Monday, December 30, 2013

I did have a good Christmas, there were a lot of activities, so it was an extremely long day. Elder Bednar was the apostle that came to speak to us! He answered a lot of questions that have been on my mind and he even answered some questions that I didn't know I had till he answered them. The way he did the meeting was really interesting. He had his iPad with him and got some volunteers to pass out two hundred cell phones among the two thousand missionaries. Then he told us all to write a phone number down, and who ever had a cell phone to text any questions they had to that number and they would pop up on his iPad. He would then look through all the messages on his iPad and decide which one's he thought he would like to answer. He said it was his first time doing this, I would say it went pretty well. I thought it was kind of dumb at first but it ended up being an outstanding meeting. It was pretty cool because the meeting was broadcasted worldwide and he answered a question from an elder in the England MTC. I'm kind of going to list off a few things he said that I wrote down that really stood out to me. First of all he told all of us after the cell phones got handed out that if we tried to call home or keep the cell phones he said "I will hunt you down and do bad things to you." it was suuuuuper funny to hear that from an apostle. One of the first questions he answered was "why do I feel so inadequate?" He said that if you, as a missionary called by God doesn't feel inadequate then something is wrong with you. That came as a comfort to all of us. He described the Atonement as being for people who feel inadequate and it enriches people's natural capacities. He straight up told us that he didn't have what it takes to be an apostle. He said that it is only through Christ and the changing power of the Atonement that allows him and others to do things beyond their natural capacities. He said that knowing who you are will help you be able to resist temptation. The thing that stood out to me the most that he talked about was about repentance. I guess I have always thought of the repentance process as being able to remove all of the burdens as soon as you've gone through the steps of repentance. But Elder Bednar said that when you repent, all of the consequences of that sin are not removed. He said only through diligence in the gospel, and over usually a long period of time can you lessen or possible remove all of the consequences of the sin(s). The last thing that he said that really stood out to me was that the power of the Holy Ghost is more powerful than any of the five senses that we have. So those are the main things that I got out of the meeting, I wished he could of stayed longer because it was a reeeeaallly good meeting. There was a famous jazz band that came and played for about an hour, they were super super good. I couldn't of asked for a better Christmas at the MTC.
So I didn't get my reassignment.....turns out I'm staying seven weeks, not six. I'm pretty bummed about it because a lot of Elders and Sisters who got here the same day as I did have already gotten their reassignments. My whole branch is confused about it. Supposedly we are a special group because we were here over thanksgiving and Christmas, and that's why we have to stay another week. It doesn't make sense, but it is what it is. The MTC isn't bad by any stretch but it gets tiring doing the same routine on a small campus for over a month. I'm just really, really ready to get out into the field!

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