It is amazing that I have only one week left here! It feels like I got here yesterday. Every day has sort of just mushed into one mega MTC journey... Hahah I sometimes forget what day it is!
This was the most difficult week yet but the most rewarding thus far! :) So we role play teaching our instructors just like real life missionary situations, and our instructors act like real people interested in the church. Usually, they act like a legit person that they met so the experience can be more real. Anyways, our instructor, Sister Coleman, has been role playing as a friend she has back home who has been interested in the church. And sometimes while here at the MTC, it seems like it's never going to end, and life gets a little discouraging.. And I was having one of those days. I was just struggling to find energy and having been trying to be the motivated one all the time in the companionship (my companion easily gives up because of the difficulty of language) I was just giving it my all. And so we role played with our teacher and the girl she acts like is named, Kenix. And Kenix is married but her husband is atheist who is anti all religions. And she really feels that the church is true but is worried and so discouraged because of her husband's attitude against it, that she doesn't want to cause a barrier in the marriage. Well, of course we treat the role play like it is real life, and I felt the spirit lead me to say in my very simple french that Heavenly Father loves both Kenix and her husband, and if she prays she will know how to go about the situation. She asked how she will know and we explained the spirit and how it gives us thoughts and inspires us to know what is true and act in accordance to that truth. And the best way to gain to gain the spirit is to be baptized. After you are baptized you are given the Gift of the Holy Ghost which means you can have that guiding influence with you throughout all your life! You can have those feelings of love, peace, and joy, ALL the TIME!! And every sunday at church, you renew this covenant during the sacrament so that when you mess up, you can repent and continue to feel this incredible love! And what was so cool is the real Kenix was going to be baptized that weekend, and was having some trepidation and fear and trials prior to the baptism, especially because of her husband, and when we testified of the the spirit and how it will bring her peace and help her in her problems, Soeur Coleman (playing Kenix) felt the spirit whisper to her that the real Kenix actually needed to hear this. So after the role play, she called Kenix, explained what happened and passed along the message. It's amazing how the spirit works!! And it was an answer to my prayer because hearing that I actually helped a real person, not just a role play, gave me increased motivation to continue on! Oh and yes Kenix did get baptized that weekend :))
So one of the best parts of this week has been just diving into the Book of Mormon! And I have always loved reading the Book of Mormon, but have really strived to make the stories come alive! And know that these were real people!! And I was reading in 1 Nephi and his get angry with him again for trying to be obedient, and what's crazy is that they try to kill him! They tie him up and then leave him there to die! And I have heard this a million times, but take a moment and just imagine yourself being tied up by those you love and left to die in the desert! And he eventually gets free, and they come to tie him up again because they are that mad! (Seriously they needed some medication) but one of their wives stops them and comforts them so they calm down. And then they feel guilty (like any person should for trying to kill someone.. especially your brother..) and they ask for forgiveness. And what I love is Nephi forgives them just like that. Can you imagine that? In an instant he let's it all go. And he continues to ask them to ask forgiveness of God, because that's what's most important. In Hebrew culture, it's an eye for an eye with the law of Moses, meaning he could kill them and be justified, but instead he forgives. And how often do I hold on to minor things that don't matter and keep it over someone's head? How often do we all hold grudges? Nephi was almost killed, but decided to be like that Savior and forgave :) I want to be more like that! Really not forgiving is dumb! You make yourself feel bad for other's mistakes. Hahaha, and we have been asked to forgive, just for the other, but for ourselves. I challenge you all to do forgive more quickly and love more readily, because THAT is what the world needs today :) I love you!!!
Love, Elder Jacob Lucas