How are we doing? The MTC is so great. I've passed the halfway point! I'm excited, but it's sad to see it go. I'm working my hardest every day. The Polish is coming along really well. I'm teaching quite often now without any notes, just speaking whatever comes to my mind. I'm frustrated that I can't speak more yet, but I have to remember I've only been learning for just over a month now and to be patient with myself. I love the Spirit of work that is here at the MTC. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for teaching me how to work hard. It is paying off immensely.
Guess what? One of our practice investigators, Paweł, is committed for baptism! I know it's not a real investigator, but it's still really exciting. He's really growing and coming along with our lessons. We're teaching him again tomorrow. He has issues with smoking, so we're working through that right now. Our other investigator, Ola, knows she needs to get baptized and understands the importance of baptism, but won't set a date. It's frustrating, but we're working with her and teaching her all the commandments at the moment. It's so cool to watch these people grow, even if they are just role-plays. It's amazing to feel the Spirit of missionary work. I really believe it's stronger than any other Spirit I've felt. The Lord wants His work to go forward and will help us to push it forward in any way He can.
I've been doing a bit of memorizing in Polish. I can now recite the First Vision, and the first four articles of faith, all in Polish. It's so awesome. I've even shared one of those articles of faith in a lesson. I love being able to memorize these and recite them. An interesting tidbit, however, is that at first, I can never recite them quickly, but I can memorize them quickly. I don't quite know why. It doesn't make sense that I could keep that all in my head and have to do it so slowly. I really feel that the Lord is helping with it through the Gift of Tongues. I just don't see any other explanation for it.
It's amazing how much being on a mission has opened up the Gospel to my mind. In reality, this is a very simple message we have to share. We want happiness for the whole world and we know the pathway to lasting happiness. That's such a hard thing to come by these days, but a very important part of our lives. Too many people focus far too much on the things of the world. A quote I heard this week from Elder Holland fits this scenario perfectly: "We spend too much of our lives acting as if we will stay here, when in reality we can't, we aren't, and we won't." I've been thinking a lot about that quote. It's changed my perspective on a lot of things.
Along with that simplicity of the gospel comes a complexity that is so cool. I love all the symbolism, connections, and doctrine that is found everywhere: the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, the Temple, and many other places. It's fantastic. My study has really opened up my eyes to everything that can be found in the scriptures. What a neat thing to have so much time set apart to just learn. I absolutely love it.
For our firesides this week, we had two amazing speakers. On Tuesday, we had Elder Vaughan J. Featherstone. What a champ. He had knee surgery about two weeks prior and he still came and spoke to us. He emphasized work a lot in his speech. Dad, thank you for having me read your missionary journals. It taught me so much about how to work and how to do it correctly. It was so awesome to see your transformation on your mission. I just hope I can have the same sort of thing happen to me. A few quotes from Elder Featherstone's talk and some comments from our District Review really sum up what I learned well I think.
"Work will win when wishy washy wishing won't." -Pres. Monson
"When revelation comes, it will always come as a conclusion." -Pres. Packer
"No other talent exceeds spirituality." -Bruce R. McConkie
"God is not hasty. He plans ahead." -Bro. Stice (1st counselor in my Branch Presidency. Works at the business school. Do you know him dad?)
"Courage in faith is courage in progress. Never stop going, never stop working." -Elder Featherstone
It was so incredible. Last night we had another great fireside from Elder Steven B. Allen. With the 24th tomorrow, he talked all about the pioneers and music. We listened to "Come, Come Ye Saints" sung by the Mo-Tab on a recording. It's from a CD of theirs. When you send me my music, could you include that one on there please? Maybe that whole CD? That'd be great. Thanks. The whole fireside really strengthened my testimony of music and the strength it provides. Music can teach us so much about Christ, it's amazing. A new hymn I found that I have come to love is number 269. It's called "Jehovah, Lord of Heaven and Earth." It's very powerful. Go listen to it and tell me what you think.
Dad, a few questions. Where is it that Paul says "When I am weak, then I am strong"? I've heard the reference a few times but can't quite find it yet. I've been focusing a lot on being humble so the Lord can shape me into the tool he needs me to be. It's hard to realize that I don't know everything and that I can't do it on my own. I think that's why missionary work has to be so hard. We have to rely on the Lord for help. In reality, we can't preach this message alone or convince anyone of its truth without the help of the Lord and the Holy Ghost. That's the reason why the Lord chose a 14 year old farm boy to restore His church. It allowed the Lord to mold that prophet into who He really needed Him to be. Joseph wouldn't have ever amounted to anything without this gospel. JS-H 1:23 has given me a lot of insight into this very subject.
So, in other news, we got to go on a field trip today. My companion needed his pants altered, so we got to go to Mr. Mac for about a half hour. It wasn't anything big, but it was nice to get off campus for a bit.
Mom, your package didn't make it. I got the socks and Emma's letter, but they stole my Cafe Rio from me. Something about it not being safe or something. I think they just smelled it and wanted to eat it. Sorry about that. I was pretty bummed to not get it.
I'm glad everyone liked the pictures. Emma, a Jedi never reveals how he makes his lightsaber, but I'll show you in a couple years when I get home.
I got a chance to talk to Elder Frandsen for a while last night. He's doing great. He's excited to get to France and start spreading the word.
Elder Walters has been assigned to an island called Chuuk, speaking Chuukese. Basically, it's like The Other Side of Heaven, or so I've heard. Big shout out to Chloe for the update. Thanks Chlo!
I want to hear these talks from Emma and Heather from Sacrament meeting. I'm sure they were great!
Mom, I love you. Your frequent letters are such a source of strength. Keep diving into those scriptures and feasting upon the word.
Dad, two things. Actually three. I still want to hear about your converts. Also, go look up LaVell Edwards' talk from the October session of Conference in 1984 and read it. Pretty cool huh? Thirdly, tell James to look up Jeremiah 4:19-20 and tell him that's what the food is doing to me here. Yeah, 'nuff said.
I was sad to hear about Stephen Covey, but he must have work to do on the other side. Give Sean and his family my condolences. Thanks for the heads up on the pants Mom. I really appreciate it.
I'm running out of time. I love you all, I'm learning so much, and I'm relying on the Lord in all I do. Know that I'm committed to this work. I'm going to give everything I have every day I'm out here. It's not fair to myself or the Lord to do anything less. I love this work, I love this gospel, and I love the Lord. That's what's most important in life.
Until next Poniedziałek!
P.S. Heath, any new mission calls? I want to know where Coray is going and Taylor Lindsey too. If you can find out, plese let me know.
P.P.S. Emms, did you get the boat out yet? Please say yes.
P.P.P.S. Hannah, give Grandma Honey a love for me and tell her thanks for the package. Also give one to Grandma Fernie and Grandma Helen and tell them thanks so much for the letters. I loved hearing from them!