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Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12, 2012--MTC Week 6

Well it is P-day once again!  If all goes well with visas, I have about two and a half weeks left in the MTC.  So, I'm definitely excited about that.  I'm kind of soaking wet, since we just walked from the temple in the rain... I guess I'd better get used to that since I'm so apprehensive to get to Mexico.  So, recap on my week (it's been one of the best yet for sure):  <--that is not a frowning face

Sunday for Easter, we had President Boyd K. Packer and his son, Elder Packer (I don't remember his first name off the top of my head, and I forgot my notes back in our classroom...).  It was a special sacrament meeting, with all 3000 missionaries in the same room.  Passing and blessing the Sacrament was quite a feat.  It was really weird to hear it called "Sacrament" again, and to hear the prayer in English.  I'm so used to hearing "Santa Cena" each sunday, and listening to the prayer in spanish.  Anyway, the meeting was incredible.  We started off (the choir) singing "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer".  That is such an incredibly powerful hymn, and is so perfect for both Easter and missionary work.  I was singing bass with an Elder from my district, and it was definitely the best part in the song.  Very appropriately for Easter, both President Packer and his son spoke on Christ.  They were both that kind of talk where you don't really hear anything new, but it feels like you do because the Spirit there so powerful, and testifying the whole time to everyone willing to listen.

Following the special Sacrament meeting, we had a testimony meeting with our branches.  I had the opportunity for the first time to bear my testimony in Spanish over the pulpit.  It was such a powerful experience for me, and I know that the when the Spirit is present the barriers of language really don't matter. 

Tuesday night we had the opportunity to hear from Bishop McMullin, who was just released from the presiding bishopric this conference.  It was definitely my favorite devotional yet, right up there with Elder Oaks.  He talked about the power of our calling.  He said that when we teach investigators, even if our language is so bad that they understand what we say less than half the time, they should want us to come back just because they feel that there is something different about us; something that they want to remain in their home.  He then talked about how the simple doctrines of the Gospel that we so often take for granted can be so powerful.  God is our loving Heavenly Father.  And He wants to talk to us and to hear from us.  To be there when we need to pour out our soul to Him.  It really hit me how incredible it is that we are children of God.  And that when we pray with Him, we can speak one on one with the Almighty Master of EVERYTHING.  Not only that, but He really does care about us; He cries with us when we are hurting, and He rejoices with us when we are happy.  As incredible as that is to me, I can't begin to imagine how I would feel as an investigator hearing this for the first time.

Another thing that has become more and more clear to me since I've been here is how much sense the Gospel makes.  Everything is so logical and organized.  It all falls into place.  I think a reason for this is that it feels like home to our spirits.  We can't remember our pre-Earth life, but the Gospel feels so familiar and right to all those who honestly want to know.  We are all given the Light of Christ, and as light cleaveth unto light, the Gospel just resonates within us so perfectly.

Lastly, we got the chance yesterday to watch a devotional from last year by Elder Bednar.  What He talked about was how to differentiate between a prompting of the Spirit and our own thoughts.  His answer:  stop worrying about it.  Wow.  Not what I was expecting to hear.  He told us that as long as we are worthy (in his words: "be a good boy or a good girl, keep your covenants, and keep the commandments"), our thoughts will be aligned with the will of our Father and Heaven.  Many times, we won't consciously realize that we have received a prompting from the Spirit until afterwards.  He shared three experienced of this from his life:  one from his mission, one from his experience as a stake president, and one as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.  As long as we ACT, the Spirit will guide us, and we will not go amiss.  We cannot be directed while we aren't taking action, so as long as we're obedient and DOING what we're supposed to, the Spirit will guide our thoughts and our words, usually without our knowledge of it.  A lot of the time people think missionaries have the voice of the Spirit in their head the whole day telling them exactly what we need to do.  Haha that is not true. 

So I'm out of time, but I just wanted to say that I'm doing great.  I'm definitely dying to get to Mexico, but I'm having so many incredible experiences every day.

Happy birthday to Adam and Jared in 3 days!!!!! I hope it's an awesome one.  At some point I'm going to send a "Happy Birthday" (haha although it will be for everyone) package home... probably won't be all that excited but I'll see what I can do.  As of right now I just have a few books to send home, because like I said I'm sure at least Adam, Jared, or Jacob (or all 3) will get called Spanish speaking, and these books are pretty great. 

Love you all!

Con amor,
Elder Nickerl

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