I don't have much time left this week because I wanted to respond to everyone that emailed me individually, but I'll tell a few stories with what I have!
This week's Sunday devotional was given by Brother Steve Allen, manager of missionary work, and it was truly incredible! The topic/main theme was Satan's button pushing, and that the buttons he can push are far reaching and specific to each of us. For some it's obedience, others worthiness. One for me is certainly pride, and the challenge to be humble. It has been something I've worked on since the moment I stepped into the MTC. The message was simple, yet thought provoking, and caused much introspection on my part, to the point where I almost didn't notice the row in front of me and my row get called up to the stage in the middle of the devotional. When the 10 or so of us got up in front of the entire MTC, Brother Allen asked us, "What's something you gave up to serve a mission." I was second to last in line, so I had a little time to think, and in that time many thoughts flashed through my head. I kept returning to the same answer, and so I settled on it and waited my turn. Anziano Laudert in front of me cracked a joke or two about giving up the chance to be an Idaho Farm Boy, and then I was up. As I stood there at the podium, staring out at the thousands of missionaries sitting in front of me, I felt proud in being able to wear the name of Christ on my chest along with these other incredible people, many of which were sacrificing far more than I. Bro Allen looked up at me, made fun of my height, (much to the audience's amusement), and asked me what I had given up. My answer was short, and heartfelt, "My brother." He was startled, and asked me to explain. I proceeded to do so, quickly detailing the incredible example Simeon has been for me in missionary work, and that despite the fact I only saw him for just a few short hours, I knew I was where both he and the Lord would want me to be. As I tried to articulate just how much he meant to me, I really couldn't, he is my personal Superman! I ceded the stage to Elder Osmond, who quickly distracted the "awww-dience" (that's for you Camille), and turned their attention away from the elder who was working to keep it together... I was grateful for this chance not to focus on me, and my mission, but on those things and people for which I am serving, the first being Jesus Christ.
Second and last story of the week, occurred on Wednesday. I prayed in the morning, asking for help speaking my language, and received the answer, like Elder Calhoun in the Best Two Years, that I needed to fast. Funny how that goes, food wise, as breakfast, lunch, and dinner offered my 3 favorite meals the MTC serves. The lord will challenge us, but as Paul reminds us in Corinthians, "there is no temptation taken you, than such is common to man, but God is faithful, and will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able." Instead of eating, I studied, studied, and studied some more, and it truly worked. But the end of the day, I had committed over 150 verbs to memory, along with present, past, and future conjugations for most of them. I am incredibly grateful to the spirit's help, because I know that was not simply my God-given brainpower, but the gift of tongues at work in my life!
One last admonition, send me questions so I can respond individually and personally!
Love each of you, and pray for you nightly!
Anziano Toronto II
|President and Sister Burgess, who oversee the MTC|
|My MTC teacher Fratello Jenson|
|My MTC teacher Sorella Francom|
|Can you say, "Brain Overload?"|