Saturday, August 2, 2014

MTC Halfway Mark

Dear Friends and Family,
     Things are going great in the MTC.  I'm not going to lie, every day is really hard, but when you think about why you are here, everything else seems to not matter.  We have a teacher named Brother Kaka.  He's from New Zealand.  It's really weird to hear Tagalog with a New Zealand accent, but he is an amazing teacher.  He asked us the other day, "Why do you want to learn Tagalog?"  We gave him the generic answers of teaching better and to change people's lives.  Then he told us, "I don't think you realize what you are saying.  I don't think that you guys are learning Tagalog so you can go impart your wisdom on people.  I think you are learning Tagalog to help people be happy."  It helped us to realize that if you learn with that purpose in mind, you want to study every minute possible and learn everything that you can.
     We got three more investigators this week!  It is getting really crazy.  We were all stressing out and then one of our teachers told us that he taught 13 lessons a day in some areas.  We were all blown away.  We also received an email from our mission president that laid out our goals in numbers for the San Pablo mission.  It said we needed to have at least 20 discussions and 7 new investigators a week.  According to our teachers, if we are good missionaries, it will be really hard to keep track of how many baptisms we have.  It just makes us more and more excited to get over to the Philippines and share our message.
     We have one investigator that is in a really tough situation. It's actually just one of the teachers, but they use investigators that they taught in the mission. She is an inactive member with 8 kids.  She said that her husband works every day but Sunday and she has to wash his uniforms on Sunday.  If she doesn't, he will lose his job and she can't do it any other day because she has 8 kids.  Our teacher said that sometimes you have to tell people that their excuses are never going to be good enough to miss out on the sacrament.  They might have to make sacrifices, but the Lord will bless them.  It's a really hard situation, and one that we don't really understand because we are still teenagers.  
     Anyway, I am getting pretty good at the MTC lifestyle.  I have the meal schedule memorized and I have found out which foods upset my stomach the least.  Our building has filled up with new missionaries and we feel like veterans now.  We make fun of ourselves and brag that we are three weeks old.  
     We also had an amazing devotional this week.  Brother Groberg spoke to us.  For all of you who have seen "The Other Side of Heaven," you might know that it was a true story. Brother Groberg was the real missionary in that movie.  He actually lived that exact story!  It was just really incredible to think about.  Our mission president said, "Not to take anything away from him, but you will have stories just like that to share with your families."
     So things are going well.  I am halfway through the MTC and every day I see friends arrive who I went to high school with.  Some of them have arrived and left while I have been here. It's a little discouraging, but I know that it will all be worth it when I get to the Philippines. Thanks for all your support and prayers.  

-Elder English    

Going to the temple.
(Provo Utah Temple)

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