"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 27, 2011

Second (and last) MTC Email

Hey Family! First of all, I wanted to let you know my flight plans so we could figure something out. I'm going to buy a prepaid card at the MTC bookstore so I can call. I have to be at the travel office at 5 am on mon morning. My flight leaves SLC at 8:30 am and I get to Denver at 9:57 am. So a pretty short flight.
My mission president sent us letters here in the MTC. He told us the low down of what to take in the carry on and the first two days schedule. Monday we get there and have mission orientation all day and spend the night in the mission home. Tuesday is transfer meeting where we get our trainers and travel to our areas and start the work!!!! I'm way excited.

The MTC has been awesome and I've learned a lot (and still feel like I won't know enough when I leave) but I've been trying to work hard and learn a lot. The biggest growth I've seen in myself isn't necessarily conscious. I've seen myself doing the regular things missionaries are asked to do, but seeing exceptional rewards. The closeness with the Spirit is the biggest gift anyone can have, and I feel so blessed to be able to feel close enough to the Spirit to have Him be the one really teaching the lessons, not me. It's really not us as missionaries that do anything. We're just the mailmen. The Spirit is the mail. And if we deliver the mail, it's up to the receiver to open it up or not. I truly have seen a huge change since I have been here. No longer do I think that I'm the one that has to teach. In fact, we've been told (and I think it says in the D&C) that unless you have the Spirit, you really shouldn't teach. I'll share a few experiences:

First, during Zone teaching (which is getting paired up with people in our zone and teaching each other) the teacher in charge told us we were going to be teaching one on one with another missionary and we were going to be teaching them as themselves (aka not playing investigators). Our job was to bring them as a missionary closer to Christ. I picked this little guy named E Gonzalez from the District just younger than us. Ever since I saw him first, he reminded me of Papa a little bit. So I picked him, and we had 10 min to get to know eachother. He told me his story. He is 26 years old. As a baby he was born 2 weeks early and had complications mentally. 7 years ago, he was diagnosed with hepatitis C. (maybe he's had that since birth, not really sure). But 7 years ago he started treatment. And now finally 7 years later he can serve a mission to Anaheim. But his mental complications include that he can't really write what is in his mind, he can't spell, and he took forever to learn how to read. He said this frustrated him at the MTC cuz all he wanted to do was learn and record it. So after the get to know sesh, we had 15 to prepare a lesson. I knew exactly where to turn: My fav scripture, D&C 84:85, 87-88, many of the quotes mom gave me, etc. It was like the lesson was all in my mind and I knew what to say. So I taught him, and when I read the quote mom printed out from the hymn the Lord is my light, he started tearing up. I told him that with the Lord he could do anything, and since he was the Lord's servant, he would be helped by the Lord through everything. I told him how it wasn't me that was really talking to him, but the Lord because there was no way I would have been able to do that lesson on my own. Long story short, I gave him the quotes, he wrote down all the scriptures I used, and he said, "Thanks Elder, I really needed that. Now I know I will be able to do it, even though I have been frustrated and depressed until now." It was such a good experience, and I feel humbled that the Lord worked through me.

Another experience. Cibele, our TRC investigator from Brazil. We taught her on monday, and the spirit was insanely strong. We taught lesson 2, the plan of salvation. She has a daughter, but no husband. Her daughter is 2 months old and named Juliet. Cibele when we got to the Atonement part of that lesson kept asking questions. She asked, "How can I be forgiven when the consequences of my actions are still there. There are some things you can't take back." Obviously she was talking about her daughter, and such, both E Hunsaker and I knew it. We read her a few scriptures, and then all of a sudden I remembered a story from the New Testament--the adulterous woman that the people brought to Christ. I knew I needed to share the story with her. I told her, "Cibele, do you remember the story in the new testament where the people brought in the sinful woman to Christ to see what he would tell them to do with her?" I then told her that Christ told everyone, "Let him who be without sin cast the first stone. Then Christ waited and asked the woman, Where are thine accusors? hast no man accused you (or something like that). then she said, no man Lord. And then Christ said, neither do I accuse thee, go and sin no more." Cibele at this point was crying, and the Spirit was so strong and then I told her something like this, "Cibele, Christ ALWAYS forgives us, no matter what we do. There may be things we can't take away, but the feelings of guilt and shame that we have can be made clean. We can be pure before Christ and God if we just ask them to make us so." Needless to say, the guy that taught that lesson and story was not Elder Logan Bryan. That was purely the Spirit, and I know that there can be miracles when we do what is asked, and when we let the Spirit take over.

I love you guys, keep the dearelders coming :)

Elder Logan Bryan

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