Sunday, October 5, 2014

MTC Week 4

MTC Week 4

Dear Everyone,

Lots of stuff has happened this week. On Thursday, I went to the Mexican Consulate to verify my visa and officially be allowed to enter the country. Let's just say it was about 7 hours of travel for about 15 seconds of stuff I actually had to do. Very frustrating. And it was hot and I was in a suit. And the bus to get us from TRAX was about an hour late, so that was fun. It was super cool talking to people on the trains though. It felt really cool to be out of the MTC and into the "real world". On Tuesday another group went and as they got off the train there was an Elementary School field trip that was about to get on. So all these little kids lined up and all the missionaries shook all of their hands and gave high fives and cheered. One Elder in my zone had one kid come up to him and say "You're my hero. Go to work." Man do I wish I could've seen that. How freaking cool.

In other travel news, I get my travel plans in exactly two days. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Like I'm ready to go, cause of course that's why I'm here in the first place. But it also kind of feels like I'm leaving home again. Oh well. I've still got two weeks.

Some fun things from this week: and Elder in my zone had a birthday party, so we went over to his apartment after class and had a little mini party. In the words of his companion: "We have milk and party hats. This is the biggest thing to happen in the MTC since the last time Elder Holland came to speak." It was super fun though. I'll have to see if I can get pictures to you guys; they aren't on my camera.

Speaking of food, we had to say goodbye to another district this week. This one was a lot harder cause their class was right next to ours so we did a lot with them. Some really good guys. But anyway we got another inheritance. Only this time it wasn't all food. Basically anything they didn't have room in their suitcase for they crammed into boxes and made us take them. So we came home with about 100 envelopes, 30 hangars, some nerf guns, a rubber rat, a bunch of rocks (?) and $7.58 in change. And more food. So basically instead of eating lunch now we just go home and eat what we have. And we still haven't made a dent. 

In weather news, it's freaking cold. There's already snow in the mountains. I kinda want it to snow at least once while I'm here and at this rate it looks like it very well could. But it's not like this cold has been gradual. Just like all of the sudden since Sunday. I'm not sure what's up. 

I think I told you guys last week about TRC, where we get to teach a volunteer investigator. Anyways Elder Sanchez and I were teaching this guy named Javier. He's from Spain, and he was rather grumpy. He asks really hard questions too. For example, the first day we were there he asked us how God could be considered fair and loving if we wake up rich in America and other kids our age are living with literally nothing in Africa and other parts of the world, if they even reach our age. So we talked about how part of God's plan is to have opposition in all things, you know, a pretty good answer normally, but he didn't like it. So we went home and studied and basically went back and taught the plan of Salvation, how even though we don't all have the same advantages in this life, we are all given an equal chance to return to our Father and accept his Gospel. He seemed ok with that, but then he asked, "If God is all powerful, why did Christ have to suffer for us? Why wasn't it just 'ok you did good, you're saved, you did bad, you're going to hell?" Holy question. He followed it up with "Hitler and Mother Theresa were both Catholics. Are they both in Hell?" Luckily we ran out of time in that meeting so we had a chance to go home and study instead of looking like complete fools. As we were looking for answers, we realized that we were going to have to teach out of the Book of Mormon, which was kind of scary, because this guy hadn't even accepted the concept of a loving God yet. But we went back and taught the scripture from Alma about how after we are resurrected we will be judged for our works. He really liked it. We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked if he would read the introduction before our next visit (the next day). He said he would certainly try.

This is where it starts to get good. When we went back and asked him how he liked the introduction, he told us that he had read the first ten chapters of Nephi and was fascinated. We spent the first half of the lesson answering his questions from those chapters, like how God commanded Nephi to kill Laban, even though it was against the commandments, and why it was written in Egyptian, even though it's evident in the Bible that God doesn't like Egyptians. And then we taught the restoration, which is seriously my favorite thing. Every single time I get to recite or hear my companion recite "Vi una columna de luz, más brillante que el sol...¨ it is so powerful. He really liked that too, and so we left on that high note with an appointment to come back on Monday.

We went on Monday with a plan to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we only got through Repentance. It was ok though, cause that was one of the most fluid and spiritual lessons that I have ever been a part of. And then at the end I said the prayer and I felt like I should just say pray for Javier instead of my usual things. When I finished I looked up and he had this huge smile on his face and it was just super cool. Honestly I'm not sure what I said, but it was good. The gift of tongues is a super real thing. And then the next day, yesterday, we went back and taught Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. At the end of the lesson, we invited him to be baptized and he said yes. I know it's not real and he's already a member and all, but it still felt super great. Like all of our hard work had paid off. 

In other news, my toe is slowly but surely getting better; I stopped playing basketball and now it's almost exclusively volleyball, which I think is helping. And my lip is back to a normal color now, thank goodness. It was really gross looking there for a couple days.

Unfortunately I will not be in the choir. Something about having "no experience" and "the voice of a toad" or something I'm not sure ;) I will get to watch all of the sessions though, so that'll be good.

Les amo mucho.

Elder Rawlings

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