Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fourth Week - August 19, 2014

Well, another week has passed.  Weird to think I have been out a month.  I hope everyone is doing good.  I hope Koda gets better!!  Weird to think in 2 weeks from today I will be in Nicaragua.  Life here in the MTC is the same every day. so there isn't a lot to say.  But my Spanish is improving a lot.  I feel more and more comfortable in our investigator things we do with our teachers.  I obviously don't know a lot, but I feel in most of the lessons I feel like I can get my point across.  It's tough to understand sometimes because they speak so fast, but I catch a few words in each sentence and put it together. 

Last Tuesday night we got to hear from Elder Villalobos (Area Seventy).  I liked this talk because he talked a lot about the 5 key points of being an effective missionary.  If I am prepared, I will have no fear and will know what to say.  I realized from this talk that I receive no witness until the trial of my faith.  I definitely have had trials of my faith this first month. 

The Latins that were in our dorm left yesterday, so we had to say bye to them.  I was only really friends with one of them, Elder Jimenez from Dominican Republic.  We called him "Rico Suave" because he was so good looking.  It was like a trend through the whole MTC-- everyone was calling him Rico Suave.  I don't know how the word spread so fast but it did. He is 25 and turns 26 in a few weeks.  I respect him a lot for serving a mission at that age.  He was baptized at 17 and then had health issues and some other things but that doesn't matter because he is on a mission now. 
 In the BYU shirt is Elder Jimenez (Rico Suave) and the other is Elder Garcia
 Since I can't convert people right now, I am converting BYU fans.

We had 2 devotionals on Sunday.  They were both really good.  The first was just by one of the MTC presidency and he talked about specific prayers.  I liked it a lot.  "The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the phone and ordering groceries--we place our order and hang up.  We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about and for, and then speak to the Lord as one man speaketh to another." -Gordon B. Hinckley

And the second devotional was one of the best devotionals I have ever heard in my life.  It was a replay from I think 2011 in the Provo MTC by Elder Holland.  He definitely got in our faces!  He talked about being a little persistent, don't just give up if someone slams the door in your face and stuff like that.  If you want to be a great missionary, you have to work at it.  Why would you want to be just average when you can be great???   You cannot do this mission unless you truly love Him.   I have been trying hard to be converted and truly loving Him.  He told some great stories, of about Peter and when they were fishing and couldn't catch anything until they heard a voice say to cast to the other side of the boat.  So they did and they had countless many of fish.  And Peter looked back and jumped out of the boat and swam to shore and realized that it was Jesus.  Jesus said, "Do you love me more than your nets and fish?" and Peter said "Yes."  Jesus asked him that question three times and Peter said, "Yes."   We need to love Him more than our worldly possessions. 

A mission doesn't just end after 2 years, it is forever.  I am going to be a missionary for all time and all eternity in ways.  If you love me, feed my sheep.  That's exactly what I am going out to do, feed his sheep.   After he finished his talk, we all stood up and sang, "Because I Have Been Given Much," (first time singing in English in a month) and right when we started singing, I had the feeling of the spirit come over me the strongest it ever has in my entire life, I can't explain the feelings that I felt that moment.  I couldn't help but have tears come out of my eyes.  It is true.   I have been given so much in my life, that all I can do is give back. 

This past week I had a prayer answered that really helped me a lot.  I have been praying a lot about the gift of tongues, and in class we rarely read out of the scriptures because we are studying the language.  But our teacher told us to open to D&C 31 and the first verse my eye caught was verse 3, the only highlighted verse on the page.  I don't ever remember reading this verse but it says, "Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation."  Right when I read that scripture, I knew that it was an answer to my prayer.  It was very comforting.

Well, I don't have any more time, so I hope you all have a good week.  Love you all so much.

Elder Copeland

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