All In The Lord's Thyme
Dear Loved Ones,
This week has been the hardest week yet I've had at the MTC.
First, a brief overview of the events of this week.
Last Thursday was the Thanksgiving celebration at the MTC, and it was wonderful! :D We were able to hear from David A. Bednar on Thursday morning, and I can testify to you all that he is an inspired servant of the Lord, who knows what our needs are and how to help us to prepare for the challenges ahead.
He taught us on how all the answers we need are in the scriptures, and he did a bit of a Q&A with us. He also chastised us, as missionaries and as children of God, for focusing on perfection to a point of toxicity that destroys our self-esteem and does NOT bring us closer to God. So many times out of the day, especially when we are focusing on becoming more like the Lord, we get down on ourselves, and we beat ourselves up. I promise you and I testify to you that beating yourself up is not a Christ-like quality, it is not a Godly quality, and it is exclusively not any part of developing ourselves into disciples of Christ.
This is a tactic of the Devil to bring you down and make you think that no matter how hard you try, you will never succeed in your efforts to coming closer to Christ, and that you being human will forever separate you from the possibility of ever being able to stand spotless in the sight of God and The Son.
The Lord has told us, and His servants have told us many times, that perfection is not what we are searching for. We are searching to be more complete. And those two are different.The Lord knows that we will never be able to overcome our natural human mistakes fully, otherwise he wouldn't have given us the Atonement. He has factored in our imperfections already so that we don't have to worry about them. In fact, He took them upon Himself so that we didn't have to worry about them. So, I testify to you, if you forget your faults and focus on the Lord, He will also forget them.
Always remember that the more we try to be like Christ, the more we qualify for the strengthening power of the Atonement. So if you want more Grace, if you want more Heaven in your life, if you want more power in your words and actions, forget yourself. Serve others. Focus on Christ. And in the words of President Bednar, "Get out of the way [of the Spirit]".
Alright, so after the devotional, we had Thanksgiving lunch, and we had a service project with Feeding Children Everywhere, in which we made meals for starving children and adults in Utah, which filled our hearts and added to our joy.
We watched a beautiful movie called "Love, Kennedy", which is a movie about Mormon family [a true story] who has a daughter that has a terminal condition, and it recounts how the daughter changed the lives of those around her. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a spiritually uplifting movie :)
The rest of the week passed by fairly normally.
I will recount one more story. This week I had the hardest day since I've arrived at the MTC. My companions and I failed to have the Spirit during planning for a lesson, I raised my voice at my companion (which I am ashamed of), I accidentally smeared shoe polish on a white table in one of the ponder rooms (which sounds silly now, but I'm sure you can all relate to that panic of accidentally defacing something in a beautiful dedicated building XD), and I was struggling with some prideful thoughts, of which I am also ashamed of, and I couldn't seem to get them out of my head.
Now, I don't write this to call attention to myself, but rather to the events that followed afterward. After class, my companion and I went to study with a resource teacher here at the MTC, and she sensed how I was feeling, and we talked about it.
We decided that we needed to try to do all we could to help the Spirit be with me again, as that is hard to do when we are stressed.
In the prayer, song, and scripture study that my companion, this teacher, and I participated in following these events, the Spirit spoke to me as if someone was whispering in my ear, and told me exactly what the Lord wanted me to know, and lifted me up as if I'd never been down.
I testify and promise to you all, the Lord knows you are trying, and he hears your cries. But he cannot speak to you if you do not seek Him out first. As soon as you seek Him out, in the hour you call upon Him, He has started to succor you, and He WILL be your life and your support. God and Jesus Christ are real. They do exist. And they yearn for you to be happy.
I testify of these things, and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.