April 24, 2014

Week Four

Easter morning was absolutely amazing! President Uchtdorf came and spoke to us in a devotional (which, by the way, is super super rare to have a General Authority come visit), and then he walked around the room and shook hands. I was sitting in the Choir, so I got to shake his hand! And then later that day we were eating lunch and he just randomly walked in with the MTC president. So President Uchtdorf walked around the cafeteria as well and shook hands with a bunch of missionaries again. It was awesome! His talk at devotional was so inspired as well. He spoke of how a testimony of the Resurrection and the Atonement can change us from timid young adults to powerful missionaries speaking with the authority of God and the guidance of the Spirit. He used the example of how Peter went from someone who would deny Christ three times to someone who was willing to truly testify at all times and in all places.

THEN, on Tuesday night devotional we had Elder and Sister Oaks come speak! I loved both their talks, and they spoke on how we as missionaries are building the foundations for the rest of our lives right now. The habits and characteristics we develop now can carry on through our life if we work on maintaining them.
I can hardly believe that I only have one and a half weeks left here! On the one hand I still feel like I just barely arrived, but on the other I know that I have learned so much and grown so much that I wonder how have I only been here for a few weeks. (haha sorry about that major run on sentence).

To answer a few questions, MTC choir is going great! Our conductor is absolutely hilarious (his name is Ryan Agget, and I'm pretty sure I just butchered the spelling on his last name), and yes we sang for Easter. But we only ever have an hour each practice, so we only get one hour to learn the songs before we perform them. That's always a little stressful, but it's totally worth it.

Also, the investigators we teach can be anyone: MTC teachers, local church members, real investigators, or less active members. But everyone takes on a different "character," so it's not like we go into an appointment and they say "Hi, I'm Sally, and I'm a returned missionary volunteering here." Mostly everyone acts like they've never heard of the Church before, or at least they don't know much about it. But I honestly love teaching so much. I love talking with investigator's and praying with and for them. I love how when I am teaching to them I can feel how much love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for this person. And even though the investigator is acting, we can still find scriptures and feel the Spirit and share things that will help the real person.

For example, we taught a lady, 'Violeta', the other day. During the lesson, we felt impressed to share some scriptures with her. They weren't totally on topic with what we were talking about, but we wanted to do what God wanted us to do, so we challenged her to read these specific verses. As she was reading aloud, I just felt the Spirit testifying so strongly that Heavenly Father truly loves all of His children, and Christ died not just for everyone, but for every ONE. For me, for my companion, for Violeta. After the lesson, my teacher came back into the room (she had been playing Violeta), and she started crying and told us that even though we are teaching 'Violeta,' Heavenly Father still loves her as a person, and the scriptures we shared with her were an answer to her prayers. I am totally awed by God's love and power, and I am so grateful that He gives me this opportunity to serve Him and become better through His grace.

It's so weird how much I just love everybody here haha. I've never really been one to love talking to people I don't know or to be the first to initiate conversation. But the longer I am here, the more and more I just want to give hugs to everyone- God loves all His children! And as I try to serve Him more and as I try to serve the other missionaries/investigators, I can feel how God is changing my heart to be more caring and compassionate, more considerate and loving. Which on the one hand is amazing and fantastic, and on the other hand is a totally weird experience- but I love it.

This week's scripture is nice and short! Jeremiah 32:27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" I will be able to learn Spanish, I will be able to talk to complete strangers, I will be able to not only just survive but actually enjoy these next seventeen months. Not because of sheer grit or determination on my part, but because I have faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through Him, I can do all things (bonus scripture! Philippians 4:13). He can change and strengthen and improve me to be a better missionary and a better daughter of God. I love Him so much!

I hope you are all doing well!
Hermana Simmons

Missionary choir at the Provo MTC provides music for a meeting at which President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke on Easter, April 20. The meeting was broadcast to other MTCs throughout the world.
If you go to deseretnews.com it has an article about Pres. Uchtdorf coming to speak to the MTC on Easter morning.  I am in one of the pictures, singing in the choir haha. Just thought I'd let you know.

 I ran into Allie Law while doing laundry today! That was funny, and it was way cool because she was leaving to head home for the next four months in just a few hours, so it was cool to see her again and get to talk to her a little bit.

(Easter goodies!)

No comments:

Post a Comment