Hello, hello, hello!!
I am here at the MTC, week 2 and there are so many amazing things that are happening. I wish that everyone could come here and feel the spirit and light of Christ that dwells here.
There are so many experiences I want to share, but there is something that happened Thursday, which has stuck with me, changed my outlook on my missionary purpose, and changed my heart. I know that this experience will stay with me forever.
To share a little background, here at the MTC they start you off teaching your teachers as fake investigators, but everyone takes it very seriously. We progress each day teaching them, just as if it is a real progressing investigator. As soon as we experience that and we feel a little more experienced, they send us to another building to teach "TRC" people. Let me explain to you what "TRC" is. We are told that 2/3 of the "TRC" workers are non-members investigating the church. So non-member people are paid to come to the MTC and listen to missionaries preparing to go out into the field. It is really an awesome thing. They are around the MTC a lot.
Unfortunately, the first time we went to teach our "TRC" investigator, Olivia, we had the mindset that she was a member. We were talking about how she was a member already, taking it serious, but we were just teaching lessons, not actually seeing her in God's eyes and teaching her effectively. The first time we met with Olivia, we just taught doctrine. Olivia was born atheist, but started to believe in God a few years ago. We went through The Restoration pamphlet, but there wasn't a strong spirit present because we weren't following the spirit, we were just presenting information.
The second visit, we had the same experience, but it was worse. Olivia was closed off and she wasn't opening up to us, not at all. We left the lesson confused that she wasn't seeing the truth in our message and she wasn't taking the step forward to receive an answer, to listen to the spirit to feel that our message was true.
The third visit we had a lesson planned at 4:00 p.m. We walked into the lesson and there was another "TRC" investigator playing the piano, he looked down, so Sister Petrie and I stopped and talked to him. He played a song for us on the piano and started to open up to us, explaining that he really wasn't a member of the church. He said that he had an awesome job and he liked to be at the MTC and to learn about we believe.
I think that was the Lord’s tender mercy because while we were talking to him, the spirit hit me, that our "TRC" investigator really wasn't a member of the church. She didn’t need to hear one more lesson about the doctrine because she had already heard it many times from other missionaries, so something needed to change. We prayed to The Lord for strength and the spirit to guide us to help Olivia. THE LORD DOESN'T BREAK HIS PROMISES.
We went into the lesson thinking that she needed to hear about The Plan of Salvation. I could feel the strong love that Jesus had for her, being his representative. I went to pull out my Plan of Salvation pamphlet and the spirit whispered, "That isn't what she needs, trust me." So I began to bear my testimony to her about my experience trying to get on a mission. At times I thought God wasn't listening to my prayers. I shared with her the experience about how I received my answer in D&C 75. It was a reminder to me that The Lord had answered my prayer to go forward and proclaim the gospel. So I took the step forward in faith and did as he told me. I explained that just as Heavenly Father answered my prayer, he could do the same for her.
I learned a valuable lesson. I had to go through my trials before my mission so I could testify to Olivia and the people in Missouri about my experiences to help them with their own trials. I know that she felt the light of Christ as Sister Petrie and I testified to her. Her whole facial expression changed.
She explained that she really wasn't a member and that her boyfriend was a member, but she was always embarrassed to ask him questions. She told us that our lessons had answered her questions that hadn't been answered. She said she had been invited to be baptized tons of times, but needed to know for herself that the church was true. I told her that God would answer her prayer. She accepted the challenge to watch conference and read the Book of Mormon and pray to know the truth it contained. We invited her to say the closing prayer and she prayed that God would answer her prayer. She also prayed for protection for Sister Petrie and I as we left for Missouri. She asked God to bless us for our desire to serve. It was the sweetest thing. The spirit was so strong in the room; I know everyone could feel it.
I got to witness and see a glimpse of how much Heavenly Father loves Olivia. I never knew I could love strangers so much. I love representing The Savior. I love following the spirit and letting it guide me to teach people what God wants them to hear, not what Sister Dahlberg and Sister Petrie have planned to teach. I got to share a message with Olivia that GOD WANTED HER TO HEAR. We need to trust in The Lord. His way is THE ONLY WAY.
Thursday night a teacher who just returned from her mission serving in the St. George Visitor Center bore her testimony that she could feel angels around us in our classroom and she testified that we were protected. It was so special.
GENERAL CONFERENCE HERE AT THE MTC WAS UNREAL!!!!!!!!
Being surrounded with thousands of missionaries watching the Prophet and apostles of God speak was a feeling I will never forget. Everything that was said was just what I needed to hear. My spirit has been lifted.
GENERAL CONFERNECE AT THE MTC WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!! AHH! SO SPECIAL.
MY MTC STAY IS OVER. Say what? Where did the last 13 days go? The people I have met, the experiences I have had, and the knowledge I have gained truly is a miracle. This building will always hold a special place in my heart.
Sixteen of us are off to Missouri in the morning. We are all so excited, yet so anxious. The adventure and journey is just beginning.
The fours sisters in my room keep me laughing and giggling. I am so happy they are off to Missouri with me. I wish you all could meet the people that surround me.
Family, a letter should be coming for you. Thanks for all the love and support this week!
The pictures are mostly of my companion and I. I love her so much. She is like my Katelyn Gustaveson here at the MTC. She reminds me so much of her! The picture in front of the temple is my district. (All going to Missouri) and the picture of me holding the yellow paper was a little note an elder slipped in my journal this week. FUNNNNYYY STOOORRRY.
My companion rocks at singing. Her recent words to me, “you have serious potential if you could just stay on key." HELLLLLLOOO does she even realize she is talking to the music coordinator here? LOL we have fun laughing at each other.
Well peeps. I am off to MISSOURI tomorrow and I can't even believe it!!!!!!!!!!! I love you all. I can't wait to talk to some of you tomorrow morning on the phone. I will be calling in between 6-9 AM! AHH! Can't wait to hear your voices. I miss you ALL.
Sending my love to all of you.
BYE BYE UTAH!
THE CHURCH IS TRUE. SO SO SO TRUE.
I can't wait to go and love, adore, and serve the people in Missouri!
Be good and do good.
Love, The girl off to Missouri, Sister Dahlberg