Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More MTC life and becoming tenacious

I just want to start off by saying I absolutely love you guys. I never said that as much as I should have, I just wish I could say it to you guys every day. I am always thinking about how blessed I am to have such an amazing family, and the two greatest parents on earth.

This week was really good. Things are really repetitive so nothing really exciting happens very often. However, we did go to the Mariott Center on Tuesday morning to listen to the devotional. Super cool, and way fun to get off the MTC campus even if it was like two blocks away haha. Elder David F. Evans spoke to us about being 'tenaciously righteous'. Interesting principle, but it works. The phrase goes good with what I want to be: a tenacious missionary.

In the Zone
Wednesday came around and it freaked all the missionaries in our zone out because we're like the old ones in our program at the MTC now (experience wise). It's awesome to think we only have about three weeks left here. I have enjoyed my time here so much. It is such an amazing place.

Tell Kenyon good job for me. Getting through a season playing Lehi football is quite the task.

I've seen the hand of God in my week through our teachers. They are wonderful people. Through the first month they switched around a little bit, but for the remainder of our stay here, we'll have the same two instructors. Awesome people!

Our main teacher's name is Li Lao Shi, or Mr. (brother) Foley. He served in New York, and got back a couple of months ago. Really funny guy. He connects with us super well and he is really helpful whenever we have any kind of question - Chinese, Gospel, MTC stuff, anything.

Our other main teacher is Wu Di Xiong, Brother Woosley. He served in Taiwan, I believe it was Taipei. Every teacher in our branch (there's about 12 or so) is referred to as 'Lao Shi'. Which is translated as 'teacher'. When I said the closing prayer after the first class we had with Wu Di Xiong (Di Xiong means brother), I asked Heavenly Father to please bless Wu Lao Shi. After he asked us to refer to him as Wu Di Xiong because he isn't our teacher, we are his teachers. He told us that we are set apart as servants of the Lord and he isn't. And from then on everybody just loves him because he's just super humble and he really REALLY helps us with anything and everything.

My teachers have helped me learn so much. They do a fantastic job at inviting the spirit and helping us carry it throughout the day.

Clownin' around near temple grounds
Last night we watched a recording of a devotional given by Elder Jeffery R. Holland. It was probably the funniest talk I've ever heard before, and also the most impactful. I had no idea Elder Holland had such a humor, everybody was laughing so hard. He also did his podium pounding which will always get you. He talked about how missions are forever. These next two years are the end of the beginning of a lifetime of service to the Lord. He said The quorum of the 12 are Apostles with a capital 'A', missionaries are apostles with a lower case 'a'. Never miss a chance to be apostolic. My job isn't to go through the motions. My job isn't to go and figure out what the world is like. My job isn't to travel to Taiwan go sightseeing. If I do these things, I know I will return in vain. I must not waste these next two years, nor any time following. My purpose is to truly invite others to come unto Christ. My job is to ASTONISH people. When I teach by the spirit, and bare testimony with all of my heart, The spirit will ASTONISH the people I come in contact with.

We also listened to another recording - a devotional by Brad Wilcox. His talk was called "His Grace is Sufficient". Probably one of the greatest talks I've heard as well. Mom and Dad I encourage you to somehow implement this into one of your next Sunday School lessons. It could have a great impact on some of the youth of our ward. I know it changed my life.

Nothing new. Same ole', same ole' here in the MTC.

I know Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father live. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. This mission isn't just marking two years of my life for full time missionary service, this mission is the beginning of my dedicated service to the Lord at all times, and in all things, and in all places. Being a full time missionary is an incredible opportunity. I have been more than blessed to take part in the Lord's work. I feel myself becoming more and more converted to the Lord every way. His work is becoming my work. I'm trying to make it personal for myself. I am finding even more joy in helping God's children come unto Christ.

1st MTC haircut - No one can cut my hair like dad!
No matter what your name is, no matter where you're from, You are a child of our Father in Heaven. He loves you beyond comprehension. I know at times it may seem you are on your own. It may seem as if God has forgotten you. But I can promise you this: He will never forsake you. Salvation does NOT come easy. The road to Salvation passes through Gethsemane. We will all go through our own personal Gethsemane, but we are not alone. The road to Salvation carries a cross on it's back. But I know nobody carries it alone. Christ is ALWAYS there with each of us. We must reach out to him.

Family, I love and miss you dearly. I hope things continue to be swell :-) I'll let you know when I get my reassignment, should be in two weeks.

You are all amazing. Love you!!

Ma Zhang Lao

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