Okay... So much to speak about!!! But as usual, when I actually get the chance to say anything, I forget everything I wanted to say! So, as Elder Gage has been doing, I will start writing down things I want to say so I'll be able to fill next week's email with big juicy fruits of the spirit. haha! I'm also trying to make my writing more exciting, so please forgive me of my cheesy analogies and other such nonsense.
So speaking of trying to do things better than before. I think I'm going to talk a little bit about repentance.
Before I came into the MTC I always felt like repentance was a painful thing. Something I should be afraid of. I understood how important it was and was grateful of it, but I was scared of it. Like it was a backup plan. Only to be used when I mess up.
I've come to the great realization that repentance is the most beautiful gift in the world! I've learned through experience, others, and the spirit that repentance is changing from bad to good, from good to better, and from better to best. The word for repentance in thai is kaanklapcay. It literally means a return of heart. So much can be learned from this idea! There's a reason why they chose the word kaanklapcay to mean repentance. Because repentance is a change, a turn to God. Even in English repentance actually means to turn back. The MTC is the refiner's fire not because we are thrown in a crazy missionary schedule and we try to learn a language in less than two months. The MTC is the refiner's fire because we repent every day. Every hour. Almost every minute. Every time you see or realize something you can be doing better and have a desire to change, you are repenting in that moment. All day every day I'm realizing that I can be doing better at something. And therefore I'm repenting all day long. As we repent every day and give up our flaws and become more like Christ we find happiness.
I wrote in my journal a few days ago, "Repentance is when you look at yourself, realize your faults and impurities, and with His help, remove them, leaving a more pure, more perfect you."
I hope I was able to leave you all with a hint of the greatest thing I've realized in the MTC. Because repentance is everything!
was fast ...
You all know what that means for a whole bunch of young men aged 18 and 19... hahaha.
But what was great about this Fast , was that instead of spending over an hour of our day eating, we go to spend that time studying!! I didn't have any letters to write so I just read, marked, and wrote. I received so much revelation it was amazing! Also, we had mission conference, which is a mini general conference! So much knowledge!
One thing I want to say specifically is whenever you have a question you should think: "what would the Lord have me do?" I know this question doesn't always give a perfect definite answer to everyone, but for me it does. As a missionary I can always know what the Lord would have me do as long as I'm aware and willing.
Another thing I loved was another talk about Power and Authority. These two words are always used in reference to the Priesthood. But I want to expound a bit on my new knowledge. At least for me, I have been given Authority. When I was called as a missionary and set apart I was given authority. But you cannot just be given power. Power is determined by a willingness to heed to the Spirit. To have power you need to be aware of others and humble. It's that simple. Of course worthiness is in there too, as it always is, but I like that. You need to be aware of others, and humble. Authority is given. Power is earned.
I think I'll end with a few great quotes that I've gotten from those around me. :)
"Life is good, but it is sweet because of the gospel of Christ. Because of what we have." -Brother Callister
"No one can take your place in your mission, life, and family. It is your calling" - Sister Nally
"God is not dead. Nor does He sleep. The Heavens are not closed." - Elder Baxter
"We cannot be ashamed of it. We just have to embrace [persecution] because we know it's true" - Elder Codling
"We have the ability to rewrite history in the lives of others" - I don't know. It's just written in my journal and I love it.
"frequently stand back and look at the big picture...to realize and confirm our place in the Lord's plan." - President Roach
"Gifts of the Spirit are seldom manifested publicly." - Brother Brady
"The day a missionary is happy is the day he cares about others more than himself." - Dan R. Clark
"Don't preach. Just invite." -Also Dan R. Clark
"the principle of being connected with Him is obedience." - Also Dan R. Clark
Well, I think that's all I have to say. If I think of anything else. I'll write it down.
- Elder Osborn
PS: I'm on 2 Nephi 31 now.
PPS- We might get our travel plans this week!!