May 27, 2013

05-27-13 Week 2 of 6 in the MTC

Hi.  Since Julius can't update the blog himself for the next 2 years, I'll post a weekly update using his email, and hopefully we'll get some pics soon.  For those that may not know, missionaries are not allowed to be on social media.  He can email me weekly and send letters to everyone. We are not sure how long letters will take to get here from Africa.  

Everything is going well at the MTC.  The language is coming along very fast now. During language study I usually sit at the chalk board and learn the grammar.  Chalk gets all over my pants but I figure it’s a good sign of diligence and learning.  It’s worth the extra cleaning.  I figure if I can learn the sentence structures and conjugations I can later fill in the "skeleton" with vocab that will naturally come while in Africa.  Teaching the first vision went amazingly well.  The lesson began with a rough start and was a bit shaky as we tried to talk about the apostasy and prophets.  But after my companion Elder Brockbank quoted what had happened the spirit was there.  Immediately I felt a prompting to scrap all the notes and outline I had prepared and simply started bearing testimony.  That seemed to do and help everything fall into place.  Although Christopher (our investigator) is role playing with us, we tested how it felt to ask him to commit to pray about Joseph Smith and to ask if this is the true church.  On our next visit he had done so and said he felt peace. That was the best lesson we had ever taught by far. Although it was only a mock investigator I was so excited.  We finished our mock lessons by committing him to baptism and he accepted. The language is really not a barrier.

The MTC is really exciting, it seems like the members of the presidencies and teachers are always advising and cheering for us that we can do it and that God is there.  It’s something that I never thought would have such a big impact, but constant positive reinforcement really helps open our minds to learn quicker.  Everyone has those days when they feel down or lonely or angry, but through it all I think every missionary comes to realize that we can do hard things with God.  I remember that we were told that in every session of every temple we are being prayed for, and that the sun never truly sets on missionaries testifying of the gospel.

This week we also start TRC, which is basically teaching lessons again, however, the investigators are sometimes people who don’t speak English, and/or who may not even be members. To make it more complicated we have to go through the entire process of trying to get ourselves let into their door.  So we basically have to take it from a door approach to a full lesson. I think this Thursday is when I will truly see how good my French is in two weeks.

I am in the missionary choir and they said that on June 23rd there is a special musical number that we will be participating in; sadly we leave for the Congo on the 22nd. This morning we found out that on the 23rd all the new mission presidents will be spoken to by President Monson, President Packer, and other apostles.   Sadly, we will be on a plane and will miss the opportunity to sing for them.

So fun story about the MTC:  Last night our companion comes into our room and said he needed help with something.  He had an infected cut or something.   He needed someone to cut it open and drain out the bad stuff.  So he lies down on our floor and gives us his leather man knife. (before I continue, I sat on my bed reading letters and let the other missionaries take care of it. Guess I’m not cut out to be a Dr. haha). The missionaries performing the “emergency surgery” put on rubber cleaning gloves, disinfected the knife and made a small cut on this elder.  After 30 minutes of cleaning the wound he was alright in the end and the previously infected area is now hopefully better.  Now you see as to how we do things as missionaries.