Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Elder McRae's Third Week at the MTC 9/3/13

September 3, 2013

Third Week at MTC

Dear Family,
I love you guys.  For the last 4 days Dear Elder hasn't worked and I won't get all the Dear Elders till 4 pm later today so I won't be able to respond to them.  I'm sorry :( Portuguese is coming along a lot better, I can feel the gift of tongues working through my life a ton and even though I'm not the top in my class everyone else took Spanish in high school so for them it's easier.  But really 3 weeks and I've never spoken a foreign language in my life let alone heard much Portuguese, I can understand it and talk really more than I could ever dream of and it’s amazing how much the LORD helps his diligent servants.  I can teach the discussions, say my prayers and bear my testimony in broken Portuguese but can feel the Spirit and especially when I told Joseph's First Vision in memorized Portuguese and was such an awesome experience to our "progressing investigator”.  Here at the MTC we spend so much time in the classroom studying and sitting it can get all of us pretty "antzy" and everyday feels like it brings up a new challenge  every day whether big or small and its really helping me grow as a person from the inside out.
Nothing too exciting or new has happened this week. We've had a couple of days of pouring down rain that has reminded me of Oregon and was super fun to play in the sand pits for volleyball.  I see Sister Loo everywhere now and she is having a blast and it’s fun to see a familiar face. I also ran into Andrew Smith, for those who knew him, he was out running while I was at the Temple this morning. Thanks Grandma for the letter I really liked the quote at the end.  It didn't make me feel so lonely when I haven't gotten anything from Dear Elder.  And thanks Jack for sending the letter also, I hope you received my letter back by now. Love you man.
So besides improving on the language and losing my teacher Irmao McGill, (Imrao means teacher btw) Last Tuesday was exciting with Elder Neil L. Anderson coming to our Tuesday night devotional and gave an awesome talk and this fast Sunday I learned a lot.  At the end of Fast Sunday we watched a talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland called, "Missions are forever" and here are some things I got out of the talk that I wrote in my journal:  First that we are just like apostles and disciples of old and modern times and should be as Peter, Andrew, James and John of the New Testament and drop everything in your life and follow Jesus.  For those apostles fishing was there life, how to provide for their family and what they were raised to do all there life.  And to "straight way leave and follow him" with no idea who this man was besides saying he was Jesus the Christ is absolutely amazing and inspiring.  For Jesus says, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." We need to emulate that example and especially me on my mission, to leave everything in my life and give it to my Savior Jesus Christ.  I know I'm not perfect and never will be perfect, and I have to continue to remind myself to be humble, patient and loving to everyone.  My mission isn't only for two years, its forever. I should never stop trying to feed the Savior's sheep and bringing them back to the fold as a follower of the Shepherd, Jesus Christ.  I need to teach the investigators and we need to teach ourselves that living the gospel isn't just a check list I go down the list to check off, baptism, priesthood, mission, marriage, etc... it is something we have to strive to improve on every day in our life and will be extremely hard at times… but our Savior is walking and carrying us every step of the way.  "You sacrifice what you love, to love what you sacrifice" I love that because I feel like this applies a ton with the sacrifice I'm making on a mission and what we do throughout life.
A sweet analogy my teacher told us before he left last night to school was directed to our visa but I think anyone could apply it to their life.  That if we think about it, Heavenly Father took eons to create the path and to prepare the Star of David to orbit directly next to the earth to show of Christ's birth before the world even was.  It wasn't just some magical coincidence that the Star showed up on the Savior's birth but had been carefully prepared and designed to fulfill the prophecy of the Birth of Christ.  Like this Heavenly Father sees us on a spectrum of eternity not just yesterday and today or tomorrow. He has put various challenges, obstacles and people in our life to help us grow and we have the free agency to choose whether we use these experiences for the better or worst. On my mission I might be in the states for two months, I may be transferred from place to place in a week or two I might feel like the mission is so hard I don't know what to do.  God will place me in various places where I am needed most and He is preparing people on my mission and life who are ready to accept the gospel or are ready just to plant a seed in their life.  The most important thing that should come from my mission is strengthening the relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and to become fully converted.  And no matter what I or anyone is going through in life they will always be watching over us and having angels and chariots of fire running to our rescue because they love us dearly!  The MTC is a challenge and will continue to be a challenge. But I know I'm suppose to be here and am already growing that relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior constantly being blessed through my hard work and faith.  
So about the visas... On average from each district I've seen leave only one gets their visa and everyone gets re-assigned. And as of now if anyone on my district gets their visa they will wait for the 3 weeks and report directly to their mission. But I'm not too worried about where I go, I still have a lot to learn and to grow and will go where ever the LORD needs me.  
I haven't seen Addison yet because he is at the West Campus but hopefully I'll see him at the devotional tonight if he chooses to do choir like I always do to sing for the devotional.  I miss you guys so much and wish I had the Dear Elders so I can respond back to you guys but it'll have to wait till next Tuesday or I'll just send a letter.  Tell David that I love him and if his big brother Daniel wears glasses then it automatically makes it the coolest thing ever haha. I heard about the BYU game… that stinks, better luck next time Cougars haha so apparently the BYU schools all have a 1/3 as many students as usual in their school and 70% of the students are girls… Hopefully it stays like that for when I get there ;) haha just kidding! Love you guys and miss you all! You're in my prayers.
Love, Elder McRae
P.S. Suggested things to send me: photo album of family, friends, individual pictures, etc little book size one to show the Brazilians bc apparently they LOVE seeing pictures of the family. Umm if you could send more ties.. hahahahah I know I already have a ton but it's like the happiest part of my day to choose a tie so send as many as you can even if they're ugly bc missionaries will trade and I can give some to investigators etc.  They especially like the ones that say  "CTR" on them bc you can’t find those in brazil.  Umm if you could buy me two more of those Jesus picture journals.. I'm flying through journals and it will be a lot easier to send things home now than later when in Brazil.  A nice Oregon duck Nike dri-fit or something like that bc my other one is really cheap and thick and hot to wear. Maybe online they have like a white one with a green or yellow "O" on it or something like that? And so the rule about the khakies are they are allowed in every mission. It isn't a mission president rule, the sandal part is, but they do need to be able to hold a crease so if you ever see a good deal on those that would be awesome.  I think I have a 32 waist and 30 long, rough estimate. Thanks, LOVVEEE YOUUU ALLLL :))))

District with Teacher McGill
Matthew wearing someones glasses to
show David it's ok to wear glasses

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