Sunday, July 1, 2012

June 22 and June 29

22 June 2012

Letter to family/friends:

This week went very well, we've been teaching a lot more than usual.  I believe I'm beginning to learn how to listen to the Spirit when I teach.  It's important to teach to people’s needs, not just to teach someone a lesson so they can be baptized.  As a companionship the three of us have a lot more unity now, the lessons all go smoothly now, except every once in a while when one of our brains stops working and we can't remember words in English or Spanish.  Yet we have grown a lot in the last week even though this week felt like it was only 3 days, before I know it I'll be walking through the jungles and dirt roads of Nicaragua!

Speaking of Nicaragua I've been talking with a Nicaraguan who is from Southern Managua.  He told me I'm going to love it there.  He wants me to go and baptize his family.  He was telling me about one city that has the best beach in Central America, and about the Island in Lake Nicaragua that has 2 volcanoes.  I'm very excited to learn more from him!  Luckily he is easy to understand in Spanish and I like his accent.

This is day 10 or 11 I believe, that I have only been speaking in Spanish, except when necessary.  It can be mentally trying at times but I know I will be blessed for doing so, I can already see a difference in my ability to converse more rapidly in Spanish.

I'm very excited for Sunday, Sunday they will be changing the MTC presidency and many new mission presidents, and this means that we will a big fireside with multiple apostles and possibly the prophet.

It was a great week and the next will be even better!

-Elder Willden

29 June 2012 

Letter to family/friends:

This week went by very fast!  This week all of the new mission presidents were here.  They didn't change the MTC presidency.  Sunday we all went to the devotional to go and see if an apostle would speak and it turns out one didn't.  A couple of the elders were bummed. Later that night we watched a video by Elder Bednar.  It was titled the Character of Christ.  Listening to this really motivated me to do better, to change, and to reach out to others.  He shared how Christ would always turn out to others rather than turn to himself.  He was always focused on others.  In Matthew 4 Christ was tempted by the devil right after fasting for 40 days.  After going through all of this he must have been exhausted.  Yet as we read in the footnotes towards the end of the chapter he sends angles to minister unto John, who had just been imprisoned.  The original text said the angles ministered unto Christ but in the JST footnote we find out Christ sent the angels to John.  He was never worried about himself!  I need to be more like that!  During my trials and hard times I need to help others and stop worrying about myself.  One who turns out to others in their trials truly have worked hard to take upon the Character of Christ.

 Luckily on Tuesday for the devotional 10 apostles were there!  It was almost general conference!  I could feel the spirit of all those men and their wives.  They have a great and mighty spirit about all of them.  Tom L. Perry spoke, it's the second time I've heard him speak hear.  He spoke about all the different blessings we have as members.  He had a PowerPoint with a bunch of statistics on all the blessings of health, education and other things.  An interesting thing he said was that as the average person attends college there belief in religion will decrease.  With LDS members it is the opposite, the more we learn, the more faith we have and the more active we are in the church.

At the end of the talk I was a bit perplexed.  I knew he had a reason for everything he said but I didn't know what that reason was.  I was wondering why he shared a bunch of statistics when he could have given an amazing spiritual talk.  Later when all of us bore testimonies I realized why he shared what he did.  Elder Valdez testified the reason why he shared what he did is so that we can realize the blessings we have as latter day saints.  The blessings we have with health, money, happiness, love, and how we help others.  Our church is truly different from all other churches.  We have so many more blessings as Latter-day saints.  But there is a catch, we cannot be passive, Elder Tom L. Perry said, "One cannot live a passive life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." We can't just cruse along, it's either we go up or we fall down.

With this knowledge of the blessings of this church we are happier people.  My duty as a missionary is to invite others unto Christ, to share with them the blessings of this church and invite them unto the church and to repent and to feel the joy of repentance after one is cleaned from sin.

11 more days and I'm off to Nicaragua!  It feels surreal that it is so soon.

Don't forget to turn out, to focus on others, and to follow Christ's example.

-Elder Willden

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