Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012 (one month mark

Guten Morgan!
So this Saturday is my one month mark at the MTC. I don't know how you guys have felt, but it seems to have come up pretty quickly.
So this week has been good. The language is coming along well and more importantly I'm learning a lot more about the gospel. The older Deutschers have all left for Deutschland and our French roommates are leaving today so it's a little lonely on our floor in the residence hall, but we still have fun.
Here's the deal with my mission field: Switzerland is kind of racist towards all the Turkish immigrants moving into their country so for the most part only European Union born people are able to get visas. There are a few cases in which others can get a visa, but it's very rare. Out of all the missionaries who just left, only one was able to apply for a Swiss visa, but that does not guarantee that he will get it. If any of us were to apply for a visa to Switzerland we should have known by now, so I'm probably not going to be in Switzerland. Oh, and Liechtenstein does not allow proselyting. I can't complain at all though; I was/am most excited for Austria and I am so stoked for Germany. I am perfectly fine with the way things are.
Things are going really well with Elder Davies and I. I think he is the absolute best companion I could have had out of the 20 Elders here. He is very easy going and so enthusiastic about being a missionary. We've been able to help each other a lot: because he hasn't had any experience with German, so I've been able to help him pick up on it and help him understand what our investigators are saying. He has been able to help me far greater though. He knows how to stay focused on studying and has really helped me to understand that with patience and faith all things are possible, that Heavenly Father takes care of you completely when you demonstrate obedience, and how to not get too stressed out during all the work we go through.
Yesterday, for our Sunday devotional they did a rerun of the talk the Elder Bednar gave to the missionaries here in the MTC on Christmas. It may have been a recording, but the Spirit was so strong during that meeting. It may have been the best talk I've ever heard in my life. The overall theme of the talk was the Characteristics of Christ. He gave us the challenge to really study the qualities of Christ more, but he focused on one quality in particular which was when others turn in and think about themselves and let the natural man have his way, Christ would turn out and give others help and comfort even in his hardest times. He gave the talk in a style almost similar to Elder Holland and how powerful he makes the messages he shares. I can't begin to do justice to the talk, but I wish there was a copy of it somewhere for everyone to see it. It had so many pieces of advice to help missionaries and people in general. One thing I really liked is that it talked about how there is a difference between a testimony of Christ and converting to Christ. A testimony is knowing of the existence of Christ and knowing that this church is true. Converting to Christ is when you devote yourself to the gospel and it's principles and strive to become as Christ. When you convert yourself to Christ you will never fall astray.
Und es begab sich: Ich [Elder Bodily] sprach zu meinem Vater; Ich will hingehen and das tun was der Herr geboten hat; Denn Ich weiss dass der Herr gibt den menschenkinder keine gebote, ohne einen weg vorbereiten, damit sie der vollbringen konnen; was er ihnen gebietet. (That's off memory so hopefully it's right)
1 Nephi 3:7
Gott sei mit euch bis auf wiedersehen.
Elder Bodily

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