Sunday, March 21, 2010
Week 4 at the MTC
So the funny story(ies) is first this week. First of all, the other day in the cafeteria I was standing in line to put my tray on the dishwasher conveyer belt (does this setting sound familiar? :). A rather kind elder came up to me and said he would take my tray for me (this happens often--there are a lot of excellent elders out there, too--don't think I only look at their weaknesses!) and I thanked him and turned to leave. Well, since I am so short and most of the elders are so much taller than me, I turned and ran right into the tray of another elder that was standing right behind me. My cheek hit the corner of his tray (my face was conveniently positioned at his tray level :) and almost knocked the tray out of his hands. It was quite embarassing--except I just thought it was funny. Perhaps awkward would be a better word to describe it?
And you actually get two funny stories this week. As many of you might have heard, two of Elder Uchtdorf's grandsons are in my zone. One is going to Taipei and one is going to Taichung, and I have talked to them a few times. (One of them, I can't tell which one because they are twins, once said to me when he found out I know Arabic and Hebrew, "Thant's so cool! I totally want to learn those languages! Picture that in a heavy German accent, a bit like Arnold Schwartzenegger, and you might realize why I thought it was so funny. I guess we're even, because I want to learn German!) Well, it turns out that Elder Scott's grandson is also in my zone (they aren't very public about their family lines). I wanted to confirm the fact with him, so I tried asking him in Chinese. It was one of those awkward moments where both of us were waiting for companions outside of the restroom, and I quickly realized that no better opportunity would present itself. I asked him in Chinese because this elder, out of everyone else, is one that I have rarely spoken with because he only speaks Chinese. I didn't even know he spoke English until just barely. And I felt intimidated and, let's be honest, I thought he was stuck up because his Chinese was so good when all I knew how to say was hello. I don't know why I told you all of this, but let's just say that the whole situation was incredibly awkward. It was kind of like--why do you care who my grandfather is? To make up for it, though, he finally spoke to me in English today (he leaves tomorrow--most of my zone does). I guess the elders finally thought I was interesting enough to bridge the language barrier--or maybe they are just tired of Chinese! :)
And now to the spiritual side. I am quickly running out of time so this might be short. Speaking of Elder Scott, he came and spoke at the devotional at the MTC Tuesday night (we have them every Tuesday). It was an incredible devotional where he talked about our receptiveness to the Spirit. I don't have time to give the highlights--sorry. Maybe next week. But at the end he asked how many of us had never shaken an apostle's hand. When it turned out to be most people (I, clearly, was an exception :), he said that if we wanted to shake his hand, he would stay and shake everyone's. I was touched by the obvious symbol of the Savior that this was--shaking a few thousand missionaries' hands is not an easy task, but he did it out of love. It reminded me of what the Savior did in 3 Nephi 11--He invited all to come unto him, to touch the flesh of his hand(s and feet and side), and to change their lives. I realized that we invite people to do the same thing--to come unto the Savior and repent of their sins, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. It was a powerful devotional.
And now for the informational part--this week it will be a "real" missionary experience. I was in the RC this past week (a place where people can call in when they see church commercials or from pass-along cards, etc) and we take down their information if they want a movie or whatever, and then we testify to them of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have to admit that I don't love this place because I hate telephones. I especially hate calling people. But I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, so as long as people are nice it is not too bad.
So on Friday I was doing inbound calls, waiting for someone to call me, when I felt prompted to do outbound. After putting it off several times, I finally switched to outbound. Several (actually in the 30's) answering machines later, I was getting discouraged. Finally someone picked up and told me that the missionaries never brought his Bible by because "I told them that I was going to die before they could bring it by. But thank you for checking." Before he could hang up, I quickly said, "Well, what do you believe about the resurrection?" He wasn't getting off that easily. Well, it turns out that he believed in reincarnation and didn't believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. I shared several scriptures with him from the Book of Mormon, testified at least 20 times of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and after about 35 minutes he wanted the missionaries to bring him a Book of Mormon. Well, I can now testify with even greater surety that God does work through our patience and our faith--if we can be patient enough to allow miracles in our lives, we will see them!
Missionary work is wonderful. For those who upbraided me about my companionship problems, first know that I forget the people actually read these things so I don't always censor what I say! :) And secondly, I think my weaknesses are helping me understand that I really can't do this without the Savior. None of us can. I testify that He is real and He loves us.
And finally the commitment--will each of you go to the spectacular Mormon.org (it is newly updated) and see how it can help your family missionary work? I know that you will find new ways to prepare for missionary work as you do. Love you all,
Posted by breanne at 7:51 PM