Another week has come and gone at the MTC. The days are long, but the weeks are short. I love receiving your letters. It's nice being able to read them outside of my email time, so continue to take advantage of snail mail and dear elder while i'm in the MTC. The address I gave you at home had unit 77 on it. That is correct but the reason I have been addressing letters from unit 87 is because that was what was on this little card they gave me at the MTC. But whichever one you send it to, i'll get it.
We sit in class for almost 8 hours everyday. It gets really long but I absolutely love my teachers. They are all excellent teachers that have a lot to give. Sister O. is our main teacher but in the afternoons we have either Brother Taylor, Brother Young, and Sister S. I love all of them. They all add a different flavor to the learning experience I guess.
The Devotionals nights and nights are good, we had two speakers, they were both really good. I wish we could have an Apostle come though. we sang "we'll bring the world his truth" for the closing hymn. I have always loved that song but have a greater appreciation for it now. They change the words for us to "We are now the Lords missionaries" and whenever we sing that line my eyes fill up with tears. It is truly an amazing privilege to be able to wear the name tag that bears Jesus' name. I am a representative for Him. Last Thursday evening when our P-day was "over" we had class and in it, Sister O. asked why we are missionaries and why we are here. My whole life it's always been a question of when I serve rather than if. I've grown up knowing that whether or not I wanted to, I was going to serve a mission. I am however grateful that I grew to know of the truth and gain sa pagpamatuod (testimony) that I would want to serve. I am here because I want to share with others something that has given me and our family so much Joy. I came with a desire to serve and every day I am here my desire grows and my ability to love increases. I know that my Savior lives. I know my Father in Heaven answers our prayers. His message is one of Joy and Happiness and I want to share that.
We had a lesson afternoon in which we talked about listening to the promptings of the spirit and never doubting his promptings.The teacher did a demonstration in which I was the volunteer. I went to the front of the room and he asked me to do a few simple things such as, spin around, or jump three times and so I did. Then he said, "fall strait back"... So I did... And I kept falling... and when I was about 8 inches from the ground he finally caught me. The point of the exercise was that we should never doubt the spirit, but he had never had someone keep falling and not catch themselves. He wasn't ready to catch me because he didn't think I would keep falling. It was pretty funny except for the fact that I almost died. Perhaps I'm a little too trusting sometimes. But in the case of the spirit I hope we can always Fall strait back (perhaps there is more to the 'trust fall' exercise than we thought).
Becoming a Missionary is a process. You don't just put on a shirt and tie and name tag, you have to live worthy of that name tag. As I said earlier, we are representatives of Christ. I am nowhere near perfect but I am working at it. Everyday my ability to feel the spirit grows stronger and I know that with the Lords help all things are possible. This past week I studied the crucifixion in all four of the gospels. We truly cannot comprehend the pain that Christ suffered and he did it all because he loves us and because his Father loves us. I love the part when Peter chops the guards ear off and Jesus heals him and tells peter that if he wanted to fight back he could snap his fingers and have legions of angels by his side but he didn't for the purpose of the Atonement. For that cause he was brought into the world. I cannot comprehend everything that my Father in Heaven does for me but I know that everything I am and everything I have is because of Him. For class one day Sister S. taught us about having a Culture of Righteousness. I love this concept. We (as missionaries and as Latter-day Saints) are all light houses and have so much light and guidance to offer by way of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We just have to be exactly obedient in order to have the entirety of those blessings and Along with being obedient and NOT doing the Bad things, we must also always be doing the good and right things. And as you do the good things, Not doing the bad things won't seem so hard. Just because your not doing anything wrong doesn't mean your doing right. And on that note of being good, Pres. Hinckley once said, "Don't be just good, be good for something." As missionaries, there is more expected of us. We must be more than exactly obedient. We must carry ourselves in a way that is totally and completely in accordance with representing Jesus Christ.
"Faith is the action, Obedience is the price.
Love is the motive, the Spirit is the key
Christ is the reason." -anonymous
And as Elder Rob Lowe always said, Keep the faith and may peace be the journey,
gihigugma ko kamo!
Love, Elder Ethan Lowe