As far as other historic news here at the MTC, we heard from our teacher that Cambodians really like tomatoes. For those of you who know me at all, you know that I HATE tomatoes!! But this week Elder Q and I decided that we better give them a chance if we are going to have to eat them in Cambodia! So we left the tomato on our hamburgers for one of our meals this week...not gonna lie- I had to choke it down, but I did do it!! We are going to wait for a little while to do it again because it scared me a little bit, but I am willing to give it another shot!!! :)
Ok- now for the awesome part of the week!! :) So every Saturday we go to something called TRC and basically it is where return missionaries will come and you have the opportunity to go and teach them a small spiritual thought and visit with them! They don’t play any investigator role, they just are who they are so it’s super nice! Anyways, this kid named Ryan has come every week to visit us and he is super cool, but he is kind of hard to read and doesn’t really share anything personal with us, which is totally fine! So this week it ended up just being him that showed up to the meeting and so we had decided that we wanted to teach about faith and the blessings that can come from being faithful. Throughout the lesson we quite frequently asked him how he felt about what we were talking about (because that’s what you do when you don’t know how to speak a language), and he kept on giving us just these small one word replies and no information to really work off of. We didn’t really know where to go with the discussion....so we kept asking more questions :) haha Eventually we asked a question and I don’t know exactly what it was, but there was a long pause. Then he asked us a question without answering the question we had asked him. He told us that he was going through a lot of trials in his life and that he was not seeing any blessings from all of these trials that he was going through, and he asked us when was he going to see the blessings come out of all of this! Immediately as soon as he said that, I knew exactly what I wanted to share with him! We turned to D&C 121. For those of you who don’t know anything about this chapter, this is when Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail. The conditions were awful and the people of the church were under an extreme amount of persecution at the time. In the beginning verses Joseph Smith is crying out to the Lord and he is asking him where art Thou, and how much longer do we have to suffer? It’s a point where even the Prophet of the Church cannot fully see what God has in store for him and the people of the Church. But in verses 8 and 9, Jesus Christ answers Joseph and says, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." After we had read this he seemed satisfied with the answer that we gave him, but I could not tell (especially speaking in khmai) if we had affected him in the way that we had hoped. Anyways, after that we closed with a prayer and after Elder Q had finished saying the prayer, Ryan asked for permission to speak in English for a second and we of course said yes ha. He then told us that today he wanted us to know that we really did make an impact in his life, and that the scriptures and thoughts and testimonies that we bore today helped him through the rough times that he really is going through. He then said that if we can find a way to help him with all of his crazy problems, that he knows for a fact that we will be able to do amazing things in Cambodia and that he knows we will be able to touch lives there. It was really hard not crying because it was just what I needed to hear as well! The mission is awesome, but it’s sure not easy and I would definitely be lying to you all if I told you I was never homesick! I would be lying if I told you that every single minute of every day I am excited to be a missionary!! We all have trials and we all have things that sometimes we don’t completely understand. Sometimes it’s hard to know why something so awful could happen to us, but God knows the reason why, and even though he doesn’t always tell us why it’s happening the way that it is, he does promise us that we will be exalted on high if we endure well!! I know that to be true!!!
Well if that would have been the end of the week it would have been a great week, but at Sunday nights devotional we were spoiled even more!!! The person assigned to talk was Brother Elliot (he is the guy that plays the organ in General Conference) and so for his talk he played the organ and then shared a story and then played the organ and shared another story and it was so awesome!! He told us that awhile ago he got in an accident and his right arm was completely immobile so he could not play the piano with his hands.....so he learned to play with his feet....ha! It was unbelievable!!! He literally played an entire song with just his feet!! It was so awesome!! Oh yeah, and I forgot one tiny detail!! He had a guest with him that had just gotten back home from his mission a week ago. I don’t know if you will have heard of him or not…his name was Brother David Archuleta?!!! Yeah, I told you this week was amazing! He bore testimony to us of the power of missionary work and you could tell that he was such a solid missionary! We then got to hear his first concert since he has been back from the Mission and it was absolutely unbelievable!!! The Spirit was so strong and it was a devotional that I will never forget for the rest of my life! President and Sister Nally (the MTC Presidents) are ironically my good friend JM's grandparents, and JM's family was also at that devotional!! So after it was over I went and said hi to them, and they went and snuck us into the backroom where David Archuletta was. It was a little crowded and there were a million people taking pictures, but I caught his eye and he smiled at me and looked at my tag and smiled brighter and I smiled back at him, and that was better than a picture for me!
So overall, this week has been such an amazing spiritual week and I have been so blessed to be here and learn so much about the gospel!!! If there is one thing that I have taken out of all this week and what I feel has been most stressed, it’s that the Book of Mormon can answer questions of the soul!! I have found that when I start reading the Book of Mormon with a question or purpose in mind that Heavenly Father will help answer those questions through the Book of Mormon!! I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!! I invite everyone today to read the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and pray and talk to your Heavenly Father! He wants to hear from all His children ALWAYS!!! I love you all so very much and appreciate your love and support so very much!!!
All my love,