Wednesday, July 27, 2011

27 July 2011 Letter (MTC)

Hello Family!!!

Here's my weekly email, beginning with the blog posts:

Wednesday, 20 July
The Residence Hall is crowded again.  Elder Swett and I welcomed 19 new missionaries, including the new Albanian District.  We checked the Narnia holes (Narnia does exist, but I must refrain from saying more, lest I lose my memory of it, or cause harm to fall upon it), and passed along the boxes from the previous Albanian District.  They seem like they should be a good group, although, for now they walk into their rooms and close their doors (aren't very sociable).  They'll probably open up and socialize over time.  This afternoon we cleaned the temple for 4 hours, wiping down walls, dusting shelves, cleaning lockers, and moving furniture.  Elder Swett and I got lucky and the worker we were with gave us a tour for a short break halfway through.  We got to see all over the temple including the furnace and ventilation room, the Sealing Rooms, stand directly under the chandelier in the Celestial Room, find the workshop in the basement, see the Brides' Room, and we also stopped to talk to three of the workers and hear what they did and how it was going (for example, in the Celestial Room we spent about 10 minutes talking to the man in charge of all the gold leafing on the ceilings and walls, and heard some cool stories).  Lastly, we taught Gyula today.  We had another member join the lesson, Bea, and we asked about Gyula's prayers, reading, and testimony of the Book of Mormon.  Most importantly, we finally got him to commit to working towards being baptized on August 15!  Happy Day! =)  We plan on working hard to help make sure he's worthy and ready by then.

Thursday, 21 July
Today was yet another, full, busy day.  Funny how life is actually busy during a mission... Anyhow, we taught Lilla this morning, focusing on Christ, his baptism, resurrection, atonement, and love, and concluded by asking her to be baptized, to which she again replied "possibly".  This evening we had TRC, where we taught Jared, Cece, and Gabor about the restoration.  We finished the evening giving the Day 2 orientation and a tour of the MTC to all the new missionaries in our Branch.  I'm starting to remember their names and faces. 

Friday, 22 July
Surprise! Yet another busy day!  We taught Gyula tonight, checking up on his feelings and commitment concerning baptism and taught him about listening to and following the prophet, as well as keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  We also talked about stress this morning and ways missionaries can recognize and cope with it.

Saturday, 23 July
Not a whole lot happened today.  I've started memorizing the First Vision in Hungarian and we taught Lilla the first part of the Plan of Salvation (Pre-Mortal through Earthlife) and tried to set up a baptismal date (third try in a row).  She's changed from "possibly" to that she would like to, but not for another 2-3 months.  At least we're progressing.

Sunday, 24 July
Today was Pioneer Day.  I gave the District lesson (an hour long) on Humility.  Just as its opposite, Pride, is the universal sin, Humility leads to all other Christ-like attributes, including the magnificent "Charity".  This evening we watched "Legacy" (not my favorite church film) and listened to a Fireside given by Stephen B Allen (one of my all-time favorite speakers).  He used multiple Mormon Messages in his lesson, and finished by having us sing "Come, Come Ye Saints" with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (on CD).  The second verse stood out to me especially: "Gird up your loins, fresh courage take, our God will never us forsake.  And soon we'll have this tale to tell, all is well.  All is Well!"

Monday, 25 July
41 days down, 35 to go!  I have officially mastered behind-the-back shots in 4-Square, and wrote my testimony in Hungarian.  Tonight we taught Gyula about following the prophet.  Today was Sister Barker's Birthday, and the night ended with me creating a new fencing drill: popping bubbles with the collapsible pointer. =D

Tuesday, 26 July
Today we taught Lilla about the purposes of our Earthlife and keeping the commandments.  I retook the Christ-like Attribute Assessment, and saw a lot of progress.  It's good to see how I'm improving in more than just the language.  Tonight the Devotional was given by Dennis M Simmons (Emeritus Seventy).  (We seem to listen to a lot of speakers that are Emeritus Seventy, which isn't a bad thing, just something interesting I noticed).  He spoke of the two purposes of a mission: Serving the Lord, and Sanctifying Ourselves.  He mostly focused on the latter, listing the long cycle of sanctification, using the "gift" of the Holy Ghost, and remembering who we are; Children of God, each containing a spark of deity.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow: going to the temple (since it's finally opened again), getting our Kicsi, and sending off letters and emails.

Oooh! Our first Kicsi just walked in, and I have 30 seconds left.  Tell you more about him later!

Hope you enjoyed this email.  Please keep sending me mail. J

Love you all,

Shipp Elder

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