I hope you're all doing really good. This week had some definite ups and downs and some cool experiences I want to tell you about!
Basically we still have class for 9 hours everyday and it's a lot of studying but i'm learning some spanish and so much gospel, I love being here at the MTC. This week we started teaching 5 investigators all at once, it's like 4+ lessons a day, it's really hard and stressful to prepare so many lessons everyday on top of all the other things we're asked to do here, but i'm learning a lot. The 30 minute time span me and the Elders of my district get in our apartment to just have fun and joke around is what makes us happy every night. We just pool together our spoils from the packages people got that day and we feast and goof around and it's a riot, we have so much fun. We talk about our past lives, have rap battles, prank each other, it's a blast. Also, sundays and P-days are what keep us sane, we love sundays and P-days because it's the only days where we aren't sitting in a classroom all day. It's so nice to go to devotionals and to get to go to the temple.
Wednesday and thursday of this week were a couple of the others days yet, probably some of the toughest days of my life thus far! I got really discouraged and down on myself because I didn't feel like I was feeling and teaching by the Spirit, and everyone else kept talking so much about how amazing teaching by the spirit has been for them and they all were sharing really amazing teaching experiences, and I started to doubt my own ability to feel and teach by the Spirit. On top of that, with how many investigators we had to teach and prepare lessons for and everything we were expected to do was super super stressing me out, I got really frustrated and really scared. But, then on Friday, it clicked with me. All the lessons that I taught that day I really felt like I had the Spirit with me and we taught some really good lessons. I'm starting to realize how the Spirit talks to us. All growing up i've always heard of people talking about how the Spirit "tells them what to say" when giving lessons/talks/etc and stuff and to me, it seems like people were always making the Spirit sound like some grand undeniable feeling. But i've learned, this week especially, the Spirit is nothing like that in everyday life. It can, on occassions, but incredibly strong and undeniable, but usually, it's nothing more than a mere thought that comes into your head. It's nothing more than an idea. It's not a literal voice speaking to you. To me, at least, it's just ideas that come into your head. And when you follow those ideas and thoughts that come into your head, good things happen. Everyone feels the Spirit differently, but that's what i've learned for myself this week. If any of you guys are ever doubting the reality of the "Holy Spirit" or your ability to feel this spirit, I promise you that it is really there. It truly does help guide our life. But it's nothing grand, it's just still small ideas. Keep that in mind! :)
I've also learned that whenever someone is about to do something big in their lives, whenever someone is about to do or realize something that is really going to improve their lives significantly, Satan steps up and tries to stop it at all cost. For example, before Joseph Smith prayed in the sacred grove, Satan used unseen power to do all that he could to stop Joseph from praying, because that prayer was going to change the world. And i've had some real personal experience with that this week. Personally, I know that Thursday and Friday were so hard for me this week because Satan knew that I was going to feel the Spirit really strongly on Friday and he knew I was going to gain a testimony of it that is going to last me the rest of my mission for sure, probably the rest of my life. Friday was an amazing day for me, after I started regaining confidence in myself I was so much more happy and my testimony grew tenfold. Satan was so strongly trying to stop me from having that experience that he truly made me feel terrible on wednesday and thursday, I didn't want to do the MTC anymore, I really wanted to come home. But I stuck it out, and then I had Friday, and i'm so glad that I perservered.
Another example of this has been one of my TRC investigators, Mariana. She is a REAL investigator. She is here in Provo for an english learning program at BYU, and then she's going back home to Mexico on Friday this week. But she's a completely real investigator, and me and Elder Brown have had the opportunity to teach her. She always follows up on her commitments on reading the Book of Mormon that me and Elder Brown give her, and she always prays. She really does have a real desire to know if it is all true. But when she reads the Book of Mormon, she feels like she has bad feelings come upon here, she feels like something is something is saying "warning". And I know with all my heart that this is Satan, because I really think something wonderful is about to happen in her life. I think we are so close with having her feeling the Spirit and getting an answer from God that the Book of Mormon is true. I really really really happy she does! Wouldn't it be so cool if she accepted the gospel as truth before she left to Mexico? That would make me so happy! We're really praying hard that we can bring the Spirit into our lessons this week!
That's about all that has happened this week. Just studying a lot, all day everyday! I'm really liking it here, i'm doing really well. Something that Steph Cooper said in one of her letters to me really sums up my experience as a missionary so far. She said that being on a mission is like riding a roller coaster, you have times of really high points, and some times of some really hard low points. But that's what being on a mission is all about, having some really hard times and having some really amazing times. If your mission experience was just planer, no ups, no downs, then you aren't doing a mission right. But overall, i'm super happy to be here, I love how much i'm learning. I love being a missionary!
And thus we see that it came to the pass that the people of district A branch 134 grew exceedingly stronger and stronger in their love for each other, and firmer and firmer in the faith. I am Elder Miles, and thus I end my epistle.