Well... I'm off! This is my last P-day in the MTC! We leave on Monday to go to Madagascar! I am so excited! It's a super long flight, we leave on monday morning and get there on wednesday afternoon... but that's okay! I'm too excited to care! I am definitely going to miss the MTC though and all of the learning that I have done here and the spirit that I have felt here! But I think the thing that I am going to miss most is the people! I have met so many amazing people here! My district is so sweet! We all get along really well and I love all of them! It is going to be so hard to leave these amazing men and missionaries, but I'm sure we will get to see each other throughout our missions! I just can't believe that my time here is up! I have learned more and felt the spirit more in these last few weeks than I ever would have thought possible! I know for a fact that I have been blessed to have my mind enlightened and my heart opened!
Elder Ballard came and spoke to us this week! It was awesome! He talked about a lot about giving your best. That's something that I've really started to think is really important! If we give our best and do everything we can God will be pleased. Yesterday our teacher said that we need to give EVERYTHING to Christ. And then he said that that means we do everything that we possibly can and give that to Christ... but it also means that we give Him the things that we can't do. Christ is the master of making imperfect instruments perfect. We are all imperfect, but if we turn to Christ and give everything to Him, He will make us perfect.
We also got to go to the temple dedication on sunday which was so cool! I love seeing all of the new temples! The Lord is definitely hastening the work! When I was born There was like 13 temples or something like that, and now there are over 140! That is incredible! I love the temple so much! I can find so much peace and joy when I go! President Bednar said, "I love going to the temple because when I'm in the temple I am home." I love that! It says so much! Tweo things that it says is first, we really are children of Heavenly Father and that home is with Him in His house. We have a heritage to be proud of and we need to do everything we can to live up to that heritage. Next it says that the temple is an extension of heaven here on Earth. When we go to the temple we are really going to God's house and we are in His presence! I think that is so cool and it gives me a new perspective of the temple! I always heard that the temple was God's house, but for some reason hearing an apostle of the Lord say it like that gave it a whole new meaning! I am really going to miss being able to go to the temple while I am in Madagascar! I hope that they will get a temple there soon! There are so many blessings that come from the temple!
The word of the week is "misaotra" (me-so-cha). It means "to thank". This week I was overwhelmed with how grateful I I am for everything that I have been blessed with! I feel like I have been blessed with so much more than anyone deserves to be blessed with! I have the most amazing family in the world who taught me how to live a good honorable life and to love God and were such great examples to me, an amazing ward and teachers who helped me learn about Christ and who gave me even more examples of what a man who honors his priesthood looks and acts like, wonderful friends who were always pushing me to be a better person and who all wanted to serve God, the amazing opportunity to serve the Lord as a full time missionary, and so so so many other things! I could sit here and list things all day! I don't know why I have been blessed like I have, but I want to do everything I can to give back and to bless the lives of God's other children! I know that the best way I can do that right now is by being on a mission. The gospel has blessed my life so much and brought me so much joy! I can't even imagine my life without it and I want to share that news with everyone! I know that it is true!
Fantatro fa marina ny filazantsara ary tian'Adriamanitra isika. Amin'ny anaran'ny Jesoa Kristy, Amen.
I know that the gospel is true and God loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
well week 4 is officially over! I can't believe I've
been here for 4 weeks! It has gone by so fast! This week we had a couple
of cool things happen. We got a new teacher who is super cool! His name
is brother Burton. He really loves the malagasy language and he is one
of the people that helped write our dictionary. He focuses a lot on
language and on helping us learn how a malagasy would say it instead of
just how the rules says to say it which is super nice. We taught him as
an investigator for the first time yesterday and it went so well! The
spirit was there so strongly and I felt like I really had a desire to
help him come closer to Christ and not just teach him a lesson. He
seems very humble and has a sincere desire to follow Christ. I think he
will be very receptive to our message and I hope we can help him feel
of God's love for him. Another thing that happened is on Monday
we got to Skype a member in Madagascar and teach him a lesson. It was
way cool! He was super nice! We couldn't really understand what he was
saying and I don't think he could understand us very well, but he was
still really nice! Hopefully he got something out of the lesson! haha I
realized that I'm not doing nearly as well with the language as I
thought I was! I have a LOT of work to do! After we finished our teacher
told us that he is super rich because he had a computer in his home and
there was a wall with a picture on it. It really hit me what we have
and how blessed we are to live where we do. We need to really work on
not taking for granted how blessed we really are! The third thing that
happened that was really cool was on Tuesday
Elder Scott came and talked to us! he gave an amazing talk about prayer
and receiving answers to our prayers. It was so cool to get to hear
from an apostle of the Lord and to be in the same room as him! I know
that him and all of the other apostles and prophets are called of God
and that God really does speak to men in these days. I'm so grateful for
living prophets who communicate with God and lead this church! One
thing I love about the church is that no matter where you go it's the
same! There are missionaries here preparing to go and preach the gospel
in tons of different countries all around the world and we are all
learning the same gospel. It doesn't change depending on where you
Fantatro fa marina mpaminany i Thomas S. Monson ary
miresaka amin' azy Andriamanitra. Fantatro fa mitarika ny fiangonana i
Jesoa Kristy. Fantatro fa tian'Andriamanitra isika. Raha mivavaka aminy
izy, dia hamaly ny fanatoninontsika Izy. Fantatro fa nohitan'i Joseph
Smith Andriamanitra sy Jesoa Kristy ary nandika ny Bokin i Mormona izy.
Fantatro fa marina ny Bokin i Mormona. Raha manana ny fanatoninona
isika, afaka hazontsika ny famaliana aminy alalan'ny famakiana ny Bokin i
Mormona. Aminy anaran'i Jesoa Kristy, Amen.
I know that
Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet and that God talks to him. I know
that Jesus Christ leads the church. I know that God loves us. If we
pray to him he will answer our questions. I know that Joseph Smith saw
God and Jesus Christ and that he translated the book of mormon. I know
that The Book of Mormon is true. If we have questions we can receive
answers through reading the Book of Mormon. In the name of Jesus Christ,
Word of the week: Ny vavaka (nee vah-vah-kuh)
means prayer. I have prayed a ton since I've gotten into the MTC and I
know that God has heard and answered my prayers! When I have had a bad
day and asked to be comforted I have felt His love. When I have had
questions I have received answers. I know that God hears our prayers
and that He will always answer them. That's something that Elder Scott
talked about in his talk. God will ALWAYS answer our prayers. It just
isn't always in the way we expected or when we expect it! I have really
noticed that this week as I've been looking back at my experience so far
in the MTC. I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to talk to our
Father in Heaven. That is a precious gift that we tend to take for
granted. Next time you pray think about what it really means and who you
are really talking to. I think you will be amazed to see how
differently you pray when you remember that. I know I was.
love you all and I pray for you all the time! Don't forget to read your
scriptures and pray to your Heavenly Father EVERYDAY! :)
Hey everyone! I've had another AMAZING week here at the MTC! Every week I'm even more gratful for the opportunity I have to study the gospel here! The spirit here is incredible! I love it! Our "investigator" (really our teacher) that we have been teaching since the first week got baptized on sunday! That was exciting! The Malagasy is coming along really well! I can't beleive how much we know for how short of a time we have been here. It's crazy! we taught a lesson yesterday where we didn't memorize a bunch of lines like we have been doing. We just memorized some key words from the lesson and taught what we thought he needed to hear! The spirit was so strong and I know that we had help from Heaven! Not too much changes from week to week here... its pretty much the same thing every week. We had something that missionaries call "hump day" on tuesday this week. That means that we are halfway done with our time at the MTC! As of yesterday we had been here for 3 weeks! It's so crazy! The time has flown by! I feel like it was like 3 days ago that I was sitting at lunch with my family getting ready to get dropped off at the MTC! I saw tanner and Stevie... Uh i mean Elder Livingston and Elder Harrison... this week and got a picture with both of them! They both left to Japan on Monday which is crazy! that will be me in 3 weeks! I don't really know what else to say... I'm still loving my companion and the rest of my district! I know I am where I'm supposed to be and I'm so grateful I chose to serve a mission! It has already blessed my life and I have learned so much!
Fantatro fa mitahy ny fianako ny mission. Fantatro fa tian'Andriamanitra isika, ary raha mivavaka aminy isika, dia hitay antsika Izy. Tsy maintsy Ny Bokin'i Mormona. Fantatro fa rehatra mitandrina ny fanakempiavantsika sy manana finoana amin'Andriamanitra isika, afaka hahatsapa ny fitiavanan'Andriamanitra sy hahazo ny fitaiana. Tiako ny fianakaviako sy ny namana. Amin'ny anaran'i Jesoa Kristy, amena.
I know that my mission is blessing my life. I know that God loves us, and if we pray to him he will bless us. The book of mormon is important. I know that when we keep our covenants and have fiath in God we can feel Gods love and receive blessings. I love my family and friends. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
The word of the week is fitiavanan'Anriamanitra (feet-ee-a-von on-gee-a-monch). It means God's love. I have felt God's love for me so strongly this week and I know that he is mindful of each one of his children and that he hears and answers our prayers! We all have hardships and trials in our life, and if we will just turn to God and put our trust in Him we will be comforted and feel His love for us. He loves us; we are his children!
Well not a whole lot has changed since last week... The MTC is pretty much the same routine every week. I'm starting to get the hang of things and I feel like I finally know my way around pretty well. The days are pretty long sometimes but you just have to remind yourself that you are here serving the Lord and you're doing His work. And it helps to remember that in 4 weeks you will be in a foreign country where everyone speaks Malagasy and you better study as much as you can if you want to understand anything or be able to say anything back! haha
I had a rough couple of days where I just felt like I was in a rut and I was just going through the motions. Last night I was writing in my journal and I just felt super peaceful and the answer came to me. Elder Stringfellow and I hadn't been able to teach either of our investigators since saturday until yesterday. During that time I had allowed myself to be a little bit self centered and just care more about myself and what I wanted or what I was feeling than on helping others and worrying about their needs. I had let myself use not having an investigator to teach be an excuse to focus on myself. We talked a lot about our purpose as a missionary the first week and it says, "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." The thing they focused on a lot is the word "others". Others is anyone who isn't you. That means that I need to focus on helping my companion and everyone else that I come in contact with come closer to Christ. I think the best way to do that is through my example and just trying to do my best to serve God and be obedient to the mission rules.
I'm getting my first haircut today so that should be fun. My hair is getting pretty long. I haven't really gained any weight still. The food isn't my favorite. It's edible but it is just mass produced. I drink at least one glass of chocolate milk with pretty much every meal, and especially for breakfast! haha Our teachers are super cool! One of them is 25 and not married so we always tease him about marriage and going on dates and stuff. He's a pretty good sport about it. But he is probable my favorite teacher, he gives up tons of his own time to stay and help us. He always shows up to his shift like a half hour early and leaves like a half hour late to help us. He has taught me some really good principles to try to live by and some really important things for a missionary. I think the most important thing I learned is that you don't HAVE to keep the rules. There isn't always going to be a mission president or zone leader watching your every move. It's a personal decision you have to make to be obedient. A popular saying here is "obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles." Everyday I try to be a little more obedient or do a little bit more to be a better example to the people around me. I love it here and I know that serving a mission is what God wants me to be doing.
Fantatro fa tsara-be ny missionera. Fantatro fa raha mitandrina ny lalan'Atra isika dia hanana ny fanahy masina isika. Fantatro fa marina ny filazantsara ary i Jesoa Kristy ny mpamonzy ho' any ny Tolona. Natao ny sorompanavotana i Jesoa Kristy. Fantatro fa tia isika Atra. Amin'ny anaran'i Jesoa Kristy, Amen.
I know that missionary work is good. I know that if we keep the commandments of God we will have the Holy Ghost. I know that the gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Jesus Christ performed the Atonement. I know that god loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
The word of the week is Fanahy Masina (fun-eye moss-in-a). It means Holy Ghost. I know that if we will rely on God and put our trust in Him we can receive inspiration through the Holy Ghost and that if we will act on the promptings we are given we well get more. The Holy Ghost is the way we can know the truth of ALL things. If we have a question we can pray with a sincere heart and God will answer our prayers. It's not usually in a loud voice and it's often not in the way we expected or when we expected, but an answer will come. I'm so grateful for the comfort and peace I have felt from the Holy Ghost the last couple of weeks. I couldn't have made it without His help.