Thursday, July 4, 2013

Loving the MTC

Here is last week's letter that we got from Brandon.  Just a few other things that he mentioned in an email to me is that he has been to the Manila temple twice now.  He got to be the escort for a Filipino missionary going through for the first time, so that was awesome.  He is the only one going to his mission (Angeles) in his MTC district and he is the only American as well.  The others are from New Zealand, Australia, Tonga and Samoa.* 
Hello All!
 What a week it has been since my last email. My last P-day wasn't very good. I got super frustrated and homesick, but once we forgot about ourselves and started to focus on teaching our "investigator" (Just a teacher, but they're brutally in character!) Kasama ko at Ako's day got a lot better!

 Last Sunday was crazy! We saw the worldwide broadcast thingy, which got us super pumped for the field! Such great messages and doctrine, I took heaps of notes!

  Oh! On that note, I wanted to say I have tons of Australians and New Zealanders around me (we just call them Aussies and Kiwis), and I'm starting to speak like them! Not like accent wise, just vocabulary wise. Like they always throw the word "as" on the end of sentences. It means “very”. So like, "I'm thirsty as" means “I’m very thirsty”.  I thought it was weird, until I realized that saying "really though" makes just as much sense grammatically. So I'm learning the language down under, as well as Tagalog!


Elder Bednar
Anyway, so later that night we had a video from a devotional Elder Bednar gave to the Provo MTC last Christmas. It was all about the character of Christ. It literally changed my life and perspective of the world. We are so prideful, every last one of us. We need to look at the needs of others above our own, and by doing so we learn to love them. Oh my gosh, it was so good. He also talked about my mission scripture (Alma 26:12), and changed my perspective on that! When I thought about God strengthening me, I thought about it like if Brandon is a level three, through Christ, Brandon can be a ten. While it is true that Christ does improve us, that’s not totally right. It’s more like through Christ, Brandon will remain a level three, but will be able to act and perform like a ten. I have already experienced acting beyond my bounds, but I'll get to that later. Oh my gosh, I just have so much to say!

 Monday we had a small crisis in my district. A trio of sisters has had a really hard time getting along, staying together as a companionship, and agreeing on what they should do. One sister in particular just goes off on her own, and it just got to be too much. I had already addressed the issue privately and made some changes within my power, but it became too much on Monday. So, My Kasama and I prayed what to do, received a shockingly clear and sudden answer, cancelled our appointment with an "investigator" and held an emergency meeting. More than half of my district was in tears, whether for sympathy, humility, sadness or anger. It was a scary situation. However, somehow, I was able to conduct a meeting where the sisters all shared their feelings about their situation, and we all lended aid and advice. We came up with three goals that should fix the situation within our district, and I challenged them to set measurable goals as a companionship. We have had no problems concerning the matter since. I wholeheartedly believe the spirit was putting words into my mouth. As soon as I started the meeting all of my opinions about the situation went out the window, and I felt like I was able to treat everyone with love and respect that I had not felt before. It was a personal miracle for me. I know Brandon couldn't have pulled that off on his own. It was absolutely amazing.

  On Wednesday we said goodbye to a batch of missionaries. Elder Woodburn, Ramsey, Broderick, Schroder...those guys will always be legends! We hung out in their room the night before they left and executed operation GT...Oh man that was impressive! We also heard some crazy as stories man...good times with the lads! Wednesday night we, Elder Armatage, Naulu, Mo'unga and I (also known as the Fantastic Four or New Austrailica) took advantage of being the only guys on our floor and stole a bunch of the mattresses and slept in the hall. We were singing and laughing the night away. It was honestly one of the best nights of my life. Thursday Elder Mo'unga and I humbled ourselves and taught the most spiritual discussion we've had yet! It was amazing. Also, before the new batch came in, Elder Armatage and Naulu moved into our room! We're gonna party now! And that brings us to today!

 Some other things that I haven't had a place for: My teacher is the man! Brother Santos! He is like a cute Filipino teddy bear...oh my gosh! He is so funny and he always knows how to handle pretty much any situation. Ahh I had something else but now I can't remember...It's really hot? I don't know... Well, whatever!

Study the word, love everyone you meet, become like Christ!

 --Elder Christensen.
Brandon follows the Prophet!

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