Monday, October 15, 2012

6th Epistle from Elder Kaleb Erickson      October 11, 2012     Almost There!

Hey Family!

Life at the MTC is always an adventure. It's funny how with such a repetitive schedule, you can always find things to mix it up and make things interesting. It's the final week and a half and I'm just hoping that I've prepared enough to be ready to hit the concrete jungle.

I still have the same two investigators, Ezequiel and Jorge. Ezequiel was baptized last Saturday and he is telling us that he's considering serving a mission when he can. We just committed Jorge to baptism last week and he is still learning about the Gospel and how everything works. He seems excited to keep on learning though. Recently though, Elder Van Mondfrans and I have been working independently on approaching people in the street. We figure we're probably going to have to do that a lot in New York, so might as well practice now. It's pretty tough, but we're working on it. The more practice the better, right? It's just tough to convince a person that they want to hear more about your message when you only have a minute to testify, explain, and ask questions. We'll get there eventually.

General Conference weekend was a much needed break here. For two days, all we did was hang out and watch conference. It was baller. And to be in a big gymnasium full of about 2,000 missionaries when the age change was announced was pretty exciting. People cheered, it was crazy. I've never gotten so much out of General Conference before. I felt like I needed every talk, so I stayed awake for every minute of it. I can't believe I've been missing out on such gold for my whole life.

Tuesday was awesome because Elder Bednar came and spoke at the MTC. He started off by explaining part of the reason for the change of age, which I thought was pretty interesting. He cited D&C 88:73, something along the lines of, I the Lord will hasten my work in its time. I guess the world is ready for more missionaries, so the Lord is making it happen. I love it. He then continued to tell us about how to get more out of General Conference talks. It was a really cool talk. He said that in each talk, he looks for: 1. What doctrine is being taught? 2. What invitation is being made? and 3. What are the promised blessings?  He then had us try it with some of the talks from conference and it was really cool how much more I was able to get out of them. Conference will never be the same for me again.

As for changes in the monotony, my companion and I were made zone leaders on Tuesday. Now we have a bunch more responsibility. I'm still not entirely sure what exactly we're supposed to do, but it will be an adventure to figure things out as we go. Our main duty is to visit everyone in the zone each night. And we actually had a really cool experience last night.

Just before we headed out, I had the feeling that it would be nice to share a scripture with people as we visited them. So I searched through my Book of Mormon for a highlighted scripture. I found one that I had highlighted, 1 Nephi 17:13. It is about how if we are obedient, then the Lord will guide us to the Promised Land and we will know that it is by Him that we are guided. I felt like this was a good one to share with people. We compared the promised land to finding investigators and told people that if they are obedient, they will have more success in the field because the Lord will guide them. Most people just kind of said yeah that's cool whatever. But then, the last two elders we visited, one of them really liked it. He even made another connection with some other thing and he said that this was exactly what he needed right now. He told us he was struggling with something at the time and that this scripture was perfect for what he was looking for. We had no idea that he was having these issues or that this scripture would help anybody. And I know it's not a really big thing, but I feel like the Spirit guided me to that scripture so that it would help that elder. It was my first experience really receiving spiritual guidance as a leader. But now my faith in the guidance of the Spirit is that much stronger and I want to make sure that I'm always obedient so that I can have that guidance of the Spirit to help others.

So that's about the extent of my adventures at the moment. I'm just chugging along here, trying to make my way in the world of the MTC. I hope life is grand back in Simi and I miss you all very much.

Elder Erickson