Off to Vancouver!
The MTC stay was great. Twelve days is just perfect. The spirit is so strong here. I have learned so much not only how to be a better teacher, but how to a better listener and follower of Jesus Christ. I have grown close to my companion and the rest of my district. Having said that, I am ready to leave. The role plays help, but the best teacher is real experience. I am excited to get into the field and teach real people!
The MTC has all of these investigators that they pay and some of them are LDS and some of them are not. Anyway, George has a prosthetic leg and we have learned so much from him. He said that we would teach an amputee on our mission and he said the best thing we could say is "You are strong and I know it." I am curious to see if his prophecy comes true! We never taught him a lesson because we know he is LDS and he doesn't want to hear lessons that he has beard a billion times so we just let him talk to us about his experiences and struggles. It is what he wants and we have learned so much from him.
So there are 47 missionaries going to Washington tomorrow, the most out of any other state or country. 17 of us are going to Vancouver. The work is really hastening there and the need for missionaries is so great. We have to be at the bus stop by 4:30 tomorrow morning! I have been spoiled by waking up at 6:30 so I will now go back to what it was like working for Huntsman's Springs again. President Taylor and his wife will meet us there and I have no idea what is going on for the rest of the day! It will be different and hard, but I know that it is the right thing to do.
So for our Sunday Night Devotional, T.C. Christensen spoke. He is the director of 17 Miracles, Ephriam's Rescue, The Testaments, and The Work and the Glory, and several more. He showed us a few clips from his movies and explained kind of what was behind them. Remember the pie scene from 17 Miracles? He told us a story about when his grandfather was on a mission. He said that he was starving and couldn't go on any longer. Suddenly, he looked over an a cherry pie was sitting in the road. Turned out, on that same day, his mother was cooking cherry pies and left them near the window to cool. She came back and one of the pies was missing. He related this to the importance of keeping journals. We don't know one-hundredth of the stories from the pioneers because only one-hundredth of them kept a journal! Remember Albert from that same movie? Turns out there was an entire group of just handicapped pioneers and a 69 year old man was in charge of them. Albert was the only one who kept a journal so we don't know how many there were or how many made it, if any. We only know that Albert didn't make it. So keep a journal HaHa. He also said that the wolves from that same movie ware actually from a wolf trainer in Driggs! Imagine that! Everyone from my zone was like, "so you didn't make that place up!" Haha. It was funny but I don't know any wolf trainers from Driggs. Anyway, he gave a really good talk.
If you have time, I highly suggest watching/reading a talk called His Grace is Sufficient, by Brad Wilcox. It is one of the best talks I have ever heard. I have never thought of grace the way he explained it. It is better if you watch it, but it helped me understand the concept of grace so much better. Here is a sample: I know a young man who just got out of prison - again. Each time two roads diverge in a yellow wood, he takes the wrong one - every time. When he was a teenager dealing with every bad habit a teenage boy can have, I said to his father, "we need to get him to EFY." I have worked with that program since 1985. I know the good it can do. His dad said, I' can't afford that." I said, "I can't afford it either, but you put some in, and then we'll go to my mom, because she is a real softy." We finally got the kid to EFY. but how long do you think he lasted? Not even a day. By the end of the first day he called his mom and said, "Get me out of here!" Heaven will not be heaven for those who have not chosen to be heavenly. In the past I I had a picture in my mind of what the final judgment would be like, it went something like this: Jesus standing there with a clipboard and Brad standing on the other side of the room nervously looking at Jesus. Jesus checks His clipboard and says, "Oh shoot. Brad. You missed it by two points." Brad begs Jesus. "Please, check the essay question one more time! there have to be two points you can squeeze out of that essay." That's how I always saw it, but the older I get, and the more I understand this wonderful plan of redemption, the more I realize that in the final judgment it will not be the unrepentant sinner begging Jesus, "Let me stay," No, he will probably be saying, "Get me out of here!" Knowing Christ's character, I believe that if anyone is going to be begging on that occasion, it would probably be Jesus begging the unrepentant sinner, "Please, choose to stay. Please, use my Atonement- not just to be cleansed but to be changed so that you want to stay."
Thank you for the package! It was great. I have been having some grumble from my stomach at night so the food was good. Also, the sleep machine was awesome. Elder Munger has been sick this week so he is causing a loss of sleep to the room next to ours with his snoring. We turn that on full blast and everybody sleeps much better. I got the pictures too Also, thank you for for your letters. They were all great.
This week was more of the same. A lot of studying and practicing. It was actually fun to see the new missionaries come in on Wednesday. The only one I knew was Ryan Nelson. Remember Ryan? His mom is a Kearsley. Anyway, he is serving in Houston, Texas. There was also a kid from West J that I played sports against growing up. I don't know his name, but he recognized me.
So I gained so much respect for my companion, Elder Wilson this week. He is a movie junkie and quotes them all the time. It ind of reminds me of Austin. Anyway, there are always groups of foreign missionaries that always come up and talk to you in a foreign language just to show off an make you feel stupid. It is kind of a joke between the English-speaking missionaries. So an elder came up to Elder Wilson and started talking in Russion. Elder Wilson replied and said, "Squeak squeak, uh, squeak squeaker, uh, squeak squeaken," in the PERFECT Kronk voice form the Emperor's New Groove. It was so funny and I laughed so hard. I know that the Lord knows me better than I know myself. I am so glad that I am not speaking a foreign language.That would be miserable.
I will call sometime between 6:30 and 8:30 tomorrow. The plane leaves at 930 so I will spend the day in Vancouver and then get transferred out. I am really nervous but excited too. Thank you so much for your prayers and sacrifices! I know that they help me so much.
Love: Elder Reiley