I got to say goodbye to Gavin, Mac, and Dawson before they left the MTC on Monday. It's so weird knowing so many people here because I see familiar faces all the time just walking around the MTC campus. It honestly feels like a more spiritual Lone Peak.
We had a killer devotional. The speaker talked about how there will come a day out in the field when you feel helpless, terrible, and alone. This is because Satan doesn't want us to be serving in the mission that we're in. He knows the power and purity of the message we carry, and the effect it can have on the people we teach. Then he shared a clip from Jeffrey R. Holland given to a group of missionaries. He said that there may be times when you start to question. When you ask "why can't every investigator see the truth in this gospel and the happiness and help it can bring into their lives? Why do people ever choose to reject the gospel? Isn't it all true?" He then goes on to say, of course it is! He said that missionary work is not easy, because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation is not easy, nor is it supposed to be. The part that hit me the hardest was what he said next. He told all of the missionaries, "how can we expect it to be easy for us, when it was never easy for Him?" Then he explained how, as representatives of Christ, we are allowed to experience a few of the Savior's moments of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. How we are afforded to walk a few of the steps up to the summit of Calvary. But no matter what we have to sacrifice, it's only a portion of what he had a give, for he suffered all. He told of how the atonement will carry us as missionaries, more than it will our investigators. Because someone greater and grander once asked "isn't there another way? Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done" Christ knows about all of our sorrows and disappointments, because he has experienced the exact same thing. The only way is through Him. Then he shared a quote from Winston Churchill about how in every man's life there will come a time when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder, and asked to perform a task that will later prove to be the greatest moment in his life. And how much of a tragedy it would be if we were unprepared or unqualified to answer that call.
During this talk was the first time I can remember crying solely because of how much I felt the spirit.
But the MTC isn't all spiritual highs all the time, we also do fun/crazy things (not that feeling the spirit isn't crazy fun) But we take paper cups and cut out the bottom, then tape them up onto the chalkboard, draw a backboard, and play horse with little balls of tape. And the guys on my floor are crazy. We also played a prank on the new elders (by the way we just got 54 new missionaries in our branch, 2 Tongan districts and 2 Fijian districts, so we're almost at 100 missionaries) But we'd plug a fake phone into the wall, pretend it was the MTC president, and they'd freak out, timidly whisper "hello?" and then we'd all bust up.
That's about it for this week. The language is coming great and I'm still loving my experience here.
Anij bam mae iien jan bar lo doon,
Elder Sammy Merrill