Dear Family, I have no idea what to write for this letter. Haha There's so much that happens every single day. Yesterday, I auditioned to sing or play piano for devotionals or special meetings here at the MTC. I won't find out for a bit if they are going to use my musical numbers for anything.
We are getting a new MTC mission presidency so on Sunday Elder Neil L. Anderson spoke. It was amazing, but honestly the most spiritual part for me was at the end of the devotional when Elder Anderson walked down and shook the hands of the missionaries who were sitting on the edge of the main isle. Many of the missionaries around me kept whispering, "I hope he walks over here!" I wasn't by the edge of the isle though so like most of the missionaries, I didn't get to shake his hand. Everyone stood still and just watched the apostle as he slowly made his way through the crowd. Before leaving, Elder Anderson turned and waived to all the rest of the missionaries. A thousand hands went up as all the missionaries waived back. In that moment I thought of the Nephites when Christ visited the Americas. I thought of the scene in the Testaments video right after Christ appears and He is walking through the crowd and all the Nephites are reaching out their hands trying to feel for themselves the prints of the nails in His hands. I felt so strongly that Elder Anderson is one of Christ's apostles. It made me think of the end of Elder Anderson's talk where he bore his testimony. He said, "I know that Christ lives. I am his witness." I had the realization that as a missionary, so am I! I feel so blessed to have that responsibility. There is no one else I would want to spend these next two years serving.
This past week we talked a lot in my class about not just teaching the doctrine, but teaching WHY it is important. In doing that, we have practiced listening to the investigator's concerns closely and teaching by the Spirit what they need to hear. As a missionary, a huge part of my call is to teach repentance, or simply put, change. I have thought a lot about the change that has happened in my life. Even after these past two weeks, I have to say, I have changed a lot. I am not the same person that was dropped off at the MTC a couple weeks ago. Part of it is kind of scary haha and it's been a weird feeling as I've adjusted to the MTC, but I have come to trust in the Lord on a new level that I never experienced before. If I could give any advice to a new missionary, it would be, even more than coming close to your friends or even your family before your mission, come as close as you can to Lord. I don't remember where I heard this quote, but it's something like, "There is a God-size hole in every human heart that only He can fill." I have come to realize that although the Atonement is made to change us, it never takes away what's good. It simply builds on the good already inside of us. And that is what we have to offer to the world! Many people in the world don't want to change, but if they will have faith in God and his plan, the Atonement will take them wherever they are with whatever good or bad they have, and build upon it. Jesus Christ will change them for the better.
This past Wednesday I got to host new missionaries coming into the MTC. It's kind of unusual to ask missionaries to host when they've only been here for two weeks. It was kind of funny as I'm trying to lead my new missionaries around the campus and they think you know everything, but really the whole time in my mind I'm like, "I have now idea where that even is." And, "Oh, that's what's in that building!" Good thing they have maps! Haha I think they just asked us because my district has sister missionaries and they need as many sisters to help host as they can get. It was a cool experience though watching the new missionaries pull up in their cars. They look so excited and curious as they pull up. I gained a very real perspective of just how amazing missions are. Several times this past week I've thought to myself, "Missions are so cool. Everyone should go on a mission." I love my mission so much. They don't lie when they say it's hard, but they don't lie when they say it's worth it either.
Sorry, not a lot of stories this week. One more thing though, I love Italian so much! There are several times where you will be conjugating a verb and they will randomly add or omit letters just to make the word roll off your tongue better. It can be really confusing sometimes, but it's cool to be speaking a language that literally was designed to be as beautiful as possible. I'm not perfect at it, but the gift of tongues is definitely real! My English is getting worse and worse however. This one day I was reading and I accidentally pronounced an English word like an Italian word and it sounded really funny. My whole class was laughing about it. Haha
By the way, shout out to Dallin for being the first to write me. He is now my favorite sibling. Nachelle (and Kylee and Jacob) were the second to write so they're now my second favorite. The rest of you get the idea, right? ;) Haha just kidding.
Also, Jessica, thank you for the blanket and the Italian food! When I first tried the Italian food on Christmas it wasn't that good, but then one night a week ago I was really hungry so I pulled them out to snack on and now they're all gone. Haha
I love you all! Anziano, Stucki.
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.