Hola mi familia y mis amigos
Another excellent week at the MTC has gone by. Highlight of our past week:
Elder Holland and Elder Nelson came to speak for our Tuesday night devotional because it was the 50th anniversary celebration of the MTC. (And for anyone who is a member of our church reading this, both men are members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which is the second highest group in our church. So both of them coming on the same day was one of the most exciting things that could happen at the MTC. Missionaries were lined up two hours beforehand). Elder Holland only spoke for a few minutes but bore a powerful testimony of the truthfulness the message we are going across the world to teach. Elder Nelson spoke mostly about the history of missionary work. He talked about two people in particular that interested me: Samuel Smith (the brother of Joseph Smith) and Harriet Nye. Samuel was the first missionary for the Church way back in the beginning of the 1800s. After getting rejected from a few hotels on his first night because he was Mormon, he spent the night under an apple tree. I'm glad we at least have an apartment to sleep in. And Harriet Nye was the first female called to preach the gospel (in 1898). Both of them were impressive people. And we also learned an interesting fact: there have been more than 1 million missionaries total.
Nothing has changed drastically in the past week. Everyone has settled into the daily schedule. Some of the missionaries in our district who come from farming communities have struggles with 10ish or more hours a day studying, but they are working hard. Our choir director point something interesting out to us this week which I hadn't thought of before: Christ never felt guilt until the Garden of Gethsemene. It made the Atonement all the more amazing to me. We have a lifetime of dealing with guilt, but it starts with feeling only a little guilt when we are little kids. It literallly passes all my understanding how much pain the Atonement actually encompassed.
And on an interesting side note for anyone not of our faith: if you want to have a general idea of what our church is all about, I would recommend reading "Our Search For Happiness" by M. Russel Ballard. It's a short book and is directed toward people who aren't members of our faith but want to understand what it's all about without trying to convince them of it's truth (he says that all in the first few pages).
I hope all is well with everyone back home (or whereever you happen to be when you're reading this).