Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week 6 Leaving for Baltimore

MTC president Lon Nally and wife Kaye Nally

Well, this week was my final week here at the MTC, and once again it was filled with plenty of experiences and learning opportunities.

Sunday was Fast Sunday, so we had Mission Conference, where the entire MTC gathers together. It was President and Sister Nally's final time, they are released as MTC Presidents next week. They seem like the nicest people and I am so impressed by their leadership to all the missionaries, especially with the age change, they had to do so much to keep the MTC working to the best ability and they accomplished that. Sister Nally talked a lot about leadership in the Church. When Gordon B Hinckley was asked about how to teach people to lead in the church he said, "Teach them to Pray, God will Lead." Being a Leader really is just acting as an instrument in the Lord's hand, same as a missionary. I have needed prayer so much as a missionary, and he is really the one that does the leading, even in my District Leader calling.

Also, Sunday Night, the President of Media for the Church came and shared some new things that the Church has been working on. They were really cool, short videos that they want to put on They target more to the 18-30 year old age, because they are animated and shorter and really explain basic doctrines of the Church. It was really cool to see how much the Church is progressing through technology and how they can reach so many people now. 

My companion continued to have knee problems and appointments this week. I went to Physical Therapy and actually got the chance to meet a very nice elderly couple that had lived in Baltimore, it was amazing to talk to them about it. I got to meet a lot of people and talk to them about my mission, it made me excited for getting to Baltimore even more. Elder Bernard, my companion, continued doing Physical Therapy this whole week, and they ended up deciding he wasn't progressing enough to lead. So sadly, he will be going home tomorrow and hopefully getting in the field in a few months. It's been really tough, but I remember in my blessing to him I blessed him that he would understand the Lord's plan for him, so I know that he will be able to.

Hermano Holman, one of our teachers, came back from France! Our Spanish was better than his French, so we got to have a Fiesta last night, where he told a bunch of his Mission Stories from Nicaragua. I've had so much fun getting to know my teachers, I love every single one of them. They teach me so much, Spanish and Spiritually. It amazes me how much they know and how much they can help. I'm sad to leave them, I wish I could have them with me on my mission!!

Last Care Package at the MTC
I think the thing I've learned the most about this week is the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is always there for you, and if you use it correctly, will always testify to the investigator. In just a few days, I'll be on a plane to Baltimore. Even though I don't feel completely ready, and I know that Spanish is going to be hard to understand at first, I trust in the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I know that people can feel that and know that what I'm teaching is true. 

I'm so excited to get out there! My next email will most likely come on a Monday. In a few days, I'll be in my first area of the Mission Field. It really starts now, what I've been training for. I'm so grateful for the help of everyone and the love shown to me!

Con amor, 

- Elder Leavitt

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week 5 Happy New Year

This week was full of lessons, devotionals, and great experiences!

For our Sunday Devotional, we had David Archuleta come and sing, which was so cool! Richard Elliot, the organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, was also there. They both played and sang amazing Christmas songs, and David Archuleta bore his testimony of Missionary Work. It was really really good!

On Sunday, I also got the experience to Consecrate Oil, Bless the Sacrament in Spanish, and to stand in the circle for a few blessings for the 8 Missionaries in our Branch that were leaving the next day for Argentina! I'm going to miss them, I became really good friends with them and they were great examples to me throughout my first few weeks here!!

Elder Bernard, my companion, has had knee problems in the past (2 surgeries), and this week, he hurt his knee again. I was really worried for him. We went into the Doctor here at the MTC and everyone that was talking to him made it seem pretty bad, they kept asking questions like: "So where were you going to serve?" and it really sounded like he was headed home. We were driven over to the BYU Clinic for MRI's. They set up an appointment the next day to go over what should happen. That night, I told him that we should give him a blessing. He asked me to do it. I was really nervous, it was the first blessing I had ever given. But what a powerful, amazing experience I had. The words didn't feel like they were mine. I don't remember some of the things I said, but I do remember promising that he would come to know and accept the plan that the Lord had in store for him. It was such a Spiritual experience for me. I wish I could remember more of the blessing, but right afterwards, I had forgotten so many of the things I had said, it didn't feel like I had even spoken during the blessing. The power of the Priesthood is real, I found that out in an amazing way this week. The next few days, throughout many appointments, he became cleared to stay on his mission for now. He will be doing Physical Therapy and hopefully improving the knee.

This week, we read a lot about the Psalm of Nephi in Chapter 4 of 2nd Nephi. It is such a great scripture, and really has helped me if I ever feel down. We were told in one of the devotionals that "Missionaries should be the happiest people in the world." Sometimes that seems so hard, but then I realize what I am doing is really worth more than anything else I could be doing. I'm serving the Lord.

Hope everyone had a great New Years!

- Elder Leavitt

David Archuleta's testimony of Missionary work was awesome!