Wednesday marked four weeks here in the MTC, and Saturday will be the completion of my first month of my mission! I’m 1/24th of the way finished! It’s going by WAY too fast. I really want to apply for an extension already haha.
This week was very normal. We had a lot of class and learned a lot of Spanish and a lot of stuff about the Gospel. This week, Bishop Edgley of the presiding bishopbric came and spoke to us! It was way awesome! He actually was an answer to our companionship’s prayers.
On Tuesday, we went to the Referrel Center (RC) and were calling people. My companion, Elder Petersen, loves talking to people and he’s really good and getting people to trust and talk to him. He has a list of about four or five people that told him to call back. We just call people who ordered a Book of Mormon, or a Church DVD and see if they recieved it and if they would like the missionaries to bring a Book of Mormon and tell them more. So Elder Petersen has been talking to these people for a little while. One of them is a 61 year old woman who is dying of cancer unfortunatley. He’s been a good friend to her and talked to her for 30 minutes or so when he first called her. So we called back to talk to her again, (all of us are on the line listening but only Elder Petersen is talking to them), and this big black guy answers the phone. He starts interrogating Elder Petersen and asking him who Jesus is. Elder Petersen kept testifying that he is the Son of God and that he died for our sins so taht we can be saved, and just other things about Christ. But this guy, Byron, just kept asking. He was like “Are you Mormon?” and then another time he said was “No, not WE believe, what do YOU believe.” So Elder Petersen did a decent job, but he was scared silly haha it was pretty funny/intense. Bryon has a TON of faith in Christ. He sounds like a great man. He doesn’t belong to a specific faith, he just believes he will be saved because he has faith in Christ. If we get a chance to talk to him again, we’re going to try and show him why belonging to a church, specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has the complete truth and authority from God, is important. But we finally passed his test, and he said we could speak to this woman. But he said he had to disconnect the phone to take it upstairs for her, since she is sick in bed, and he told us this wasn’t a joke and that we need to call back in one minute. So we hang up and call back about 3 minutes later because Elder Petersen was so shaken up haha. And nobody answered. It just kept ringing. I don’t know if he didn’t reconnect it or if something maybe happened or whatnot, but we weren’t able to get ahold of her. We’re going to try again tomorrow, and we really hope someone answers. This family sounds like they have great faith in Christ, and we want to try to put them on the true path.
We also had a chat in the RC as well. This person was really messed up. It could’ve just been some punk that was messing around, or someone who had a way screwed up life. We didn’t know, but we were trying to help them. They said they’d want to try to come to one of our Church buildings on Sunday, so we were going to get them a link, and Elder Petersen closed a window that apparently is linked to the window with the chat and we lost them because everything closed. It was such a disappointing day. But as we were leaving, I told them that we would have a good night. I felt like the speaker would comfort us. So we go to the devotional and Bishop Edgley spoke about how we may not know what will happen with the seeds that we plant in people’s hearts. He has had many people come and tell him that he baptized them, when he didn’t. But he taught them as a missionary, and they didn’t get baptized at the time, but eventually they joined the Church later and they were forever thankful for him for being their first missionary. And at the very end he told us not to get discouraged. I wish I had my journal with me right now so I could look it up exactly, but that talk just made Elder Petersen, Elder Allen, and me feel so much better. We knew that even though some mistakes had happened that day, we planted the seed of truth in those people’s heart, and that we don’t know what will happen with those seeds. It gave us hope and made us feel much better. It’s important to not get disappointed and to continue to press on. I love the RC. It’s real. Everything else here is all roleplay. It’s realistic roleplay, and you feel the Spirit and stuff, but the RC is the best. I love calling people and asking them if they’ve got their DVDs or Books of Mormon. I’ve even gotten a few people to have the missionaries come to their house with a Book of Mormon! It’s so cool. The first time someone said that they would like to have the missionaries come over, I was like “REALLY?” haha so it was cool. I’m much more confident with talking to people on the phone and testifying to them than I did the first week. I just wish I could get more chats. I feel like I can express myself extremely well over the chats, but I often don’t get the chance because not many people chat, and a lot of the time they are just trying to ask stupid questions.
It was great to go to the temple today and have a day to relax and write letters and stuff. The MTC is awesome. I can’t believe I’ve already been here for a month! One more month and I’m in the field!! Today I got my Ecuador t-shirt. It was only $7.77, which is the perfect price, because 7 represents perfection. So pretty much my t-shirt is awesome. It has a bunch of facts about Ecuador along with the flag, so it’s pretty cool. I’m excited to get to Ecuador and buy a sweet fútbol jersey!
Well, I’m pretty much out of time. This next week is the new mission president seminar week, which means four or five Apostles are going to be here throughout the week!! We’ve even heard rumors that Elder Holland is going to speak to us on Friday, which would be AWESOME. He’s my favorite Apostle when it comes to missionary work. So inspiring. Also, his talk, “None Were With Him” is AMAZING. Watch the video of it on YouTube and read it. It really makes Christ’s Atonement real. I love studying the word of God every day. It’s awesome!
I love you all!
Elder Lane Sawyer