Dear Mom and Dad,
Guess what?! I was walking in the cafeteria to get an ice cream sandwich when I heard, "David, David Morley?"
Nobody calls me that, my comps all know my name, but nobody call me that. I turn and see some boy who looks vaguely familiar. It was Samuel Cowden! I was so excited, My voice jumped up like an octave. I didn't even know he was a member of the church. But here he is going to Kansas this week It totally made my day.
I love the MTC. It is hard, but I love it. The theme of this week is Alma 32:13, "Blessed are ye if ye are compelled to be humble." (paraphrased) I know that if I were going to speak English on my mission, I would be able to teach lessons easily and help those I am teaching. But in Kiribati? At this point I probably only know 20 words. I have to rely on the spirit and on the grace of my Father in Heave to get through. I am improving. Every day I can see the improvements I am making all across the board, but I know that left to myself, I would be drowning in the expectations set for me. Because of this need I have to rely on the Savior. I have been trying to learn more about the enabling power of the atonement. I am trying to learn how to rely more on the Lord. How to forget myself and only have the spirit in my place. If you have any advice there I would like to hear it.
I feel impressed to share an experience on the subject. One day this last week, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and didn't feel like talking much during lunch. My companions were talking so I felt I had time to say a prayer. Even though I was in a noisy cafeteria I started bearing my soul to my Heavenly Father. It was one of the first times in my life that I truly prayed with 'real intent' having pondered and really wanting to know. I prayed asking God to help me to be able to recognize and follow the spirit more. To be able to rely more on the atonement and learn how to use Christ's gift everyday, and also how to pray like I am having a conversation.
At some point during the prayer, I felt like I was being filled with His love. Like I was a pitcher being filled with love seeping into every crevice of my body and heart. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I didn't know what it meant. My whole life it seems that Gospel answers have been fed to me. But all I had was me. So throughout the day, and every day I have pondered this experience, always keeping it in the back of my mind. I think that all of them are right and help me know more about my purpose. I will share only one. Many times/most of my life, I have felt my Saviors love. Now it is my turn to share it with others. That is what I now try to do every day. Share the love that I feel. Try to lift people so that they can feel it for themselves. Teach the gospel so that others can feel it for all eternity. This MTC is truly a place of receiving answers. I have received so many answers to prayer in this last week, that if I told myself a month ago, I wouldn't believe me. I love it here.
Yesterday I went to a devotional by Elder Don R. Clark. A quote I liked was a motto we could have, "I fear no man. I fear God. I fear No man." They then talked about how we should be more bold and confident in our teaching. Something I definitely need. It is easy to not say the words with confidence and conviction since I am unsure on how to say most of them. they also said that as we walk side by side with the Savior and are obedient etc. we will be blessed and have success. What does it mean to walk side by side with the Savior? The spirit was even stronger than usual.
The language is a never ending adventure. It is so hard, yet so fun and exciting to be learning and progressing. My american tongue cannot pronounce many of the words. Rolling R's, the letter ng, and the words with more than 3 vowels in a row (which is most). Plus there are only 13 letters so most of the words sound super close and you have to be very exact with pronunciation. Here's an example of my daily endeavors. The letters 'ma' make a meh sound, 'me' makes may, 'mwa' makes mah. They are all so close and don't always make sense, so I just have to try hard all day long. But the incredible thig is that eve with us oly being here for a week and not always having a teacher we are learning. We will be reading and I can now pick up enough words to understand its general meaning.
Today our teacher introduced himself as our new investigator. He spoke to us in straight kiribati for 3 minutes and we were able to pick up most of what he said. I love our language classes. I learn so much. Yes, it feels like someone is stomping on my brain, but it's so fun to improve. I can now bear testimony and pray (not as easy as you think, Next time, pay attention to all the different verbs, nouns, and pronouns that go in there) on the spot without notes. I also know a bunch of other random bits that I can say and understand. I'm starting to figure out the numbers and how to make my own sentences.
The letter has been written in 20 minute segments over about a week, so some things have changed, but as a rule just assume that I have improved. I'm starting to lose some of my english, but I won't need it or a few years, so it is ok. The Lord is mindful of us and will provide for our needs in anything that we go to him with. (D&C 84:82-83). I love you so much.