In Sweden the word for vegetables is grönsaker, translating to "green things". This is apparently due to their lack of favor towards vegetables. I thought dad would appreciate that!Ok, so the longer I stay here at the MTC the faster the days start going by, Less significant stuff seems to happen only because we become conditioned to overpowering spiritual moments, the gift of tongues in action, and missionary life. I don't have much for this last week but a few highlights.Being a Zone Leader is hard, it is very challenging and stressful at times. This last week has been very vexing, we've had a few missionaries go home and a few weeks ago an ER trip for an Elder. But I know that the Lord qualifies those whom he calls.Since I teach in a trio the teachers have had our companionship splitting up for our lessons so only two of us teach a lesson, the third acts as a second investigator or as a member helping the missionaries. Four days ago I was sitting out and we had our worst lesson yet (the two don't necessarily coincide). The teacher could tell they were frustrated and gave us a great talk on improving. They really are inspired when teaching us. Two days after we taught Leo (the progressive investigator our teacher plays) again. We went in and rocked that lesson, the spirit was so powerful and overwhelming.Elder Bowen came in this Tuesday and spoke more of the announcement. He said that come February even missionaries who have been out for just 3 months could be trainers for newbies. I am so excited to go to Sweden and teach. I love the people already and I don't even know them.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
So as far as news goes for this last week I think the biggest is General Conference. When President Monson stood up and made the announcement regarding age changes the entire MTC exploded, I have never seen people cheer so loud in a religious setting. There is no place I would have rather been when that announcement was made. But it was made for a reason. As Bednar later said we cant guess the reason, "The Lord can do his own work, and will hasten his pace in his time". The Lord has seen fit to hasten his pace. If the Lord needs to hasten his pace we need to double our own and extend our full commitment. Its important to not only look at this as a means to make a mission more convenient for missionaries but as a call to serve. In my last entry I talked about how the work in Sweden has been exploding and Europe has seen unbelievable baptism rates, No-one here finds this to be a coincidence, not only are we the last wave of preparatory missionaries but we are the first wave of the Second Harvest around the world. It's true that if this had been enacted even at last general conference my school times would be a lot more convenient but the lord sent me at this time to this place for a reason. All of the MTC has been rejuvenated as if a second wind has hit us. Everyone is working their hardest to be the best we can be. "The Lord has prepared a harvest for us, the amount we reap is up to us".
The rest of the conference talks were amazing especially Holland's although that put a lot of pressure on us missionaries. The Tuesday after Conference Bednar spoke at the MTC. Having an Apostle there was amazing and while here I have watched multiple of his talks, he gave talks entitled "Is it the Spirit, or is it me" and "Character of Christ" both are life changing and amazing. His talk on Tuesday was on Listening to the Apostles of God correctly. He told us of how he studies their talks. He talked about how every time a General Authority is speaking he looks for what Doctrinal Pieces they mention. What Invitations they extend, and, what blessing are promised. Doing this creates a nice condensed list of what we should do, how we go about doing it, and what we get from it. It is an amazing system to practice that I will definitely be trying to implement into my notes from future talks and conferences. The MTC is a factory for missionaries and self improvement. It is amazing here.
Not a lot else has been happening. The English elders that came in with us are now gone. Its crazy to think we've made it a third of the way and they're in the field. I am also leading orientation for new missionaries today entering our zone.
Thanks for the letters. I love to hear from family and friends!!!!
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Jonathan writes, Last Wednesday I trained an incoming batch of new elders. I did the same thing yesterday and I'm giving further orientation information today. Being a Zone leader is fun but it's a lot of meetings and work and extra things I have to do. So the investigator I told you about has actually turned out to be our third teacher. His name is brother Jorgensen, my other two teachers are brother Harris and brother Bush. All three are spiritual giants and are inspired in their teachings. We are learning Swedish and the doctrine faster then most others would believe possible.
There has been a cold going around since we got here. For me it was just a runny nose but other elders and sisters have gotten it really bad. Last night we had to get an elder from my zone to the ER really fast (nothing related to the cold). As zone leaders we helped coordinate it. It ended up being a clogged system and a build up of gas, nothing too serious. Speaking of injuries there is another elder here named elder Poppenfaus. He was injured playing basketball and got his stay here pushed up to 12 weeks total. He's going to Sweden as well but is still here from the group that went before us. This story makes me feel bad because an Elder who was coming to hit against me in volleyball tore his miniscus and he was in his 2nd of 3 weeks and will now be staying for at least 5 more weeks. Then two days later his companion tried to block one of my sets (illegall by the way, so this isn't my fault). and he got into the net landed on my foot and rolled his ankle. They now travel around the MTC together in crutches. I feel bad but I think they're both getting transferred to a spanish speaking mission in the same area. So maybe a blessing in disguise? Don't worry mom, I'm being careful and have been doing my best to avoid injury.
This Friday we are teaching Swedish speaking members in the community. It's crazy to think that two weeks ago I could only say a few things in Swedish and now I'[m going to be teaching lessons in the language. We are all way pumped for General Conference. It's crazy to see how much the Prophets and Apostles really tailor their messages for missionaries. Elder Bednar's talks are legendary and we go to them as often as possible. I found out Elder Eyring gave a talk in the Stockholm Stake a few years back and relayed revelation given concerning the missionary work in Sweden. He talked about the second harvest and how the country of Swewden will see it's membership rise at unusual rates. Last year the membership went from 5000-6000. The numbers are supposed to be even higher at the end of this year. It's cool thinking we've been called specifically to our mission and president. In the MTC we've all had our own confirmaiton of this. Another thing that is very cool is that our title, that of "elder" is only shared by those who lead our church. Elder Oaks talked about how they have an apostolic calling and we have an apostolic calling.
I have appreciated the letters I have been receiving from people they really do help with morale at the MTC. I am practically out of time now so must go.
Love you all.