July 8, 2014

7/7/14 - MTC Week 5

Well another week has flown by. I have officially 4 weeks left in the MTC! This week has been amazing!!! (LIKE USUAL) On Monday the temple was closed so we had lots of extra time. We took our first naps here at the MTC and it was SO nice!! (That is allowed here on P-day.) In class that night we had an amazing lesson about recognizing the Spirit. We watched this video by Elder Bednar. He talked about how many of us think we have to have a huge prompting to have the Spirit. A lot of people today always ask the question "was that me or the Spirit?” Bednar said in the video- STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT. If we are being obedient, praying, reading the scriptures, having clean thoughts and just being a good person in general, he will send the Spirit to us in ways we don't think about. In his talk he told a story of how when he was a missionary in Germany he had to send President Packer (of the 12) and his wife on a train. Elder Bednar didn't remember doing this but later in life Elder Packer reminded him that he (Bednar) gave Packer 20$ just in case they got hungry. On the train his wife’s passport was not acceptable and they were about to get thrown off the train but Elder Packer gave the 20$ to the soldier and he accepted it and the passport. Elder Bednar didn't know at the time that he was having a prompting from the Spirit, he just thought "hmm, maybe they will get hungry I will give them some money just in case." Sometimes we don't know in the moment if it was a prompting. God will lead us if we are being good. I was really glad I got to hear this lesson because I was always so worried about trying to discern between me and the spirit. Most the time if it is a good thought and will help, then it is from the Spirit. Later in the week I was reading in Moroni 7 (one of my new favorite chapters) and it confirmed what I heard about the Spirit. Moroni 7:16 "For behold the spirit of Christ is given to every man that he may know good from evil. wherefore I show unto you the way to judge: for every thing which inviteth to do good and to persuade to believe in Christ is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ, wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God." If it is good, then it is of God. 

On Tuesday I was reading in Ether 12 and I read each verse like three times! LOVE LOVE LOVE it all but I specifically like verse 6 "faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." There have been so many times in my life where I wouldn't want to go through the trial of faith first, but there is no way we can receive answers, help, anything until we have faith. It is so simple. Later in that chapter it gives like 5 examples about other book of Mormon stories where they had faith first and because of that they received. (If it is God’s will of course.) I also like how Ether was worried about not being able to write and the Lord said "and if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I know that is everyone's favorite scripture but it truly is so powerful! When I was reading this I usually think that if I come to Christ--he will make the things I am bad at become some of my best strengths.  I used to think, “Cool, God will fix all my faults.”  But as I read it this time my mind went straight to the grace of God. The only reason we can have our weakness become strong is because of the atonement. Jesus Christ suffered for our weaknesses so that we can call on him for help and he will make up the difference. I always thought of the atonement for forgiveness of sins.  Reading this scripture it reminded me that he suffered for our weaknesses so that we can become better people and more like him. Then I put it into the repentance process. In the past, I have been really confused because I heard in a talk that said we need to be repenting everyday and I was like, "I am on a mission.. I am not making big sins…how can I repent everyday?" Then I read this and thought repentance isn't just for repenting of sins. We can repent (in Thai repent is klabcay which literally means return to heart) to become better at things or think better thoughts or to love more etc. Repenting is just tuning to Jesus Christ and asking him for help because only though him we can do those things. I am SO grateful for the grace of God and because of the atonement he can make up the difference!! Later in the week I was talking to Sister Snookomp from Thailand and she was telling me that when she was Buddhist they believed that there is no way to clean sin and that the only way for them to make up for it a little is by doing good for others. I was thinking how sad that would be.  And not knowing that you can have help from someone much greater and much better, and not knowing that you can be clean from sin completely. I can't even imagine not knowing that... THAT IS WHY I AM SO EXCITED TO GO TELL THE PEOPLE IN THAILAND ABOUT THE ATONEMENT AND ABOUT GOD AND JESUS CHRIST!!!! 

On Wednesday, it was literally a perfect day! We taught N))n. We had a member- brother Oad (Brother Shiply our other teacher) come teach with us because we wanted him to explain what he had to give up about Buddhism to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. It was so good to hear brother Oad's conversion story. I think it helped our investigator a lot! It was also interesting hearing about what Buddhists believe. After Brother Oad talked I had a strong feeling to read a section in the Intro page of the Book of Mormon. I had him read the last 2 paragraphs and it hit us all so strong. I promised him that if he read the book of Mormon and prayed about he would know that it is the truth. It was AMAZING! It is crazy how when you testify of things you are also testifying to yourself! When I read the book of Mormon I always skip over the intro page but it is so so so powerful. If you have a spare moment in your day, read it and focus on the promises it gives! At the end of the lesson we had our average small talk about what he was learning in English class and how everything was going and then he asked me what I was learning in Thai. I told him I was learning about colors. That day I had a bright pink skirt on and he asked, "let me guess your favorite color is pink?"  And then he just busted up laughing for like a minute.  My face went bright red and I just accepted it and laughed with him and said, "Yep, I LOVE pink!" After our lesson we had the opportunity to host the new missionaries coming in! Everyone in my district wore pink because, "we wear pink on Wednesdays".  It is funny because all the girls had to borrow a piece of my pink clothing! Hosting was quite the experience.  It was really sad to be honest.  We would stand at the curb, welcome them and then watch them cry and say goodbye to their families.  My favorite part about hosting was cheering them up after they left their family.  I just told them how fun the MTC is and how much they will LOVE it! The only weird part was that they were all leaving before me.  Hosting reminded me of the day I came into the MTC. I remember right as I got in someone said, "welcome to the MTC!" and I was still so shocked that I was actually there that I said, "you too" to someone who had been there for weeks!  Missionaries thrive off of saying, "welcome to the MTC", to the new missionaries on Wednesdays.  After hosting we were all so exhausted and sweaty!  My whole district was just laughing about how if this is how we look and feel in Provo, Thailand is going to be death!   We talked a lot to our amazing teachers and they are all geniuses. I look up to each of my teachers so much. It is funny because all the teachers and missionaries in my district are SO SO SO SMART- like can speak 5 languages and got a 35 on the ACT smart!! 

On Thursday, I finished the Book of Mormon! There is no way that the book is not true.  All the promises made in the Intro page were true. The instruction that I receive from the Book of Mormon has made me the most happy in life. I love the book of Mormon so much! I know that each time I read it I grow closer and closer to Christ! I have come to truly know that Christ is my best friend through reading the book of Mormon and praying.  In class we studied the story of King Lamoni and Ammon. We learned that before Ammon even started teaching Lamoni, he was serving him and loving him and asking him questions and truly caring about him. THEN came a change in King Lamoni’s heart where he wanted to learn. As we related that to missionary work I could see how important it was to really care about your investigators! Before the mission I always thought you just go in and start teaching, but I am so glad it is not like that. Some of my favorite parts of lessons are getting to know the person by trying to understanding them and showing my love by listening and trying to serve them. When you truly love and serve a person they will see that and want to understand you better which always lead to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a really good lesson. At dinner we totally got chastised. My district was being so loud (like usual) and the president of the MTC came up and said to us, "remember, quite reverence" AHHAH we were all dying. One of the elders in our district has a very distinct laugh that anyone can recognize from anywhere and every time he laughs (which is like every second) we can't help but laugh too... SOOO we are laughing all the time! In class we switched over to the script hymn books and it is the so awkward, funniest part of the whole day. Basically the teacher sings and we just mumble the words as he sings and then the last word we all know and say with such conviction!  I guess it's a thing where you just have to be there. It was so funny! 

The Forth of July was a party at the MTC! I got decked out in red, white, and blue! I was feeling really patriotic! (Thanks to Caitlin who sent me a lot of America stuff.) I just LOVE America so much! I was singing patriotic songs all day.  We did the usual stuff…class-study-class-study-study-study. We got to teach n))n. We were planning on teaching about the restoration but our plans changed because he had other questions about baptism. We talked about it and then we committed him to be baptized on July 26th.  He was so excited. He has such a desire to learn. The only hard thing is that his whole life and family revolve around Buddhist culture. He is nervous that if he tells his parents they will kick him out. I guess in Thailand that is one of the hardest things about switching religions. This night was a special one because we were having a special devotional! We got to watch 17 Miracles. Oh my goodness, that movie made me cry!  As I was watching it, I realized how much God is watching out for us and willing to help us when we obey him. There were so many miracles that happened because of their faith and diligence. After that we all got to go outside and watch the stadium of fire fireworks.  They were so much fun!  As all the missionaries watched them we sang (again) a bunch of songs! It was so much fun. That night we didn't get back to our room till about 11 (don't worry we had permission). It was a good day :)

Saturday started out with TRC! Ok, we had the coolest experience.  We talked to the first girl (a native) and she was so cute because every time I understood or said something perfectly she would get so excited for me!  The second girl was also a native. We walked in and she told us her name was Pl))y.  We thought it was funny because that is the same name as our investigator! As we went on, she was telling us that she got baptized about 2 years ago.  Then I started putting it together, I had a feeling that the Pl))y we were teaching at the time was the same Pl))y that is our investigator.  I could just feel it! At the end of the lesson I got an overwhelming feeling of love for her.  Randomly I just straight up said, "I can feel that God loves you so much!" We were all shocked when I said that but I just had to express it! After that I asked if she knew Sister Hershi and she told us that Sister Hershi taught her and helped her become a member of the church. I was right! After that she asked for my email so that she could email me when I was in Thailand. It was such an amazing experience. My testimony grew so much stronger through this experience. (Sister Hershi is our teacher who is also acting as our investigator Pl))y who she taught a couple years ago.) I got a chance to see the difference between Pl))y 2 years ago (my investigator now, who is very non responsive about the gospel) and Pl))y now who had such a strong light of Christ within her. The change and difference was huge. It was an amazing experience! The rest of the day was just like normal.  We taught N))n and he was so receptive to the Spirit. We had him read the fist vision and he put it all together himself. He said "all the churches have some truth but only the church of Jesus Christ has all the truth?" His mind was blown. It was awesome to see him put that together! I love seeing him progress and come closer to Christ. I can just see it in his eyes!

Sunday was amazing! It was fast Sunday and I started this new thing about being positive on Fast Sundays! It went really well. Our fast and testimony meeting was amazing! Everyone was crying because the Spirit was so strong! At temple walk I saw my Mom for like 10 seconds.  She was driving home from the student ward and I started waving and ran to the car. She told me she loved me and I told her that I was so happy and then she was off.  It was so good to see her!!!:):) We watched this amazing talk by Elder Bednar. He was talking about the difference between principles, doctrine and application! I learned so much! Everything is in the Doctrine! He gave so many good examples and it is really going to help me in my study time! It was such a great Sunday! 

Well today we got to clean the temple! It was the most amazing thing ever! We got to go in and clean the chandeliers. It is funny because I remember when I first got endowed my brother-in-law, Andrew, was telling me that when they clean the chandeliers they take the whole thing down and take off all the crystals and clean each one by hand! He laughed and was totally joking! BUT they really do that!!!! It was such a cool experience being able to clean the Lords house! 

Thank you to all who send letters and packages! I appreciate them so much! It is literally like Christmas! Four weeks left! I am so excited! I love it here! Peace and blessings everyone! Have a good week full of the Spirit!

- Sister Herrmann
Sister Alley and I won for most patriotic! 
The 4th of July rocked! 
My district on P-Day! 
Putting up flaggggs! 
Hanging out on the temple grounds
I had to get another shot! Mom are you proud? 

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