7/13/2013

MTC (Make Time Count) Life at the MTC
I’m trying to make each moment count here at the MTC. I had not thought about the MTC standing for “Make Time Count” before until a wise friend shared it with me. I am realizing that with only 3 weeks left here I need to be more and more diligent in studying Japanese to prepare for Japan. The missionaries that came in 3 weeks before my District are leaving on Monday and they’re all super excited! I’m excited for them and know it won’t be too long before I’m in their same shoes.
Last Sunday Sister Morrison and I taught our District the Sunday lesson on Repentance. While teaching the lesson I felt someone had something they needed to share, and then I needed to give them the opportunity. I asked and Elder Low (going to Sendai Japan too) said he had something very hesitantly. Then he paused and said he’d forgotten, so we continued with the lesson. Then the Spirit told me at the end before closing that I should ask one more time if anyone had anything they needed to share. Silence filled the room and then slowly Elder Low’s hand went up and he said he felt he needed to share something, but he didn’t know what. As he thought for a moment he said he felt he needed to share a personal story from high school. Before I tell you what he shared, I need to express how much I look up to this elder. He is 19 years old and has changed a lot in his life to be able to serve a mission. He wasn’t always strong in the Church and said that many of his young years and through out high school he didn’t want the Church in his life. He has shared with our District many times his own personal testimony of his coming back to Church and he’s said that sometimes he doesn’t know why he’s serving a mission but knows that he needs to because he wants to follow the Lord. So anyways, Elder Low began to share his personal story of how in high school he did not pray and did not turn to God. He talked about how he went to not having the Spirit at all in his life. Then he began to cry and said that he was like a lost sheep in the Lord’s fold, but that the Savior left the 99 to go find him. I felt the Spirit so strongly as he spoke and the Spirit filled the room. Every time Elder Low shares his sincere testimony I am strengthened. A few days later, elder Low was sharing his testimony again during Devotional review. He said that a few days ago he felt the Spirit prompt him to share that story and that I was prompted to let him share it. With tears in his eyes he said that he didn’t know why he needed to but he was happy he followed the prompting. Well, I know why he needed to, because all of us needed to hear it. Elder Low is a great blessing to our District. Every time he speaks sincerely of his love for the Lord, anyone listening is filled with the love of God. After that experience a couple of us sisters were talking about how the Lord knew that our district would be together before and we are together for a reason. Even if one of the sisters or elders from our District wasn’t there, it wouldn’t be the same. We truly need each other.
Last Sunday evening was MTC Movie night. Every Sunday evening we get to watch a past MTC talk from a General Authority or a Church video, like the Prophet of the Restoration. Sister Morrison and I saw that “Joseph Smith The Prophet of the Restoration” was playing in Japanese! So of course we ran to get a seat. It was packed with all of us missionaries, probably over 60! I could understand a lot, and a lot I couldn’t understand haha, but the Spirit was there and when the movie was ending I looked around the room at all of the amazing missionaries preparing to go to the Land of Japan and thought, “Wow, only 150 years ago the Church was a few members and Joseph Smith only saw those few. Now today here’s over 60 of us missionaries going to Japan watching a movie about the Prophet Joseph Smith in Japanese preparing to spread the Gospel to the Japanese people”. I was touched and thought of how Joseph Smith must feel to know the great work that has come forth.
So our District makes goals together every week and this week our goal for Monday was to have an English fast, meaning not speaking english the whole day! It was so much fun! I loved it, even though there were times Sister Morrison and I would laugh as we could only make hand gestures to explain something. Some in the District, like Elder Low, did not like it and didn’t speak most of the day at all. But I have realized that putting the faith forward to speak even when words aren’t there, the language will come. It was hard for some to not express there feelings and I think it was a good learning experience, because once in Japan, it’s 24/7 English fast!
Lessons this past week has been good, but not many. Watanabe sensei and Workman sensei had different things going on and so we had a sub, Reading sensei. He served his mission 3 years ago in Kobe. So we practice taught Reading sensei as “Saito san”. It was very basic beginning lessons of teaching prayer and introducing the Book of Mormon. I was grateful for being able to talk about prayer and the Book of Mormon because it reaffirmed to me that this Gospel is simple. We have so many tools and just need to show our faith by using them. Sister Tuttle from my district and I worked out again together this week while sister Morrison walked the track. It’s nice being able to have someone push you, and sister Tuttle does! I love that we push each other and it’s fun to work out hard! We run around the indoor track twice then run down the stairs and do a certain work out like burpees or jump squats then sprint back up the stairs to run around the track twice and start over, doing that about 10 times. I don’t know what it is about being in the MTC gym haha but I feel like I have more motivation to work out harder. It’s amazing how accomplished and good you can feel about yourself when your healthy. I also have been keeping my goal of no cafeteria sweets and ice cream! Some of the other missionaries tease me by trying to get me to eat ice cream since it’s everywhere! Literally there’s an icecream freezer box around every corner and cake at every meal haha. But I’ll be strong, I’ve gotten this far and nothing’s standing in my way, not even BYU Creamery!
I’ve been studying the Book of Mormon in Japanese, trying to learn the many Kanji’s and just being able to pronounce sentences fluidly. I love the Book of Mormon, and each time I read it, there’s a verse that I needed to study that moment. The Lord truly does speak to us through the Scriptures. They are His words for us, His children. I have been studying in the Scriptures about our purpose here on this earth. It’s amazing what clarity and light fills the mind when there’s understanding of the simple truth that you are a child of God. Knowing that you are a child of God and that He loves you brings greater peace than anything else this world can offer, because Heavenly Father will never fail you. He is always there and we can talk with Him anytime. A good KC from Jersualem loved this quote and would say it many times, “We talked to God through prayer, but He speaks to us through reading the Scriptures”. The Bible and The Book of Mormon are His words and I would not have peace in my life if I didn’t talk to God through prayer and reading His words.
    Harold B Lee once said, “The most important thing you can do is to talk to God. Talk to God as if talking to your Father, for He is your Father and He wants to hear from you”.
    My MTC Branch President, President Johnson, said this past week to our District, “Heavenly Father will peel back the veil from your mind to help you understand who you were before coming to the earth if you ask Him”.
I know that these things are true.
I love you all and you are in my prayers. I am so grateful for my wonderful family and think of you every day. Until next week…
Love,
Sister Butler
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