It’s been a busy week at the MTC! On Tuesday we had devotional as usual but because the of the Mission Presidents training there were ten out of the Twelve Apostles there!! We had in attendance: Elder Holland, Elder Oaks, Elder Christoffersen, Elder Bednar, Elder Renlund, Elder Rasband, Elder Ballard, Elder Cook, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Anderson. It was so special to watch them all walk in with their wives and to just have them be there with us. This Tuesday was also special because it was the 173rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith Jr. In the choir we sang “Praise to the Man.” The Spirit was so strong as we honored the prophet and the sacrifice he made to bring about the Restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When Elder Bednar spoke at the devotional he mentioned that Joseph was 23 when he translated the Book of Mormon. He then spoke of the following years of his life and the persecution Joseph would experience. Being the same age as the Prophet was when he translated the Book of Mormon gave me perspective and strengthened my testimony that Joseph was called of God to translate the Book of Mormon through God’s power. Elder Bednar also mentioned that even though Joseph had little education, after almost 200 years no one has been able to disprove or find mistakes within the Book of Mormon. He then went on to speak of planting the Word of God deep into our hearts and to nourish that seed that it may grow into a tree that bears good fruit unto the edifying and nourishing of others. It is always a powerful experience to learn from an Apostle of the Lord.
On Wednesday we got to host the new missionaries coming in to the MTC that day. Basically we would stand at the curb as they pulled up, take their luggage while they said goodbye to their family, take them to get their ID and books and drop off luggage, then take them to their classrooms. I felt like the villain trying to separate them from their families but all of the 3 girls I hosted were excited and ready to go. It was fun having a special activity to help break up our weekly schedule and I loved seeing all of the new missionaries!
We’ve been continuing to teach our progressing “investigator” Tyler and on Thursday Sister Scott and I invited him to be baptized and he accepted! It was so exciting to have him accept and Sister Scott was so amazing as she looked him in the eye and spoke the baptismal invitation in Cantonese! The Spirit was so strong and it just felt good! After we set his baptismal date for July 30th and bore testimony of baptism and following in the Savior’s footsteps we finished up our lesson. I found out after we got back to our classroom that Sister Scott hadn’t realized he had accepted the invitation to be baptized even though she had done such a good job testifying in Cantonese. When she found out that he had said yes it was like reliving the moment. We’ve still got lots to cover but Sister Scott and I are slowly but surely figuring out how to plan lessons.
On Friday during our class time, Brother Anderson talked more about Hong Kong and his mission there. He specifically showed us this area in Hong Kong called Cyberport where lots of multi-millionaires live. He said that no missionary has ever been able to get a lesson or a baptism in that area. It was awesome to see everyone in my district listen to that and then decide “Challenge Accepted.” If anyone can do it, I believe our district will be the first missionaries to get into Cyberport. We also started a book club in our district. Brother Anderson told us that he read our Cantonese grammar book 4 times during his mission: 1. just reading through 2. reading and writing down all the Cantonese words he didn’t know and learning them 3. reading and writing down all the grammar principles he wasn’t using them and then using them 4. just for fun. Just because Brother Anderson read it 4 times, literally the entire district has started reading our grammar book with the goal of reading it 4 times.
As you can probably tell, the theme for the whole week has been the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Christ and on Sunday in our Relief Society meeting we watched the following video:
A Book of Mormon Story
I love the simple truths of the Gospel and the fullness of the Gospel within the Book of Mormon. I especially love the promise in the introduction of the Book of Mormon that says if you read it, ponder it in your heart, and ask God in the name of Christ if it is true that you WILL gain a witness of it’s truthfulness by the Holy Ghost.
I love you! Carry on!!
1. Provo temple2. New Vocab3. Sister Scott and me in our corner4. The view from our classroom window5. Some of our teachers! (Left to right: Brother Anderson, Sister Taylor, Me, Sister Scott, Sister Hadley) (all are teachers except Sister Scott and me)6. The Plan of Salvation