Monday, August 2, 2010

Dear family
Thanks for the first letter you sent me. The MTC is great and the Spirit is incredibly strong. The people in my district continue to be an inspiration to me. The opportunity to serve a mission is incredible. The language has been tough, ubt it is still wonderful to be working on speaking Spanish. On Wednesday we had to opportunity to go to what is called the TRC (Teaching Resource Center). At the TRC we practiced contacting someone at their house in Spanish and then we were able to practice teaching the first lesson in English. Even though we were with someone acting as an investigator the Spirit was so strong and it testified that what we were teaching is true. We actually had a trio instead of just me and my companion because they didn't have enough teachers for our district so we had to have one companionship split up. Elder Vaughan was the third elder added to our companionship. It made it so we had to shift how we were going to teach a little bit, but the flow of the lesson was still great. Every Tuesday we have an LGM (Large Group Meeting) where were learn about being better missionaries. On Tuesday we learned about having a baptism mindset on our missions and doing a little extra work to be a little bit better. Brother Littlefield was the teacher and he showed how just adding 2 or 3 contacts per day can make the amount of total baptisms in the mission go up. He also pointed out that our missions are about number of baptisms because each number represents an individual coming closer to Christ through the gospel. On Tuesday we also had a devotional for Gene R. Cook, and he taught us how to "discourage discouragement" and how to be an effective missionary. One thing he said was about music. He said "Music has a way of conveying the Spirit that words cannot." I got some other quotes I really like as well.

M. Russell Ballard said about missionary work:
"Your capacity to baptize is going to be directly proportionate to your preparation, your obedience, and your capacity as a teacher."

John Taylor said about teaching and missionary work:
"It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself, and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it."
My MTC President, Ralph W. Smith said about obedience:
"Select obedience is not obedience at all."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf said about work ethic:
"The Lord doesn't expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn't (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can - that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be."

I know all of these statements are true and they have helped me in preparing for my mission and they will help me remember how to teach and be obedient. The one from President Uchtdorf especially helps me as I look around and almost all of my district is better than me at the language. I can keep pressing on because I shouldn't worry about how well they are doing. My mission has been great so far and extremely overwhelming, and it will only get more so. I leave for the Peru MTC on August 11th. I leave Salt Lake City at 9:30 and fly to Atlanta for a 2 hour layover. We then leave Atlanta at 5:00 eastern time and head to Lima. We land in Lima at 10:00ish Peru time. I am really excited and really nervous.

Today we got to go to the Provo Temple and do a temple session. The opportunity was great and I felt the Spirit so strongly. Every once in a while over the past few days I have felt like I am not able to do the language and the mission because honestly, it's hard. But an incredible thought came to my mind as I was listening to the prayer in the prayer circle during the session. It went something like this:

"They just prayed for you in the prayer circle Tyler. They just prayed for every missionary in the world. In fact, there are so many members throughout the world praying for you every day. They are praying for your safety and your success, not to mention the people in your family and circle of friends who pray for you especially. What were you doing being worried at all about your mission? With that many prayers, how can you fail?

I may not feel ready for my mission yet, and I may never feel perfectly ready, but I am getting there and so many people are praying for me. I also know what I am doing is important because of my testimony. Se que La Iglesia dDe Jesucristo De Los Santos Do Los Últimos Días es verdadero. (I know that the Church of Jesus Christ is true.) Se que Jesucristo es mi Slavador. (I know Jesus Christ is my Savior.) Se que José Smith fue un profeta de Dios. (I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.) Y se que el Libro De Mormón es verdadero. (I know the Book of Mormon is true.) These basic beliefs are what I am taking to the people in Peru, and they are what can drive me forward on my mission. I love you all.

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