Our P-day did in fact get switched to Friday for my last week of the MTC. So you won't be hearing from me on Monday. We go out into the field (Missouri) on Wednesday (our flight leaves SLC at 9:50 AM I found. Also... I can call home at the airport. if you can, send me a written letter saying where and when to call you. it'll be short, but it'll be sweet, too!) and I have no idea when P-day is in the field. So... it might be over a week the next time you'll hear from me via email. So just be aware. I caught you all off guard so there weren;t any emaisl in my inbox except from Derek. But that's okay! I love Derek (please heal soon! I'm sad you've been so sick)! And I love all of you! I hope everything is going well. I think about you all all the time. How is Spring Break going? Are you ready to go back to school/work? How are things at home? What do you think about the MTC tour opportunity? I've run out of questions... that is something they are drilling into us. Ask a LOT of questions. Because if we don't know what the person needs, we can't help them to our greatest potential. So... I'm practicing on you! :)
Speaking of which, I am officially in Visitor Center training! Monday night, we got together with our orginial district and our three teachers and had a testimony meeting. There were a lot of tears and the spirit was so strong. Brother Hopper shared a scripture for us all and guess what one it was... D&C 31. That's the scrippture that got me on my mission. Needless to say. it was powerful. Others shared stories that just moved you so deeply. Elder Killian didn't want to be at the MTC the first few days. he even called his parents and said he was coming home. After many prayers and a much needed inspired lesson by Sister Cook (another teacher), he stayed. He then received a letter from home the next week that a friend of his was going to be baptized. Another friend sent him a letter the week after and said he was coming back to church and even bringing a friend with him. How incredible. Elder Walpole shared a story that really shocked us all. He hadn't told anyone this... he took his endowments out January 28th... that same day his brother's life was taken in an autoboile accident. It has been 7 weeks today actually, and he's still on his mission, working hard, and keeping positive. So, the spirit is abundant here. It touches you deeply and you can feel the love of Christ enter into your heart. It's through that power, that grace, that my faith has been strengthened and how I know this mission will bring happiness to loved ones in my life and to myself. Christ is wonderful like that... he is truly the Master Teacher.
I made a comparison the other day. We wear Christ's name above our hearts and we are called to teach essentially. We all have different teaching styles. Christ and the Spirit teach everyone in their own unique ways... that is why we have been called to where we are; it will be our teaching style and testimony that will help someone else out in Missouri. It gives me hope and confidence that Christ really does know us as individuals and blesses us as such.
So... VC! It is only the original 4 sisters: Dodd, Larson, Jones, and Moore. Our teachers are Sisters Metzger (who looks EXACTLY like Gill. It's really eerie actually) and Murphy. Derek, Sis. Murphy said she was in the office a lot in Provo over the last year... myabe you remember her? She wasn't sure if she recongized "Elder Claridge". We found out that when we are working in the VC we are teaching solo. No companionship teaching for us! I guess because there are so many people to teach they split us up. A little scary, but we actually did a practice Teaching Appointment (TA) last night. 2 of the 4 "investigators" that I taught were students from BYU. Come to find out the girl has only been a member a year, and the boy is preparing for his own mission to leave in August. He has the greatest desire to serve, it was incredible listening to him talk about it. I shared my own "mission story" and why I decided to serve and he was just blow away. it's not that exciting, so he must be exciting about his own opportunity. ;)
I've come to realize something about the gospel. I have no idea if this will make sense, but as I constabntly think about the doctrine we are learning, some questions come to mind that test my faith. I find myself losing focus on Christ's Atonement and trying to logically make sense of it all. Then, the Spirit humbles me and shows me that this gospel is all about families. Yes, everything in the church is basically an appendage to Christ's Atonement, but we do everything with our families. it's through the temples that we can be with our families forever. It's through living this gospel, the love of God, that we come to find happiness with the people we love. My testimony has grown of that. He are all God's family. That's the motivating factor for me to live this gospel, essentially. Take it as you wish.
As we teach and live faithfully, we are promised to have Christ with us always. D&C 84:88. THis gives us such comfort. As I've testified of before, we can't do anything on a mission with the Spirit. Also, as I was reading in Mosiah, I found a scripture that I found interesting. Mosiah 1:7 - If we search diligently, we can profit. However, if we keep the commandments of God, we will prosper. Cool eh? Also, I came across a fairly well-known scripture in Mosiah 2:7; it reminds me of Dad. It basically says, " When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God". Dad, you are an amazing exmaple to me and have always been so. You always put others before yourself and make sure their needs are taken care of before your own. I'm so grateful for you, Dad. If you get a chance, go look up that verse. Mom can show you where to find it. :)
My time has come to an end. I'm not sure when I'll be back on email like I said in the beginning, but send me snail mail! Love me! DearElder.com will be our best friend. Please know that I love you all and pray for you all every day and night. May God's spirit be with you always. Until next time!
(forward to the usual. :) And the blog too, please! LOVE YOU)
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