Monday, February 24, 2014

Valentine's Day at the MTC

Today has been great, but stressful yet humorous. Let me explain. We woke up today to find our residence covered in hearts and our district was an explosion of pink because DUH, it's VALENTINE'S DAY! Why not go all out? It's the first time I can enjoy the love without feeling bitter, because let's face it--none of the missionaries are with their significant others except for the seniors, and that's quite alright. This morning, we had breakfast with our classroom instructor, Brother Bishop, and while we were sitting at our table, three Elders came by and gave us a cut out heart with a scripture and "Happy V-Day!" written on them. You can only imagine Brother Bishop's face when he looked up the scripture on his phone. Songs of Solomon 1:2. Look it up, and be prepared to laugh your socks off! His face was SO priceless! After breakfast, we went back to our residence and got our laundry. Just wait. It's boring now, but just wait. We got to the laundry room and I preceded to load my colors in the washer. I felt that I should put my Micky Mouse pajama bottoms, ya know the ones that have red on them, in with the colors, but of course I ignored it because at home, it was completely fine to put them in with my whites. I think you know where I'm going with I put my whites in. Thirty minutes pass, I open the washer and BAM HAPPY VALENTINES DAY. Pink. Everywhere. OH NO! So I currently have pink shirts and pink g's. Sister Gubler and I went to the bookstore and bought bleach and vinegar (apparently vinegar helps cancel out the yellow stains resulting from bleach?) and now I'm rewashing my that load. I took the pajamas out and anything else that wasn't JUST white. I am NEVER doing that again! Ha! Sister Gubler just said, "My sweet, sweet companion...." No worries though, I told Heavenly Father that I was sorry for not following the prompting he gave me. Whoops. That just proves how important obedience is, right?

So this week has definitely been a growing experience. Sister Gubler and I kind of hopped on our high horses and thought we were just incredible missionaries, until Tuesday when we decided to goof off and not prepare a lesson because we just thought, "We got this! Teaching by the spirit! YEAH!" Well, we met with our TRC investigator, Sarah Mae, and were quite quickly pushed off our pedestals. She bombarded us with things we hadn't prepared. We didn't have the spirit with us. We didn't know the answers. She brought up Revelation to disprove the Book of Mormon and said that it can't be the word of God, and so and so forth. It was awful. Later on, we had our progressing investigator lesson with Chad, and it was the same thing. See, Chad was a perfect investigator. He did what we asked him to do, and things we didn't even ask him to do yet, and it's been great. But that day, he didn't read the Book of Mormon, he didn't pray. To make it worse, he didn't understand our lesson on the Plan of Salvation. Ugh. It was awful. Sister Gubler and I were so discouraged. That night, I prayed to my Heavenly Father and told Him that I would do everything I could to be a good missionary. I'd study the lessons in Preach My Gospel and the points made in the pamphlets. I told Him that I would fully focus. The next day, I lived up to that promise. I studied the Plan of Salvation. I prayed. I asked Him to guide me. I was fully focused. That day, we went in to teach Sarah and we were a little scared. But when we got there, Sister Gubler said things that she hadn't even thought of such as: Revelation isn't the last book written. From that point on, after having said that, she opened her heart and mind to the message of the gospel. It had been SO difficult to get her to listen about the First Vision. So, I felt prompted to go ahead and share that story. I recited JSH 1:16-17, which I had made a goal to memorize and I had. The spirit then filled the room. It was so incredible. She committed to read 3 Nephi 11 and pray about it. AH. It was so great! We were so grateful to Heavenly Father.

When we went in to our lesson with Chad that night, it was the same thing. We were prepared. We were exactly obedient and we were blessed for it. We decided to reteach The Plan of Salvation. He was still a little fuzzy about the Atonement and how it'll help us at judgment. So, I used the analogy of the "personal file". I said, "Every time we sin, serious or minor, Heavenly Father keeps a record of it. Through Jesus Christ and His infinite Atonement, those things can be discarded from our file. Shredded. Forgotten about. Vanished. The only way we can do that, though, is through repentance. First, we recognize our faults, then we ask for forgiveness from Heavenly Father, then we make a change. If we will do that every time we sin, there will be nothing on our record that will keep us from entering into the presence of our Heavenly Father. We will stand spotless before God." That really hit Chad. He understood the importance of the Atonement. Another question he had was, "Why is it so great to live with God? I mean, I moved out of my parent's house and I don't see them all the time, and I'm fine." I asked him what he felt is the happiest place on Earth. He said it was the mountain. So, I said, "Chad, picture living on the mountain for eternity. Picture your family there. Imagine you have an infinite peace of mind." He smiled and said that it was an awesome feeling, and I said, "Chad. Multiply that by infinity and THAT is the Celestial Kingdom." From that point, he recognized the desire he has to return to our Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father blesses us when we are exactly obedient to His commandments. He blesses me when I'm exactly obedient to the mission rules, and when I use my time wisely. His blessings have been so evident during my time here, and it's so much easier to recognize them when there are no distractions and when I've lost myself in the work of the Lord.

I love being a missionary. I've come to understand why it's so important to follow the promptings of the spirit and to say the things that we feel we should say because those things, doctrinal or personal, are things that someone might need to hear in order to move forward in the gospel. I know this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. I know that he was given the power and authority to translate The Book of Mormon. There is no greater cause for Joseph Smith and many others to have died than for this gospel. I would die for this gospel. I didn't realize how serious I was about that feeling until Sister Gubler expressed that in our lesson with Sarah. But it's true. This is the Lord's church. I've sacrificed so much to be here, and I regret nothing! I hope you all have a great week, and you're all in my thoughts and prayers! Happy Valentine's Day! Remember, if you don't feel loved today, you're wrong. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have an infinite love for YOU!

Sister Tyler


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