Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The power of prayer, new mission presidents, and becoming like Christ MTC (WEEK 2)

Hello everybody! I'm loving it here at the MTC! Also I DO have pictures today, so that's good! If you don't want to read this whole thing that's all good, just skip to the end. haha. 

Starting with last Saturday, our first P-day was great! We got everything set, had some time to chill with our zone, and got to go to the temple! It was pretty great especially the temple. If you can, go to the temple this week and enjoy the blessings that come from that! I know that doing so will help you so much! We also had class, and our teachers did one-on-one interviews with us in different rooms, just to see how we were doing. It was super weird because as soon as we sat down, they went from Croatian to ALL ENGLISH. It was funny just because they refuse to speak more than 2 straight words of English in our classroom.

The cafeteria is shut down for MPS (Mission president Seminar), but it's all good cuz that means that the first presidency and all of the twelve are here! It kinda hit me yesterday and that was pretty great. Oh, also on Monday, we went to the gym for the first time. They put up records for different things on the wall, including the mile. The record is 4:45 right now. Their mistake for putting that there :P give it 6 weeks and I'll be in shape haha. We also had another lesson with Almir, which went well right up until the end, and we didn't know how to 'end' our lesson, so my companion just said 'vidimo se' which means 'see you later'. Our investigator was like 'now?!' and we were both like 'da!' (yes). It was funny but also a good learning experience. As we had more lessons with our investigator, it was great to see him read, pray, and come to understand more and more what he was reading. 

We've had some pretty intense studying too. I counted, and we spend 50+ scheduled hours a week studying, with about 20 of that being with teachers there, and the rest on our own. It can get pretty tiring. Anyways, midway through the week I was worried me and my companion wouldn't be able to stay focused and awake, so when we got back to residence, I gave one of the most sincere prayers I've given in a while because I was so worried. We had exercise right after that, and for the rest of that day and since then, I've felt a little bit more urgency and purpose studying which has kept me going longer than I know I could have on my own. I know that God will bless us with whatever we ask of him in faith, and that we can be blessed so much because He loves us so much. There's a great quote I heard this week from either Elder Holland or Bednar that said, "We can ask the Lord for what we want, or we can have more." I know that that is true, and that our Heavenly Father can bless us with anything we are in need of. 

We also set some goals, and that has happened about a dozen times this week, so that's great. Our goals of words per day, phrases per day, scriptures memorized (in hrvatski) and having no script in our lessons have really helped me improve and perform to my best ability. If you're feeling like you're hitting a plateau, set some small goals, and then some medium goals, and just keep moving up. Eventually, you'll look back, and realize you've done something you thought was impossible! 

Because of MPS, we got to meet with a new mission president & his wife who will soon be in the New Mexico Albuquerque mission. If anyone gets called there, they are amazing and I could feel his love for us, even just meeting and talking with him for an hour or two. But really, all of the mission presidents here are so amazing! We say hi whenever we see them, and we can just feel their love for us. It really feels like they love us as if we are their own children, which is what I am sure most parents would want for their missionaries :) I can't wait to meet my mission president when we fly to Croatia. It's also wonderful to have such a great zone! These guys are all going to eastern Europe (Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Czeck to be exact) and there is such a feeling of love and brotherhood (well sisterhood too I guess for the sisters :P would that make it a familyship? familyhood? i dunno) But basically, we're just a great family and a home away from home. Oh that reminds me, one day as me and my companion were walking back from class, I said something about heading home (talking about the dorm), but as soon as I said that we looked at each other and were both just like, nope this isn't home. Even though it might feel like it, we're just here for a little bit. Kind of like how we're on this earth for a little bit, before we go back to our real home. It's so amazing to think what that return home will feel like. 

Another time I was burnt out studying, and having trouble staying awake, and I just told my companion, 'lets go for a walk' cuz he was tired too. We brought cards with us to learn some words while we were out, but as I reflected on that moment, I so wish that I had thought to pray for help. I know that Heavenly Father would have helped us, but I didn't ask, so we couldn't receive. Hopefully the next time that happens, I'll recognize it and know what to do. 

OK, that's all! If you've skipped all of this here is THE END. I know that this church is true, and I am loving working for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The biggest goal I had before the mission was probably to do a full Ironman someday, but now, my greatest goal is to become like my Savior. If you can, look up the talk by Elder Bednar titled "The Character of Christ". It really inspired me to think about my life, and the actions I take, and whether I am striving to become more like the Savior. I know that as we do that, and ask Him for help, He will lift us up higher than we ever could go on our own.

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