Week 3 at the MTC

2012 04 20

Dear Friends and Family:

Konnichiwa.

Thank you for all the wonderful letters! I’ll try to get the all of them but I know of get short-changed on the P-days here.

Well the language is coming along. It feels like slow progress but when I look back at it, I’ve really been learning a lot in not very much time. It would seem that the gift of tongues is alive and well in this dispensation.

I have to apologize to any of you David Achuletta fans. It appears that I have deceived you. Elder Achuletta is going to Chile, not Argentina. I misunderstood. It was his companion the was going to Argentina. I assumed they were going to the same country because everyone in my district is going to Japan. But districts and branches are divided up by language, not country. So Chili, no Argentina. But then, any of you that care probably already know that.

Which reminds me: He sang at Elder Ballard’s devotional. He’s actually way good! Poor kid got emotional toward the end. He almost couldn’t finish the performance. Hot that I can really blame him. He was leaving the MTC the next day.

After the devotional our district got together and watched The Testaments in Japanese. I forgot how much I love that movie! And it was really powerful to hear it in my mission language!

Have any of you ever thought that Samuel the Lamanite was kind of a random story? As in, the Nephites were righteous, then they got wicked, then randomly a Lamanite prophet show up and he’s like, “Hey, don’t be wicked. That’s dumb!” and they shoot arrows at him and he’s like, “Hey whoa! Not Cool!” The he leaves. Like, where did that guy come from? Have you ever thought that we must have some kind of story we don’t know about?

Well maybe you all already know this but it was news to me. Helaman Chapter 5 begins with some from Helaman to his sons Nephi and Lehi before their mission and contains some of the most incredible verses in all of scripture! After that, Mormon goes on to describe their mission experiences that would blow the mind of the Apostle Paul himself! Mormon records that part of the ministry, the greater part of the Lamanites became believers. Is this Samuel’s origin story? Hmmm…

This week I was tempted to become overwhelmed by the task ahead of me. But I was reminded of the story of the Battle of Thermopollyon – history’s greatest underdog story. The largest army ever assembled marched against a weak federation of Greek city states. A sing dispatch was sent from each city to halt the Persian advance at a slot pass at Thermopollyon. According to one historian, a Persian messenger warned the Greeks that the Persian archers’ arrows would blot out the sun. Undaunted, the captain of the Greek infantry defiantly responded, “Then we will fight in the shade.”

One must wonder, when Samuel was called to preach the gospel to the Nephites, did he say, “But they have arrows!” or did he say, “Then we will preach in the shade.”

I hope and pray that I can be remembered as the kind of missionary that has the faith to say, “We will preach in the shade.”

I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve my God! I know He will protect and sustain me even though I am imperfect.  My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ. What greater calling could there be?! Please remember me in your prayers. You are always in mine.

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