Today finishes week 2 in the MTC and I have had such a great week. It's going by fast and I leave a week from today. I already got my itinerary to leave next Wednesday, the 23rd, at 6:00 am for the Salt Lake Airport. I'm very excited. Thank you to everyone who sent me letters this week! It has been so great to read about what's going on at home.
I had a couple really great experiences that I will share. I am actually just going to type what I wrote in my journal so I can get the whole story in :) Thursday, June 10, I had a great experience that I will never forget. "My teacher, Brother Bunker taught us about learning to recognize the promptings of the Spirit. He powerfully said 'God WILL speak to you!' He continued to teach us about how the Apostles have the title of Elder. As a missionary, I too have the title of Elder. It means defender of the faith. This means I am an 'extended arm of the apostles.' With this calling, I am able to receive revelation for others. God knows my investigators better than I do and as long as I am obedient, He will tell me what they need. After discussing this, Brother Bunker explained the activity we would be doing next. He was going to pair us up with someone that we would share a message with in our District. We separated and had about 25 minutes to prepare. The point of this activity was to pray to receive revelation as to what to teach that specific person. The person I was to prepare for was Elder B. He often has obedience issues (mostly because of his companion) and I knew if I was going to share a message with him, that's what I would teach. However, this was not about what message I wanted to teach; it was about what Heavenly Father wanted Elder B. to hear through me. You can imagine the weight of this activity. We were asking God to give us inspiration right then as to what the other person really needed to hear. However, as a missionary, I have the authority to receive this inspiration. As Brother Bunker took me to my room (with my companions) and explained the assignment a little more, I wondered what God wanted me to teach. Elder B. had made a comment about someone teaching him obedience, but I wanted to be open to inspiration. While Brother Bunker was still in the room, the word 'faith' came to my mind. I thought it was really random and I didn't know how it possibly applied. I said a long, sincere prayer and waited for the feeling from the Spirit. The principle of faith remained in my mind. I began to study in Preach My Gospel about faith. What I leavned amazed me. I was inspired to tell Elder B. that if he will be faithful unto obedience, he will be endowed with power from on high! So the message was about having the faith to know that only when we are obedient can we have power. After about 25 minutes, we paired up with the Elder or Sister we had prepared for. Elder B. shared his message for me first. I was brought to tears as he began. his message for me was about faith! We had prepared and been inspired to teach each other the same topic although neither of us knew that's what the other person individually needed. His message for me was the exact one I needed at this point in my mission. He shared that I need to have faith and not fear. With my faith I will be able to do miracles. Earlier today, I made a goal to have faith and not fear. We learned about street contacting earlier and I had so much fear of man that it was hard to have faith in myself. Elder B. truly was inspired with what to teach me. He told me while he prepared his lesson that he was wishing someone else would teach him the same lesson because that's what he needed. Well, that's what I did! The power of revelation is real. God speaks to His children through the Holy Ghost. This was a sweet experience."
I will share one more experience from this week (Monday, June 14) that really touched me: "Today was absolutely wonderful. My companions and I taught Gloria for the second and last time this morning. We went in with a different approach than our previous teaching experiences. Instead of having a set lesson, we wrote down lots of questions. Our plan was to listen to Gloria, find out her needs, and let the Spirit guide our conversation. The results were incredible. Although she was a reall member just pretending to be an investigator, the Spirit manifested the truth of what we were teaching. I felt Gloria's heart begin to soften and change as the lesson progressed. As we got to the close of our lesson, Sister Brandley read a scripture and asked if Gloria would "prepare herself for baptism in three weeks." This was so incredibly real and I felt so much love for Gloria. She hesitated at first saying 'Wow, you sisters don't waste any time,' but then gave us her answer that she would aim for it. I was filled with joy. Then we asked her to pray. She didn't pray when we asked her in the first lesson. When she said she'd give it a try, I was so happy. Success! We helped God 'gather' one of His children back to Christ. After the prayer, Gloria broke character, asked where we were going, and shared the scripture Joshua 1:9. with us about being strong and having courage. I started to cry. We hugged and I told her how it had been wonderful to pray for her all week. She was my first 'investigator' and I will never forget her. The power of God is real and the Holy Ghost does teach and manifest truth. How grateful I am for this experience!"
Wow, that took us most of my time! I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve God and help bring His children to Him! Thank you for the wonderful lives you live :) May the Spirit be with you this week! I love you :)