It's been another week here at the MTC and I find myself all amazed that the love I have for the gospel keeps growing and how antsy I'm getting to leave the MTC. Don't get me wrong, at the same time I don't want to leave because I know how much harder it's going to be in the field and how much of a blessing it is that I'm here. I'm treasuring every moment. At this time here in the laundry room it's always one of the worst and best times of the week, because the laundry room here is always a battle and race to claim an open washer and then you finally have some downtime to write letters, which is the good part, I guess. I say I guess because a problem I have is figuring out what to say and remembering all the great things that have happened this week, because so many good things happen here. I promise that in the field I will not miss any amazing stories. I'm sorry I don't really have much to say this week again.
Portuguese is awesome, but its kind of frying my brain. Besides all of the great little personal revelations I have received here, the two, probably most noteworthy things I can mention are from the weekly firesides on Sundays and the devotionals on Tuesdays. Every fireside and devotional we usually get to hear from a general authority! Sunday's fireside was so amazing, we had a musical theme. Besides going to the temple on P-days, Sundays have to be my new favorite day of the week. Anyway, the fireside musical was amazing! The special speakers we were going to hear from that day were going to be Brother and Sister Nally, who are the special musical directors here at the MTC so go figure it turned out to be a musical fireside. But anyway, to our surprise instead of taking turns speaking, they both got up together and shared the mic, I thought to myself, "can they do that?" It was really cute and the message they told about the power and influence music has on us was truly remarkable. One story that blew my mind that they told was about a battle in WWII. So the British and the Germans were battle ready in their bunkers ready to unleash horror one Christmas eve night and all of a sudden, one soldier from one side started to sing "Silent Night" and on after another the soldiers started to sing together and the Germans started to put candles on the end of their guns and waved them around. Then some soldiers started to get out of their bunkers and wander into no-man's land and they all gathered around each other and sung with arms around their shoulders. I couldn't believe what I was hearing considering here are people who were ready to kill each other and a couple of minutes later they are like singing Kumbaya at a summer camp. That's some serious power that music can have, especially with spiritual music and the spirit it can bring and in this case the power of Christ's love and joy in His birth and the unity it can bring to people. The story went something like that and I want you guys to look it up because it is unbelievable.
Besides that incredible story that was just the beginning to that meeting. Next they gave us 2,000 missionaries the opportunity to choose our favorite hymns to sing together and share why that was their favorite hymn. The put out some mics at the bottom of the bleachers. We sang in this order 1) I Believe in Christ, 2) Come, Come Ye Saints, 3) Nearer My God to Thee, 4) If You Could Hie to Kolob - one of my new favorite hymns, 5) How Firm a Foundation, 6) God Be With You Til We Meet Again, 7) How Gentle God's Command, 8) O My Father. The Spirit was so strong when we sang all those songs, and to top is all off, we did a special rendition of "Called to Serve." Sister Nally had us sounding like a serious choir instead of just one mass, if you know what I mean, which doesn't sound bad, but for this rendition they put up special instructions on the two big projector screens in front of us. For the first verse we started off real quiet, basically with each verse we got louder and at the end we were singing with such power and we all stood up at the same time on "King" in "Called to serve our King!!!" She had us imagine as if we were Helaman's army coming over a hillside. It was so powerful. I seriously almost cried. Since then I love musical firesides. We sang that rendition again for the devotional Tuesday because the speaker heard it was so good. That devotional was also really amazing, but I'm out of time and I wish I could tell you about it, just like all the amazing experiences I've had here.
That Tuesday I also completed my electronic visa application!
I continue to increase my faith in the power of prayer and continue to appreciate all of your love and support. Please be aware of what music you listen to and how it makes you feel because of the influence it has. Never doubt the power in prayer and please continue to show your faith and love for our Heavenly Father by appreciating His blessings for you and by helping others.
I wish you all the very best and know that you are in my prayers. Til next week!
p.s. I will have some more pics coming soon.
First night in the MTC - new badges!