Thursday, July 9, 2015

I Am Starting to Understand What Being A Missionary Means

Missionaries on the temple grounds
Provo temple

Elder Shirley and his companion, Elder Newman

Outside on 4th of July evening, waiting for fireworks

The one and only firework seen

July 9, 2015

Hey everyone!

The days here at the MTC are pretty much the same everyday, but I do have a few highlights for this past week.

We finished teaching our first "investigator" this past week. The day after we finished with him, he came walking into our classroom. As it turns out, he's actually one of our teachers! It was cool to get to hear the feedback from him about our teaching. And he is an awesome teacher and he makes class fun.

The next highlight of the week was the 4th of July! The whole day we had class like usual, but that night we had a special devotional. All of the countries flags that are here at the MTC were walked to the front of the room. It was awesome to get to see how "far and wide" we are coming from and going to to preach the gospel! We were released to go outside to watch fireworks afterwards, but we couldn't really see anything. After about twenty minutes of being disappointed, we walked back inside and got ready for bed. As luck would have it, the stadium of fire firework show started at 10:30, the time we go to bed. We were laying in bed and we could hear a massive firework show going on outside. So after being disappointed about not seeing any fireworks, I was even more disappointed when I heard a huge firework show a little later and couldn't even watch it!

For every fast Sunday in the MTC, we have a mission conference. All the MTC gathers to listen to our MTC presidency. President Burgess, the MTC President, gave a great talk. He spoke on trusting in the Lord and about our calling as missionaries. He said that we are set apart as literal representatives of Jesus Christ. He also mentioned that like Peter, James, and John, we all dropped our "nets" or our past lives to come serve the Lord. To be called a literal representative of Christ really changes how you think. I get to be called by the title of "Elder," a title only shared by other missionaries and general authorities. I feel like I am starting to understand what being a missionary means!

Every Tuesday night, we have a general authority devotional. This past Tuesday, Elder Condie of the seventy spoke to us. He spoke on the Restoration and the power of it. He said that the Restoration was the foundation of our religion. The Spirit could be felt by everyone as he spoke. He said "If you want to know if Joseph Smith really did see what he said he saw in the sacred grove, just ask God. He was there!" After he finished speaking, our closing song was "Joseph Smith's First Prayer." The power in the that song and in the room could be felt. It bore witness to me of the truthfulness of the Restoration. The Holy Ghost truly does testify of the truth of the gospel!

Last highlight of the week was my companion yesterday. Elder Newman wasn't feeling well and had a headache. One of the Sisters in our district gave him some medicine for his headache. The medication kicked in and it made him act super weird! He acted like he was lost and would say and do some pretty funny and weird things. He's totally fine now, but it was pretty hilarious.

The language is still coming along. It can be pretty frustrating sometimes. But as I keep learning and praying for strength, I know I'll be able to learn the language! I can't wait to see what another week brings here at the MTC! Oh, and I've been enjoying the food here, but maybe a little too much. I've put on a solid 5 pounds! Hopefully I won't gain anymore! Have a great week everyone!

-Starsi Shirley 

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