Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Elder McRae's Forth Week at the MTC 9/10/13

September 10, 2013
Forth Week at MTC

Hey Fam,
Thanks for all the letters and updates. Love hearing about everyone.   Dang that car is getting old, hope it can last you guys longer. Sorry Joseph is hurt, but glad Logan is starting to practice again. Thanks mom I love that and I'm starting to love the B.O.M. more than I ever thought I would. So they changed the rule that I couldn't even start or send hand written letters till my P-Day so it's even more difficult to send letters to people. So this letter won't be that long and I don't have Michael, Daniels or anyone's individual email's so if you could forward them and send me people's emails that would be great. Also if you could somehow get Aunt Marion the letters every week. Thank you.
So here at the MTC there has been a lot of growth for me and my district. I feel like I finally got over that hump and feel comfortable and confident to have a conversation in all Portuguese with someone.   So the beginning of this week I was heading out of my building when I opened the door for Josh Cook (my cousin) !  It was so cool to see him and I love that guy. Literally the nicest, most fun guy I ever met and everyone loves him.  I want to be like him. It was sweet.  He has a picture of us.  I also saw Addisen later that Tuesday night and it was so cool seeing him. This week a missionary came in and he was 7'3 and probably not even 140 pounds... craziest thing of my life haha never felt so short in all my life haha. So exciting to hear about the BYU game!! Go Cougs! The Elders and I were wearing our blue ties for BYU spirit and my companion was very sad to hear Texas lost. haha traitor.. The weather was crazy that day like I've never seen with a couple of trees falling over, little torandoes of rain and it was like pitch dark with thunder and lightning.  It postponed the BYU game for a while, it reminded me of the storm in Other Side of Heaven but less dangerous. It was sick. Anyways, I love being here but can't wait to leave also. Next Friday or Thursday we get our re-assignments.  I’m pretty pumped to go out in the field. When I go to the airport I'll be able to call all of you guys which will be most likely Monday or Tuesday in two weeks so that's what's going to happen soon.  Guess where I'm going to be re-assigned ;) A lot of missionaries who have been re-assigned have been sent to Portland, OR so that'd be cool to see all of them there cuz I'll most likely know them. My relationship with my companion has gotten so much stronger and we work so well together.  It has taught me to love even those whom it usually would be hard for me to love and has made our bond even stronger.  

Elder McRae with Elders in District
Pointing to Goyana Brazil in MTC Map
So a quote I’d like to share that Michael shared with me which I absolutely love is by Spencer W. Kimball and it says, "If you could only see the vision I have. I wish I had your bodies to do this work. I would run from house to house telling everyone of the gospel, and after I lost the strength to run I would begin to walk, and after I collapsed from walking, I would begin to crawl, and after my knees were so bloody that I could not use them I would use my arms to drag myself, and once my muscles in my body have gone I would begin to yell. Oh, only if you could see the vision as I have." I love this quote and shared it with the Elders of my district because every night since we got here we've had a spiritual thought before we go to bed and it literally gets us all pumped to share the gospel. We need to literally lose ourselves in the work and give it our all. Never give up. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It brings you more happiness than any other thing on this earth. Share, Share, Share. Share this beautiful gospel that has changed my life and my eternity forever.  My new professor, Irmao Smith told us that, "Leadership: when you fly others run, when you run others walk, when you walk others crawl, when you crawl nothing is accomplished." I want to be the missionary who flies and touch as many lives as I can because this is truly the gospel of Jesus Christ and I'm walking the same footsteps as Jesus and his disciples did nearly 2,000 years ago. 
Last Sunday we had an amazing devotional and movie afterwards as always.  Something I'd like to share out of the devotional was about two things -- One concerning our missionary tag.  I thought of this analogy durnbing the talk so bare with me.. When we serve a mission it is as if we are putting on a temporary tattoo where we have to constantly apply pressure to and keep close to our skin(heart) to give the most clearest and purest image as me can. So that when after we are done with our mission and it’s time to take off our tag we can  take off that tag (tatoo) and have the name of our Savior engraven into our chest and because of how hard we worked(pushed) and how much we wanted to grow closer to our Heavenly Father that it will bleed onto our heart and change us forever. The perfect way of strengthening this is through prayer. Without prayer it is impossible to grow a stronger relationship with God. How often do we go through life and take direct communication with our Heavenly Father for granted? We can't convert others and we can't be converted ourselves unless we do as Moroni directs and pray with all of our heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ if these things are true.  I know that prayer has become a closer special part of me on my mission as I constantly have to ask my Heavenly Father for help and rely on His strength, not mine. I have a testimony of prayer and that when we pray the veil is so thin.  After the devotional we watched the Testaments. I love this movie and never thought I would get something new from it. I love when it flashes to the Savior and His ministry and all the marvelous miracles and love He demonstrated on this earth. Something that really pierced the very bottom of my heart was when you see Jesus Christ, our Savior, be persecuted, suffer and bleed for every sin and pain we will ever go through, be betrayed and in the middle of betrayal heal the very guard arresting him, be spit on, ridiculed, whipped, crowned with a crown of thorns, mocked, carry his very death to the cross to be nailed to and be murdered. The most perfect and innocent person to ever walk this earth go through all of that in a matter of a few days, and then as He is about to give up the ghost He pleas to the Father, "Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do." Why? Why would someone do this for you and I? To suffer so much, when He had NEVER done anything wrong.  My relationship with my Savior grows every day, more than I thought it could. And so does mine with my Father in Heaven. In the movie there is the scene where the son has been tied up in the cave because of the choices he had made and in the middle of the storm with mighty towers crumbling, the earth swallowing life, fire aflame everywhere with the death of the Savior and others in the air the father runs to his son to rescue him with the risk of his life. Even though the son had sinned, the father ran and found him and carried him through the devastating tempest and storm and walked with him shoulder to shoulder all the way to safety. Like this, our Heavenly Father comes to our rescue in the darkest moments of our life even when we have sinned and carries us through our mighty storms in life step by step all the way home to the Celestial Kingdom. If we call onto Him with mighty prayer and repent there is nothing God can't save us from. I know I have felt this before in my life where I have felt forsaken and lost in the dark, but this is not the case and my Heavenly Father ran to my side and lifted me up on his shoulders. I love my Heavenly Father and all He and the Son, Jesus Christ, my elder brother, do for me.
I can't wait to go serve the Lord and find his lost sheep in the dark and bring them to the light. Thanks for everyone's prayers and letters of encouragement. Sorry to hear about the game against Sheldon, keep your guys heads up and do your best. It's not about where you finish, it's about how you finish. That can be applied to everything in life.  Joseph, awesome to hear how you're having fun and killing it on the field. Sorry that you got hurt and I hope school is going well.  Loved that letter you sent me and love you so much. Way to go on a date ladies man ;) Date those girls for me while I can't and show them how amazing those McRae boys are haha ;) Jacob, thanks so much for your letter. You are sounding like the football stud and it was so awesome to hear from you. I love you man and love when you said "winning is great" bc it is great. And we win in life when we follow Jesus Christ's example and love others. You are an awesome kid and can't wait to see how much of an awesome young man you're growing up to be.  Matt Balch, sorry I don't have your email but thanks so much for the letter. I miss you too bro and you're the flippin man :( Hope everything is going well and you are putting a little time each week to prepare yourself for a mission, I wish I prepared more. My companion is an interesting guy but has a really big heart and we are starting to get along a lot better. Once you learn to put others needs before yours you become golden. Food is either really good or disgusting not really an in between but you get fed well.  My work out is tearing it up outside with sand volleyball with my district, so much fun! (Especially when the cute sisters from other districts play.. shhh ;) ) haha you love it here and don't worry I've actually only gained like 5 pounds haha the language is coming great, what's new in Oregon? Logan, keep your head up man, I know how frustrating it must be to miss part of your first Senior games but don't worry you're going to get better and tear it up on the field. I love you man and pray for you. Mom and Dad, thanks so much for your letters and all you do for me. I love you all! 
Love, Elder McRae

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