Bonjour my dear readers! This week was really great. I feel like I've hit my stride here in the MTC this week. French is coming fast and easily, I feel the Spirit all the time, and I feel like our district is more united than ever.
This week started out better than any week. Last Tuesday night Elder Richard G. Scott of the Twelve Apostles spoke to us. It was an amazing discourse on prayer. First of all, he started out saying, "I almost feel like I've died and gone to Heaven....there are so many sisters here!" Apparently Elder Scott loves coming to the MTC, more than any other apostles. He specifically asks to come speak to the missionaries as often as possible. I think we could all feel his love and admiration. He said, " I wish I could have a personal interview with each of you--listening, sharing, weeping, laughing...That is impractical, but there is one with whom we can have such an interview, whenever we'd like." He was talking about our Father in Heaven, who loves and knows us perfectly. His talk on prayer was the best I've ever heard. I've really tried to make prayer more like an actual conversation. And the end of his talk he gave us an "Apostolic Blessing." He blessed us in learning our languages, that we can master them. He also blessed us to overcome any companion difficulties. "God will hlep make the path smoother." He also left us with a blessing of peace--our calls are inspired, we won't be asked to do what we can't. He said we can master these languages as we work hard and ask God for help, desiring to be more effective servants. He ended his talk by saying, "I know Jesus Christ lives, because I know Him." Wow. But it got even better. After the closing hymn, a sister got up to give the closing prayer, but Elder Scott cut her off. He came back to the pulpit and said, "Remember the Lord has called you to succeed, not to fail. He will not abandon you. He knows who you are and what you need. This is an opportunity to discover things about yourself you never knew--capacity to love and serve, hidden talents etc....He will fit you to this work." He must have really meant that to come up a second time! I feel so blessed to be here at the MTC when this talk was given. I was also in the Choir that day. We sang Nearer My God to Thee (did you know that that song is the story of Jacob's ladder? Very cool.)
Well, I've already seen this blessing work. Our district has improved dramatically in the language this last week. We PVL (Parlez Votre Langue--Speak your language) a lot and it is really helping! Our district has made some very special goals recently and it has really united us. We decided to pick a Christlike attribute to focus on each week. Last week was charity and this week is humility. We've really grown closer through this. Another goal we made was to "have more fun." Haha I love hanging out with 18 and 19 year old boys! They are hilarious. We have these rolling desk chairs and the Elders love to "take a lap," which means rolling around our building in the chairs...very very mature I know. hahah Also, our Elder from Thailand, Elder Ganjanakrit is great. The other Elders are obessed with putting his name to music. It goes surprizingly well with just about any song. My favorites so far have been the dwarf song from the Hobbit, and "Praise to the Man." haha Elder Eldridge also like to put it to rap and other "gentile" music. The Elders do many many more amusing things like that, but they'd be hard to explain. Just know that they keep me well entertained! Who needs music or movies? Oh and speaking of movies, nothing is more fun than watching the Testaments with a bunch of missionaries. It's funny because of all the awkward flirting/kissing in the movie. Whenever one of the characters did something romantic or flirty, all the missionaries laughed awkwardly.....hahahaha. I sat by Evan during it and we had a ball!
So every week all the missionaries in our branch have to prepare a talk and then the Branch presidency announces who is speaking in Sacrament meeting. I had a feeling that it would be me, I don't know why. So when they called my name I wasn't surprised at all. I felt really good about my talk and wanted to share it, so I was happy to give it! A lot of the missionaries in my district said they thought it would be me as well! Weird no? The topic was the Holy Ghost. I had just read all of Joseph Smith History earlier in the week and was astonished at how Joseph Smith described when he received the gift of the Holy Ghost (JSH v. 74). So I shared that story in my talk and everyone really liked it! I think by the end of my mission I won't be nervous to speak anymore :)
This week we had our first chance to teach in the TRC. I absolutely loved it! These were real people, not just our teachers pretending to be investigators. We were teaching people as themselves, and wow, I felt the Spirit really strongly. Especially in our second lesson. We taught this girl, a student at BYU, about faith. I asked her about Elder Holland's talk from last conference, where he told the story of the man who had little faith, but Jesus still healed his son. I bore my testimony that we don't have to know everything, in fact, only one person knows everything and that's God. I said that we needed to hold onto the faith that we already have, remembering the times when we have felt the Spirit testify to us. She is preparing to go on a study abroad to France, and she said she was scared about it, I testified that through faith comes power and courage. Ether 12 is a wonderful chapter on faith, you should all read it. Through faith we can do all things!
Okay, and last thing---I love having Evan here!! It is the BEST. He is going to be a great missionary. I think I saw him about five times on Sunday. When we watched Testaments together I felt like I was back at home:) Oh and BYU men's chorus came for Sunday devotional. I was able to talk to Tyler Mickelson and Phil Crepeau! So fun to see familiar faces:) Actually I see a lot of people I know here. Most of them are teachers, which makes all the other missionaries think I'm really old...hahaha. I love it here. I have 2,000 little brothers and sisters.
Three weeks from yesterday I will be on a plane to France. This is going pretty fast! Until next week!