Here at the MTC, we have a devotional every Tuesday night. Usually we have a speaker from the Church Missionary Department or a Quorum of the Seventies or something. They are always fantastic talks, but never anyone we really know. Last Tuesday was a little different… Early in the day we had heard rumors of fresh flowers being delivered to the MTC for the devotional which is unheard of unless an Apostle is coming. Naturally, this got our hopes sky high and filled us with excitement. As the day went on, people started saying the rumors were false, and we were just having another regular devotional. Nothing special. I had a feeling they were wrong. After a bit of disagreeing, I finally convinced the Elders in my district to leave dinner early to go wait in line for the devotional. We arrived at 5:30, an hour and a half before the devotional started, and an hour before they even open the doors. We were only the second group in line when we got there, but after thirty minutes or so the line was wrapping around the building. They finally let us in and we were able to get second row seats right in the middle, literally ten feet from the pulpit. Nobody had any idea who was going to speak, but we were all on the edge of our seats. Around 6:45 there was a hush in the auditorium and everyone stood. We looked over to the doors behind the pulpit, and in walked Elder Richard G. Scott!!! I couldn’t believe it! This was such a wonderful blessing to us. It’s not often one gets the pleasure of hearing an Apostle of the Lord speak to them.
His entrance was fantastic, but his message was even better. So great, in fact, that I want to share a bit of it with you! He message was about prayer, and about receiving answers and revelation through it. During his talk he told us that answers to prayer will always come in one of three ways:
1) We will feel a feeling of peace and assurance indicating our choice is correct.
2) We will feel a stupor of thought or a feeling of unsurity indicating our choice is incorrect.
3) We will feel nothing.
He then went on the explain the third answer, the difficult one. He told us that us not receiving an answer does not mean God did not hear our prayer. Rather, it is a sign of trust. If God does not give us an apparent answer, it means he trusts us to make the right choice on our own. If we do not feel anything while praying, we must act and continue to pray. Eventually, when the time is right, God will let us know that our decision was correct. If we did choose wrong, however, he will never let us go too far down the road without letting us know and getting us back in the right direction.
Elder Scott also told us over and over again that our mission calls are inspired. He made it very clear that we are going where God wants us to go. Not where some computer randomly assigned us. He said that our missions will bless us in so many ways that we cannot imagine not only in this life, but throughout eternity. Eventually he left us with a beautiful Apostolic blessing and with his testimony saying, “I know He lives, because I know Him.” It was one of the most powerful meetings I have ever been in. I felt the Holy Ghost there so strongly! It was a wonderful blessing to us and I am so grateful for it!
Apart from the devotional, the week went wonderful. I even got a few good stories! For example: last night was a few of the Elders in our districts last night here. I have gotten really close to them and am sad to see them leave. Anyways, to celebrate there time here at the MTC, we decided to throw a party for them. We spent hours last night eating Chips and salsa/queso and other wonderful snacks, and playing Haurel-Ball (named after Elder Haurel). It was a blast! Towards the end of the night a few of the Elders were in the hallway seeing if they could jump high enough to touch the ceiling with their heads. Out of all the Elders there, only one 6 foot Elder was able to barely graze his hair. I decided to give it a try… I got a great running start, sat into my jump, and flew! I not only touched the ceiling, but my head went THROUGH the ceiling!!! I completely shattered the ceiling tile I hit and landed in a pile of rubble. Nobody was sure what to do. With some laughing their heads off and others terrified of getting in trouble (we were up way after lights out), Elder Sprague (pictured below) and I got to work! We found some white masking tape and carefully reassembled the ceiling tile. Eventually we got the tile back in the ceiling and the mess taken care of. You can still tell the tile is a little messed up, but we did our best!
I guess you could say my MTC experience has been great so far. I have loved every minute of it and can’t wait to have some more. The friendships I have made here in just a few short weeks are friendships that will last forever. I have no doubt! I hope everything is going well for you folks back home! Take care, and don’t forget God loves you!!!