Sunday, September 6, 2015

August 20, 2015 - One More Week in the MTC!

Hello Everyone! Wow this week has flown by and I can't believe its already Thursday again! Well I am here at the end of my 5th week in the MTC, I can't believe it has gone by so fast and in 10 Days I will be on a plane to Oaxaca! On Monday we are getting our flight plans to see when we will be flying out, and we hope it is a flight plan because the other option is a 6 hour bus ride! But this experience has already been the best experience of my life. Sunday was good as always, we got a new member in our Branch Presidency, Presidente Ramos. He is 65 years old and has lived in Mexico City his whole life. It is amazing to see the tender mercies of the Lord working through him. He has battled physical health problems his whole life, and he told our Branch President that he expected to die in this calling. Then in his setting apart blessing he was promised to have a renewal of his body, it was a testament that through God everything really is possible. On Sunday we were able to have our Priesthood lesson by him, and in his broken English, he bore such a strong testimony, and he is a living testimony of the words of Paul "When I am weak, I am strong." As we have gone throughout the week the theme of the Character of Christ has really continued to stick out. It was the topic of Priesthood, and the Sunday Devotional that night. We were reminded by President Ramos that we are commanded to be like Christ. This is a hard standard to live by right? He said that we need to set goals to think and act like Christ for 5 seconds a day, when we have that down, do 10 seconds where you are striving to be like Christ as much as possible. And keep progressing till you are to 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, and eventually one lifetime. It is a simple principle that can bring us so many blessings. Later that night, we had our devotional, and it was the one by Elder Bednar that we watched in our first week. At first we were kind of disappointed but I told myself that there was another message to be had from it. I don't know if any of you remember but this was about the Character of Christ is turning outward away from the natural man. And as I had been trying to do this in the past weeks I had been doing it to seek blessings. Yes there are blessings that will come from it but Elder Bednar said this, "The primary reason for turning outward should not be the blessings we receive, the reason for this should be to learn of Christ, and because you need Christ in your life." The best way to have Christ in your life is to strive to be like him, and to take the challenge of seeking for 5 seconds of the Character of Christ each day. While the MTC has been truly changing me spiritually, it has been changing me athletically too...I have a new favorite sport that I now would prefer over basketball, football, or any American sport. I didn't know that a person could change this much in the MTC in so many different aspects. I have grown to fall in love with the sport of Futb├│l. Last week the other district in our zone challenged our district to a game. We only had one person that played soccer past 7th grade and we figured we would take a beating. Well the two big tall white guys in the group (Me and Elder Thompson) combined to score 5 goals in the victory. The next day we decided that we really liked it so we were out just kicking around when a Hispanic Zone walked up in their cleats and jerseys and said that they had watched us play and they wanted to play us. I haven't been that nervous for an athletic event since State Football playoffs. We played them and the outcome was 4-3, for Team USA! I could hear the voice of Al Michaels screaming in the background "Do you believe in Miracles?!?" I don't know where all this soccer love and talent is coming from but I love it and we have played it each day as different districts have come to challenge us and we have remained undefeated. Hopefully I don't encounter a humbling experience in Oaxaca with the little kids playing soccer, I guess we will see in a few days! Finally, me and my companion Elder Thomas have made a new friend. Her name is Llardes and she has come in every Tuesday night to help us practice our discussions with her. Her testimony is so strong and it has been so uplifting to hear her testimony, her stories, her troubles, her favorite scriptures, and so forth. She is a bus driver in Mexico City and every Tuesday she makes sure she is here to help us. We will both miss her when we head out to Oaxaca but there are more missionaries that need to be impacted by her testimony. One more thing that was great about this week, this morning we got to go to the open house of the Mexico City Temple. They have been renovating for a few years and they are getting ready to open it back up in September. It is so beautiful and it is amazing to see the love that the people have for it down here. The next closest temple to them is the Oaxaca temple, 300 miles away and 6 hours of driving. The temple is a necessity of the lives of the members down here. In the opening video the homesickness came on as the temple that they showed in the opening video was the Payson Utah Temple. As they kept showing the temple and the surrounding area I was almost positive that I could see my house in the video. It is pretty remarkable that 2000 miles away in a different country, that the temple that was chosen to be the example of temples worldwide is the temple that is 5 minutes from my house. It is truly an amazing temple. Again, thank you for all of your support, I will be emailing you all again with 4 days left in the MTC and getting ready to head to Oaxaca! I am more than excited and even though I am not quite prepared, through the Lord I can do all things! Thank you all so much! Elder Peterson

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