Sunday, October 26, 2014

Oct. 26, 2014

It is crazy to think I will be leaving the MTC tomorrow.  The one thing I will not be missing is the food.  Whoever is crazy enough to say that this is great, is wrong! It just destroys my body's will to digest.

I leave for Albuquerque tomorrow at 3 am... I am really exited to get in the field - but not so much to wake up so early. I get to send this email now, because I do not not know when my next P day (prep. day) will be. I just want all of you to know how thankful I am that you emailed me.  It really means a lot to me!

I got to sing at the MTC choir last week for a General Authority. The coolest thing about doing the MTC choir is that the instructor has a vast knowledge of church history.   He talked about the faith of Lorenzo Snow, who baptized faithful investigators while getting pelted by rocks by a mob. He said, "If they have the faith to be baptized, I have the faith to do it." I highly recommend participating in the church choir, just for the learning experience.

Last week we we had Elder Carlos A. Goodoy speak to us from the First Quorum of the Seventy.  He spoke in Portuguese at the last General Conference. He gave a us a recipe for being a successful missionary, based off of the scripture ALMA 26:22. He said, first we must be worthy. He said a missionary can carry baggage his whole mission and it will greatly affect him - but he won't necessarily get sent home.  You may be able to hide it from your mission president or your companion, but never from God. Next, he said WORK HARD! because God won't bless us unless we get out there and find the people he has been preparing to hear the gospel. After that, we need to be worthy of the Spirit and be able to teach by the Spirit.  Because the Spirit confers truth unto our minds, JOHN 14:26. When others can sense that we have prepared, and have the Spirit with us all the time, they want to know why - and their hearts will be softened. Lastly we need to have an undoubting faith that God will do the rest; when we put forth ALL of our effort. I have noticed this so much - when I prepare and pray and study my scriptures, Heavenly Father always fills my mouth with what the investigator needs to know - Moses 6:32.  We can perform miracles if we put all of our trust in our Heavenly Father. We are just tools - so God can work through us to spread his gospel on the Earth. I really really enjoyed that talk.

The rest of the week just flew by.  We taught lessons- which were awesome -and the investigators  progressed well. The MTC has taught me to love a complete stranger - and my heart is full.

And I patched a tiny hole I made in my suit pants while doing a ninja kick. The MTC has helped me come so far -  but also to realize I have so so far to go. The longest day of my life was in Field Orientation. But I learned a lot through 9 hours of seminar....

I love my family - and this Gospel - and my friends.  And I know we will all see each other in eternity also. Happy Birthday to Lisa Mapel and Moroni Beal! And my sister, Jill Pedersen, this Friday. Love You!
Oct. 21, 2014

What did the quadriplegic get for Christmas? Nothing, he couldn't open any! lol.                                       
     On a different note the MTC is like what every one says.  It is like drinking from a waterfall and I am just trying to get it all in. Its weird, I am humming hymns now which I never did! I just feel the spirit so strong and I am so happy I am here.   Don't get me wrong, its tough - so much class time! The knowledge I have learned from my awesome teachers, Sister Gibson and Elder Clegg is awesome!  I think I want to be an MTC teacher when I return.

     I haven't quite figured out the whole picture thing, but I've got some good ones. My district is the most awesome group of guys!  We all feel like we were best buds in the past life - and we've only known each other for six days. For our district meeting we laughed for, like, 20 minutes and I'm not really even sure why.  I've got two foreigners - Elder West is from Australia AND Elder Carlson is a Canadian.  And man, Elder West is a crack up! I decided to draw some portraits of our district and it is awesome and horrid.  The days are long but I enjoy every bit and I am learning so much!

     I was feeling sick and I had an elder give me a blessing and he realy helped me out.  I felt prompted to ask him and it was no coincidence that he had never given a blessing.  Elder Cleverly did amazing and he blessed me with some awesome stuff about success after my mission, and during, and I am feeling great.   We all have had blessings.  But the most amazing part was when Elder Kofferd got a blessing and it said his four brothers were looking after him and proud.  The crazy part was that he told us he only had 3 brothers, but one of his brotherS died at birth.  The priesthood is so strong, and I love it!

    My companion is awesome.  He is from Virginia.  His name is  Elder Hardy and he is going to the same mission as I am.  We get along pretty well and our lessons have been going great! We just had a new investigator and I was really stressed because he wasn't quite as into the lesson.  It took a lot of effort to keep him interested in it.  I think at the beginning of the lesson he wasn't looking for any answers, but now he says he has some questions and is reading the Book of Mormon!  Our other investigator cried when we told her about her seeing her mother again. I know these things are kinda set up, but I feel like I am teaching real people and I am loving it!  I think about them all the time!  

   The first day at the MTC is hard!  People will know why when they get there, specifically Gavin and Moroni. I have really been thinking about Gavin.  I just want him to know wherever he gets called to his mission, the call is chosen by the Lord and the Lord alone! We watched a David A. Bednar talk from the MTC not too long ago - and you can only see it at the MTC.  I cried because I am so sorry for how much of a selfish person I have been in the past.  It's not about me - it's about others and the Lord. Gavin if you get called some where that sounds scary, it is because the Lord has people there that need you.  Not because he wants to make you suffer in an unfamiliar place.   Utah has more convert baptisms than any other state.   The lord will put you where others need you, not where you need others.  The "Character of Christ" talk, made me realize what my purpose was - and I love each and every one of you and want you to know God does see us in our afflictions! Remember that we are here to be tried and help others with our trials 1 Peter 1:7.   The MTC is changing me and its because I WANT TO BE LIKE MY SAVIOR!   I KNOW I am not perfect but I love that that it is ok - and God still loves me.  The craziest thing happened to me we were asked to pray, to ask God if he loves us... so I did and I heard a voice.  I was sure someone else heard it!  And the voice said, " I love you, Rick" I AM NOT JOKING!  It was the most awesome, coolest thing I have ever experienced!  There is so much more that I could say.  I just dont know how God loves.  Being a missionary is hard, and great. I love my family - and I know we are together forever.