Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dritte Woche

What to talk about this week. The MTC experience doesn't vary all that much. A regular day usually goes like this. You wake up and you do the most basic of things to get ready in the morning like brush your teeth, put your contacts on, shave if you need to, and then put on some clothes. And not even missionary clothes just some shorts and a t-shirt. You head back to your room and you study for about an hours time. For me that usually consists of me reading or searching for things in the Book of Mormon. Then me and my companion and usually the other elders in my district go to get a sack breakfast because you do not need to be dressed up for that. After we are done eating breakfast it is our scheduled gym time or exercise time. Which I like to spend in the weight room although it doesn't really have much in it, there is still enough to let me feel like I can stay fit. However I usually only go every other day because no one in my district wants to go to the weight room every day so on the other days we usually go to the field to play soccer. After we head back to the residence halls and get showered and dressed up in missionary clothing. Then promptly head of to our first class section of the day. Where we get sat in a room with our district and a teacher who talks to us in German 90% of the time. And that class time is usually split up in three sections. One section is used to go meet with our fake investigators and give lessons in German, another section is used to talk about grammar or other components of German, and then the third section almost always ends in a lesson of how to better yourself as a missionary and even practice these concepts with your companion. And this all of this transpires in about 3 hours and then you go to lunch and after lunch you have an hour of additional study time that you use to get ready for class or go grab mail if you are the district leader or not. Then you get to the second section of class time which is basically the same thing with maybe a little bit more variation in what you are taught but all in all the same thing. Then you have like a half hour of daily planning which you use to plan out your next day and what you are going to teach your investigators and what have you. Then we head to dinner and have the dreaded three hour study block. Where one hour is dedicated to personal study, one hour is dedicated to companion study, and the last hour is dedicated to language study. And these three hours are not monitored by teachers or anything. Actually by this time of the day I am almost sure that there is almost no one on campus other than missionaries themselves. So we basically have free reign. So I am sure you can already tell that the temptation for some people and even myself sometimes to not study at all is real. But to my surprise we all handle our selves quite well and things never really get out of hand. Those three hours of the day really make or break you. You either learn a ton or you just feel like time is dragging on forever. But after this block of study it is already 9:30 and it is time to get ready for bed and write in your journal and go to sleep. And that is your most general day at the MTC. I mean on Tuesdays we have devotionals and on Sundays it is mostly church meetings and leadership meetings but it really isn't that much different. And of course your P-day is usually spent doing errands all day. But yeah that is pretty much my life at the MTC not a whole lot to report on every Wednesday

So you might be thinking hey that sounds pretty boring or that's a pretty strict schedule. And you would probably be right. But really you learn so much. Often I write down questions or have questions in my head in the beginning of the day that I want answered or that I am searching answers for. Like how do I get Herr Gn├Ądinger to interact more in a lesson?! And I will find that it is never a big lesson in class or a big experience in class that will answer my questions but it will almost always come to me after I pray and simply search the resources available before me. And I have learned so much more at the MTC than simply the language itself. I have learned that even if I see zero baptisms. That I will at least be successful in one conversion of someone unto Christ. And that person is myself and that is probably one of the greatest blessings you can have from a mission is to strengthen your faith and hope in Christ. So that ye yourself may never fall away. I cannot say enough how important it is to be converted unto Christ. Because we are not converted to the church or some program of the church. We are not converted to the Prophet or Apostles. The prophet himself could fall away from Christ's church and it would not bother me. It would sadden me however it would not diminish my faith in Christ and that this is his church and that this is his gospel. I am so very grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission and even now even before having entered the field I know that someday in the future I want to serve another mission with my future wife some day. And I am grateful to see that I have others in my family that are willing to step up to the call of missionary work. I am proud of my cousin Chandler and his decision to leave his family and everything else to come serve the Lord. I know that there are people he must teach in Colorado. I know that mission calls are sacred and that they have been willed through the Apostles by Heavenly Father. An interesting statistic I learned while being here is that 70% of all missionaries that have been called EVER have been called while under the presidency of Thomas S. Monson. The Lord is truly hastening the work. It reminds me of Captain Moroni when he raises the title of liberty. (Paraphrase) In memory of our God, our religion, our freedom, and our families. And many Nephites rose to the call to defend their lands. So we missionaries too raise up in memory of those things to preach his gospel. I am on this mission for those very things. I am certainly made free through this work. No matter how restricting it may sound it has made me free. And so I end this letter saying that through Faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end is a recipe of freedom and a recipe of happiness. Oh how I have seen it wrought in my life. 

Elder Foster

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