Life here at the MTC seems pretty normal until you start remembering your bedroom back home or drinking something with a bit of caffeine like Dr. Pepper or a nice cold Pepsi or remember just hanging out with friends or going to see a film or something. This week I was having some difficulty with home sickness but this week was a strong one and a great one.
I'll start with an experience that I had on Thursday. After teaching or trying to teach a lesson about God and prayer to our Atheist investigator Axel who was our teacher in disguise, I completely flopped the lesson and it seemed like my tongue was bound) our teacher told our class to go downstairs and find a single room to be completely alone and kneel down in prayer and bare your soul to our Heavenly Father and open the flood gate, talk about everything that is bugging you and ask for help.
I found a room that was about 5 foot by 5 foot, almost a closet, that is used for teaching investigators. I took my jacket off and knelt down and I opened up and bore my soul and I pleaded for help with my stress, my trouble with the language, my inability to convey my true feelings, my homesickness, my everything... I literally felt alone in the room and I waited for an amount of time and got up and started to leave the room. I opened the door and I heard a thought tell me that I needed to go back into that room. I closed the door and I took off my jacket and I knelt again and folded my arms. I then literally just started to sing I Need Thee Every Hour hymn # 98 and I then felt a comforting feeling surround me. It wasn't like a hug but it was like a warm embrace, like when you lay down to sleep with a blanket wrapped around me. Then I realized that I was never alone and I would never be. I felt the spirit of God stronger that day then I can ever remember.
And then got a package from my mom with a message saying that she was thinking of me and along that message was some tortilla chips and nacho dip with a lot of snacks and sweets. I really think She wants to butter me up before I get to France so I can't runaway from my companion and leave on a train and live in the Swiss Alps for a few years. (Totally a joke, that thought would never actually go through my head while in the field...I think). but this really showed me how much people really do care about me and think about me even when I'm away and while I'm in need.
Our teacher left us a message on the board saying " A smooth sea never made a great sailor" and that really helped me a lot.
On Sunday, we hold a devotional in the MTC gym and we have a speaker from the Church address us with a topic of advise or comfort and this Sunday we heard from a man named Lloyd Newell and his voice like rivals Morgan Freeman with majestic-ness. For those who watch General Conference, he does the whole " this is the 185th semiannual general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints..." intro-thingy and his voice is amazing he also voices the oldest continuous nationwide network radio broadcast in America, Music and The Spoken Word. We kinda did a MTC Spoken word where he would talk for a bit and the choir, which I was participating in, would sing some hymns and it would be super spiritually powerful. He talked about the topic of Fear Not. He talked about how "Fear is a tool used to stop man in his tracts and to lose hope. He who fears loses strength for the combat of life, a timid fearing people can not do their work well and can not do God's work at all" - President Howard W Hunter.
He also talked about how Loving his people will cause oneself not to fear. His message was exactly what I need this week.
On Monday, we had to teach Axel again. We prayed before we walked in for guidance and to know what Axel really need... Elder Battezzato was taking going to talk about how we can grow closer to God and would show our ami de l'église a video about a man who loved his family and how he knows God loves him in the exact same manner. I then felt the prompting to use a metaphor with Axel and explained how Having a prayer with Heavenly Father is like a long distance phone call. You express a small bit of faith by "picking up the phone" or by bowing our heads in prayer and by talking about your life like with a friend who lives miles away or like your father. I told him that God, like and earthly father, wants to hear from his children and he really wants to hear from his son, Axel....
When I said these words, all three of us felt the spirit and we all were teary eyed... I never thought I could ever talked to someone in French with such power and it was the best lesson I have ever taught and I knew that it wasn't just me teaching him but it was the spirit and the power of God.
This week was great and i'm excited for next week.
10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
Elder David Stephens
France Lyon Mission