Friday, November 1, 2013

Peacing out on the MTC!

In the words of the late Michael Jackson, "This is it." In other words, this is the last email from the MTC! I leave for Cambodia on November 5! I have loved my experience at the MTC so much and honestly I am really sad to go. There are days here that I think I will starve to death because the food is awful, there are days that I miss wearing pants and there are days that I just want to be able to sleep on the couch and watch Back to the Future repeatedly, but being a missionary is the absolute best thing ever! Did you know I have about 15 months left of my mission?! I never want this experience to end. Every single day I feel closer to our Heavenly Father and I have built my testimony in a way that I couldn't anywhere else. I still cannot believe that I am only 19 years old and I have the opportunity to serve The Lord for a year and a half. This morning at the temple I realized that I am so young, but I have had the opportunity to enter into the temple and receive so many blessings from that! Just over a year ago I was thinking that right now I would be in my sophomore year of college, but I am really grateful for this new path I am able to take. I cannot really explain how great it feels, it's a bit surreal, but I would never trade this experience for anything. Now in less than a week I will be in Cambodia serving the Vietnamese people! Goodness, I am so excited to actually be in the field and teaching real investigators.

Yesterday at devotional Elder Godoy of the Seventy shared with us his conversion story. He told us the first time the missionaries taught him he knew without a doubt that it was all true. He couldn't believe that God's church was on the earth again and everyone didn't know about it. He didn't understand why CNN and newspapers weren't broadcasting to the whole world that God's church was on the earth again. He is so right! God's church is on this earth RIGHT NOW and there are so many people that don't know about it. 
Lesson one: Share the Gospel with everyone! This is a HUGE deal!
So Elder Godoy joined the church about a month after first meeting with the missionaries. But soon after being baptized the sisters were transferred and no one in the ward had fellowshipped him. He always knew the church was true, but soon became inactive because he never felt included. 
Lesson two: Be friends with everyone! There are two types of conversion: Conversion by water and social conversion. Everyone needs to feel the love and spirit of our Heavenly Father and they also need to feel the love of fellow ward members. 
After a couple of years he went back to the church just to see what everyone was doing for some Brazilian holiday and while he was there they invited him to go to youth conference. He went, felt the Spirit and made the choice to become active again. The happiness of the members around him was the selling point throughout all of his conversion story. He saw so many members that were happy and wanted to be like them. From that point on, he has been strong in the church. He began attending early morning seminary, served a full-time mission, served as a mission president in Brazil and is now part of the Seventy. 
Lesson three: Invite people to activities, and do not assume that because someone is inactive they are not interested in coming back to the church. Elder Godoy really stressed the point that people do not always go inactive because they are evil sinners, or they are lazy. A lot of the time the reason for little or no church attendance is because it's just not a comfortable and friendly environment. If you are reading this and think that you are friendly enough, you are wrong. There have been multiple times that I have had no desire to go to church because I didn't fit in. My entire senior year of high school I didn't attend Sunday School once because I felt like it would be awkward and I wouldn't have anything to say in conversations. So, always be friendly...TO EVERYONE. All members need to feel the social acceptance of other members of the church. 
Okay, that is the soap box portion of my email. 
Nothing really funny happened this week. We're all stressing out because chung ta khong biet gi het. Translation: we don't know anything. So that's awesome. 
Hope you all have a great week! I would write more but I'm out of time. Your next email will be coming from Cambodia, or maybe Vietnam!!
Love you all heap loads!
-Sister Egelund
This is the guy that started MormonProbs on Twitter and Facebook. He's famous among the Mormons. I actually hate him. #NoBiggie
 The zone on Sunday, October 27.
I don't really know this Elder but dad met him at the airport when he was flying in to Utah. Elder Tran's best friend is in his district too. 

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