Sunday, February 24, 2013

Another Letter from the MTC - February 19th

February 19, 2013


I've decided that the one thing that I miss the most that I can't do here is just google random things when I want to know something. There have been so many times that I have wanted to know some random fact and I can't look it up. Jacqueline, can you get that quote about obedience from dad that he loves and send it to me? If you want to make it all fancy and have some background picture that would be great but I'm just struggling to remember it exactly and its really bothering me. That one quote thats something like "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest...". Thanks a ton!
This week at the MTC has been good and probably more enjoyable overall then the prior weeks. We have a new district coming in this week with another Elder Crockett, so thats going to be funny. I'll let you know where he is from and such so that we can hopefully figure out if/how we are related. The two districts in our zone that have been here longer than us will all be gone by tomorrow afternoon so its going to be kinda weird being the most "experienced" district in our zone. All of the elders going to mexico out of those two districts have been reassigned to SLC and Boise for a transfer because they didn't get their visas in time. All of us in our district that are going to Mexico have been praying that we will get ours in time. We find out our "travel plans" if we have visas this thursday, but if we don't get them and they don't come in for the next week after, then we get our temporary reassignment the following thursday. I didn't know this but I guess I get to make a 5 minute phone call if we do get reassigned so I suppose that is one plus of being reassigned, but I'm really hoping that we get our visas on time cause I am just really excited and anxious to get to Tijuana. 
One thing that has been really cool this week is that we started using each other to teach legitimate lessons to. Instead of having a teacher or volunteer be our investigator, we teach other companionships that are pretending to be our investigators. In order for this to work, we each had to pray and think about who we should pretend to be (generally a nonmember friend/family member). Its been really cool to put myself into other peoples shoes and I am being taught. Its amazing how the spirit not only helps us as missionaries to know what to say and ask when we are teaching, but how the spirit also tells us as investigators how they would be feeling in that situation. For example, my companion and I were being taught about prayer and the missionaries that were teaching us weren't the best at spanish, and were being extremely persistant about praying with them there. I learned so much about how to better handle a situation like that because I was able to feel how uncomfortable the investigators would feel if a missionary who I had just met 3 minutes before was pushing me to prayer about my most personal things in front of them right then and there. As I was being taught several different times, the spirit was able to prompt me very strongly to send certain people letters and such about certain things.
Throughout the last couple of days I have constantly been amazing at the power of the Book of Mormon in not only teaching and inviting the spirit but also in creating a testimony and being the rock that a testimony is built on. There is an elder in my zone who leaves later today for the Provo spanish speaking mission (I'm hoping he ends up serving with Devon!) and I've become pretty good friends with him over the last couple of weeks. Elder Ramos is from Alaska and was homeschooled because he lived out in the middle of nowhere. He is the kinda guy who reads anything and everything and just really loves to learn and talk about everything from different political theories to archaeological sites to big foot. While I was talking to him about some stuff he shared how he ended up on a mission and it has really been on my mind for the last week. A few years back, he decided that he didn't believe in God at all because all of the facts didn't add up when taking into account the age of the earth as scientists claim verses what the Bible says. He said he was really interested by all religions but he didn't believe in any. He would read lots of different books, from Hindu scripture to anti-mormon stuff to anything about any religion simply because he found it all really interesting. His whole family are members but he told his parents that he didn't believe in the church and that it wasn't something he wanted to spend his time on. He said eventually he decided to actually read the Book of Mormon because he figured he wanted to know that is was fake for himself. He said before he started reading the Book of Mormon, he decided that if Joseph Smith could make up a religious book, why couldn't he? To make a long story short, he failed at making up some scripture, and said he knew that the Book of Mormon was true before he was even close to finishing it. While he says that he doesn't understand how all of the scientific facts can be so strong and so contradictory with the gospel, he says that he knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that everything else that the Church is has to be true. I have really been amazing as I have read the Book of Mormon this week at how much there is on every page that can apply directly into our lives no matter where we stand. I'm grateful for it and know that it is true.
I'm running out of time, but I just want to say I am grateful for all of you and that I know that as we do our best to come closer to Christ, whether that be becoming baptized or simply by praying more sincerely everyday, that we can become the happiest that we can possibly be.
Con amor,
Elder Crockett

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