Date

August 24, 2016

Area

MTC

Companion

Elder George

It's Been a Long Time Coming

Family!! Seems like this week literally went by the fastest of all...So crazy!

The Seniors are graduated and the MTC has a new reign now!! haha. The big Elders on campus!!! So when you've been here this long, you learn some tips and tricks. For example, after exercise, the upstair showers are always open, and ours are always packed to the rafters, so we go up there to shower and sing to our heart's content! haha. Today, for example, was imagine dragon themed. hahaha. It's weird how after 6 weeks I really struggle remembering how some of the songs I used to listen to a ton even go! Also, when you've been at the MTC this long, you become buds with the janitors. We do "service" every week in the residence across from us and the employee in charge of that building is super chill. He served in Brazil and got married two Fridays ago! Good for him. He lets us go from service a half-hour early too, so that helps ;) And when you're at the MTC this long, you get the mini-fridge. Yup. No idea where it came from and I'm pretty confident the MTC doesn't know it's here. All I know is that it works, and I love it. It kind of acts as a right of passage too. Only the seniors get the fridge.

Also, when you've been at the MTC this long, you decide to celebrate Christmas, in August, just for fun. On the 25th. So yeah, today is Christmas Eve here in the MTC, and it's never been better! haha. Not Christmas, of course, but the MTC. We have like 5 little trees, some stockings, Christmas fudge, one of the elders is currently constructing a tree out of our cardboard boxes, and we're doing a secret Santa thing! haha. Hopefully it turns out! I'll try to have pictures for next week!

So a tradition my zone has done since I got here is called "Murph day". Murph is a crossfit workout (a hero WOD) that consists of 1 mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, and then another 1 mile run. The elders that left yesterday to Taipei were so funny about it. Before they left, they called a "Murph Council" with the only four of us that could do the whole thing. Hahaha it was the funniest thing ever. So yeah, I'm on the Murph Council. It's supposed to be my responsibility to keep up the hype for it, blah blah blah. I'm being dead serious!! haha. They took it way too seriously.

First Sunday here, I didn't know they did the sacrament prayer in Chinese (the other mandarin branch is all mandarin so all their talks and stuff are in Mandarin. Our zone has a cantonese district too so we get to do sacrament in English. Tender mercy!!) and they started saying the prayer and I just started crying...yeah. I've been humbled enough to admit that. So overwhelmed that people actually can say and understand what was being said and I had no clue, and then the Holy Ghost bore testimony to me that I'd someday be able to understand it. I was such a baby. Then this last Sunday, during sacrament, my eyes watered again as I was able to understand the words and the significance of the sacrament again. That's pretty cool.

At dinner one night, I sat my tray down and just blurted out "I'M ON A MISSION!" just cuz. Kind of fun.

TRC adventures this week. Saturday I, not by coincidence, got to have a lesson with Sister Anderson from Kaysville! Went to Davis, I played baseball with her brother (who's also in Taichung right now), her dad was my coach. That was seriously awesome! Then, on Monday we started our skype TRC, which is where we skype with members in Taiwan and pretend like we know what's going on! CRAZY! So we went in to this lesson thinking we were going to invite her to read the Book of Mormon every day in order to grow her faith...instead, she was the one that grew my faith! She lives in Taipei, is a part time missionary at the visitors center there, and has a huge testimony of the Book of Mormon. She has a skype group with like 8 other sisters who read the Book of Mormon every day for an hour. Unbelievable. We just "discussed" some verses in the Book of Mormon with her, she did like 95% of the talking, and bore testimonies of it. I think I definitely walked away more edified than she did.

I've learned a lot so far in the MTC. I've learned a lot about myself and I think, or at least hope, I've grown because of it. The mission sometimes seems to magnify my weaknesses. But I got 3 thoughts I want to share. D&C 4:2 says "see that ye serve with all your heart, might, mind, and strength" -so really having that self-awareness to kick out and fight off anything that isn't my ALL in heart, might, mind, and strength. In Matt. 25:14-30 is the parable of the talents. Lots of interpretations on it, but the other day I thought about how the servant with one talent knew the Lord's power, was afraid, and so he didn't magnify his talent. The Lord's chastening to me sounded like "Look. If you know I have such great power, why didn't you do even the simplest thing you could've done? Where was your faith?" Kind of a juxtaposition between fear and faith, and we all know you can't have both at the same time, and they both come from different sources. CHOOSE FAITH!! Lastly, I just wanna say the Book of Mormon really is powerful. That seems to have been the theme for me this last week. Feelings of the Spirit that come every time I study it testify to me of its reality and divinity. I especially love how it testifies of Christ. It teaches us His gospel, His mission, His atonement, His doctrine, and His own reality and divinity. I invite us all to really study it more thoroughly, not just a book, but as God's word to us, for us, individually. So awesome. AAHH!!! I love the Book of Mormon! hahaha

Hey the work is true and the work is good.

Fight on! Love you all!

柯长老
Elder Barker




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