News from the MTC. The food is the same as always (a little risky, but you can find things if you look for them). And the spirit is just as wonderful and permeating as ever. We were able to hear from a lot of great powerhouse speakers this week, including Elder Oak's wife- Kristen Oaks who talked about testimony. She was so fun and is so knowledgable. She talked a lot about how when we bear our testimonies we can keep it simple and let people know the core things we believe, that God is our loving Heavenly Father, that Christ is his son and that through him we can repent, that Joseph Smith was a prophet for our day and that he restored temples and the Book of Mormon, and that we have a prophet on the earth today to guide us. She then gave us these cute little "testimony gloves" that have pictures on each of the fingers of Christ, God, Joseph Smith, Thomas S. Monson, and the temple. So fun!
Then Sunday night we heard from Sheri L. Dew who talked about becoming a greater seeker of knowledge. I love that concept of continual growth, it seems the more I learn that instead of satiating my thirst I just want to learn more. She talked about how if we are to fulfill our missions, not just as missionaries, but in life, that there are three things she would suggest we all learn:
1. Who we are- D&C 138; we are God's children and he has a purpose for us
2. What the Savior did for us when he atoned and what He is willing to do for us now - She talked specifically about how she has felt the comforting and healing power of the atonement in her life and the promise that Christ makes in Luke 4:18 when he says that he has come to healt the broken hearted.
3. How the Lord speaks to and guides us- there are a lot of things that can distract us in life, but if we learn to heed what the Lord wants us to do then we can be guided in our lives.
I have realized while in the MTC that my sense of time has been somewhat diminished. Last Wednesday I was helping to host new missionaries (again) as they came into the MTC and I realized that it was Veterans day. Then on Friday we all realized that it was Friday the 13th, but we didn't realize until about 9PM at which point my companion, Sister Kelley, exclaimed "make sure not to pull any pranks, just because it is Friday the 13th." We had to remind her that that traditional is actually for April Fool's day. Who knows what I will be like in a year and a half when I come back from Korea.
I love my companions and they are a constant source of joy. One of my companions, Sister West, is a little bit hard of hearing and so although she can hear what people say when they are talking directly to her, she often has a hard time picking up on things around her, like if something is happening in the hallway or if someone whispers something under her breath. I think this contributes to the fact that most people think she has no sense of humor, when really she just can't hear them. However, the other day we were all laughing and I realized that there was no way that they were laughing at the same thing I was, so we went around and said what it was that we were laughing at and when it came to her she simple said, "I'm so used to not hearing things that I've learned just to laugh when everyone else does." It made us laugh so more, but the more I think about it, the more I realize what an eduring quality that is. Imagine if you could laugh at any time, you could lighten any mood.
Just a thought that my Branch President left us with this week:
"Let obedience be our quest. When obedience ceases to be an irratant then we know we have made a true change of heart." I think there's actually more to it than that, but I can't remember all of it. I just know that I realized the more that we align our will with God's then the more we are able to become truely free to be ourselves.
I love you all,
Sister Rebecca O'Bryan