Thursday, July 31, 2014

Less Than 2 Weeks Left!

Last Thursday was Pioneer Day as many of you know (a very big deal in Utah - and much overlooked in Texas).  It's basically like the 2nd biggest holiday in July (next to the 4th), so the MTC's store and mail center were closed, and so was the temple.  So we had time to get naps in.  I had enough to get a few hours of sleep, which was absolutely heavenly. That day we also went out to the MTC field and Elder Tucker and I played sand volleyball with the Japanese-bound missionaries.  We got pretty close to them because the Korea and Japan going missionaries have about the exact same schedule here in the MTC.  Then a lot of those Japanese missionaries took off for Tokyo early on Monday; which makes the week and half that I have left before I take off for Korea feel really short and makes me super excited!  We have a countdown on our classroom's white-board that says : "_11_ 일 한국" (11 days Korea).  It probably doesn't make much sense grammatically, but it hypes us all up a whole lot!  Cause that number keeps dropping fast!

On Friday we had TRC (teaching resource center) like we do each week (where we teach church members); and this time it was over Skype!  Unfortunately, the sister Elder Murdoch and I skyped had an old version of Skype, so our video feeds weren't compatible.  We couldn't see each other at all.  So it was more like having a religious discussion/lesson over the phone, which was a pretty new experience for us as missionaries!
I got some pictures with some of those Japanese missionaries that left during our Sunday temple walk time, so that was good!  They are all such incredibly fun and great people. They're going to do great in Japan (even though Korea is a little bit cooler....hahaha)

Our Sunday night devotional speaker was Stephen B. Allen again.  He talked a lot over how we can fulfill our missionary purpose.  he basically broke it down like this:
1) Love God & love the people
2) Obey (don't second-guess the rules!)
3) Follow the Spirit (He literally knows everything)
4) Use the Book of Mormon
5) Get to know and use the members (get to know all of them well [ie. By name])
It was a great talk and he's a pretty funny guy. We were all laughing a lot during it, but the Spirit was definitely still there.
On Tuesday night we heard from John H. Groberg and that was an incredible talk.  He's the guy that the movie The Other Side of Heaven is about. Like, that's his story.  So it was really cool to hear from him.  He focused a lot on testimonies and why they are so important.  He said this (roughly...), "The vibrations of your testimony cause the testimonies of others to respond and vibrate complimentary to it." He demonstrated this with tuning forks and how when one starts to vibrate near another that has a similar frequency, it will cause it to vibrate too. 

This is what our testimonies can do for people.  He gave us 6 examples of you we bear our testimonies.  There are countless, but he used specifically these.  That we bear testimony by:

If we bear our testimonies often and with conviction, the Spirit will stand by us and our testimonies WILL GROW.

On Wednesday I got to see my cousin Ryan Gardner come into the MTC, going to the Vladivostok Russia Mission.  That was awesome to see him.  His host was an Elder Smith in my branch, and I ran into him (Elder Smith) while he was waiting for Elder Gardner to come back out of the building (where they get led through a maze of hallways and what-not to collect their new missionary stuff that they need).  So I waited with him and when Elder Gardner came out we said hey, hugged, got a picture.  Basically had the most precious moment ever ;)  I'll probably get to see him around some more around the MTC.  So that's exciting! In fact, I just saw him this morning! Haha

Overall a pretty good week that - yet again - just flew by! Love you all!

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