How are ya'll? This week has been a ride! Ups and downs and plenty of opportunity to grow which has been amazing! The Lord is truly over the work and leads and guides us as missionaries. Today has been great to give my brain a break, process everything and get ready for a new good week... maybe the last one too?? No itinerary or news on my Visa.. I'm expecting a "delayed" status, but there's still hope for tonight and tomorrow. Laundry... Please this thing is simple! haha Expect to see a couple letters coming your way! Elder Jackman and I went and were witnesses during a sealing session, he'd never been before so I think it was a good learning experience for him. I had prayed before (love prayers in the temple) and asked to learn something new during the day. A little later while we were waiting a couple ladies came and sat down, we ended up talking about our missions - a common topic with the old people in the temple - and found out both had served. Anyway, one of the ladies randomly asked if she could give us some mission advice, of course we accepted and she said, "find and do something that you'll be proud of after your mission... when you return home what will you be proud to say that you did during your mission?" What an answer this has turned out to be, I feel re-focused and anxious to find and do something that I'll be proud of when I think of my service to the Lord. I haven't figured out what that thing is yet, but I've been stewing over ideas. It's a great question for all of us. When we meet our Savior again what will be the thing that we've done in our lives that will make us proud to tell Him?
Elder Jackman and I (he's a stud, we get along so well and are having great success) have been anxiously trying to improve our teaching during the week as we usually teach 2 lessons a day, but on Tuesday maybe? We committed our first investigator to baptism. I WISH I could express a little bit of the joy that we felt. The spirit there was so strong as we were able to see through the loving "eyes" of the spirit and see that change in her heart! There is nothing greater than bringing souls to change... bringing souls to Christ. In the scriptures it mentions a lot of "tasting" of the love of Christ, or experiencing the Love of Christ and I had a buffet that night. My biggest concern before coming into the MTC was who my companion was going to be. The Lord has a plan! Shuu dee He aligns us with people that will allow us to be our very best and I'm so grateful for my companion (particularly his Spanish :) that's a heaven sent). Teaching the lessons and realizing my weaknesses in Spanish is a humbling experience, especially when I'm supposed to be leaving to the opposite side of the world next week but... We go and do with a smile and a way will be provided that will make us smile bigger! (copyright)
My days are usually the same, just in a different order depending on the day, we have a couple hours of personal study and then usually about six hours of classroom instruction mixed with teaching and food time! Food time is my favorite. I've gained about 10 pounds in 2 weeks... uh oh! but what else are you supposed to do in a buffet? I've always been taught to take advantage of your resources, so I do! Not to worry we usually try and fast walk up stairs! haha. Oh! on Sunday we got to listen to Music and the Spoken Word!! That was so weird being in a different area and not being with you guys, but wasn't it an incredible episode? The message was great and the hymns were even better. Here at the MTC we aren't allowed to listen to music so I miss hearing the MOTAB more often. I'll try and watch it again this Sunday so be aware that I'll be there in spirit!
This week there's been a lot of focus on prayer, on Tuesday we had a member of the Seventy come and teach us and he discussed prayer (it was really good) and I've also been studying in John 17 about the Savior's intercessory prayer! Please if you can read that! In verse 26 it talks about how Jesus Christ has declared the name of his father to those that have believed in his name and he goes on to say that "I have declared it and will declare it" so that the love that Heavenly Father has for His son can be given to us as well. I had the amazing experience to be taught SO much of the Atonement and what it means. This chapter states and is a testimony to us all of the divine relation between the Father and the Son and the blessing given to us to BECOME one with both of them. The Atonement is such a big part of my life... such a big part of this work. It keeps me going and gives me strength in the hard times. As we learn of the Atonement we are increased in desire and knowledge to preach the gospel to the world. It is THE ONLY WAY to come to Christ with full purpose of heart. I testify He lives. I know he walks with me and for me. And through sincere prayer - like he demonstrates here - we can receive testimony and "taste" of their divine nature and Love allowed through the Atonement.
I love you all so much. Thanks for the support and letters! They're amazing.
Elder Jolley Jr.