Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 3 in the MTC: Elder Holland and Elder H

Hello everyone! I hope you're all doing well!

Things in the MTC are busy and very good. I first want to tell you that after I wrote that email last week, I went to a missionary devotional that was given by Jeffrey R. Holland. It was POWERFUL. I know he is truly an ordained apostle of Jesus Christ. Present was a spirit similar to that felt during that testimony of the Book of Mormon that everyone remembers. He talked about how important our calling is, and how much respect and love the world has for missionaries, and how it is our duty to fulfill those high expectations and live worthy of that respect. He talked about how missionaries now, in this period of time, we will succeed because this period of time will not end in apostasy. We have a living prophet and that will never change--our missionary efforts will continue to be successful and soon the Savior of the world will come again. THAT is what it means when we are told we're a chosen generation. How inspiring, how encouraging, how true! Prophets of old saw our day and took courage in our success. Their dispensations would end in apostasy, but ours will end with the second coming of the Messiah. Think about that!! Does that not make your heart swell with joy and light? I KNOW it is true! I know that this is God's work, and that the Savior lives and guides this work. He loves His people, and He is coming again! Elder Holland also said that there was never a young man who benefitted more from his mission than him. Every blessing from God in his whole life was received through the portal of his missionary service as a young man. He said that he hopes we can see ourselves in him, because he sees himself in us. He also said that as missionaries, we are doing the same work that he does every day, that President Monson does every day. We labor, under a commission from Jesus Christ, to do everything in our power to extend salvation to the human family through the power and Gospel of Jesus Christ. Men have died for this work. It is so worth it. It was an incredible talk--I wish I could express to you the kind of feelings I had as I sat and listened. The Spirit was so strong, and I left a better missionary having heard Him. It was such a spiritual highlight of being at the MTC.

We are still teaching our "investigator" Siti. She has made progress with quitting smoking -- has taken to eating Hall's when she wants to smoke -- and she has accepted the invitation to be baptized. We still have quite a long way to go, but she is progressing and really wants to learn. It's really cool because our teacher based this person off of someone she taught on her mission in Malaysia, named Victor, who had a lot of problems but was willing to change and he was baptized. So cool. Hopefully our teaching goes well.

There's a young Elder here from Malaysia, Elder H!! His family is from KK in East Malaysia. He is one of the nicest people I've ever met! He's going to Salt Lake on his mission :) I heard him pray in Malay yesterday and I understood like 65% of what he said, which I was excited about. He glows--he told me that his brother met the missionaries and was baptized first, and then his entire family was baptized very very soon after. If everyone in Malaysia is as nice as he is, this is going to be the best mission ever. (He is the only person from Malaysia in the MTC right now, so he is a little bit famous here.)

The language is coming along. Everyone told me that I'd pick it up faster than I was expected, and they were right. We went into the Teaching Resource Center, where people who speak the language just come in and talk with us/let us teach them spritual thoughts in the language. It was our first time in the TRC. We talked to two people and it was really fun! I can understand a bit, meaning I usually know generally what the person is talking about. Though I still feel awkward, I can also communicate pretty well for being here just 3 weeks. It's not easy but it's going to pay off.

It's still hard not having many resources. I've probably said this already, but we're trying to learn Malay by studying Indonesian books. Also I'm starting to realize how hard it's going to be with having the Book of Mormon only in Indonesian--I really hope the Malay one comes out next year like the rumors say (no one knows for sure, and I guess they've been saying that for a while). Indo just has a lot of words the Malays don't ever use. For example, think of the English word "torch." In America, it means something different than it does in Great Britain (flashlight). And the only way you could know that here would be if you've lived in an area where you were exposed to European media/people and heard it used as meaning "flashlight." There are tons of words like that that just don't mean the same thing. But that just means that we as missionaries have to help them--that is another way we can serve them, to explain to them beforehand what is going on in the passage so their minds can be prepared and they can understand. It's easier for the Spirit to testify of truth, the more it's understood.

I'm working hard and doing well. I have a TON to improve on as a teacher, and as a disciple of Christ. But I'm getting there. I'm here to stay and I'm committed to becoming the best tool I can be for the Lord to use to bless His children. I love this gospel and know that Jesus Christ is real and He lives today. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers sincere prayers. I have experienced it countless times and I'm so grateful for the effect that's had in my life.

Love you all! Write me letters!

Sister Gopinath

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