Saturday, February 26, 2011

Eighth Week in MTC

I didn't get this posted on Tuesday. This is from Derek's letter of February 22.

"I think this week was also a lot about teaching me how to be a better disciple of Christ, I can't remember if I mentioned that we had a fireside here where the speaker spoke about becoming a disciple of Christ. He said we need to be so much more than just missionaries, that we need to climb above being just average to being incredible missionaries, and truly following Christ. I don't know, I can't really describe how I felt, but the spirit was there, and I think it was one of those times where it can be a life changing experience if I let it.

My lifetime goal is to truly become a disciple of Christ, beyond everything else, I want to be able to follow him with all my heart might mind and strength, in every sense of the phrase. It really inspired me, and it's become a focus of my studies these past couple weeks, or whenever I heard it, I'm not sure, all the time blends together here... But yeah, I've been studying this, how to change myself to truly become His disciple, not just a follower, or a believer, but a disciple, and this week the Lord really helped me out in trying to figure out how to do that.

One of the things he taught me was from the talk by Elder Holland I believe, entitled "The Grandeur of God". He talks about who God really is, and how we have to get to know Him. I'd definitely recommend studying it if you all can find the time. It's really an amazing talk. One of the things I learned, and really struck me about the love of God was how everything Christ did was exactly what God would've done if he were on the earth. All the healings, all the forgiveness, the occasional wrath, every single thing was exactly what God would've done. And then it hit me that that meant the Atonement as well. If God could have He would've died for us, he would've allowed himself to be hung on that cross. Our Father in Heaven would have been crucified for us, he would have taken upon himself every single one of his sins if he could. That's how much he loves us, that He, God, The God, Our Father in Heaven, The Almighty, would take upon himself all of our sins.

Elder Holland says something interesting as well. He says we don't understand how loving and merciful God is. Because when we feel His love in our lives, when we feel His Charity for someone all we want to do is take that person on our shoulders and carry them to safety, to peace, to comfort. And he said that's how God feels about us as well. He just wants to lift us up and carry us all the way home, no matter how much we've sinned, no matter how lost we are. It really is incredible to think about... And it taught me a lot about Charity and how I need to change."

"Um, to address some business. I will be leaving the MTC at 8:30 p.m. the 28th, my flight leaves at 1:00 in the morning and I'll arrive in D.C. at 9:00 a.m. their time after a one hour lay over in Atlanta. It's so crazy to think that I'm almost out of here! And I never thought I'd say it, but I may actually miss this place a little... My teachers, my district, my comp, they've all been great, and I've learned and grown a ton here. However, I do feel that it's time to move on, and that I've learned those things that I needed to here. I'm ready to preach the Gospel! And it's going to be crazy that first day, because I'll have a whole day of missionary work probably without sleep... Oh, and I'm the only Elder in my travel group, which means I'll be flying solo, and all the Presiden't attention will be on me.... Fun stuf... "

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