We got our flight plans this week which was pretty exciting. We fly to LA, then Hong Kong, then Manila. I've loved the mtc but I'm so ready to go meet the Filipino people! We skyped a Filipino member and taught for thirty minutes a few days ago and it made me even more pumped. It also scared me a bit because she talked sooo fast haha. I just know the first few months will be pretty tough but will be quite the adventure at the same time! My district is starting to go crazy a little bit, it's pretty funny to see how weird they all really are haha. We've come up with some pretty dumb things to keep things rollin here ;)
Soo this week was a pretty spiritual one so I'll just jump into it!
We had two sweet devotionals this week. The first one was Elder Holland's son, Matthew Holland. He talked to us about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. There's alot I could say but the thing that stood out the most was how faithful Joseph Smith was throughout all of his trials. His life before he even became a prophet was full of hardships. His dad was supposed to be pretty wealthy, but after many unlucky events, the family was broke and had to move up to New York. Before they moved, Joseph started having problems with his leg and had to have a big surgery on it without anesthesia. The family then walked to New York with a large group and Joseph was somehow left behind stranded with his bad leg. As he was laying there, an unknown man picked him up and carried him the rest of the way! Holland then asked us, why did his life have to be so hard? Surely, God could make the prophets life easy. But he was preparing Joseph for the future. Through those hard times he gained tons of experience that helped him become the awesome guy that he was. As a prophet, he obviously went through many more trials but he remained faithful and persistent in doing what was right.
Another cool thing was how he described how the Book of Mormon came to be. There's no way that this book could've came to be without God's help. It was translated in 85 days into a new language by men who weren't super educated. During this time, they spent tons of time translating the book but they were still doing many other things like moving to a new place, receiving the priesthood, and spending some time with their families. Emma Smith said that Joseph wouldn't even reread a page to make sure it was correct, because he already knew that it was good. And last of all, the book is 100% perfect. I love Jsmith and the Book of Mormon so much. Holland said the more time we take to study Joseph Smith's life, the more we will love him and know that this church is true.
The other devotional was by Elder Anderson, one of the twelve apostles! He talked about missionary work not being complex, but not being easy. He just whipped out tons of scriptures the whole time and focused on miracles. It's crazy how smart the apostles are haha. He brought in a great spirit and it was pretty sweet.
Over my mtc experience I've learned a ton. It's crazy how much my testimony has grown in five weeks, can't imagine the things I'll learn by the time my mish is over! One thing that really sticks out is the power of prayer! We pray like 20 times a day here. It truly makes a difference. I encourage you all to have more sincere prayers! Believe that God is actually listening and that he can truly bless you if knock and ask.
Have a good week! Enjoy summer for me. I know this church is true! Next time i email ill be in crazy Manila! Mahal ko po kayo!
Elder Parker Reber