Thursday, July 28, 2016

MTC Week 3

Hello everyone!
It has now been three weeks since my arrival date at the MTC, and I'm itching to get out of here and out into the field!  Yesterday, all of the Philippines missionaries who got here before us left, and it made me so jealous!  We also had FIFTY new missionaries come into our branch, and now our residence hall and sacrament meeting will be packed!!!  I seriously wish I could already be fluent in the language so that I could leave early, but oh well.

I'll try to recount how this week went, starting from Sunday, but there's not many stories to tell due to the fact that my days have started to become quite monotonous, but I'm so thankful that I can feel the Spirit and receive assurances saying "You can do it!"  Anyway, on Sunday we had a great sacrament meeting and the sacrament gave me such a great comfort (as always) ;)  My companion and I taught a lesson on pananampalataya kay Jesucristo at Kanyang pagbabayad-sala (faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement) in Priesthood and it went really well, I feel like my companion and I are finally starting to get into the groove of teaching in unity. The member of the branch presidency who was sitting in on the lesson pulled us aside afterward and told us what a tremendous job we did and how he could tell that we had prepared, taught, and invited action through the promptings of the Spirit.  

For our Sunday devotional, we celebrated Pioneer Day by having the Nashville Tribute Band come and perform.  It was an awesome experience!  For those who don't know, the Nashville Tribute Band is a group of Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who sing about topics like the First Vision, the Crucifixion, and Missionary Work.  They have some great songs and I would highly suggest listening to them, although some of their songs are too "Baptist Soul" for me :)  What made their performance really special was how they had the MTC choir (which I'm a part of) sing back-up on three of their songs, it made it more personal and fun!  But, the best part was the final song that the lead member of the band wrote about missionary work, which I think was called "The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved to do", which accounted his feelings he had as he left and returned from his mission.  Then, after singing through it once, he asked the whole MTC to sing it as they put the words on the screen.  It was a very emotional experience and every single Elder was crying because the song was spot on with the experiences we all had as we left our families to serve the Lord.  After the performance, we left to watch different videos.  They had  Meet the Mormons playing, and my companion and I were going to see it, but by the time we got to the room it was being shown in it was full.  So, my companionship and another companionship from my district decided to simply follow the crowd of people and find a video to watch, because we didn't pay attention to the room numbers of the other videos. It turns out we had been guided by the Spirit because the video we ended up watching gave us the exact message we all needed.  It was a talk given by Elder Bednar (Funny how he continues to pop up) titled "Recognize the Spirit" addressed to missionaries at the MTC.  This talk was PHENOMENAL, it helped relieve the stresses of the MTC and helps us understand how to recognize the spirit (go figure).  So, for my next assignment for you all, I would invite you to read/watch/listen to this talk, because it is fantastic.

Monday was class, so nothing really exciting happened.

On Tuesday, we had class (as usual) and TRC.  TRC went really well and both of the messages we taught were spot on with the needs of the different members we taught.  It was awesome and I'm glad that my companion and I are finally learning how to teach with unity.  For the Tuesday devotional, Spencer J. Condie of the Emeritus Seventy spoke to us, and it was great! He spoke on the distortions of doctrine that came from the Great Apostasy and gave some fantastic insights on Lehi's Vision of the Tree of Life.  In his talk, he shared a quote from a book titled "The Cost of Discipleship" that discredited the claim of so-called "cheap grace."  It said, and I'm paraphrasing, "As mortals, we should not expect to be saved by simply stating that we believe in Christ and his grace. Such thoughts about grace demean the sacrifice that the Savior gave on our behalf.  This type of belief makes grace cheap, and does not show reverence to the price paid by the Savior.  Grace should not be cheap, because the price to save all of us was expensive, so expensive that God had to give his only Begotten Son in order to redeem us from the Fall.  With this in mind, it makes no sense how people can believe grace is so cheap."  I think I totally messed up that quote, but it was fantastic nonetheless and I hope to read that book someday.

Wednesday was class again, and I've got nothing to report except that my teacher commended my companion and I for our great Tagalog, but we needed to start using Speak your Language more often, because we tend to go directly to English.  I said I would, so I hope I can still remember English by next week.

That's all I've got for this week.  Sorry to say, I haven't got any new pictures to send, because there hasn't really been any reason to take some.  Thank you all for your love and support, your letters and packages, and your prayers.  

Mahal Kita!!
-Elder Anderson

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