Thursday, May 21, 2015
Week One Complete at the MTC
Time at the MTC is crazy. The days feel super long while we are going through them, but when I reflect on what I've done, they seem to have gone by so fast. Day 1 (one), I got here and they sent me straight to work. I came in, got my name tag, then went to a fireside, after that fireside I had dinner, then class.
Class at the MTC is where we learn how to teach in the same way Jesus Christ taught. We learn a lot about how to teach people and not just lessons, and we learn how to bring the Spirit of the Lord into lessons. In a typical class we're given a topic to study (not a gospel topic, but a topic on teaching), then study it for a few minutes, discuss it, watch the teacher role play it, and finally we practice it with our companion.
Speaking of companions, mine is a really nice person. He is helping me have a bigger perspective on serving a mission and he helps me become a better teacher. We both have our own strengths and weaknesses and we end up balancing each other out. I'm learning a lot from him. I'm also learning a lot from my district. It is a group of four elders and four sisters. All of us are going to Scottsdale except for two sisters who are going to Alabama. We all have our own unique personalities and add to the atmosphere of the classroom. There was another district in our zone and they left on Monday. They were a really nice group of people to bond with as well.
Life in the MTC is hard. You learn a lot about yourself, about the gospel, about teaching, and about leadership. There are many assignments that we must do and many things to learn. Through these stresses, I have learned the important of faith and charity. One of my favorite scriptures on charity is from the Book of Mormon, Moroni 7:45-48. I don't have time to quote it, but I encourage you all to go to LDS.org and read it (or click on the link above). Basically, it says that charity is hard for you, but as you do it, you will be blessed. I have also underestimated how challenging faith can be. As I have pondered more on the concept of faith, I have realized how essential it is and how it plays a role in every aspect of my life. Faith is required for every doctrine and thing taught in the church. It's kind of hard to explain, but to gain a basic understanding of the concept of faith, I encourage you to read Alma 32 (also in the Book of Mormon and available on LDS.org).
One of the biggest things I need to learn is that when I'm stressed, I need to rely on spiritual things (such a Jesus Christ's atonement) rather than physical, tangible things (like music and friends).
One of the most eye opening things I learned was as I was watching a devotional that Elder Bednar gave missionaries a few years ago. His main focus was developing the Character of Christ in ourselves. We need to turn outward when we feel like turning inward. If we are charitable only to bless ourselves, we will not be blessed, but if we're charitable to care about others we will be blessed and they will be blessed.
Some other highlights from devotionals:
Elder Soares (Presidency of the Seventy)
If we are exactly obedient, the Holy Ghost (Spirit) will be with us and we will have a much more successful mission.
Pray to never loose testimony, be pure in heart, and never lose faith.
Create an environment for the Spirit before you go to sleep. Pray, read a scripture, leave you scriptures open while sleeping, and sleep with a pen and a notebook next to your bed to record and promptings from the Spirit. Then when you wake up, reflect on impressions you may have received from the Spirit.
President Bertasso (MTC Presidency member)
The Spirit will help you read and learn from the Book of Mormon. As you read, create an environment conducive to the Spirit. Take time to read, discuss, and point out key points. If the Holy Ghost is there as you read, you will learn new things. (This applies to the Bible as well.)
I also encourage you to listen to Bishop Gérald Caussé's talk about the gospel: Is it Still Wonderful to You? (April 2015 LDS General Conference)
Prayer is another thing that I've learned to appreciate. Prayer is a conversation between a person and God. As we sincerely express our desires to Him, he will bless us and help us. Though it may not be on our timeline, we have to have faith that things will work out on his timeline. Having that faith in God's timeline in another thing I'm working on.
Musically: This past week at the MTC, I was able to be in the choir. We sang a beautiful SATB arrangement of "Nearer, My God To Thee" accompanied by organ. I loved it, it was very touching. Tomorrow I am auditioning to perform Sally Deford's arrangement of "Be Still, My Soul" at one of Sunday's devotionals.
Teaching people: We have one role-playing investigator (based on a real person, played by our teacher) we practice with in our class and my companion and I are doing well. We committed her to baptism. We also teach lessons to LDS church members and we feel the Spirit when we do. There is also an investigator that my companion and I are working with. (Most likely our investigator is role-playing, but he could be a real investigator.) He threw us a real curve ball asking about African Americans and the priesthood. We weren't really able to teach him anything, but tonight we are going to try and teach him how he can find his own answers in the Book of Mormon and teach him about the restoration. The Book of Mormon is the source our answers! Pray for an answer to a specific question, read and study the Book of Mormon, then pray for the specific question again. The answer may not come right away, but it will come.
I think I've gone over my one hour of email time, so I must be done. I love you all! Thanks for the support! Feel free to email me or send me Dear Elder Letters at www.dearelder.com! After this Sunday, I won't be able to receive Dear Elder Letters because I leave for Arizona on Monday! The next time you hear from me will most likely be Monday, June 1.
Posted by Kathy Morgan at 12:24 AM