Hey Family! This is the chance I have to tell you what's been going on around here in the MTC. I can't possibly tell you everything so I'll just tell you whatever comes to mind :) (Also, I'll get better at writing e-mails. I hope to be able to format them so there are General stories and such, then personal stuff. So over the next few weeks i'll probably get more confortable with it. Thanks :)
Anyway, the MTC is amazing, crazy, and sometimes even fun. The next few moments after my host Elder Holt sent me through those front doors, I was in awe. i kept repeating to myself: 'holy cows' and such. I was actually in the mtc myself! After getting settled, there were several orientation meetings. It wasn't until later that I met my companion, because he was late, haha. Elder Hunter is his name. He lived in Wisconsin for 17 years and then moved to San Diego. We have become a pretty cool duo, because he will sing revamped hymns and I will beatbox to it. it's pretty fun! I've actually gained some status on our floor and in our district, haha. It's great fun.
Besides that, the food is edible, usually, the showers aren't too crowded all the time, I'm hoping that the washing machine isn't ruining my clothes, and my district is pretty amazing. The mtc is similar to efy, except they keep you away from the Sisters, and the brotherhood between my district has strengthened much more than i thought it would. When we have constructive and entertaining conversations and hang out together, they make me feel good and help us grow and mature.
The spirit is powerful. I have hardly ever felt the spirit like this before. I love it. Even though the classes are long, and the work can be challenging, I have learned how to adjust and depend on God. The first five days were really intense, because of the lifestyle change, separation from my family and friends, and the constant challenges to adjust to having a companion, studying for other people, and living on my own.
We had an amazing devotional the other day. It was a video from a previous address to the missionaries by Elder David A Bednar called "The Character of Christ". he said that there could have been no Atonement without the character of Christ, because he is infinately outgoing while the natural man is always doing things for themselves. He passionately quoted the cookie monster to illustrate the natural man, "I want cookie NOW!", haha. I loved hearing him say that. But the message was powerful.
Here I am again :) I'm looking through my 'inspirational snippits', which is my little booklet of inspirational thoughts that I'm getting from all the experiences that I'm going through, so the following thoughts may seen random, but that's what happening, so just here we go, haha.
Effective scripture study needs to: answer a question you have, help you make connections, and be confirmed with prayer. Try to adjust your study to be like that, because it's better and more worth it like that.
Baptism and the Holy Ghost have to go together. Once you enter the gate (baptism) into the strait and narrow path, you can't make it through without the constant companionship of the Spirit. Strive to have it with you always. You also need the Atonement of course :)
Don't drive by looking in the rear view mirror. you shouldn't dwell on your past, the good or the bad. Use that knowledge while you look forward!
When the spirit is with you in a meeting, take notes on how you feel, not just the words you hear.
Here's one of my favorites, again something I learned from Elder Bednar: Testimony isn't conversion. Testimony is knowing, conversion is changing from being a natural man to a spiritual man.You need both, not just testimony. He (or maybe a friend of his) also said his testimony wouldn't be shaken if a general authority left the church, because he is converted to Christ, not the people.
Remember to be consistently true to what you know. That's how you build your conversion.
We need to pray for blessings, so that we recognize that they are actually from God. If we didn't have to ask God and he just gave them to us, we wouldn't appreciate that those blessings from God.
If God were here with you, what would you tell Him? That's what prayer should be like. He wants us to talk to him.
We are all on the path to become like Christ, everyone in the world. Some of us just have more conversion than others. Christ is always by our side. It's just up to us to accept his help.
P.S. We are flying out on . :) Bye!