Our Tuesday night devotional was very informational, we heard from Russel M. Nelson from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He gave a talk on 9 aspects of true doctrine. He also shared an interesting study about the difference between the words "doctrines" and "doctrine" when they are used in the Bible. Every instance that the word "doctrines" is used in the Bible it has a negative connotation - every time the word "doctrine" is used it has a positive connotation. It just proves even more that the doctrine of God is simple, and doesn't need to [become complicated]. It is one doctrine, that contains various aspects. Like a diamond that has many facets formed by a master craftsman.
After the Tuesday night devotional I heard something pretty funny from one of the counselors in the branch presidency. He said "no matter what, the mission is two years long. To your mother it seems like 3, and to your father it seems like 1 and he'll be wondering what you are doing home so early - three and one equal out to two between your parents. To you it seems seems like the first 6 months are a year and a half long, and the last year and a half is 6 months long - still.. it equals two." I thought it was pretty clever, we'll see how true it is.
On Thursday we watched an hour long talk by Elder Holland of the Twelve Apostles. I love his talks! He is always straight to the point and doesn't buffer what he says. I really like that and appreciate that about him. It was a recording of a talk that he gave at the MTC about 10 years ago. He said something hilarious in his talk and you really have to see it to appreciate how funny it was. In the MTC we receive a white handbook that has all the rules that we must follow and we have to carry it with us throughout our whole missions. Some of the missionaries like to complain about the rules and express their distaste for them. He said something along the lines of, "that handbook has been over 170 years in the making - there is a reason for everything in there. It's not like a group of us old men got together one morning, drank a whole bunch of pickle juice, and started yelling 'yeah throw that in there, that'll get them!' " It was hilarious how he said it and our teacher had to pause it because we were laughing so hard. Everything seems to be more funny now.. being cooped up in here with little sleep makes some of the dumbest things hilarious. Oh well.. it's all a part of the MTC life, and it's actually a pretty good one.
Dad, this part is specifically for you. Remember all those times you tried to show me how to shine my shoes because you said, "when you go on your mission, your companions aren't going to know how to shine their shoes so you'll have to show them." And then I'd get frustrated and say "every knows how to shine their shoes, dad!".. Well.. as much as I hate to say it.. I had to show everyone in my district how to shine their shoes the other night.
My weekly routine is becoming well... routine. So there isn't much to share. I am still seeing the blessings of God pouring out on me and those around me. The language is coming along well and our lessons with our investigators are becoming exponentially better.
I just want to share a quick scripture that I feel impressed to share. In the Book of Mormon there is a scripture that says "Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed." I know the importance that family prayer has had on me, and I know that as we regularly have prayer together as a family we grow stronger to one another and to God. Not just prayer at dinner but prayer in the morning before everyone disperses for the day - or before we head to sleep for the night. The Lord promises us that we will be blessed for it, and the Lord always lives up to His promises. I hope all of you are doing well and my prayers are with you. I thank you for your prayers.
- Elder Rainock