I am officially half way through my time at the MTC. It's pretty exciting. We had some more awesome devotionals this week. And it was about the Atonement in missionary work. And if you need to search a database, it includes the following phrases: -- Salvation is not a cheap experience. -- How can it be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for him. -- We are invited to spend a few moments in Gethsemane. We must pay some small token--make some small gesture. -- It is supposed to require something of our souls. -- The atonement will carry you missionaries. -- The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and Calvary. The only way to salvation is through Him: the Way, the Truth, and the Light. -- You have reason to stand tall!Among other awesome quotes. It was the most amazing devotional about the atonment. And the speaker shared clips from lots of talks on the atonemnt.
Then on Sunday we had an awesome Relief Society lesson about how we have to love the book of mormon. Because it's awesome. The lady that gave the lesson just talked about how much she loved it, and that was incredibly powerful. It made me realize that I need to be able to testify to people that I love the book of mormon and that I have felt god's love for me when I read it and that I really want to share it with them, etc...
So Sunday I had the best scripture study ever, and I'd like to share it with you. So maybe you guys can love Ether 12 as much as I do now.SCRIPTURE STUDY ASSIGNMENT: Ether Chapter 12.DURATION: 1.5 hoursPURPOSE: LEARN TO LOVE THE SCRIPTURESMETHOD: TAKE LOTS OF NOTES AND PRAY ABOUT ITThe Beginning: I read it. It was cool. It talks about faith and hope and charity. Good scriptures... but wait. It gives a whole lot of examples about faith. Why did he use those particular examples? And why does he suddenly switch from talking about faith to talking about weaknesses? What connection is there?Musings:Write down order of faith examples: walls tumble, conversion, holy ghost, miracles, not taste of death, see through the veil--finger first then all things (temple?), obtain promises from the lord.What do all of these things have in common? Maybe all of these are how we can be good missionaries through faith... walls between investigators and the gospel will tumble, people will be converted and receive gifts of the holy ghost... faith helps missionaries! Here's the other thing that I figured out... I think. Let me know if you guys agree. verse 22: Nephite prophets were promised that the book of mormon would go forth as a conversion tool (see enos, etc). The Lord Jesus Christ appears to Mormoni to command him to finish the plates to keep his promises that were made to the prophets because of their faith.23-25: Moroni tells the lord all of his weaknesses and why he can't finish the book.26-28: The Lord tells him that he can. And that through the BoM he will show the gentiles their weaknesses and teach them faith, hope, and charity.29-34: moroni explains what he knows and remembers about faith, hope, and charity.35-36: ^but god, what if the gentiles don~t get charity because of my weakness, please, can you give them charity by grace?37: No, my son, it's not that easy, but don't worry, you did your part.38-40: Moroni bears testimony that god did appear unto him and teach him these things.41: Moroni's last-ditch effort to get you to develop charity and be exalted despite his weakness in writing. PLEASE SEEK THE CHRIST THAT WE'VE WRITTEN ABOUT SO YOU CAN HAVE GRACE AND BE SAVED!CONCLUSION:The first half of this chapter is all about missionary work and how I can be a good missionary through faith. The second half is all about a vision Moroni had of Christ and how Christ resolved his personal concerns about not being a good enough missionary.Maybe? What do you think?My companions mostly thought I was crazy, so I decided to write you all about it. I hope you don't feel like it's a waste of a most-of-a-letter.I also thought a lot about how FAITH leads to HOPE and HOPE leads to CHARITY. We've been learning about these attributes and what exactly they mean and how exactly they work together. It's really interesting to define the attributes of christ more precisely and figure out better how they can work together.
One last devotional item. We had an awesome devotional last night from an area seventy. His name may or may not have been Carlos E. Godoi. He began by telling us he could have talked to us from the perspective of a returned missionary or a former mission president or something else, but he chose to talk to us as a father. He told us that our missions are blessing our families whether we have parents who aren't members, parents who didn't serve missions, or parents who did serve missions. He told us that as his children he would give us three pieces of advice, advice that he gave his son and daughter before they went on missions.1. There's a reason you were called where you were called. Because there is the mission president you need to have, the companions you need to have, and the people you need to teach.2. Do your best. There are levels of commitment to being a good missionary. Not doing anything bad, doing good works (baptizing), praying with out ceasing (to have the spirit and actually convert the people you're baptizing), or exercise faith unceasingly to work miracles. He said,"You are here to show the Lord that He can trust you." and he asked us if our parents would be proud of the level of dedication that we're putting in. 3. Open a channel of communication with God. Get as close to him as you can. He closed by reading us a scripture in Moroni 8:2-3 as if we were Moroni and our parents were Mormon. It was really awesome. Anyway. Sorry I didn't really tell any stories. I just get so excited about some of these things. I kind of had a hard few days and then these were the three experiences that got me back on track. So I know the Lord is blessing me. I'm having fun, too. My companions are still awesome. Although Sister Martin wants to have a lot of alone time and won't let us know if we can help her or when she's having a hard time... so I'll let you know if I figure out how best to help her.I hope you guys are proud of me. I'm doing my best to make you proud.I love you all,Whitney