes us fill in the blanks and explain things that we take for granted as members. For example, when we started to teach him about prayer, he asked us why we fold our arms, bow our heads, and close our eyes. Elder Roberts and I had forgotten to explain why we do that while we pray. It helps me to slow down and explain the gospel step by step instead of doctrine by doctrine. It also helps me to think and learn how to explain in Spanish other things that aren’t necessarily straight from Preach My Gospel. We teach him again tomorrow, and I’m super stoked to see what other questions he has!
During my study time today, I wanted to focus on how to explain the role of the Spirit in our lives. I looked in Mosiah chapter 24 at the story of Alma and Amulon. Then I compared it to the story of Daniel in the Old Testament. I found a pattern that happens as we turn to Christ and put our trust in Him to help us through trials. The first thing they did was pray with faith for help in their trials. God then sent them help in their afflictions. I thought this was interesting, because we aren’t always delivered from our trials the second after we kneel down to pray. For Daniel, God didn’t make it so that he didn’t have to go into the lion’s den. He still had to have faith to lower himself in to Lion’s den trusting that God would provide. Alma and his people still had hard tasks and taskmasters set over them. But, through their faith and prayers, God came and ‘did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord’ (Mosiah 24:15). As they continued trusting and praying, God eventually delivered them from their trials. Daniel was brought out of the Lion’s den unharmed, and the people of Alma were brought into the Land of Zarahemla. From their extreme faith, the Church of Christ was able to grow in both lands. In Zarahemla, Mosiah authorizes Alma to organize the Church, and in Daniel’s case, Darius sent a decree that all should worship the True and Living God of Daniel.
This pattern of support came to help me alot right after my Grandma died in November. After the funeral, I was really sad. I prayed for support, and God came to give me support through a friend. She invited me to read the talk ‘None Were With Him’ by Elder Holland. As I turned to Christ, he comforted me and delivered me from me trials. I felt peace in the fact that I would see my grandmother again as long as I am faithful. My grandpa, who was also going through great pain, came into the room where I was listening to the talk. He bore his testimony to me of the Savior, and I could feel the power of the Atonement through his words. I know that Christ lives, and if we pray to him with faith, he will deliver us from our trials.