I'm just finishing up my second week at the MTC. It is crazy insane
with all the ups and downs I've had, but it is always heading up.
Some of my highlights from the week were investigators, receiving
revelation, going to the temple, and gym. The low light was my foot.
First of all, my investigators are fantastic. To play an investigator
for others to practice teaching is fun. Basically, you choose someone
you know from back home who is not a member, but someone we care about
and would want them to receive the blessings of the gospel. I have two
teachers, Sister Stoker, and Brother Lisonbee. Their investigators are
Andrea and John respectively. Andrea is open to the idea that there is
a God, but leans toward atheism, so she isn't sure if there is one
because she can't prove that there is one and she can't disprove it.
John is the father in an all-member family and he is a good guy and
serves his family but doesn't see the need to get baptized. I have had
some frustrating times when I don't feel Im getting to them or they
are not accepting our message in their hearts. They say it makes
sense, but there heart isn't in it. We've been slowly making progress
with both, but it is slow. We have committed Andrea to praying and
reading the Book of Mormon and asking God herself if he is there for
her, we'll follow up on that on Thursday. She is very open about the
ideas, it's just that she feels stupid talking to someone that she
isnt sure whether or not they are there. John has heard most of the
basics of the gospel because he has had so many missionaries come and
teach him. We took a deeper approach with him. We explained the plan
of salvation a little backwards for him, to help explain that if he
wants to be sealed to his family forever, he needs to receive the
priesthood, and before he can receive the priesthood, he has to be
baptized. It was a very in-depth discussion and we explained about
ordinances for the dead and that everyone has the chance to get to the
celestial kingdom. In our lesson tomorrow we are going to start at the
beginning of the plan of salvation and show him the benefits of being
a member of the church and the priesthood in THIS life. So it is
challenging and frustrating and it's new to me, but as I'm learning to
teach the way God wants me to teach, it is becoming better and I am
more confident, yet still humble, about letting the spirit teach the
lessons. The trick is actually Listening to the investigator. I've got
a long way to go but it is still a good start.
We also have two other investigators that are the missionaries that
came in last Wednesday. Last night we were teaching them and I saw a
change in one of them. He was really not paying attention at first,
but after I gave an example I heard earlier about how many churches
are there with "Jesus Christ" in the name? He at first said "lots,
like Catholics and any kind of Christian." Then I reiterated that how
many have the full name of Jesus Christ in their name. After that, he
was more attentive and wanted to hear about we were talking. It was
the coolest thing!
Last Tuesday, after the devotional, I received some revelation about
things I have been struggling with most of my life, and getting along
with people. I am so happy to have found the reasons why I am like I
am in respect to that and I definitely will apply that to the rest of
my mission and the rest of my life.
Going through an endowment session for the first time as a missionary
is awesome. I've been to two, but being a missionary gives it a whole
new meaning. I did the ordinance for someone from Massac, Illinois. I
think it would be really cool if that town were to be in my mission.
Gym is one of the most relaxed, awesome, normal parts of the MTC. I
play sand volleyball most of the time, and sometimes I play soccer or
basketball. Saturday, I juked out Elder Pelham, an elder from England,
and shot a goal from 20 yards out. It was pretty epic! I can now say I
have scored on an Englishman. :)
When I was getting ready after playing soccer on Friday for gym, my
foot wasn't moving very well. It is my right foot, where I have had
problems with it since I broke it in March of 2008. I was freaking
out. I was scared that I wouldn't be able to go out on my mission
right now and it might keep me home. As much as I love home and my
family, I am out here already and I did not want a break. I asked the
other Elders in my district to give me a blessing of comfort and
healing for my foot to return back to normal. It was cool because it
was one of the first times Elder Firth and Elder Bowers had
participated in a priesthood blessing. Later that day, gym was in the
morning, my foot was back to normal and I played soccer on it the next
day. I am grateful for the Lord and the power of His priesthood and
how much He cares for me and wants me serving Him.
So that is my week in a nutshell. The food is good. I'm drinking about
a gallon of water a day. I am receiving more spiritual promptings and
learning so much more about the gospel than I ever thought I would. It
is a great joy to be in the mission field.
Thanks for those of you who have sent letters! It is always great to
hear from those in the "outside" world and the extra support is always
Lots of Love coming from the MTC!
Elder Zachary R McKenzie