"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
-- Alma 26:12

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First MTC Email

Well life here in the MTC is great! The Spirit is so strong and I love being able to learn from many returned missionaries. The first day Mitch took me to building 1M, the administration building where I took a picture for an ID card, got my materials (just a binder and such), and made sure all my information was right. Apparently after talking to Kenna later, she and the Boyd twins just missed me in the picture taking room--I got out a little before they came in.

That day we met our teacher, Sister Maxfield. I can think of no better person or teacher for me to learn from. She truly is inspired and in tune with the Spirit so much. She's not like a typical Sister Missionary RM. She tells it like it is, she does NOT play easy investigators, but boy does she get through to us.

We had an opening missionary meeting that first day and we sang "We'll bring the World His Truth". It was very interesting and caught my heart with the Spirit that we sang the line "We are as the army of Helaman, we have been taught in our youth. And WE ARE NOW THE LORD'S MISSIONARIES" instead of "we will be the Lord's missionaries. It was very spiritual. I hugged Kenna right before that meeting, and the wife to one of the counselors in the MTC presidency looked at Kenna and said, "SISTER!!!" "Is this your brother??" Kenna said, "Yes!" Then the Sister said "Well they (gesturing to the room full of missionaries) don't know that." And Kenna said "Well he's my brother, and I'm going to hug him." Kenna's spunk is going to take her far haha.

Well in class, we do a thing with all of our teachers called a "progressing investigator". We meet with them as if we were actually teaching them, and as if they were actually a real investigator. Our first experience with this was with Sister Maxfield. She doesn't break character at all, and is a very tough investigator named Corey who was a Lutheran Minister, but now doesn't believe in organized christianity because she thinks it is corrupt. She does believe in Christ though. Well our first assignment was to street contact her for 5 minutes and find out all we could to prepare for our first actual lesson with her. E Hunsaker's and my attempt at street contacting crashed and burned, badly. We found out nothing, and we talked too much. But luckily we were helped out by the Spirit the next time we taught her.

The next day (and I say that because I have no recollection of what days things happened, everything meshes together here at the MTC) we had personal study time, but E Hunsaker and I thought it best to prepare a lesson for Corey. We spent 2.5 hours preparing and practicing the first lesson, the restoration. When we got into the door to teach Corey, we asked her to clarify what she believed in Christ. She told us she could relate to Christ because she felt she was a "trash child" just like he was. She said sometimes her and God don't see eye to eye, but she can never get mad at Christ. Well then something very interesting happened. We used about two sentences from our 2.5 hour prepared lesson, and then we just talked with her about her beliefs, and testified of ours. At one point I felt like the Spirit wanted me to ask her about baptism. I asked her if God was giving her a second chance, a way out of life as it was, would she take it? She said of course. I then told her that I was there to testify that God is offering her that second chance and it is baptism into His church. I asked her if she would follow Christ's example to be baptized and she thought about it and said yes! on the first lesson! She wasn't responding to anything we had to say for like the first 20 minutes of the lesson, but when the Spirit entered, her heart was softened. I then felt prompted to say, "Corey, I'm sure you're thinking how such a small thing as baptism could change your life so much, but I testify to you that it has brought miracles into my life and changed my life forever." She kind of snorted a little bit in the middle of me saying that and I wondered why. Then she said, "It's just funny, because that is exactly what I was thinking." Anyway it went great, we have another lesson with her next week because Sis Maxfield is getting throat surgery and won't be back until a week from now.

Two days ago in class, Sis Maxfield knew we were getting a little ancy and said to us, "Alright, you guys aren't taking the lesson very well, so we're going to have you teach an investigator named Julie as a district. All you know about Julie is she was an avid Lutheran, but cheated on her husband in the church. Her husband took the kids and left her, and now she's living alone. You got a referral from a neighbor." We taught her, and people were very rude, and critical, and at one point she got so mad that she blew up and told us that she wasn't happy with life or God because her husband cheated on her for 20 years and she did it once and he left her with the kids. She prayed every night for 20- years for her husband to love her, but it never happened.

Well we were done teaching and it went horribly, but the whole lesson I had the feeling that I should share Alma 36 where he talks of his conversion. I talked to Sis Max because I was frustrated, and told her that I wanted to share that. She said, "Elder Bryan don't you ever ignore a prompting from the spirit. That was the scripture my comp and I shared that finally changed Julie." That was so cool. She gave us another chance to teach her and I shared that scrip and the lesson was so spiritual and much better.

I have about one minute left, but I love you guys so much. There are hard days, and then there are harder days, but not a day goes by that isn't a good day. You are amazing and I love you.

P.S. I've seen just about everyone you can think of here. Even JP Turney


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