Thursday, March 17, 2016

2016-03-17 Last Week in MTC, and What I Have Learned

So unless Denver walks into our room tomorrow and we actually allow him to speak, we will be leaving on Monday at 3:30am to Milan!  We'll get there on Tuesday morning and then I have p-day on Wednesdays from then on. 

I want to do something to really show you what it's like being a missionary.  This list took me 1:15 hours to write and it's only a fraction, maybe 1/3 of what i've actually learned.  these are just notes i took from my notebook (my small plates hah).  I also learned how to speak a whole new language, or, you know part of it.  I learned a lot about companionships that I didn't put in here.  I learned so much I don't even know everything I've learned.  But I know that missionaries will often say vague, meaningless things like "my mission taught me so much."  This list is to give those of you who haven't gone an idea of what exactly that means.  And keep in mind that this is after only 6-7 weeks.  And it's not even complete.  This is probably why people don't describe what it means that "I learned so much on my mission."

There's context behind all of these things but this list would be a whole novel if I wrote that, too.  So here's your taste of the MTC.  I marked most of the things that just came into my head without anyone saying it as "INSPiration."
  1. when we think about ourselves during lessons and what we need to say, that's fear, not faith
  2. what it really means to have faith (i.e. to know that He actually lived, that He actually descended beneath all, that he actually is our older Brother, that He actually paid the price for our sin, that He actually overcame death)
  3. d+c 102:9 missionaries are called the "Saviors of the world" and that's a really big deal and huge calling
  4. "that which we persist in doing becomes easier, not because the nature of the thing itself has changed, but our power to do so has increased"
  5. the relationship i have with my comp is more important than our relationship with our investigators.  we have to be good with each other first before we can help others
  6. don't strive to work harder/faster than you have means, BUT, be diligent
  7. i have been called to leave my nets which is work, school, friends, be a fisher of men
  8. INSP: if God gave us night and day then He gave it to us as a means to hold ourselves accountable in terms of our goals so that's kind of cool
  9. from Elder Bednar, the Character of Christ is that He turns out when we would turn in.  In other words, He NEVER committed a selfish act
  10. fratello sloan broke my boxes when he told me and the class that, when we come upon a trial, it can be one of three things.  1) a problem, something that's an issue that you really hate and would really rather avoid.  2) a sfida, a challenge, something that's difficult but you're gonna take it on headfirst or, 3) an opportunity.  so every time i say "i can't speak Italian" (or fill in the blank there), you're saying you have a problem.  even if you're joking, that's what you're saying.  let your trials be opportunities.
  11. In terms of the mission, Edward Dube's wife said "it is not about yourself.  It is about me, the Lord." and in terms of serving Him, "will you, just for a season?"  it really isn't that long or too big of a sacrifice for those who choose to do this.  I also learned this lesson from the sons of Mosiah.  When Alma the Younger reunites with them, he glories in their missionary work and their diligence.  that scripture said that he sons of Mosiah served a mission for FOURTEEN years.  and i'm serving for 18 months.  i do not want to serve a mission for my whole life but it's so clear that they had not just faith but knowledge.  i can serve my Savior for 18 months (and now almost just 16)
  12. we can ask our investigators what they understand because then they unknowingly bear testimony -sister rushton
  13. worthiness=obedience.  if you follow the commandments, it is impossible by default to be unworthy of blessings etc
  14. "I am a child of God, sent here to teach other children of God to come closer to Christ, who is our Brother, and that makes this a family thing." -sister sargeant
  15. you don't know everything but you know enough (i really needed that, i still need that)
  16. since Moroni had records and records to choose from, everything he picked for the BOM has a purpose.  Basically, the BOM is a well-written piece of art book and every verse has significance
  17. FAITH IS acting after a confirmation of the Spirit.  i don't think that Nefi just was like, "okay whatever you say, anyone, i'll obey."  He just is so spiritual that he has the Spirit with him, so that when he receives a message from God he knows right away that he needs to do it because he gets that confirmation.  we should never do anything just because someone tells us to, even the Prophet.  because we have a promise that if it's true we can recieve a witness.  but after we have that confirmation, we have to actually DO something about it, and when we act, that's faith.  like going on a mission.  i'm not going because the age was lowered.  i'm going because i received an answer to my prayer and i had the faith to act on it.  every day it's a struggle to do that over and over again but the Lord has higher ways than we do
  18. Anziano Palombo's first name is "tractor-crane"
  19. SOME THINGS ABOUT LESSONS:  prepare, pray, ask questions, don't just read notes, have a conversation, focus less on he language, don't teach more than 2-3 principles, understanding the restauration is essential, never hurts to bear a testimony, have to invite to act (see above, faith), and people don't all know how to pray lol
  20. He died to make us holy let us live to make men free
  21. "I'm down" = ci sto
  22. "what the heck" = che cavolo (literally what the cabbage but apparently cabbage is close to another, worse word)
  23. He died to make us holy, let us live to make men free
  24. on baptism, from Brother Heaton: "it's a wonderful thing! it's a wonderful thing! it's a wonderful thing!"
  25. "heavenly Father doesn't just sit and hold his breath and hope for someone to be converted, he's been working deep-level with these people to help them become more like Him"
  26. "Heavenly Father is orchestrating a lot of things to convert people and missionaries just play a part"
  27. "you can never to back to anything you were before." me: what no "I mean, this is the church of eternal progression" -Elder Holland (still working with that idea.  i want to be different but the same, ya feel?)
  28. "if this was your church/work/kingdom, you could do whatever you want!  But it's not.  YOU SIGNED OFF when you accepted this call.  And then, theoretically, you don't do it your way."
  29. the whole armor of God is defensive EXCEPT for the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God!  So all that we have are words, all we have our words, all we have is testimony and scriptures
  30. the prayer of Paul's heart was to have utterance given unto him.  words are powerful
  31. one of the ways to measure success in your mission is by how many people you spoke to
  32. the next thing short of taking his live that Satan could do to stop the restauration was binding Joseph's tongue so he couldnt speak
  33. INSP: since serving others naturally increases your love for them, and when you serve others you serve God, then religious or not, serving others increases your love for God
  34. sometimes we feel the Spirit more strongly from an MTC director than we do from a member of the 12.  position doesn't equal spirit or conversion power
  35. if the Savior came down and asked me to teach Him like he asked John to baptize Him, i wouldn't wan to be unprepared
  36. divine or not, inspired or not, you can learn from every comp/area/situation/job/state/country you're in.  always so quit trying to find the meaning and just start trying to be better
  37. "at the end of your mission there will be an accounting.  and i hope you feel proud of how you spent your time" -sis preston
  38. i never knew i could be so filled with the Spirit
  39. when you street contact, just grab their hand and start shaking it and keep shaking it until you've introduced yourself and your message so they can't leave lol
  40. "we don't God to weep because we didn't do all we could to share His gospel"
  41. INSP: the way i can spread sunshine, be myself, and teach people who won't be baptized is to teach to their needs and love them.  because maybe they won't be converted but i'll have given them a part of something that could help them, like the Atonement, or that God love them
  42. Samuel Smith was the first missionary from our church
  43. Lucy Brimhall and Amanda Knight were mother and daughter and were the first women missionaries!
  44. "When you are on the Lord's errand, you are ENTITLED to His help" -Pres Monson
  45. INSP: I don't have to ask questions to find people's needs.  if i really pay attention, people will give away what's really up or what they really do/don't need
  46. INSP:  it hit me while i was here how freaking weird it is that i'm here because i never planned to do this and one day during a devotional i just started to laugh because i pictured myself 4-5 years ago looking at future me, sitting in an MTC devotional, and that person in the MTC would look VERY foreign to old me
  47. "we are agents, not objects, Brothers and Sisters.  Will you please treat your companion like an agent." -Stephen B allen
  48. "you can either pay for your own sin of you can let Him pay for them
  49. "He DIED for your sins, He REALLY wants you to use the steps of repentance
  50. Another reason I love Alma the Younger and Sons of Mosiah!  even when they were preaching against the church, they weren't doing it because they were evil, they really believed they were right!  So even when they were wrong they lived their lives trying to convince others of the truth.  after they were converted by the Spirit they changed what they taught, but their desire to preach the truth hadn't changed
  51. "you get to personalize this, preach MY gospel" -Elder Bednar
  52. Power comes from you by being righteous, authority was given to you when you were set apart
  53. "salvation is not easy because it was not a cheap price.  If He had to do so much, why shouldn't I have to?"
  54. SO COOL: READ EPH 1:13-14 then BD: EARNEST.  the Spirit is literally a taste of heaven. seriously read those scriptures
  55. we do not teach with the Spirit like the Spirit is a tool, we teach WITH the Spirit as though He is our companion, together.  INSP:  so if you're literally teaching with the Spirit, He literally needs time to speak.  we can't just yammer on and convert anyone because all they're being converted to is our words, they're not able to have their hearts changed.  if you simps can't recognize the spirit, then you are their uide, not the Spirit
  56. What kind of missionary I want to be
  57. "you're still (always) God's investigator" -Holland
  58. INSP: i want to love the people so much that i'd be willing to die for their sins.  that is the goal (not to die, but to have that love), because that is what Christ did
  59. MTC is a crash-course for finding your weaknesses
  60. "just get up and calm down and then watch God fill in the gaps" -marcia nielsen
  61. "do your very best then go home to your apartment and know He is there with you
  62. Fear is not Christlike
  63. bury your weapons of rebellion
  64. Doctrine of Proximity:  you have to be out and doing stuff in order to get the opportunities to recieve revelation or fulfill your purpose
  65. "my life will still be there when i get back, but it'll be better" -sister rushton
  66. for simps, be interested in their life.  Not just "ciao! how are you?  okay cool, so today...." (sounds obvious but it's hard when you're trying to make conversation in not your native language)
  67. "the simps will tell us which lesson they need to hear" -Holland
  68. "the natural man seeks wisdom in the dark" -pres trost
  69. INSP: the reason i continue to live the gospel despite my doubts is because the gospel saved me once from sin, so now i have that connection i can't turn my back on.  I cannot deny that experience.  I need to give people the reason, for them, to live the gospel.  I need to find that part of the Atonement that they need that will save them, not so they'll go to church every week, but so they can have peace in their life and a reason to seek further inspiration
  70. INSP: actually repenting is not a happy thing, it's something we have to feel Godly sorrow when using in order for us to really understand and have a desire to be better.  the results are happy! the fruit of repentance is totally worth it
  71. baptism is a witness to God and members that they have repented and will follow His commandments, it's not just for washing away sins
  72. i may struggle with my testimony in eternal families, but i know i felt the Spirit when my family was sealed and I can't doubt that, nor would i want to
  73. The Lord helps those who help themselves
  74. Jesus Christ taught His gospel, that He got from God.  He took that gospel and made it His.  He internalized it, and made it His.  I've been called to Italy because someone needs the gospel according to Jill.
  75. Cichone - buddy/chubby
  76. more about the manner in which Jesus taught
  77. that there's a heck of a lot more to being Christlike than just being nice to people.  He was an amazing teacher too.  Think about that, that being able to pull of a really good lesson is Christlike
  78. What does it mean to be called by a Prophet of God?  puts some pressure on us to be obedient and be good examples
  79. because i've learned so much from the same principles over and over again, i realize that the gospel has so much depth that maybe it's not infinite but there's plenty to learn in this lifetime up until the week we die.
  80. "Mission president, why am I here?"  "I don't know, you tell me" love that
  81. "you reap what you sow - if you have disbelief in your investigators, they will have disbelief as well"
  82. some people have to give up EVERYTHING for the gospel, like their families.  do i have the faith to allow that to happen?
  83. without goals, we'll end our lives having accomplished only a portion of our full potential -someone
  84. a missionary's call isn't necessarily to plant seeds, it's to reap where seeds have already been planted
  85. if He's preparing people for the gospel, we need to be in tune with the Spirit because He knows where they're at (physically) and we don't
  86. INSP:  I'm making finding needs into a game of solve-the-puzzle.  this is what jill does.  Jill is actually good at this. just listen and they'll say their problems!
  87. I learned about what the worth of souls is in the eyes of God
  88. I learned about Christ's doctrine and how to live it
  89. My faith has deepened
  90. I learned how to serve people better
  91. INSP: I learned how to find out what matters to me (it's by identifying what me regrets were)
  92. Figured out goals for first two transfers
  93. Proverbs 25:28 "he that hath no rule over his own spiit is like a city that is broken down and without walls."  I learned in what way I am a city that's broken down and without walls and wrote them down
  94. There's nothing else on His agenda than to help us.  Nothing.
  95. I have a right to pray for protection!  For my family!  For the gift of tongues!  For help!  It's my right and I earned it and God wants to bless me and He wants to bless all of us
  96. You're entitled to any gift if you're going to use it to bless the children of men
  97. "Why does God love you so much?  Because you're willing to put your life on the line for Him!  That's why!  Why does the Lord love you?  Because you're willing to be shepherds" -Stephen B Allen
  98. "There are angels here this night to help you.  Some of them are your ancestors."
  99. "God loves you and He's proud of you and you can do this!"
  100. I want to be strong in words like Nefi!
  101. I used to be a good leader but I'm really too afraid to be bold now and that's holding me back from standing up for my principles, being better myself, and helping others be better
  102. this mission needs to be a happy thing even when it's hard because you never know when people are looking at you.
  103. disciple = "one who learns" aka a student.  disciplined also comes from the same root word
  104. where should we stand if we want to qualify to tell others to come unto Christ?  You can't just tell people, "oh yeah, it's a great message.  I'm not gonna live it, but it'll really bless your life.  go."  as brother Donahoo said, "that's like pushing a wet noodle.  it doesn't work."
  105. you have to be firm before you can endure.  our testimonies need to be like granite because if we are sandstone, the world will wear away at our testimonies.  converts need to have that strength, too, before we can tell them, "okay good luck with your new life.  endure!"
  106. TRUE=TRUE,  FALSE=FALSE, but TRUE+TRUE+TRUE+FALSE=FALSE.  when we identify the falses in our lives, we need to change them into "trues" if we really want to have a strong testimony
  107. If agency is our most precious gift, then to give it to God is a REALLY big deal!  To say, "not my will but Thine be done" is a really big deal.
  108. i know less and i know more
Imma be honest, I'm really nervous for all the change that Italy will be for my life.  I almost want to just quit and go home so I can go back to the U and take some classes and come home at night and watch Netflix.  Like, I'm exhausted right now.  Who wants to feel that way for 18 whole months?  I'll tell you what, my appreciation for the Savior and His sacrifice has grown so much.  And every time I've taught "investigators" who are actually strong members themselves and told them that God loves them, it's been a spiritual experience.  One time I was pretending to be an investigator and some sisters showed me a video of Christ and I just started to bawl in class.  Missions are hard because you don't have to do them, it's a choice, you have crazy high expectations put on you by yourself and by others, but I know that if I just get up every day in Italy and really be happy that I'm spreading around the love and word of God, I think this could be the most rewarding thing I'll ever do in my life.  It's already blessed me so abundantly and I know this gospel will do the same for someone in Italy.  In the name of Gesu Cristo, amen.

Milan District at Provo Temple

Sister Missionaries for Milan District

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