Hello everyone! Elder Sargent here. Things are going well in the MTC. What good times we have here! The days go by slow, but the weeks go by SO fast. We finally got to go back to the Provo temple today which was awesome. I love going to the temple and encourage all who haven't been for awhile to go! As well, our new 36 missionaries are great! We, as well, get 5 more this Wednesday. Elder Guinn and I have been extremely busy.
Sunday yesterday was awesome. I taught my own districts lesson (discussion) and it was amazing! I had the elder who strained his ACL do a certain amount of push ups for every mint I gave out, whether or not they wanted one, and the different kinds were worth more push ups. The elder did 3 sets of something like 80 push ups! While he did push ups, we read different scriptures on the Saviors atonement. After he finished the first batch, I offered them mints again and it was interesting to see how attitudes changed as they saw how exhausted he was. The third time I offered, I also had a large fruit roll up. No one wanted anything, except a few, but I gave them all one, nonetheless. Every time the elder was doing his push ups we discussed the Saviors atonement for us and what happened. The spirit was so strong as the attitude changed from funny to sad as the elder strained. They weren't pansy push ups by any means. Wow, it went so well. The Savior literally suffered THREE times in Gethsemane whilst in between he checked on his best friends the apostles who had fallen asleep. As they left, he was betrayed by another friend, and watched as an apostle cut the ear off of one of the men who came to arrest him. Christ then proceeded to heal the mans ear who he had JUST suffered for. All for us. We have the atonement for us whether or not we use it. I wish I could actually write and convey the feeling that permeated the room and all of us. I probably butchered the idea, but oh well, you understand.
I also had the opportunity to interview district leaders and wanted to share some of the thoughts we talked about. One of the things Elder Guinn and myself decided to do was to have everyone stay in the classroom building until 9:30 when we are allowed to go to our residences again. Usually, many would wander out and eventually just sit down next to the building and chomp at the bit to go inside, and many would just succumb to temptation and go in. I found myself sitting outside often (9-9:30 is Daily planning btw). I found myself thinking more about this and strict obedience. I likened this thought to a race. Not any race. Not a state or even olympic race. This is a race with the very souls of people we promised we would find in the pre-mortal existence on the line. There is no greater race. Every day is a race to prepare to find these people in the MTC and a race to find them in the field. Satan isn't hindered by a physical body to run this race. Therefore we must run the race THE WHOLE way. There is no walking or even jogging the last 25-15 feet in a race. There is not even slowing down the last foot in a race where eternal salvation is on the line. We were met by some resistance from many elders and some District leaders. I shared this with them to help them understand. We challenged ourselves to ask ourselves what kind of a race we ran that day and write it in our planner and I wish to do the same for all that read this. When we retire can we ask ourselves: "Did I run a first place race today? Or did I slow down a little. I had a little sideache on lap three and slowed down. I got passed up. I took third." Ether 12:27
Likewise, as we are obedient and train and prepare, we can run first place races everyday. Because when we get passed up on the last lap, it isn't a friend or companion passing us. It is the adversary himself and we CANNOT be beat. It is not an option.
To the future missionaries:
Obedience brings blessings. Strict obedience brings miracles. Here at the MTC as missionaries, we need miracles. We decide what level of obedience we have. Decide not and do not falter.