Life has been good here at the MTC! I have been learning so much. We have been able to go to the Provo temple every Wednesday morning and it is wonderful. I love going there with all the missionaries. We literally fill the entire room (mostly with elders) and the spirit is so strong! I love it. I also love it when we go on walks to the temple on Sunday afternoons. We get to take pictures and just spend time there in the peace. It is lovely! Also, when we go to the temple on Wednesdays we get food there and it is so delicious that I barely want to eat anything else all day!
I am now teaching three people. Miranda is so sweet and she is really opening up to us. I love teaching her, even though she sometimes won't follow through with commitments and I can't understand what she is saying. But it is good to connect with people and see how teaching someone about salvation can truly make you love them. I am also still teaching Jaquelin and now Juan. These investigators are actually our teachers Hermana Boza and Hermono Nordfelt. They are actually the hardest to teach but really fun as well.
We said goodbye to a district from our zone this week. They were so nice to us and really helpful, even though I only knew them for two weeks I really felt like we became friends. But they are going to do great in Argentina, Panama, and Canada! Also one of them (Elder Pearson) is going to the St. George mission, Spanish speaking! So if you see him, tell him hello from Hermana Douglas in the MTC. I told him to watch out for you guys and that maybe he would be put in the apartment that Grandpa owns. So that would be really cool!
(My District on our Sunday Temple Walk)
on Tuesday for the Guatemala MTC so he is now companions with Elder Millet and Elder Winsor. Elder Jeppson and Elder Boardman are super funny and look alike so it is funny that they are companions. They look like they should be cousins, not companions. Elder Amundson and Elder McCay actually both played waterpolo and Elder Amundson swam. So that is pretty cool. Elder Amundson is probably the nicest elder in the district and says funny things. Elder Amundson, Hermana Waterlyn and I sit in the corner so when we have to stand up and move he always whispers, "And out of the cocoon." So fun! Hermana Allen and Hermana Laursen are so sweet and hilarious! Hermana Laursen is always full of energy! For example, here is a picture of her waiting on top of the closet to scare my companion when she came in from the bathroom.
My companion is still so sweet! She is older than all of us so sometimes I think she gets annoyed with how childish we are, but that is ok! Hermana Waterlyn loves to study! She is so focused and wants to learn it all right now! It is great, but sometimes I get discouraged because I don't think that I know as much as her or can do as well in lessons. Which leads me into my spiritual talk for the day.
Hermano Nordfelt had us read in 1 Samuel Chapter 17 about David and Goliath. In verse 28, Daniel's older brother trys to tell him that he is foolish for asking why people should be afraid of Goliath. His name is Eliab. Hermano Nordfelt explained to us that in our missions we would have Eliabs who discouraged us. It could be a trainer who tells us to forget everything we learned in the MTC because they do it differently there. It could be a companion telling us that we probably won't have success and get as many baptisms as we would like. It can be anything in the world that is trying to tell us that we can't do it. But David has the answer. In verse 29 he says, "What have I now done? Is there not a cause?" On our missions and in life we have a purpose to be excited about! We shouldn't let the Eliab's of the world try to tell us to now be excited or to get us discouraged! We are here to bring the best news in the entire world to people, that their Lord and Savior lives, his church is on the earth again, and that we can return to live with God! It is something to be so excited about. And with this cause the Lord has prepared us! In 1 Samuel 17:32, 34-35 David explains to Saul that he can defeat Goliath because he had already killed a bear and a lion. The Lord had prepared David for Goliath! And we are prepared for our lives. We learned in the premortal world what we needed to know, we just need to remember it! And not only are we prepared, but we are set apart as having the Lord's power to do his work! Missionaries are a part of the Lord's army in this very real battle against Satan. And if anyone needs any comfort in what that means, look up 1 Samuel 17:45-47.
Another thing that I wanted to share with you was from a talk from Elder Holland to the MTC that we watched as a film on Sunday night. It was called "Open Your Mouth". Elder Holland quoted from Ephesians 6:11-17. He explained that the armor of God is mostly defensive. There is the breastplate of righteousness, loins girt about with truth, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, having the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. But there is only one offensive tool in the whole armour of God and that is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. In our fight against the advisary we must open our mouths and speak, because it is our most powerful weapon against Satan! When Joseph Smith prayed to God in the Sacred Grove, Satan could not kill him. He would have if he could! He would have done anything to stop the work of the Lord from happening! And so he did the next most powerful thing to stop the restoration. He bound Joseph's tongue. We need to open our mouths, even if we don't know what we are going to say, because the Lord will fill them and the work will go on. This gospel is the most powerful thing to have ever been on this planet. No nation, army, culture, or natural disaster can ever defeat the work of the Lord! I know that this is true. And so I encourage all of you to pray and find one missionary experience in your life this week. Open your mouth and speak about the truth of the Gospel. People are waiting to here it. That is my challenge to you.
Well now that I have ranted on and on about God's army and such, I will probably end my letter. I love it here at the MTC. We are all gathered for one purpose and are truly sheltered from the world. I love it! I have never gone through so much self reflection and so much frustration in my entire life, but I am truly growing out of this. It is great!--
Hermana Rachel Douglas