I leave the MTC in about 17 hours.
I am almost done. It is unbelievable. I have learned so much while I've been here. I have gained so much personal revelation. I am a much better person. I have learned to recognize the spirit much better. I am focusing really hard on fulfilling all the promptings. But nobody's perfect. I have a long way to go.
I have seen at least 5 or 6 dozen people I knew before coming to the MTC here. It is wild! New people every week. Elder Christiaan Noot got here last Wednesday and he is in my branch. I saw Elder Tyler Park this morning in line for breakfast. I have made so many new friends too! Friends in the Lord. I can't wait to serve and feel like Alma did in Alma 17:2. I know I am supposed to be out there in Iowa.
I have been put in the best district I could've ever asked for. 4 Elders, 4 Sisters, with Sister Stoker and Brother Lisonbee as teachers. We truly seem to get it. At least the beginning of what Missionary work is about. It is incomprehensible as a whole, everything about missionary work. But we have learned collectively how to trust Him and To trust Him in these 3 short weeks. Our buddy district didn't seem to get it the same way we did. They even had Brother Lisonbee as a teacher. But the combination we had was truly inspired. The Sisters brought a maturity to the group that was greatly needed. I'm not the best at studying, and I would get us off task, but I've gained so much.
I don't know all the reasons why I'm on a mission. I figure I'll have a better idea when I get home and see what I have done and see what the Lord has done in other people's lives. But one reason I now know, is that the Lord trusts me. I find I'm a pretty trustworthy guy, but not always the most hardworking. I have a long way to go to being 100% obedient and meeting the other goals I have set myself. But even with those things and my other weaknesses aside, the Lord trusts me. With His gospel. With the Salvation of others. It is quite a task, and insurmountable to do by myself. But as I rely on the Lord and the spirit and realize I can't do it myself, that is the key.
I have had a few breakdowns this week, just realizing that I'm not enough. It has helped that I have loving teachers that help me work through these times. I was in the middle of venting to one of my teachers when he said that he felt I needed to study something out of Preach My Gospel. He had me turn to the Christlike Attributes section and pointed me to Humility. He said he didn't know why he pointed me there, and then I realized that the Lord wanted me to study that. Boy was that a kick in the pants. But ultimately, pride is one of the things that has hurt me the most. My greatest stumbling block. I have learned a lot of how to help myself overcome it, but that doesn't make it easy. There is a balance. The right balance that I need to find in myself and in the work. But as soon as I find that in myself, I need to lose myself in the work. It is hard to find the right balance of being humble, yet confident. And I think it is more of a confidence in myself that the Lord has confidence in me. I am learning. It is hard.
I "think" way too much. I think I have to know something before I can have confidence in it. That is just the way my brain works. I use it as an excuse.
I have begun my journey of humility. I just hope that I can trust the Lord's trust in me to be the best missionary I can. Brother Lisonbee told me I was too hard on myself and I am a great missionary anyway. I've still got a long way to go, but I am on the right path. That is me.
I have begun to succeed in teaching by the spirit. Very small success, but a little bit. I learned a minute amount of what God's love for others is. I am coming to the realization that as long as I try my best and be obedient, I will always have that spirit to be with me. And if I use the right tools to start a lesson and to help the investigator realize they have a direct connection with God and they can feel the same way I do, I can teach By that Spirit. It is an awesome journey I have started.
Sorry if this was a bit of a serious, personal, feely letter. They will occasionally be this way. That is just how I am.
I am loving my mission so far and I can't wait to get out into the field and work with God's children. To help them find Hope through Salvation.
I'll have lots to report about, from Iowa, next week.
But until then, remember Jesus loves you, and I do too.
Elder Zachary R McKenzie