Wow! Things are really moving fast! I feel like I'm learning incredible amounts of information and revelation! I haven't been on such a spiritual High in... well I never have.
Last week was hard and good. I was struggling with my comp and my district and wondering how I could help them improve.. I was wondering what they could change and I was praying for them at night.. It was wearing down on me and I felt really out of place and alone in the midst of 11 other people and it was wearing me down emotionally. I watched a devotional from the Provo MTC by Elder Bednar and I learned a lot.. not from what he was saying but through using what he was teaching to receive my own revelation. it's really cool that you can listen to someone teach and receive an answer to a question that has nothing to do with what they're teaching... that's the spirit for you! the Lord works in mysterious ways! anyways I realised that it wasn't about what my companion need to change.. it wasn't about how my district could be better.. the whole time I thought unless my comp and district was perfect I was imperfect and disobedient but I realised that I just had to do my best and it didn't really matter if my comp was obedient (well it does but..) It matters most that I love him and try to help him and do MY best and the Lord will help me, him, EVERYONE in his own way.. after realizing that it made things easier.. I told my comp how I was feeling and we have been doing great ever since.. I haven't once felt angry or annoyed with him and I love him to death! I'd even hug him if all the elders here weren't so weirded out by it.
Speaking of which no one here hugs! They're like all paranoid and get awkward when you put your arm around them or show ANY sign of affection. I'm not used to that. I've had 4 hugs since I got here.. maybe.
Food is still good and it's soo much better on Fast Sundays when you're starving and dinner is a small plate of salad with beans and a roll.. really filling. Not. :P But luckily no one else likes beans so I got 4 bowls of beans and I'm LOVING them! They taste WAY better here then in America!
I don't know what to tell you about mostly.. my week was basically struggling and then a bunch of awesome spiritual experiences.. so I guess I'll give out some advice.
Especially to Steven and Isaiah who are going to be going on missions soon:
1) The CCM (MTC) is going to be hard. You aren't going to get as much sleep as you want (Promise!) and you're going to struggle.. it's inevitable. DO NOT base your whole mission, your stay at the CCM, or even your progress on the first week. it will get better I promise!
2) If you're struggling there is ALWAYS one way to fix your problem (this will NEVER fail): Be more obedient. I've seen the missionaries who struggle.. I've been one. The missionaries who want to leave and go home are the ones who AREN'T TRYING THEIR HARDEST! Struggling is a part of growing and if you ignore the struggling or try and go around it you WILL NOT GROW! deal with it and find out what it is you need to do better!
3) Pray more. I don't care what you need help with just pray more.. whether its the language, the food, being more obedient, trying to fly, growing an extra toe.. If you pray more eventually you'll either succeed or you'll learn that what your praying for is the wrong thing for you at that time in your life (sorry that means you'll probably never get an extra toe)
4)Love others. The ONE thing I miss most about home is my ward.. the home ward AND the YSA ward.. everyone was ALWAYS kind whether they liked that person particularly or not. Here I am dealing with people who didn't have that kind of background. They talk behind each other's backs and judge based on unimportant things! learn now to be kind to everyone and even if you don't like someone DO NOT let others be mean to ANYONE! Stand up for those who are being picked on.. be their friends. The people I feel most loved by are those who I show the most love too and usually they're the ones the others pick on. I can tell you now that those elders will not feel that much love as long as they continue to put others down.
5) Eat everything you can.. its gross but eat it. (I'll admit I have the hardest time eating chicken here... I don't like tendons and veins and cartilage.)
6) When you pray for answers don't just pray and continue with your day.. try and wait, ponder and listen for answers.. somehow you WILL learn how to receive revelation.
7) Don't beat yourself up. Ever. yeah you need to grow and trust me if you try and grow you will. Don't beat your self up about anything.. be more constructive with your feedback.
8) Enjoy it. People around you will talk about how bad it is at the CCM (MTC). Just ignore them and think of all the AWESOME stuff you're learning and how much you're growing! When I got here I felt like a teenage boy who was surrounded by missionaries. NOW I can honestly tell you that I AM a missionary! I am an Elder of the Church and I feel it! I feel my authority and I feel my power to help!
You will accomplish much! and there are many other things you can learn from the CCM.. If you have tips for me please tell me!
I Love you all!!!!
---Elder Hyrum Clark