Monday, May 27, 2013

Another week

Hello all!
This has certainly been an interesting week, to say the least! The days have seemed to all melt together--it surprising to me that it's already gone by! Wow! :) I've never been so mentally stressed out before, but I've also never felt the Spirit as strongly as I do around here. Life just keeps on moving at the speed of light!
Earlier this week I was in a pretty low phase of life; the language is so hard to learn, the emotional and mental duress that accompanies the MTC is very great indeed, and I was just plain tired and angry at almost anything. My thoughts were often unkind and I had a very hard time focusing on the work at hand. After several powerful enlightenments and some chastising by the Spirit, I realized that I needed to talk to my Branch President about it and see what his thoughts were concerning all of this. We met on Friday night, and we discussed what was going on. By that point I'd been able to get rid of most of the negative thoughts, and had been striving very hard to remain positive and uplifted. I'd had a thought come to me that went something like this: When we redouble our efforts against the adversary, what's to stop him from redoubling his against us? It's a very sobering and real truth, but one that I knew I'd have to deal with.
As we talked, President Baker gave me a lot of encouragement and support, and I felt very uplifted after our meeting. He said during that meeting that he had an idea as to why I was being so heavily bombarded by this mental negativity; it wasn't until Sunday that I found out his reasoning. After Sacrament meeting, he called me and my companions aside, and asked us to be the new Zone Leaders. I'm confident that most of what impressed him and the other leaders of our branch was nothing that I did; both of my companions speak excellent Chinese and are very hard workers and self-motivated. It's thanks to them that this calling was extended. One way or another, we're going to start our Zone Leader duties next Sunday, and will continue to do so till June 30th. We'll still have a few weeks here after that, but whatevs :)
I've learned so much here at the MTC, and I wish that I could share all of it with you! For now, let's let it suffice with this: In Jacob 7, the prophet Jacob is confronted by the anti-Christ known as Sherem. Sherem seeks out and confronts Jacob, hoping to ruin and destroy his faith. Jacob, however, fights back--with his testimony, with the Spirit, with the scriptures, and, in verses 14 and 15, the Priesthood, even the power of God. This is so comparable to all of us! Sin and negative thoughts and darkness will often seek us out, trying to ruin what we already know to be true. When we use the arsenal of the Lord--testimony, the Spirit, the scriptures, and the Priesthood--with righteous motives and valiant effort, there is NOTHING that can stand in our way.
I testify of this with all my heart! Joseph Smith saw what he saw; Jesus the Christ died for us on Calvary's hill and now lives for us in celestial courts on high; God is our loving Heavenly Father who eagerly beckons us home with welcoming hands.
Of this I humbly testify.
You're all more than welcome to write me letters! You don't realize how much missionaries love getting mail until you're actually one! If ever you get the chance, send me even a card!
You're all the greatest; keep strong in the faith, my friends!
See you all in a week,
Elder Mitchell :)

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