This week has been amazing!! On Tuesday, we had a devotional and ELDER HOLLAND CAME!! It was easily one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had and totally redefined how I am doing my missionary work. He talked alot about how the Lord is hastening His work, and it is super exciting that we are all a part of it. One thing I thought was really cool about what he said, is about the missionary efforts of past dispensations. Like in the Book of Mormon, or the New Testament. The prophets and teachers at that time knew that a apostasy was going to happen, and that the people were going to fall away into sin. But they still worked hard, and found hope in the fact that WE would succeed in this dispensation. Elder Holland talked about how every scripture is written as a guide book for us by earlier missionaries, teaching how to grow and learn to be better missionaries by their mistakes -Mormon 9:31. He told us that the original name for Preach My Gospel was Preach My Gospel By My Spirit as it is stated in D&C 50:14. It is absolutely vital that we teach with His spirit. As Elder Holland put it “We must teach His Gospel in His way”. The Spirit is who does the real testifying and converting in any lesson. If He isn’t a part of our lessons, we aren’t doing it God’s way. He taught us alot of other way cool stuff, but that’s pretty much the gist of it!
Well, you know how I was super excited to teach Daniel again? He has been sick all week. But, last night we taught our other investigator Patricio and it was amazing! We went in focusing on his concerns and doubts, which was how he could grow his faith in Christ. We taught him from James 2:17-18 about how faith is a principle of action, and we have to exercise faith in order to grow it. Then we went to Alma 32 and talked about how we have to experiment and give place in our hearts for our faith to grow. As we bore testimony about faith and how we have seen it grow in our own lives, I could feel the spirit strongly. This is a doubt that many people have, because just like Patricio did, we often compare our faith to others. We don’t receive a huge testimony about the Book of Mormon after the first time we read 1st Nephi 1. Our testimony is grown line upon line and precept upon precept. Just like a brick layer might feel like his work isn’t going anywhere as he lays one brick at a time, it isn’t until he steps back and sees the huge wall he has built that he sees how far he has come. We have to be patient with ourselves and try our best to do better and continue increasing our faith by acting and trying.
Another thing that has really stuck out to me the past week is the power of the Atonement. We had the Argentina MTC director come and speak to us (all in Spanish by the way!!) on Wednesday, about the power of the Atonement to overcome the Fall. I’ve understood that the Atonement helps us overcome our bad habits and repent, but I’ve never realized that it is the Atonement that gives us the strength to continue along the pathway and improve. President David O. Mckay said “The purpose of the Gospel is…. to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature.” The Atonement of Christ not only has the power to help us repent, but also to improve ourselves when there aren’t any major sins or transgressions holding us back. Elder Bednar said that the word grace is equivalent to ‘the enabling power of the atonement’. When we read 2 Nephi 25:23 “We know that it is by grave that we are saved, after all we can do” with that in mind, it gives us greater insight about what the Atonement can do for us.
I know that I can’t explain myself well with words, and I’m even worse in Spanish, but hopefully I got across a little of what I’ve learned this week. It has by far been my favorite week here at the MTC. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. I know that Christ lives, and His Atonement and Love are for everybody. Becuase of the Fall of Adam, everybody became subject fo physcial and spiritual death. But through the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can be redeemed from Spiritual death and be resurrected. I love this Gospel and everything that is has done for me. It is such an amazing blessing in my life.
I hope all is well!