Saturday, August 10, 2013

Friends From Home...

Sister Bailey with Elder Bingham and Elder Nelson

"I Hope They Call Me On a Mission..."

Man have the spiritual times been rolling though. I will try to keep my thoughts cohesive but I just have soo much I want to share. First, how little did I know before the MTC. Before the MTC you think you have a testimony and you are somewhat prepared to teach the gospel..HAHA no. Heavenly Father truly humbles you while you are here so he can show you what it is truly like to be converted (watch the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar, it changed my life!) I have never felt so close to my Savior in my entire life, and I have only been here a week. I realized that if I had never decided to go on a mission I would never have learned and grown the way I have. I am so grateful to be apart of Heavenly Father's work and to be His humble servant.  I learned that to truly be converted we must be changed. We must begin to turn outward when the natural man would have us turn inward. Jesus Christ suffered so much for us in the garden. And what did he do when he was done taking on the sins of the world and having sweat pour out as drops of blood? He didn't seek recognition or praise. He healed the guards ear and humbly died on the cross for us. I realized that who am I to seek recognition for this sacrifice that I have made. I am here because this is the Lord's work and he has given me the wonderful opportunity to be apart of it!
Faith works too. I realized that when I got here, I probably had little faith. But being here, faith works my friends. If you have faith the Spirit will come, He will. If you have faith an invstigator will begin to change, he will. If you ahve faith the scriptures will answer your questions, they will. And if you have faith that God will speak to you, He will. That is what is so beautiful and powerful about faith. And honestly I am trying to exercise as much of it as I can. It's neat to think that the Brother of Jared saw the Lord's finger. He didn't see it at first. God began to light the stones, like the Brother of Jared asked. The Brother of Jared's faith increased to the point that he was able to see the Lord's hand. THAT IS SO COOL. You know why those miracles don't occur anymore, because of the lack of faith! You learn so much rad stuff here.
Being at the MTC, you think great I am going to learn how to be a missionary. But you don't just learn that. You learn how to be a disciple of Christ. That is why I love it here.
Our devotional Sunday was given by Jenny Baker, Elder Oak's daughter.  She's a famous violinist and so it was a musical devotional! It was beautiful! Then we watched the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar!! I have never been so chastized and edified in my life! It was sooo great! 


First Week in the MTC

...So my district is 6 guys 4 girls. And we are all going to St. Louis! There is also another district of 10 people going to St. Louis! So we got a big group heading out! I think that is pretty rad! My companion is Sister Mendenhall, she is from Salt Lake! She's a big athlete so she kicks my butt to work out. But I really like her and I am grateful that she is normal! haha
The first day was long and intense. Everyone says hello too in several different languages! The host takes you on a tour then takes you to class where you just dive into learning! It was insane. The first night we did this group thing where we sat in on an investigator's home and witnessed missionaries teach him then we got to ask him questions and teach him like one, gigantor companionship. It was really neat. I really felt like I learned that when we hear people's concerns we tend to just teach at them and bombard them with doctrine and info. In contrast, it showed me that in order for conversion to occur, we need to go where the investigator is. We need to feel what they are feeling. It was really cool.
The next day was pretty tough. The schedule was long and kinda hard to adjust. We had to do personal study for like 4 hrs. It was hard and I had a tough time staying awake! I also started to feel unprepared and inadequate but when those feelings come, Heavenly Father provides spiritual moments where you remember why you are here! We had a great workshop yesterday where we focused on our purpose as misssionaries! That was wonderful! We have also met all of our teachers. Dad you will enjoy this. My teacher Brother Rassmussen quoted a scene from Remember the Titans, where they go running where the Gettysburg battle occcured. It was sooo funny! But They are so great and really funny and insightful. I really think it is the coolest thing to be able to feel the Spirit here all the time. I am trying really hard to have strict obedience but sometimes I forget to do stuff or I don't think some things are a big deal, but my sisters help me and remind me.
Today has been wonderful!! We had class time for 4 hrs this morning already! Sister Mendenhall and I met our Progressive Investigator today(it's just one of our teachers). I feel like Sister Mendenhall and I did really well and worked well together, especially for our first time. We taught him about trials and the Atonement and invited him to practice praying and communicating with Heavenly Father! We have another lesson tomorrow and we are planning to teach him about the Book of Mormon! Today we focused on the doctrine of Christ and how it pertains to the invitation of baptism! It was soo great! I really feel like we think its weird to talk to people about the gospel and invite them to learm more about it, but in reality we are just inviting people to access the Atonement and come unto the Savior. That just really touched me and I kinda got emotional!
So far what I have learned is a lot about missionary work, but a lot about myself too! Before I came to the MTC, I focused on what I would do as a missionary and what kind of missionary work I wanted to accomplish. But this isn't my mission, it's HIS mission. I need to open my heart and mind to the Spirit and be able to follow God's will when it comes to teaching. I also learned the importance of the Doctrine of Christ. That we need to have it engraven in our hearts in order to be effective members and to help us the rest of our lives. Guys, THE CHURCH IS TRUE. And I love how I am able to feel that and have it testified to me every day!
I SEE EVERYBODY HERE! I already saw Sister Allen (Courtney Allen), Elder Evans (Laurens boyfrend), Elder Sellars (Amys boyfriend), Sister Crandall (Kathryn), Elder Nye, and Elder Perez (friends from BYU)! Its so fun seeing everybody and it makes me soo happy! Although it's been a little hard to adjust to the schedule, today has been wonderful! But something that I am sooo grateful for is that we aren't speaking a language! That seems sooo tough! It is truly wonderful here and I love that I am able to be apart of the Lord's work!

Saying Good-Bye to Caroline...Off to the MTC