I wish to make it known now that I have sent a letter with answers to many of your questions. I know Stephen is operating a blog on my behalf called Adventures in Auckland, unless he has changed the name, and this makes it a little less interesting for you to read the blog, but it sure saves me time and stress when writing emails.
Besides, if you really want to know how everything is going, you would talk to my family anyway, right?
It's been an interesting first P-day, getting used to the sack lunches and how to do the laundry here (it's really a bit jacked up). But it's been nice to just chill and write letters while my clothes are undergoing the purification process.
We had an amazing opportunity to hear from Elder Richard G. Scott yesterday at the MTC devotional and his message was so powerful. He spoke of prayer and listening to the Spirit and to never disobey the impressions we receive while on our missions. He also invoked two Apostolic blessings upon the missionaries. The first was directed towards the missionaries learning languages that they would have the gift of tongues, so it didn't apply directly to me, but I could still feel the power of the blessing he had pronounced on those fortunate elders' heads. The next was a blessing of protection to all the missionaries, on the condition we remain faithful and obedient to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the commandmants, respectively.
He also bore testimony of Jesus Christ and he said, "If you forget everything else I have spoken of this night, remember this: The Savior of Mankind lives! I know this, because I know him." Don't you just get the sense that he knows so much more than he is telling? Last night was a big testimony builder for me, in both the power and authority of apostles and of the existence of my Savior.
My teachers, Brother Lords and Brother Merrill, are two fantastic men who literally are emanating from their closeness to their Savior and the Spirit that is their constant companion. They have taught us a lot about using the Spirit to teach and trusting that the Lord will put words in our mouths at the very moment we need them. I can bare testimony that what they have taught us is true. On Monday, we had the opportunity to teach our "first first discussion" as we have been calling it. The elderly sisters we taught were very receptive to the gospel as investigators but they both were struggling with internal family issues. We didn't catch their hints at first but the Spirit eventually helped us to catch on and we were able to teach them about how through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, our families are blessed and strengthened. I was trying to find a scripture to help illustrate that God is with us and will protect us and aid us, but I completely blanked, as well did Elder Handy. But I was guided to Alma 36, where I had already marked verse 27 and 28 and it was perfect for the message I was trying to convey.
The Spirit saved that discussion, and while I know they were not real investigators, the presence of the Holy Ghost was so strong in the room and the sisters became very eager to read the Book of Mormon because of the scriptures we had read. They even accepted an invitation to come to church with us. I reiterate that I know they were mock investigators, but it was still such a wonderful experience and confidence builder for Elder Handy and myself.
I know this church is true everyone. I have felt the testimonies of the teachers and elders and they have "kindled the Spirit within my heart" to know of the truthfulness of what they speak. My testimony and willingness to serve God has never been stronger and I'm so so so so (I could go on for a while, but, for sake of keeping your attention, I wont) excited to get out in the field. I'm excited to see what I'll learn from my trainer (hopefully he's not a bum) and to grow as a missionary. Every night I pray that I will be able to be successful because nothing worries me more than being inadequate in my calling.
OH! And we know we are going to be home sick sometime, so I suggested that we as a district draw up a creed, a belief/mission statement if you will, that we would decide now the kind of missionaries we would be.
"Be prepared for what will happen, be prepared for what won't happen, because no matter what happens, you will be prepared."
That's just a very clever and brilliant quote we came up with. Kind of cheesy, ain't it? That's the beauty in it.
I love you guys!!!!! I appreciate all the support! And make this gets forwarded to everyone!
Elder Seth Jenkins