Ah, the first P-day. It feels good to relax again after a week of Gospel and Spanish bombardment/inundation/head-bashing-against-the-wall learning experience. So, in other words, I’m struggling a bit, but it’s fulfilling nonetheless. These last 6 days have been both longer than any others, and at the same time, shorter than anything else I’ve been through. So without further ado, or any other pompous and hackneyed weird English phrases, I’ll describe my past few days.
I have a lot of class, and it’s mostly focused on the Gospel, and it’s been in Spanish. So, I don’t really understand much that our teachers, Hermano Anderson (BYU student, served in Guatemala) and Hermana De Leon (Guatemalan BYU student, served in Long Beach), say, especially Hermana De Leon, who probably only says 10 words in English each 3-hour teaching period. But, I’ll get it eventually. In fact, I was reminded of my ability to “shoulder burdens,” such as learning, tonight. But, I’ll get to that later. On with my day/week.
All the days have blended together, but today was different, and for an obvious reason. As I already mentioned, I had P-Day today, my only day off of the week. So, instead of waking up at 6:14, showering, and going to class at 7:00, I got to wake up and jump rope with Elder Stanfill for half an hour, followed by chest and shoulders workout with Elder Roberts. Good exercise. Great way to clear my head.
Some time later, our district walked up to the Provo Temple for an endowment session. Unfortunately, Elder Roberts realized halfway up the sidewalk to the temple grounds that he had forgotten his recommend. And you know, Elder Roberts is in ridiculously good shape. He’s 6’3”, 185 lbs., and 4% body fat, which is why I was surprised when as we sprinted back to the residence hall, in full church dress and shoes, I was passing him up completely. It’s nice to know my cardio has been good for something. And it helped even more when we sprinted all the way back up the hill to the temple. Oh, and another thing, it is actually kind of fun to run wearing a suit in the wind. Yeah, it’s a weird though, but think about it. I felt like Clark Kent, running with my tie flying in the wind, looking for a phone booth to change into the whatever-it’s-called costume. Sorry if that sounded weird. The idea just popped into my head.
The day went on, until we had a 7:00 fireside in the main building. Imitating every other missionary we had talked to about it, Elder Roberts and I started lining up at the front door an hour beforehand. It wasn’t until everyone sat down in the main room that we found out who was speaking: Elder David A. Bednar of the 12 Apostles. It was incredible. As soon as we entered the room, something felt. . . . different. A chill went down my back, and you could feel that this man KNOWS. He KNOWS. The man had seen Christ, spiritually if not literally.
His message was about one thing: the answer is always found in the doctrine. What this means is, all people should learn is the doctrine, or the answer to the question of “why?” before answering the questions of “what?” or “how?” In other words, the reasons behind rules should be understood before they are actually obeyed. Otherwise, we have blind obedience, merely doing something because we are supposed to, and not because we actually understand the reasons behind it.
“Why?” à “How?” à “What?”
Sorry if that explanation is kind of vague. I don’t have much time to write, and I’m just trying to explain the general ideas behind his talk.
But, there’s one thing that I definitely wan to say before bed, Elder Bednar said something before closing which struck me. This is it: “I don’t have what it takes to be an apostle. I’m not smart enough . . . but with God, I can, for in his strength, I can do all things.” (Alma 26:12)
I thought about that. And, you know what? I don’t have what it takes to be a missionary. But, in God’s strength I can do all things.
Sorry if this is quick and vague – I don’t have much time. . . .