My beloved family!
That includes all of you, my friends. I cannot even describe how much love I have for all of you! Thank you for the letters this week, it is so great to hear about your experiences at home. It makes me so happy to know that you are doing so well, and learning just as much as I am here! And thank you for keeping me updated!
Congratulations Reagan on your Dallas Competition! That is so great, but should I be surprised? You work so hard with CA, you practically live there. Now that I think about it, its probably like my BatteriesPlus. You spend so much time there, make sure you enjoy it. Go in with a smile everyday, and help others to recognize that great spirit you have. Your attitude will encourage others to recognize your sweet spirit. As they do, they will desire to feel that same way, and that is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Which I know you have a testimony of, which brings joy to all those willing to receive it.
As for Caitlynn, you'll be receiving a letter from me this week for sure. I promise. Haley, I'm going to check the mail later today before p-day ends to see if there's anything I can write back before next week. Chelsea and Danny, you'd better be excited to go back to California! I love all of you so much, and I think of you often. I pray for you by name every day and I know we are blessed through our willingness to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
Well this week has been great! To answer everyone, yes, I still love my companion (haha). Elder Clark is such a great influence. As you know, I am usually a pretty independent guy. I've always thought I was patient, but now I have a newfound understanding of patience. Elder Clark is always SO patient with me, especially since I take my time with just about everything. In fact, he has helped me to recognize that and, it's hard, but our companion study is always beneficial. In what we learn, and in the characteristics and patience I am acquiring.
I think that all of us can know how to attain the Christlike attribute of patience through the Christlike attribute of love and charity. Once you really understand and see every person you come in contact with as a child of God, it is so easy. Our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone one of his children. If you love our Heavenly Father, then why shouldn't you love those who he cares so much about? And why shouldn't you take the time, that He has given you, to help those in need. In my case, to be patient, and to help them learn. To put others before myself. I wanted to come into the MTC and learn as much as I possibly can. One could achieve that through endless, diligent study.
I've also found another way: By helping to teach others, to be patient with them and make sure they understand. As I care about their needs, what they need to know, I have found that I in the process receive all answers to my own questions as well. That my personal study becomes so much more productive and meaningful. That I feel the Spirit so much stronger in both my personal and companion study. It's amazing how all Christlike attributes blend so well together. As you strengthen one, the others will become more natural. Love everyone, simply because our Father in Heaven loves them. Through that love, I promise you that you will become closer to our brother, Jesus Christ.
Also, I wanted to apologize for my last letter home. As today, I am always rushed within 30 minutes of email time. And I was having trouble typing last week. But I used TALL, the computer learning software for an hour yesterday in preperation for emailing now (haha).
Anyways I realized I just mentioned how I stood up for the Sisters, but didn't get to explain anything else. I felt a bit self-righteous. So, I'd like to tell you that through that experience, I have come to attain a much deeper respect for our Sisters. Every sister I have met has such a sweet testimony, I love talking with them and feeling that Spirit. While studying with Elder Clark in the hallway the other day, we heard two sisters making funny noises. They were trying to speak Cantonese. I can't imagine having to learn that language, I know that I am in the right place. And that I have been blessed to be speaking Spanish on my mission, because I know I would have trouble with anything else.
Good news, Elder Bahr and Elder Martin are still here! We heard their names called over the intercom and Elder Bahr went nuts! He was so excited. It was a semi-sweet experience for me. But then he came back with only a phone pass to call his family to tell them his visa hadn't gone through yet. ..Yay for me! Elder Bahr is an amazing example to me, he is the oldest in our district at 22. He is always doing what is right, even if that means not getting involved in a conversation about a TV show. I love him and Elder Martin so much. Elder Martin is so great at recognizing the Spirit, it amazes me.
Elder Clark and I taught at the TRC again yesterday. We teach every Thursday there. This week we taught a young women, Holly, about the Plan of Salvation and the importance of baptism. We got about halfway through the lesson when Elder Clark felt impressed to invite her to baptism. She accepted, and Elder Clark and I ended up bearing our testimonies of how happy our Father in Heaven is for her, and how much joy she will feel through following Jesus Christ's example. It was amazing, I felt as if she were a real investigator. I loved her so much, because I knew she was making the right decisions on her life.
Hermano Catt was walking through the hallway and said he could feel love literally being emitted from the room into the hallway. The Spirit was so strong in that room, I could truly feel Heavenly Father's love for her and His desire for all to come unto Christ. Elder Clark and I walked out of that lesson feeling so strong, so filled with the Spirit, we just wanted to go to Mexico and start teaching right then! Haha but we still need to get the language down, and prepare ourselves a bit more, so we won't get too far ahead of ourselves. Hermano Catt went into the classroom to interview her as the investigator after our lesson. And Holly confided in him that she had never felt the spirit so strong in the TRC before. I knew it was because of the love in the room. And because Elder Clark and I had recognized the love our Heavenly Father has for her, she felt it too.
I cannot express how powerful love is. I won't even try. It has been such a great blessing having Hermanos Catt y Loaiza as my teachers in the MTC. Just last night, Hermano Loaiza was helping us to ask better questions to help our investigators, which is something I've been struggling with. He gave me such great advice. Don't go into a lesson saying, "Okay, we're going to teach THIS doctrine, and use THESE scriptures." Instead, we go into a lesson, following promptings from the Spirit as to what we should teach. We still prepare, but we don't prepare to every little detail. We are literally tools in God's hands, and we need to make sure we follow His commands, and teach what He knows the investigator needs. We instead ask ourselves when preparing a lesson: "What does this investigator need to know to come closer to Christ?" Such a great question. Feel free to ask yourself that question for you friends sake, or for your own sake. Pray and listen to the Spirit.
So many things have made this week great for me! Thank you Dad for all of the ties! I can't remember if I told you already, but I gave one to Brother Shorter in our branch presidency and he wore it to church on Sunday! And I let the other Elders in my residence hall pick one too.
It's funny seeing everyone in our district wearing your ties (haha), I love it! And many thanks to Brittany for her package including a mini basketball hoop! Everyone in our district plays on it, its hilarious.
One of the Elder's in our zone, Elder Johnson, is really funny. We were all getting ready for class after gym and nobody was in our room. I walked by our door just as I caught Elder Johnson running towards the hoop taped to our wall and slam dunking the tennisball-size basketball into the tiny hoop and tearing it off our wall! I just started laughing and he turned around to see me and tried putting it back on the wall but it wouldn't stick back on. It was fun while it lasted! =P Thank you! Unfortunately, but fortunately, we had one of the districts leave this week. They were such a great group of Elders who really taught Elder Clark and I alot about dedicated missionary work. I'm going to miss them, but we got a new district in on Wednesday too. We haven't really met them much because they're on a different schedule their first week, I'm sure they're all great though.
Elder Riley Stevenson left yesterday too ='( It was so sad. I saw him about 5 times yesterday thinking every time would be the last. I am really going to miss Elder Stevenson, but I know he is going to serve the people of Mexico, and we will see each other again soon.
Anyways, sorry for rambling. I am so excited for the next 6 weeks (even though it sounds like forever!). I cannot wait to go to Mexico soon and help all of my brothers and sisters down there come unto Christ. Knowing that my brother, Jesus Christ, loves me has been such a great motivation while here in the MTC. I know that this is where I need to be. I know that what I am doing is the work of God. I know that I am His servant, a representative of His son here on the earth to help others to find him. I know that through the Atonement, we can all be saved. That through the Atonement, Christ suffered for all of our sins, transgressions, pains, and sorrows. He is my Savior and He loves all, and welcomes all to come unto Him.
I know that my Redeemer lives. I can feel His spirit and the companionship of the Holy Ghost every day as I strive to become more like Him. I know that true conversion through the Holy Ghost can only come through obedience, and I will be diligently obedient for these next two years. Do not be afraid to share the gospel with others. You will regret it when you realize what you have deprived them of. Trust me, I do every day.So many things have made this week great for me!
I love you all so much! I hope you didn't fall asleep reading this!
Feel free to write me, I love letters! I love seeing anything in our mailbox with my name on it haha!
Sincerely, Elder Knight