January 20, 2014

Hi everyone,

Things at the MTC are going great. Elder Bednar spoke at the fireside Tuesday, and it was really great. He talked a lot about how the priesthood is like an umbrella in the rain. We all take shelter under it, and men are just privileged to hold it up. He also talked about the Book of Mormon and Testimonies. He gave a very short but powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith. He read a Quote that said that “no wicked man could write [the Book of Mormon] and no good man would”.
We sang “Nearer my God to Thee” at the beginning. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it was really powerful. As we sang, I felt the Spirit warm my heart. This week we talked a lot about recognizing the Spirit. I have spent a lot of time in PMG and the scriptures trying to discover how to know when I am feeling the spirit and what it is telling me to do.

Sister Sheri Dew spoke at the fireside last night. She spoke about four things that we should/would all learn on our missions.

1. Whoever you are, you have a divine mission.

2. The Atonement is a gift of power and healing.

3. How to talk to God.

4. How to gain access to God’s highest spiritual gifts.

All of those things really interested me, but what interested me most was the third one about how God talks to us/me. She said that we all learn at least one language, the language of the Spirit. She then went on to say that all of the rules of the language of the Spirit are in the scriptures. We can all learn how to speak to God when we practice and seek that knowledge. As we pray for the ability to discern what the spirit is telling us, the Holy Ghost will be more able to teach us how God speaks to us and how we can respond.

This week with Brother Devonas we talked a lot about how the Spirit speaks to us and the best ways to keep the Spirit as a constant companion. He invited us to pray every night to know the Will of God. I have noticed that as I had done that I was able to hear the Spirit more clearly than I had before. One of the things we talked about was that the Spirit will sometimes talk to us through other people. The next day during additional study, we slacked off a bit and didn’t make the best use of our time. Right after we finished, one of the Elders said, “we probably shouldn’t do that again”. All of a sudden, I got this feeling in my gut, and I just knew that the Spirit had been trying to tell me that, but I had not listened.

The days here at the MTC have started to all run together. My journal entries seem to but exact copies of the days before. We tell time by how long until gym time or bedtime it is because that is the only time we are not in the classroom. My days are defined by the little miracles I am privileged to see in my life and the lives of others.

Elder Clarke and Elder Nilson passed the auditions for special musical numbers with “Be still my soul.”  They were given two different meeting to perform in and asked to come back with another piece. In choir this week we sang “Precious Savior Dear Redeemer” to a different tune that usual. The choir director talked about how the one in the hymn book is too “swashbucklely”. The music we are singing was entered in an ensign competition, and he directed the choir that sang it. It is very powerful. I sing in the tenor section so I don’t see Elder Boyce, and this will be Elder Giles first Tuesday devotional, so I will see if he sings tenor. Elder Giles is in the West campus with all the Spanish speakers, so I only see him Sunday and Tuesday nights. I expect he will sing bass with Elder Boyce. Anyway, like I was saying, I sing tenor but some of the notes in the last two songs have been just at the top of my range. I have been getting better and singing everyday with the Zone has really helped.

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Elder Billings and Elder Boyce

Elder Billings and Elder Boyce are friends from California.  Elder Boyce is going to the Czech/Slovak mission in a couple of weeks.

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