Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Elder McRae's Second Week at the MTC 8/26/13

August 26, 2013
Second Week at MTC

Dear Family,

Every day here at the MTC brings new blessings and challenges I have to face.  Before I tell you guys about everything I want to thank all of your letters, Mom, Dad, Michael, Lindsay, Daniel, Grandma and Allie and all the words of encouragement you have strengthened me with.  I truly feel everyone's love and prayers and support out here in the mission field.  I promise I'll try to write all of you back eventually just so busy and don't have much time.

So about my week we got our service project Wednesday which luckily was only replacing the garbage and the toilet paper and not scrubbing the toilets/showers.  I don't miss those days at all. haha The rest of the week went alright, still struggling with the language but keep on pushing through and striving to teach with the Spirit.  Saturday I had a breakdown and emotionally broke down.  But with the hardest falls always come the greatest of rises and testimony builders.  That reminds me of the quote from Batman, "Why do we fall?  So we can learn to get back up." I began to live to heart on my mission an EFY counselor told me once, "Stop telling God how big your storms are, and start telling your storms how big your God is."  I need to forget myself and remember why I am out here, to serve the Lord and others. Through my trials I came across this scripture in Ether 12:27 and has brought men much comfort and strength and it says, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me… and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."  God gives me strengths and He gives me weaknesses. He gives us weaknesses to humble ourselves to gain humility and to grow stronger. He loves us so much that He gives us trials and then gives us His Son to suffer through all pains and sorrows and sins we go through and will lift those burdens off us by taking the weight in our heart to Him by faith and diligence and shining His Atoning light through us.  The more weaknesses we notice and humble ourselves like Jesus Christ, the closer we grow to God. That night I prayed if Heavenly Father was truly happy of what I was doing and how hard I was working and my prayer was answered the following day.  Sunday's are always the best!  I started off the day getting a package full of candy (like seriously 30Ibs of candy), with scripture labels on them, a talk and poem and super sweet letter from Allie.  All the Elders were so jealous. haha but I shared and have like 90% of it still bc I'm already getting fat haha funny thing though is the Elder's in my district care more about working out then I do on their mission and work out for like an hour every night haha  I'd much rather write in my journal and read the scriptures.  But don't worry I only actually gained a couple of pounds and go pretty intense in volleyball for my workout out in the sand, I've made it a tradition to play sand volley every gym time in our district and we are pretty good.. hahha.  My companion is just this little guy and literally never stops eating.. literally.  Never seen someone eat so much in my life.  Must be that big appetite cuz everything is big in Texas haha

Well I finally found Elder Good that was exciting to see him so happy and excited to be there at the MTC!  A talk we watched later that night was called the Characters of Christ by David A. Bednar and is absolutely amazing!! "There would be no atoning sacrifice, without the Character of Christ."  When the natural man turns inward to feed our internal needs, no matter what, Christ faced He ALWAYS turned outward with compassion and love to others. We need to be more like Christ and no matter how rough or good our life is going we need to drop everything and serve our Savior. He gave everything to us. We need to drop everything that is holding us back in being like Him and leave it behind us and move towards His grace. Michael sent me a letter which described this very same concept in Matthew 19:16-30 and absolutely love it. I want to give my heart to Jesus Christ and let Him renew it and fill it with joy and light.  A way we can strive to grow to be like Christ is in the Temple.  We always need to be worthy to attend the Temple.  If I give everything I own my time, my thoughts, my words, my actions, my love to the Lord willing to change with humility there's nothing I need more and He will bless me with the Spirit to touch other’s lives as well as mine.                                                          

Congratulations Mason on your mission call to Samoa. I know that's where God needs you not Idaho ;)  I felt the Spirit just reading my mom's letter about your excitement and joy in opening your mission call.  Love you man. You'll be an amazing missionary and do great things for the Lord. Dang football is falling apart. Adapt is a cult. haha Good luck with the season boys. So sad I'm missing Logan's senior year and Joseph. Pepe and Zack's Senior year. You guys are going to all tear it up and better put a hurting on Sheldon. Logan have an amazing Senior year and leave everything out on the field ya stud. Good luck and keep me updated if you can, I wanna know every detail and how your Senior year goes. Stay a strong example and stand up for what's right.  Lots of young men look up to you.  Matt Balch my brother how are you?  I miss you man and hope life is going well.  I'd recommend reading a chapter or section of PMG every once in a while and talk to Michael and Lindsay to help you out on your mission. Michael and Lindsay helped me so much and would love helping you over skype like they helped me! I love all of you guys and wish I had time to write to every single person I love!  Anyways, sounds like my little bros are staying busy and having a good last bit of summer. Joseph stay that sweet spirit you are and be courageous and lift up others. You have a talent to be friendly to everyone and such a stud athlete! Work super hard in school and always remember to pray and read your scriptures. I promise it will bless you. Jacob, you're a stud football player and miss you. I know I was hard on you at times but I truly love you and you're such a fun brother to be around, excited to see how big you get when I get back and if you're actually taller than me ;) haha David, keep up the love for soccer and be excited to be in school!  You’re so loved in our family and will be crazy to see how big you get in two years. I miss you all like crazy and love you all. Mom & Dad thanks for all the letters and the updates means so much to me and I miss and love you two. 
                                     -Elder McRae
P.S. My head is feeling a lot better and one elder talked about getting transparent glasses to block the sun without being sunglasses and if you could see how expensive that would be that would be cool but I don't need them super bad. Thanks!

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