Wednesday, September 21, 2016

End of Week 5- September 21st

  This marks the end of five weeks for Elder Schaff at the MTC. He received his flight plan last Thursday, and was able to share with us today, that he will be flying from Salt Lake City to Fresno, CA next Wednesday, September 28th. In his call packet, we were told that he can call us from the pay phones at the SL airport. Not many airports have pay phones any more, but you can bet we will be anxiously sitting by the phone next week to hear his voice. In other news, after a very long wait, he finally sent photos!!

  "So much happens every week it's been overwhelming to write it all in the journal sometimes, let alone the weekly email! This is week 5 right? One loses track of time in the MTC, everything just becomes a blur of spiritual experiences, learning, eating, sleeping, *Alarm noise* and repeat.

The District- Four Elders and Three Sisters

Elders Turner, Jones, O'Neill and Schaff

   The events of the week were that Elder O'Neill and I taught our last lesson with "M" on Friday, and we didn't know it. We thought we had another week to continue teaching! We only had to cover the law of tithing as the last commandment and were getting excited. We assumed she was a real investigator based on her style of conversation, but it is possible that TRC investigators are just role-playing members. 
  On Sunday, we realized we were down to 8 days for some of us. It's a tradition in branch 28 that districts on their way out sing a song in sacrament meeting. So we've been practicing himno 41, ¡Grande eres Tu! (How great thou art) The plan is to sing the first 3 verses, then shut the book and sing the 4th verse and chorus memorized. We've all been working on it and I imagine it will be powerful.
  The Sunday devotional was by an MTC President, President Mehr. I wasn't really a fan of the devotional, but I guess it just wasn't a topic that spoke to me as much. I still took notes, as is ingrained in me being a student. One point he hit hard was that we will have to rely on the Savior at some points in our lives, it's inevitable. What I liked more on Sunday though was that I viewed a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at the MTC in 2012 called "Missions are Forever." I wrote 8 pages in my 5' x 8' notebook on the talk...
   I can't cover it all, (Seems to be the theme of emails really XD) but the main idea was that a mission is an experience that is treasured forever throughout one's life no matter how long ago it occurred. Elder Holland spoke about how quite possibly no young man was changed more by a mission than himself, and that every blessing of his life seems to have resulted from what he learned on his mission. His points he made were that you can't afford to waste a single minute of the time out there. A missionary has to live in the here and now because the mission will be over before he knows it. "Your mission IS real life, you're not leaving the real world for two years, pausing your life, and coming back. This IS real life, right now." He taught how, arguably, this is the closest we get to real life, serving God with all our heart. If the world didn't get in the way, wouldn't that be the most valuable thing for us to do? He spoke a lot about miracles wrought by obedience and by following the ways of the Lord in our teaching. A missionary ought to be faithful, accept the rules, and have patience when reminded over and over to follow them, because they are the keys to success in the field. His last great points were to go and astonish people; show them the power of your message. Show them how it brings light into your life. Have a smile on so they can see that. After all, we "just happen to be" enagaged in the work and glory of God... His greatest remark though was his testimony. "Why is missionary work so hard?" he asked. "Why don't people line up in front of the apartments every morning waiting to be baptized?" The answer is that salvation isn't easy. It's not easy because it wasn't easy for Christ. "The road to Salvation goes through Gethsemane, and carries a cross to the summit of Calvary." Powerful words. If we are taking the name of Christ upon us we can only expect to share a small portion of the toil and tears he went through. It will be difficult and heartbreaking at times, but it will make the experience sweet in the end.
    Without pausing, Elder Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the 70 spoke at the Tuesday devotional. His talk was on the astonishing power of the church's position, and what it means for us. Think about it: This church is either entirely true, or completely wrong. There is no middle ground. Either it is God's truth or it is a complete fraud. This position does not exist in any other church. If one knows the Book of Mormon is true, the other principles of the church are true as well. No middle ground exists.
  The powerful message of this talk was that when we look at the church's point of view, it really is an easy work. For missionaries, everything leads up to Moroni's promise (Moroni 10:3-5) If we can get people to have a true desire to learn, and then read the whole book, and pray about it as Moroni directs, they will receive an undeniable witness of it's truth. That's what we have to strive to show people. The talk also included 26 points that make our church unique and well organized to maintain the position aforementioned. I won't include them all, but here are some: A) the nature of the Godhead as 3 separate beings. B) The Atonement of Jesus Christ. C) The literal reality of resurrection. D) Reality of modern revelation H) Agency I) Salvation of little children O) Eternal marriages Q) Christ's second coming T) Church welfare system Z) The testimony of members worldwide. (26 points, so it fit to the alphabet.)  Anyway, I thought that was a really cool talk. 
  I know the gospel is true and am excited to get out and serve others, I know it has been a blessing to learn so much here in the MTC. Whether you're a member or not reading this, I know that reading the Book of Mormon will improve your life. Strive for 20 minutes a day. Look for the parallels to life today. Apply the message to yourself. You will grow. Thanks everyone for seeing how I'm doing! It will nearly be two weeks till next time... Until then I guess!"

--Elder Schaff

(Say hi to everyone for me mom, know I love you guys!)

Elder Schaff, Elder O'Neill, Hermano Jake, Elder Turner and Elder Jones

Elder Schaff with multiple glasses?!

Provo Temple

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