Tuesday, September 27, 2016

MTC Week 2

I love my life.  I'm sorry for this weeks weekly update. I couldn't organize my thoughts effectively, so each paragraph is a random memory or thought throughout the week.

Although I have now been in the MTC for about 2 weeks, it has felt like several months. Luckily, I love it here. There are very few places on this Earth where every single action can be in similitude with the spirit.

So the funniest thing that has happened this week despite our many miscommunications in Thai is probably when one of the Elders recognized me from the "Press Forward" music video. One of The Elders played it on the big screen and watched it with the entire zone. It was rather a moment of embarrassment but it was more funny than anything else. Ever since, I have been jokingly referred to as a celebrity.

So my first investigator became my teacher which was a surprise for all of us learning Thai. Both of my Thai teachers have such wonderful testimonies. I feel like I'm steadily progressing in the language. I have definitely been seeing how the Lord has qualified me for this work. 

In all honesty, the greatest challenge at the MTC has and still is the food. I miss Mom and Dad's cooking. Although I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death (lack of proper food), I will have pure bliss once I reach Thailand. Every other Elder seems just fine....for now. I do have to give it to the MTC for their chocolate cake though. Wow.   

Have I ever mentioned that I am on the top floor in the dorms? My classroom is also on the top floor. I suppose they found it necessary to build up and or tone my thigh muscles. No elevators for me for the next 7 weeks.

To the matters of the heart, the realization of week 2 is that one of the destructive weapons the adversary uses is that of forgetfulness. I think the reason of its great destructiveness is because it causes us to become ungrateful. To this end, it can derail testimonies and cause us to forget what we have felt and known to be true in the past. Although it is a simple truth, I think that we are all guilty of it at some point in our lives. Furthermore, I think the simple truths are what get us the most. This being the reason that the fundamentals in the gospel are so important. C.S. Lewis talks of how whether you are an atheist or a Christian, you still have to continually feed one or the other to stay firm in your beliefs. Otherwise, you will sway and dwindle in unbelief regardless of your beliefs.

One thing I am glad I learned here and not out on the field is how we as missionaries should treat investigators. My companion and I taught our mock investigator and put her on the fast track of extending a baptism. We were so caught up in extending the invitation that we didn't really invite her to Christ. We told her about Him but there wasn't enough depth to it for her to begin understanding who He is. As representatives of Jesus Christ or as missionaries, we are literally preparing to go to Thailand in His place. I realize now that we should do what He would do. The gospel was never forced upon anyone in the Earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. It was instead "offered." An interesting example one of my Thai teachers showed was how the gospel is a cake. If we throw it at our investigator it isn't very appealing. Should we show it to them, and explain how they can take a part of it by just desiring to, they themselves find a desire within themselves to come towards Christ.

Anyways, I learn something new everyday. I absolutely love the MTC!

2016 Mutual Theme: Press Forward

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

MTC Week 1

My first week in the MTC has been extraordinary. I am a true believer that your attitude plays a great part in your success in life. I've met people that absolutely love the MTC, and its opposite being people who are tired of it. I fortunately fall into the category of those who love it. I wake up at 6:00 every morning and retire at 10:30. The entire day is packed with learning the language of Thai and learning Gospel Doctrine. Physically, the MTC isn't very difficult as we just sit in class all day(Other than 1hr of exercise time). Mentally, it has been a trial all on its own. I feel like a genius one hour, and feel like an inadequate child way over his head the next.

You see, while in class I feel like I'm grasping and truly understanding the concepts. However, on day three, we were thrown into a pit of fiery as we had to teach our first mock investigator Jami. She wouldn't help us out at all in English as she "couldn't" speak English. My companion tried to say "Do you understand?" but messed up one of the tones. The result in his error was "Do you stab heart?" It was one of the funniest exchanges. She also said a sentence with a word which sounded like "Bible." My companion and I assumed just so. However, what she really said was "pay bood" which means "go to church." She may have been asking us how she could go to church. She was surely interested in going to church. All we said was "Dii Maag" which means "Very good" and then dropped her question simply moving on with the lesson. It was a disaster upon reflection. Fortunately, relying and putting my faith in the Lord has made all the difference in how we reflect upon our mistakes.

My companion Elder Feller has been a great influence to me. He is diligent in reading and studying his flashcards and staying exactly obedient. That is probably another key principle taught in the MTC. Exact obedience. We share a room with four people. Elder Feller, Elder Brown, Elder Libey, and myself. Elder Brown is our District Leader. He really does all he can to magnify his calling. I feel so blessed to have so many who make me want to become greater. Elder Libey is his companion. We always tease him about his lover back at home. We keep on telling him, your success is our success so it has been nice having a lover in Indiana too. He won't give us her email though. It's been so fun to grow together as Elder's. Teasing and joking(Appropriately) around tends to speed up the process.

Exercise time which is only one hour a day has been my one hour where I don't have to think so hard. Being competitive by nature, I have had to be very careful in my mentality when we play soccer because one of the great rules in the MTC is that there is no competition. We literally don't keep score and I'm okay with that, but my competitive nature and pride is being slowly stifled out of me. It's been a good experience. We recently watched Elder Bednar's talk entitled, "The Character of Christ." My MTC experience has in large part being about turning outwards opposed to in. To turn away from the natural man. To serve and love despite fighting through adversity. To care for the needs of others before our own. It's definitely easier said than done as I don't really feel like I'm in adversity at the moment.

After day 3, the days have gone by so quickly. I stopped counting already and in my current mental state, I refuse to strain my brain to count the few days it has been since I have entered the MTC.  

I am so happy to be here. I really am. I'm grateful for the large influence all of you have played in allowing me to be in the position I am in now. In my faith and in my confidence. As requested by some, my MTC mailing address is:

Elder Christian Seiya Miyagi
2005 N 900 E Unit 179
Provo UT 84602

phom pen phayaan wa phrayeesukhrid rag raw.