Friday, February 20, 2015

Missionary Training Center email #2 - 6 October 2014, General Conference weekend - A few days before going to the Mission Home

Oh my goodness yes! General Conference was amazing! I loved Elder Bednar's talk in the last session I laughed a lot. It is probably just because I'm on my mission, but it felt like many of the talks at General Conference were focused on the missionaries. I don't know, maybe I just got more out of them because I'm trying to take anything that I can apply to my mission from any source.  I love how you phrased, "I reckon that it is good that I have no money to duck hunt this year as I have no dogs now to hunt with." I'm having a great time and still learning but I am sooo ready to get out of the MTC like seriously lets get this thing started you know what I'm saying ;) 

There was a short period two or three days ago in which I was tested in my testimony, faith, and patience. We were doing role plays and Elder Johnson, who always asks the most difficult questions, asked something pertaining to the priesthood. Why is it necessary? I was already baptized, where in the bible does it show Jesus giving the priesthood to his disciples, which by the way is Luke 9:1, I couldn't answer it- none of us could. So I did the next best thing, I bore my testimony on it. I should mention that both times I'd bore my testimony before were with Agitha and Ben Smith they are TRC investigators, when I bore my testimony with Agitha it was on the Atonement which is the strongest part of my testimony and after that lesson both my companions said that the spirit was so unbelievably strong in there and when we got back to the classroom Elder Egan said he could feel it as we were walking into the classroom, the other time I bore it on the sacrament and baptism, which means so much more to me now that I have a fuller understanding of it- and it wasn't as strong but it was still strong and I feel it did something for Ben. 

I don't know, anyway during role play when I bore my testimony on the priesthood I kind of felt something then BAM we'd just gone in a circle back to the question and it was a setback- understandably. And for some reason instead of going forth and searching for the answer my mind started asking me questions like why didn't that do anything? I didn't feel anything, do I not have faith in that, is that why I couldn't answer his question. I started questioning myself in everything. It was the worst feeling I'd ever had. I described it in my journal as the feeling of death. I prayed for the longest time that night and the feelings I had in the classroom earlier (which I'll tell you about in a second) overwhelmed me indescribably and everything I knew came back and I'm so much stronger now through that experience. I feel it was something I needed to go through before I actually started in the mission field. Now, earlier that day we did an exercise where each of us took turns in a chair and were asked questions from the other Elders for a minute and a half but only questions that they felt prompted to ask. I was last to go up there and I was already crying the spirit was so strong it was amazing. When I got in the chair every single question I had was a question either relating to or exactly what I had been praying for and about. The two that were most important then, and as I'm typing this I'm feeling the spirit in waves through my body, were How do you know your Heavenly Father loves you? and (I'm not sure exactly how this one was asked but) What are you doing yourself to better be like Jesus? Every experience with the Holy Ghost, every moment in which I could feel it previously in my life can not, combined, comparably match up to how much I felt it then and what difference, what an impact it had on me. It was the answer to my prayers both the ones I had been having and the one (as I before mentioned) that I would be having later that night. What I have been praying for every night it to be able to be as loving as our Heavenly Father, to be more patient and understanding, and to continuously be strong throughout everyday. and through the questions the other Elders asked me I received my answers. It was such an important and amazing experience. I love you all so very much.

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