Monday, July 11, 2016

Fireworks and Fun in the MTC: Week 2

Haylie raided her grandma's closet for the best sweater ever to wear on the 4th of July

This week was so much fun! The gym was opened again so I played basketball almost every day this week. The boys think they are too cool to play with the girls, either that or they are afraid to lose to them. Regardless, girls are not allowed to guard boys so I was balling-up some girls. It was so much fun. I think I had a little extra power being in the MTC and all. 

Hermana Romero and I got locked out of our residence not once, but twice this week. We forgot to take our keys with us when we showered. You think we would learn from the first one. One lock-out resulted in the security guards having to come to open the door for us. We just laughed it off- not surprised by any means that it would happen to us. I think we finally learned our lesson. 

We got our travel plans and I leave to Argentina in a week! Hermana Romero and I are on the same flights and we are so so excited. Also so nervous and wondering how we are going to make our suitcases weigh 50 pounds. 

A few funny things that happened this week:
An Elder in my district bought a missionary bag at the bookstore. He was so excited about it, spending $60 dollars on it and all. Well he quickly took the tags off and after a few minutes he opened it up to see the inside was pink! The bookstore would not let him take it back and our district/teachers could not stop laughing.
Another thing- a Hermana in my district will frequently ask for words as she is talking to the class. Well an elder misheard her and thought she had said "to cook" instead of what she really said "to hook." The sentence then progressed to mean- we need to cook our investigators. Whoops. Not quite what we had in mind.

We got to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks and stay up on Saturday night! It was the best night ever, full of laughs and joy and friendships and happiness. I could not help but think about how blessed I have been in my life. I am so grateful for everyone who has been my friend and support throughout life. I am grateful for the experiences I have had and will have in the future. And of course, I am proud to be an American. 

Hermana Romero and I started to teach our TRC investigator. Her name is Hely and she is from Guatemala. She is so loving and so kind. I do not remember exactly what we said during all of our lessons with her, but I could always feel that the spirit was present, especially when we bore testimony that God loves her. Meanwhile, we have also been teaching other investigators and we have grown a lot in the process. It is important to remember that the spirit is the true teacher, and we are just the facilitator. 

Hermana Romero and I taught our district meeting yesterday on obedience. It went really well- probably because we got to teach in English haha. One of the things I was told the first week that I was here was that if we truly understood the blessings that come from obedience, we would beg for more commandments. A quote that I love is from Elder Richard G. Scott, who says "Don't give up what you want most in life for something you think you want now." The choices we make are so important. Keep an eternal perspective and obey out of love for the one who gave you everything that you have. 

We read about repentance in the Bible dictionary- it is a change of mind. It is a fresh view about God, ourselves, and the world. It is a turning of the heart and will to God. This definition is not demanding or fearsome, it is inviting and inspiring. It is accompanied with the promise of salvation. It is essential. 

Alma 26: 22
"And he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing- unto such is given to know the mysteries of God; yea unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls unto repentance, even ask it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance." 

I had a really powerful interview yesterday with a member of my branch presidency. He told me that my job was to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ, and help people remember what they had already known before. He says nothing we are teaching someone is something that they hadn't already known before this life in the presence of God. Our job is to remind them of the things they had one known. It is to help them identify the spirit, knowing that the way they are feeling is the way they once felt with God. We all had a father/daughter, father/son relationship with our Father in Heaven for thousands of years before coming to this earth. I know that god loves us all, and he wants us to be happy. He wants us to remember how much he loves us, and to feel his recognizable hand on our shoulders, bearing our burdens and strengthening us in the process.

Hermana Mathis

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