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Monday, October 29, 2012

Week #2

In only twelve days at the MTC I filled up an entire notebook. Yes. That's right. An entire notebook. The thing is though, that it's been filled, but... Last night we watched an MTC Devotional given by Elder David A. Bednar entitled "The Character of Christ" from Christmas Day, 2011 (I believe). In it he talked about how instead of "turning in" during hard moments, etc., the Savior turned, "out" to help others. That has to do with the charity I ask you to pray for me prayers. Before he dove into the talk deeply, he talked about taking notes - and it's also something which Elder Mena has talked about to me - that if we "try to jot down every little thing, we won't use those notes", something like that - along those lines. He spoke about the "Large Plates," and the "Small Plates." One of the things which I can work on is listening for the Spirit, seeking inspiration. I did that kind of thing a bit last week during the first Sunday Devotional, but I could improve in that regard. In relation to all of this, during one of my online assessment things, one of the things it talked about was stopping while reading, and thinking. I could be more receptive to the Spirit, and learn to slow down. Listen for insights, instead of jotting down every little word or lots of phrases. The little notebook I received is a blessing - thank you for that. The fact that my other one is full, and that I am going to try a different approach, the smaller book should hopefully suffice and allow me to focus on the Spirit, and more important points. That was a sort of small moment, a side-track ish, of Elder Bednar's talk. His talk was more fully about "conversion" and "putting off the natural man." Being more self-less like the Savior, less selfish like ourselves. "This is how we become converted." Something like that, or whatever.

One insight which I got from his talk involved the night of the Savior's betrayal. After Peter cuts off the guards ear, the Savior heals him. Elder Bednar spoke about His "turning outward" or however. One thought that came to me was along the lines of this: the Savior just suffered through the Atonement in the Garden. He had felt all of the pains of everyone (that was all during that part right?), and He had perfect compassion for that guard. As Alma 7 (I think) talks about all of the things which He took upon himself for us, He knew the pains of everyone. The Savior knew exactly how that guard felt. Even amid all of the suffering which He had just felt, the Savior had perfect compassion on that soldier. He knew what it felt like to have his ear cut off like that. He "succor[ed]" him - He ran to help him as it were. The Savior loves each and every one of us. Not only did He have compassion on that guard, He knew how he felt, and He took care of helping him in his time of need. The savior succors us. (In the Spanish translation of the Book of Mormon, where the English says "succor" - which means "to run to" or whatever - according to note I wrote in from a Seminary teacher I believe, the word it uses is "socorrer" or something like that, which is more directly related in that language to its relative "correr" - which is "to run." He loves us.

Another thing along this line, is that in His time of suffering and pain, instead of quitting to help Himself feel better, and end His suffering, the Savior continued to suffer for each and every one of us. He, as Elder Bednar said, "turned outward." He atoned for each and every one of us. Our loving Heavenly Father allowed His perfect Son to suffer for us.  Imperfect, weak, us. They both love us and want us to return to live with Them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

1st Week MTC

A quick run-down of the week:

Wednesday (Day 1):

After I was dropped off I was taken to get my name tag, my handbook, my key and other stuff. Then we proceeded to make our way through the MTC to my apartment/room. I got to choose my bed (although at least one already had luggage on it), and I got a lower bunk bed.  Similar to how I had my bed arranged at home, I have my pillow located so that when I sleep, if I am on my right side I face the wall. It's pretty good. My desk is right across from it. I share the desk area with Elder M (who isn't my companion). My companion shares the desk with him.  My seat is the closest to the door to our room, so sometimes I scoot so that the door can be passed through/opened - similar to sitting on my computer back at home with our laundry room. It's been pretty good.

Anyway, back to the first day. After dropping off my stuff we went through the Bookstore area to get my stuff (Spanish scriptures, learning materials, etc.) then made my way to the classroom. After doing some basic Spanish stuff we went to the lab. I received a little envelope at the beginning with my tags, etc. which had the name of my companion and room, classroom, etc. but I did not meet my companion until after some orientation stuff in the lab. When we did meet, we came to find out that we both have the exact same suit, and our birthdays are one day apart - he is right ahead of me. His name is Elder H. The rest of the day was filled with stuff, orientation, etc. We sang and the MTC President and some others talked to us.

I room with Elder B, Elder M, and my companion Elder H. Our District has eleven people in it. There were supposed to be twelve of us (six companionships) - but one Elder from Mexico was moved up to the higher class, so we have a trio in our District. In about two weeks or so (?) we're losing about half of our district to the Peru MTC - that includes our District Leader Elder T. Then District 4B will be only six people. So far it's been pretty good. Elder T interviewed us (being the District Leader and all) on Saturday I believe and it went pretty well.

Thursday (Day 2):

More stuff happened this day... We're pretty busy. It was either on this day or Friday that we locked ourselves out of our room. Yes, that is right. None of the four of us had our keys or MTC cards with us. So... Elder B borrowed sandals from our District Leader and he and his companion Elder M went tothe  front desk with at least one Zone Leader I think.  It was an adventure.

Friday (Day 3):

Stuff happened today. Maybe I'll give some more info next week... or in a letter or something... Today we had our first lesson with our "investigator." Elder H didn't get much of a chance to talk, I was talking a lot.

Saturday (Day 4):

We taught our second lesson to our first "investigator." Elder H and I were more balanced as far as who got to talk in this lesson.

Sunday (Day 5):

Sunday was a pretty good day. First we had Priesthood, then later in the day we had sacrament meeting (and I understood a lot of the talks, and some stuff in the hymns too). I'm leaving some stuff out, but that's okay. My time is running short to write on here. We get 30 minutes each Preparation Day.

Moving on to some good stuff from Sunday: went to choir practice with an "authorized split" with a different companion, Elder H decided not to go to choir. It was great. The director kept stopping and sharing spiritual insights. The song talks about the Atonement. Afterwards the four of us who went to choir shared with our District (twice because there were Elders who came in later) about what we learned, and other things about the Atonement. I talked about John 3:16 and a related story of a video we watched in Seminary. It was good. Different insights different sharings.

During the fireside there was a special musical number, and during the meeting I got some spiritual insights / ideas, etc. At the end when we were singing about being Missionaries. It was a good day. Afterwards, we watched a devotional from Elder David A. Bednar from (I think) April 2009 about recognizing the Spirit. It was a good day.

Monday (Day 6):

That's today. I'm getting off. I'll write you next week.