OK GUESS WHAT.
I get my flight plans THIS friday.
WHAT. Is this real life?? I'm freaking out. I feel like I have only been here for a week. I'm not ready to leave the comfort of the MTC..... into the world of insects and bucket showers... and CROCS.
This week has been SO great. Just like usual. When is it not?! It's always good here at the MTC. I learned so much about myself, and how to teach better. Most of all, I learned about our dear friend, The Holy Ghost/Spirit. He rocks.
So this week there's been a weird sickness goin around, and there's monitors on 24/7 reminding us to wash our hands and not touch our fellow elder's and sister's hands. I swear I have always had an immune system of STEEL. YA, I thought wrong. I got a runny nose, headache, and scratchy voice.
Not to mention we were supposed to teach 3 lessons this week. Getting sick at the MTC is probs the worst thing that can happen to you:
A) no mom (mom where you at? :( ) B) class in the morning time/all the day C) ya wanna sleep on your hard MTC bed, but ya can't.... the list could go on.
I guess I was bound to get it though, since two of the sisters have it in our tiny leeeetle residency room.
NEVERTHELESS, I was pumped to teach this week, and ALAS I made it through like a champ. HOLLA AT YO GURL.
We taught Marshall this week, twice. Our lessons were pretty rough at first but we are starting to learn how to teach by the spirit. Marshall is THE BEST. Seriously, this guy has the sweetest spirit. He is so receptive to everything we teach. We taught him about the Atonement and Plan of Salvation. The spirit was definitely there, so strong. He is having a hard time letting go of his sins, and he is having an even harder time understanding the Atonement. So we first taught him on Monday about the Book of Mormon and that was THE BEST LESSON we've had like ever. ERR.
Let me tell you why.
He believes in the Bible so strongly, and doesn't understand the difference between the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Sister B and I decided to just testify hard core about the Book of Mormon since we knew this lesson would be intense. He doesn't really even have a relationship with Christ or Heavenly Father because he doesn't pray ever. Anyways, we prepared our lesson but at the same time we didn't teach that much doctrine, we just told the main points about the book of mormon, and decided we would go by the spirit on this one.
We get in there, getting nervous because there's kind of an intense ora about the room.... it was kind of stressful to say the LEAST. Marshall is great but man, he is intimidating. He looks like "The Rock" from that one babysitting movie... the bald guy... with huge muscles.... He also looks like Mr. Clean in a way...
We asked him about his last committment to pray about Heavenly Father, and of course he kept it because he's so awesome like that. We started talking about the Book of Mormon and things were just going so great! And then it was my turn to talk which I stress over everytime because my Tagalog is like basically "hindi mabuti" MAJOR (not good) and I just started to testify of the truthfullness of the book of mormon, and it FLOWED. in the words of She's the Man, "Flow is FLOW". seriously, I don't know where in the heck it came from because i'm basically the laughing stock of the district when it comes to this language. I guess I'm the example of how NOT to speak it cause I'm struggs all the time. GIFT OF TONGUES, WHERE YOU AT?!
IT WAS AMAZING seriously i wish everyone could have been present in that moment. As soon as I was done speaking, the spirit was just like destroying all of us with it's amazing power. I knew that it was piercing his heart to the CORE. He said he would read it, and pray about it. He understood everything I said, and NO QUESTIONS asked. He loved it!
I think the theme of my week is the sensitivity of the Spirit. Seriously, this entire week I just have learned how sensitive the spirit is. Anything and everything can push it away if we are not careful. In today's world it's so easy to push it away, but at the same time it's so easy to invite it into our hearts if we pray and get in the right mindset.. The spirit is CRUCIAL in our lives people. I never really realized how crucial it really is, as well as how sensitive it is. I guess what I'm trying to say is, there's always something in our lives we could do to invite the spirit more. Especially little things. Whatever it may be, I bet this week we could think of one thing we could do to invite it more into our lives. I know I could. I always learn how little I know about the gospel and how much I have to improve in myself, but hey, that's what LIFE is for. To become better step by step.
It is a journey, not a sprint.
So the MTC food is FOR REALS starting to get to me. I dunno WHAT they put in it.... but it's weighing me down hard core. For all you folks heading here or any MTC for that matter, TAKE CAUTION. It's so deceiving it tastes pretty good... and then you start to see the weird effects it has on you.
OK So I know this is all spiritual and everything, but all of the funny stuff that happens in our little district ya just have to be there. Sorry, you are all missing out on some high quality comical moments. I love our elders. They make my life so much richer with their high school humor/teasing.
So I've been reading the good old blue book AKA the scrips, and here's what I think. The book of Mormon literally contains anything and EVERYTHING we need to know about how to return to our Father in Heaven. It contains the doctrines of Christ which ARE:
Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost
and last but not least,
enduring to the end.
Ok really, these are SO fundamental and crucial to our progression. My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by receiving these things, but the more I think about it, I really should be taking this purpose more personally. Missionary or not, everyone can take this purpose into their hearts and try these awesome little doctrines out. See if they work, cause I can PROMISE ya, they will. My question for the week for myself and anyone reading this lovely little blog is: How can we more fully come unto Christ and receive these doctrines?
Guys, he is CONTINUALLY and INFINITELY inviting us to come unto Him. In my scripture study in 2 Nephi, I can't even tell you how many times I have seen the words "Come" whenever Christ speaks in the scriptures. He bids ALL to come unto him. Male female, black or white, rich or poor. He LOVES us, and He loves us infinitely and eternally. But the thing is, we have to choose to let Him into our lives. I've been thinking a lot about what I've sacrificed to be here, as a missionary. I thought about all the sins and mistakes and weaknesses I gave up to KNOW Christ. And the amazing thing that I have learned is that as soon as we give them up and give Christ our hearts, He makes us into someone that we NEVER could have imagined. He changes us. From the inside out. And the more I internalize that, the more I want everyone to feel that same feeling. The more I teach my investigators the more I realize how much God loves us. Oh, he loves us SO much and I am lucky enough to be taste a little bit of that love He has. Just a TASTE and I literally feel like exploding. I literally feel like my heart is just going to stop from all of the love I feel everytime I teach these people.... Missionary or not, white or black, rich or poor, Go to Christ.
I'm tellin ya, you won't regret one MINUTE to know Him. It's not enough to know about Christ. We gotta know Him. Because He knows us, even down to how many hairs are on our head. And I have a lot, so that's sayin somethin. All you thick-haired girls can holler if ya feel what I'm sayin and feel loved! Also the thin haired ones too. Just everyone, EVERYONE EVERYWHERE is known by Christ personally. I know it.
I'm so grateful to be here. I count my blessings and I feel like I will never be able to repay Heavenly Father for this oppurtunity I have been given. But, the more grateful I am for a good family and friends and a good Father in Heaven, the more I want to be the best missionary I can. the most obedient, pure vessel for Heavenly Father to work with. Trust me, being an instrument in the Lords hands is NAAT easy. not one bit. But I'd wouldn't want to be in anyone else's hands, because he makes me blossom into the person I should be and can be. Just like he can with all of US.
Ok quick story: so we were taking a night walk around the MTC as a class for night school (Which by the way, we are confined to those four brick walls for like 4 hours. Just at night. not counting the day time spent there.) Anyways, Brother Mauzy our teacher wanted us to just walk around, not talking. He wanted us to just listen to the outside, the surroundings, and especially the spirit. We're just walkin along and all of a sudden, Elder Matina this extremely tall, polynesian, teddy-bear like looking young man TRIPS on the giant curb behind the MTC. sprawled, on all fours, the WORKS. He ate it so hard I'm TELLLIN YOU. We all burst out in laughter and epecially elder Matina. Ah man, it was DEATH! It was too good, too good. He tries so hard to be tough, but in all reality, he's just a big teddy bear. We love him. I love our district and being able to laugh at each other. #madlove
I have two weeks left.... so, ya kinda stressful. But The Philippines is ready, and those people need to know who they are. Especially that the hairs on their head are numbered by Jesus Christ.... and they don't have that much hair :) Being a missionary is amazing.
So on Sunday we watched an old MTC talk by Elder Holland entitled "Missions are Forever". We all know how powerful he is but MAN this talk cuts you to the CORE. His whole talk was great but he said something that really struck me. "What happens after your mission changes, but one thing that should never change is your realtionship with your Savior and Heavenly Father. Your missions ARE real life and should be real life."
AH man i love that. It's so true. Seriously, our missions should be real life. Not something we just do and then put away and return to our previous lifestyles. We should always be living and preaching the gospel because true disciples always "talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ, and Preach of Christ."
I love everyday. This week has been pretty solid, and I wish i could share every little experience and moment the spirit has taught me, but alas, I cannot. Ya just gotta experience it for yourself! There's been a lot of blessings received. It's hard but its the best thing I've EVER done hands DOWNNN. I am so blessed, and in fact, we are ALL so blessed. God loves us so much. If you don't know that, ask Him cause He'll let you know. These are the days people. We are LIVING the life, as long as that life is in the Gospel.
Mahal kita ko kayo! Maganda Gabi :)
xoxo, Sister Seastrand
(^^that means: I love you all, Good day!)
Trust me, that's all I know. -_- IM WORKIN ON IT.