With the first four weeks done of my MTC experience, things are looking pretty up. My new companions and I are finally getting into the swing of teaching as a trio and learning how to teach in general. A lot of the workshops have to do with the 8 fundamentals of teaching, which I don't know all of off the top of my head, but a few of which are revelation through the Book of Mormon, Revelation through Church Attendance, Revelation through Prayer, etc., though not all of them have "revelation" as the first word.
I don't have as much time to write today as I normally do. The computers have been absolutely booked today for some odd reason. But something that I want to share is something from our Sacrament meeting that took place this last Sunday. The main speaker was our Branch President, President Ricks, and his message was in a round about way related to enduring to the end. He related the stories found in First and Second Nephi in the Book of Mormon, with Nephi's family. But he didn't look at Nephi, the example of obedience. He took the stand of Laman and Lemuel. He described how, even though they didn't want to do most of the things, they actually did do them. Even when it meant travelling a couple hundred miles to and from Jerusalem, twice, to get first the Brass Plates, and then the family of Ishmael. They complained, but they went. And when they got to Jerusalem to get the plates, Laman was the first to go. The difference between Laman and Lemuel and their brother Nephi was not always in their obedience, it was in their willingness. Where Nephi said, "I will go and do" without question, Laman and Lemuel went and did after complaining, saying "it is a hard thing you have required of us." The biggest difference was that Laman and Lemuel murmured; they murmured against their father, their brother, and the visionary aspects of the commandments Lehi received from the Lord. The verse he pointed out to us in closing was in 1 Nephi chapter 3. It was not verse 7, he quoted verse six. "Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured."
We need to remember to keep an open heart and mind to receive impressions and revelations from the Lord. Remember the commandment to pray with a sincere heart and real intent. Many can pray sincerely to know the truth, but if they have no "intent" to act on the revelation or impression they receive, the answer comes in vain. When asking a question in prayer, first seek to know and study it out with a desire to know the answer, have the faith to receive that answer, and then pray in that faith. An answer will come, but it may be a long time in coming. The Lord answers on His time and in His way, not ours. The key work is "ask"; don't tell the Lord what you want and give Him a time limit on our patience.
I've learned most of this before, but it has taken on a whole new meaning as I have come to start teaching "investigators." To all you future missionaries, pay attention in Seminary. Try to read the full cannon of scripture before leaving. And study ALL of Preach My Gospel. "...first seek to obtain my word..." *Dad, I'm sure you can help me out with some of these references, I don't have the time to put them all in before I send this**
When feeling down, always look up. God will lift you higher.
Elder Matthew Dewsnup
Haslams: I got you letters this morning! Thank you for sending them. They made me smile. Braxton: Remember to always look up. Always pray for strength. The example of others becomes your example when you choose to follow in their footsteps. Ten un Buen Dia!
Dewsnups/Bastians: Thanks for the letters and email (Sarah and Brandon). They mean a lot and help me keep going. Dad especially, I always seem to get a letter from you when I need to hear it most and when my deepest thought it what you address. Thank you all.
Mom/Dad: I haven't yet received the letter in regards to my companion, but I do know from Mom's "Dear Elder" that it's on its way. Dad, tell the priests to study Preach My Gospel and to do all they can to read not only from the Book of Mormon, but also the other Standard Works. It will help them even more if they are familiar with the stories that their investigators will know and if they can relate passages interchangeably from both the Book of Mormon and the Bible.
Meg/Marvin: I hope you've gotten a nice elk by now. I'm rootin' for ya!
Sarah/Brandon/Annie: Thanks for the picture. I don't have the ability to print it, but it made me smile. As did the opening "Dear Uncle Dweebus" ;)
Joseph: Always keep in mind the end goal of Seminary. It is to prepare you for a mission. Read the full cannon of scripture if you can. Set goals in which you can measure daily progress and get through it. Also study in Preach My Gospel. It will help you prepare so much more if you get it all read before you come out. I wish I had. Kia Kaha.