Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One Month ALREADY!

(She refers to a lot of things that are very missionary lingo'ish so I have included as many links as possible for you to understand what she is talking about!!)

Another week of adventures has already passed by.  I know its going super fast for me, how is it going by for y’all?? haha
This week has been so much fun, very spiritual and lots of laughs!

So this past week had to say good-bye to our older district and the native Koreans.  I can hardly believe that WE are the older district!  It feels so very strange.  Especially because next week we are getting 9 new Korean missionaries in and only a few weeks after that will we get 7 new native Koreans. (Which means 3 weeks after the new natives come I will be leaving to Korea!!)  Ready for some more mind-blowing news?? This past Friday was our official one-month (side note! We had a party to celebrate such a momentous occasion... Ever wondered what missionaries in the MTC do for parties??... Well, we watch Mormon Messages, eat cookies {thanks mom!} and play travel sized mini ping pong.  Yep, we're awesome!)  Since being in the MTC and then this Friday is our HALF WAY mark till we LEAVE the MTC!! (The celebration for this occasion will include blowing bubbles... yep, be jealous!) Though I still need to learn lots with the language, I am so excited that my time to be going to Korea is coming so quickly.  Oh man... Time is already going by way too quickly.  I don't want the 18-month mark to come tooo fast.

Speaking of heading out to Korea... remember how there were rumors about a new language/ training program for new missionaries when they go into the field?  Well, since I am one of the first to be a part of the new language program in the MTC, I will be one of the first for the new program in the field.  The goal of the new program is to have all missionaries, by their 12-week mark, or second transfer in the field, to be ready and able to be a senior companion or a trainer.  (This is were you can picture my jaw dropping!!)  That's right! After only 12 weeks in Korea I need to be proficient enough in the language, by knowledge of the areas and my confidence in teaching to be able to train another missionary!! CRAZY!  One of the things they are doing to allow this to happen is, as the junior and greenie companion, I will be given assignments throughout the week to take the lead on contacting, and appointment making and so more just following my senior companion around and letting them do all the work for the first couple of weeks hahaha Darn!  JK, I am excited about the new program, but I don't know if I will be ready for it!

So, my district is awesome!  I love working with all of the Elders and my companions and we really push each other!  One cool thing that happened this week is we all learned how to say the missionary purpose [The Standard of truth has been erected; No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.— The Prophet Joseph Smith, Korean!!]  It was wonderful to see how much each of us helped each other so we could all make our goal by the end of the week.  Now, we are working on having the first vision (vs 17) memorized... we only have a week and a half left to do that!  (Our next goal is Doctrine and Covenants 4!)  As always, it’s tough, but also completely rewarding! I love it!

Ok, so like I said, this week was fun! (Obviously) But also incredibly spiritual, I really felt like I grew a lot this week.  My favorite day this past week was, of course, Sunday.  The Relief Society speaker was the first counselor in the General Young Women’s Presidency, Sister Mary N. Cook.  She talked about the YW's theme, D&C 115:5. And how we should not live our lives in flat light.  In skiing, when there is Flat Light, visibility is poor and you can neither see the small bumps in the trail, nor the greater potential dangers.  She taught that we need to live our life with brightness!  And as a standard to the nations, so that we can not only see the course ahead of us, but that we can lead others to the right path that they may also find the way.  It was a wonderful address about sanctifying ourselves, and being empowered by the Atonement; because it is through the Atonement that the redeeming and enabling powers of Christ and God can work in our lives.  I loved the scripture Joshua 3:5!  It was wonderful! 

But my spiritual feast did not end there.  Over Christmas break Elder Bednar came to the MTC and gave an address entitled "The Character of Christ", and on Sunday they rebroadcasted it for the entire MTC to see again.  He began by stating that in our lives we shouldn't just learn ABOUT Christ, but we should learn OF Him.  Elder Bednar then quoted Elder Neal A. Maxwell saying, “There would have been no atoning sacrifice without the character of Christ.”  But what is the Character of Christ?  Elder Bednar challenges us to find that out for ourselves, but he gave a few examples.  First example was when Christ was tempted by Satan in Matt 4:2-11, (you MUST look at the JST for those verses), next was right after Christ was finished in the Garden and then betrayed, and the last example was when Christ was upon the cross.  In every one of those instances, when Christ had just suffered, or was in the process of suffering great affliction, He TURNED OUT!  When we would naturally turn IN and worry about ourselves, Christ would turn OUT! 

Elder Bednar explained that when we begin to Turn Out we begin our journey from Testimony to Conversion.  A Testimony is a foundation and not a final destination.  In Alma 23:5-7 it talks of how first, the people gained a Testimony, but as they continued to LIVE the knowledge they had gained, then that is when they were truly converted and they never did fall away.  "A testimony is what you know to be true through the Holy Ghost, Conversion is constantly being true to what you know."  It is the action. Conversion is the path that leads to Enduring to the End. We need to turn OUT.  We need to focus on others.  If we try to become converted by focusing on ourselves, it will never happen.  We become converted by forgetting ourselves and serving the Lord.  Elder Bednar constantly kept referring to Mosiah 3:19 where it talks about how "the natural man is an enemy of God".  The Natural Man is the side of us that wants to turn IN.  I loved it when he said that as we are patient with ourselves and we begin to focus on others we will have an increased capacity to do good and be better.  And that means not just NOT doing bad stuff, but doing better good stuff.  When we turn OUT is when we are truly following Christ's example. 

It was a wonderful address, and one that I will be revisiting constantly!  But I hope each of us can begin to do what Christ would do and focus a little less on ourselves, but focus more on TURNING OUT.  It won't happen over night, but that doesn't mean we can't start with the baby steps. 

I love being a missionary!  I love learning more and more what the Lord would have me do.  And I love you all!!

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