September 17th, 2013
Last full week at the MTC
So this week has been great. Never fail to learn new things and grow as a missionary and child of God. This week I had a bad day. Conjugations drive me crazy cuz I didn't know what they were at the first of learning the language since I took Chinese in high school and it has been hard for me to learn. On top of that I have been having really bad headaches so a Sister in my district instead of having me walk all the way to the residence, she had a bunch of pain killers and it wasn't Ibuprofen or advil but had some weird name. I read the back of it and it seemed like it was okay but it wasn't.. For like 5-6 hours straight I was like dying and could hardly breathe and on top of that it was super hot and I was stressed out from the language. That night as I gathered my thoughts I sat in my chair and thought to myself, "Why am I out here?.. Am I out here for me or for the Lord?" I read through my scriptures and remembered an analogy I was once told about how we see this light through a thick fog and as we step we can only see a little bit and the rest is so blurry. But we walk with faith because we know if we follow God He will never lead us astray and that even though we can't see what's on the other side of the fog we continue to walk through and push forward just a little bit more then we think we can and God will bless us tremendously. I guess you can say this is kind of like the Iron Rod and how we need to hold on to the word of God for guidance and comfort throughout lives journey.
The language isn't the most important thing. It's the Spirit, and people feeling the Spirit in their life. If you think about it even though I can't conjugate or speak the language super well and people might not understand me all the time that doesn't matter, the Spirit is what matters. Jesus Christ talked in parables and didn't have people follow Him bc they always understood Him or did weird abnormal things like dunking yourself in water with the power of God being cleaned from all our sins? No it's because of the Spirit He carried and love He showed for others. A scripture I read in my personal scripture study is 2 Nephi 1:15 that I absolutely love and it says, "But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love." This is how I feel like so much throughout my life. For when I felt lost or going through trials, never does my Savior fail to give me a hug and lift me up on His shoulders and carry me back to the fold. A challenge my Seminary teacher gave me, Brother McNeil, has helped me so much for when we are going through a hard time to ask Heavenly Father or a hug and I can promise you that He never fails to do so with the peace you feel in your heart and soul.
We watched a couple of movies this week. One as a district for fun bc we can use lds.org and watched the Phone Call... if you haven't seen it I don't recommend it. So funny bc it's so cheesy but probably the worst show ever haha anyways we also watched about the Ministry of Thomas S. Monson and about how loving he is and such an amazing prophet. Something that was brought up was in Jacob 5 were the servant keeps on asking for more time over and over again and then eventually asks the Lord for more servants. That is Thomas S. Monson at this time calling more servants to work and I am a part of that. A scripture that I have always loved that I shared with the Elders is 2 Timothy 4:7-8, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at the day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." It also challenged them that after their mission, after college, after he finishes his family and sends all their kids off on their own and after everything in life if they can read this scripture and answer with boldness "yes." Or life is like a course. We all are going to go down many different paths and run into different road blocks. Our goal is to return to our Heavenly Father in the celestial kingdom and not only us, but bring as many as His beloved sons and daughters with us to Him. Sometimes it is a fight out here against the natural man, but with much faith all things are possible. A quote I heard from David A. Bednar this week that I love is that, "we need to drink out of the bitter cup, but not become bitter." Christ drank the bitter cup for us, and when the natural man would turn inwards He only turned outwards. My relationships have grown so much here at the MTC with my companion, my district, the Spirit and my Savior and Heavenly Father through selflessness and love.
Cool opportunity I had to do in my free time was look at my geneology tree and I looked up Alexander McRae who I am named after and read his stories. They are so cool and so inspiring to me for someone to have so much faith to follow the Prophet Joseph Smith through all the adversity they went through. That he converted for the LDS believe of baptism by immersion, completely stopped his chain smoking addiction and went through so much-- with his wife Eunice helping so much. She is an aggressive one with weapons I'll tell you. And the cool stories about the prophet Joseph Smith and them in Liberty Jail. Geneology is so cool and you can learn so much from your ancestors, just like we learn so much from the prophets of Old in the Bible and Book of Mormon.
I'm so excited to hear about Michael and Lindsay and there new baby girl coming Gracie :)) I bet mom cried.. ;) haha no but so awesome and can’t wait to see pictures of their beautiful girl and become an uncle! Yesterday the Elders and I went the whole day without a word of English. At first I was super nervous but it actually went so well and was such an awesome experience and so crazy I could talk a whole day in a language I never even knew 5 weeks ago, prove, GOD IS REAL!
Anyways I hope everything is going well and pray for you all and miss you all! Here's a little testimony in Portuguese (warning probably all spelled wrong but all well):
Matthew's Tesimony in Portuguese
Eu sei que Jesus Cristo meu Salavador, eu sei que este o verdaderio igreja com todo de meu coracao e eu amo meu Pai Celestia muito, e atraves Joseph Smith o evangehlo era restercauo e O Livro de Mormon. Eu sei que O Livro de Mormon verdaderio palarva de Deus e eu em meu missao porque eu saber etes igreja verdaderio e mutio grato por meu familia e o exampol eles por meo, especifica Jesus Cristo e atraves Ele nossa familias podi viver juntos eterna. Em nome de Jesus Cristo. Amen. (I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, I know that this is the true church with all of my heart and I love my Heavenly Father a lot and through Joseph Smith the gospel was restored and the Book of Mormon, true words of God and I am on my mission because I know this church is true and I am very grateful for my family and the example they are for me, especially Jesus Christ and through Him our families can live together forever. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.) Everything is pretty much wrong and hard to translate into English but would love to say more in Portuguese but ran out of time. Love you all. Amo voces!