Sunday, September 6, 2015

August 13, 2015 - Am I Really Halfway Done with the MTC?

Hello Everyone! It is so good to be able to talk to all of you again and I am so excited to share the experiences that I have had this week! The MTC continues to get better, although it is never easy here and the days consist of 6 hours of Language study, teaching 2 lessons a day, and 6 hours of classes, it is all so worth it. The experiences that have come into my path this week all testify of the importance of the strenuous schedule. My district has continued to practice teach with our teachers here, as well as teach investigators that don't know how to contact missionaries so they come here to learn instead. We have had two great devotionals that have both had Elder Holland giving recorded messages in, and the Spanish continues to come slowly but surely. I know that through it all this is the best experience I could be having in my life right now. It is amazing here and I wish all of you could experience the beauty, peace, and comfort that comes from this beautiful campus here in the middle of Mexico City. Unfortunately most of you can't so I will share the most touching experiences that have happened this week and I hope that you can all draw on principles to help you in your every day lives and gain a better understanding that Heavenly Father loves you. 1. We have continued our new night classes with our former investigator turned teacher, Hermano Carranza. He has told us that he has his own personal struggles in life, as does everyone else, but that is what makes his lessons so special to us. He takes his personal struggles and turns them into learning opportunities for all of us to learn from. This week he showed us a Mormon Message video that is called "The Hope of God's Light." I had seen this message before so I watched it kind of casually, but we ended up watching this three times within 3 nights of each other. I knew that there was a message to be had from it, so each time I watched it more carefully, and the third time, I found just what I had needed for the week. The main person in the video, who had struggled to find where God was in his life, said the following line, "Don't wait for someone to come flip the switch of Christ's light for you, Make an act of faith to light it for yourself." We have each been sent here and are in the situations we are now because we have been tasked to carry the responsibilities of the Lord. Yes we may know the gospel, and we may have a testimony of it, but what are you going to do about it? God needs you on his side TODAY! We may have trials in our lives that make us want to step back, but through another experience I had, this is not what we need to do. Following a struggling practice discussion with our teacher, he pulled me aside and just told me that I need more faith. He said "Elder you know everything that you need to know to have the spirit in your life and in your discussions, but you need to go against the faith and allow God to challenge you, to humble you, and through this you will become great." This hit me hard, and I went to God and asked him to challenge me, and help me strengthen my faith to that I could carry the responsibility that he gave to me. The following night we taught Hermano Carranza again, and through the Spirit of God we taught with power and authority, he cried through most of the lesson, and said that he had been looking for those exact things in his life and that we were angels sent to him to deliver that message to him. It was one of the happiest moments of my life to be able to bring that message to him. 2. Last night we were able to teach the real investigators that had come into the MTC. The first lesson that we taught was with a girl named Clarissa. She is 21 years old and has stated all her life that she would never become involved with any sort of church. This coming week she is taking an exam to be able to get into college. She told us that she didn't feel like she could do it on her own and she needed to know if she could have God help her in her life. We taught her about prayer, about the comforting peaceful feeling that comes from it if we pray with a sincere heart and a love towards God. The spirit was felt so strongly and at the end of the lesson she asked if we would teach her how to pray, so that she could receive that feeling for herself. She gave the most heartfelt prayer that I have ever heard, and through us she was able to taste of the sweet goodness of the spirit and love of God. If there is one thing that you can know, its that God truly does love you, even though you may have fought him, denied him, and claimed you would never go back to him, he always wants you, and he will always answer your prayers in the times and places that will be best for you. This is testified through the story of Clarissa. 3. I have loved being able to gain a better understanding of the Spanish language because I have finally been able to communicate with all the workers who work at the MTC here. There are countless Janitors, Landscapers, Cooks, Bus Drivers, and so forth. These people are the best people that I have ever met before. They are here at 6 every morning to make sure that we have the best experience possible here. Every single one of them are so grateful for the jobs they have, you will never fail to see them smiling while they are cleaning, mowing, or cooking. They are all so outgoing and will always tell you Buenas Dias Elder, each time you see them. In conditions and types of jobs that would be hated in the United States, these people see it as their greatest blessings. They are humbled that they are able to work here, no matter what it is, and it is what makes them the happiest people that I have ever seen. They ride busses to work that are hour long rides, but they don't sit comfortably in seats they stand. But it isn't standing in an aisle, its standing with the doors of the bus wide open while you stand in the stairwell hanging out of the bus. Yet every single one is the happiest they can be. And I can truly say that I love each one of them. The last thing that I have learned this week is this, I am not capable of doing what this mission expects and needs of me, but with God I can become more than capable. When I am weak I am my strongest. But only through God. Through the trials and shortcomings we are made stronger through God. I am simply an inadequate instrument in the Hands of God, with a unbearable responsibility upon my back, but I know that through what strength God gives to me, I cannot boast of it, but if I boast in the strength of the Almighty God whom we can call our Father in Heaven, I will receive the strength to do all things, and in this case it is to bring souls unto Christ and help them learn of their eternal potential of living with God once again in eternal happiness. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers in my behalf, I know that this is the right and the gospel is true and that through it we can experience a happiness unlike any other. May God bless you in the coming week. Elder Peterson

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