So I’m way sad and way excited at the same time. I’m excited because we get new missionaries on Wednesday, but that also means that we lose the older half of our district. They are all leaving (except for one who had a mixup with his departure date, Elder Wallace, who will be staying with my district for the next two weeks) on Monday morning. I love those guys, they are such amazing examples and great friends, I don’t know what we will do without them. On Friday, they had infield training at Main Campus, and we were all super lost as to what we should do for gym time because we usually do things as a zone. I hope that we can be as good examples to the new missionaries as they have been to us. Those guys are amazing!
So, funny story. I think it was on Thursday, Elder Goodman got a package during the noon pickup of the mail, so he brought it and set it on the counter. When everyone was leaving the room to go do an activity outside, I quickly moved the package to a shelf beneath the counter. Elder Perry saw me do it, but didn’t say anything. It took a while for Elder Goodman to realize that it was gone, but as soon as he did, he blamed Elder Perry, because out of all of us, it would have been Elder Perry who would have been the most likely to do it. Elder Perry finally said that he moved it, so I decided to go along with it. Then, when Elder Perry tried to back out and blame me, I just brought up the fact that Elder Perry had said that he did it, and Elder Goodman bought it. When we got back from dinner, I checked to see if the package was still there briefly when nobody was looking and then went to the bathroom. When I got out, the package was gone and Elder Goodman was still looking, so I figured that Elder Perry, since he was being blamed for it, had decided to really hide it. Class then started and we didn’t think anything more of it for the time being, but as we were getting ready to leave at 9:00, about 7 hours after I had originally moved the package, I asked Elder Perry if he was going to give Elder Goodman’s package back, to which he said, “Honestly, I didn’t take it!” I then said, “All right I admit, I originally moved the package, but I have no idea where it is now. Elder Perry took it and moved it somewhere else,” to which Elder Perry said “I didn’t do it, see!” Elder Goodman then starts laughing and pulls the package out of a cabinet. Evidently he had found it and decided to get revenge on Elder Perry by freaking him out for taking his package, but he says he had never suspected me. Elder Perry has vowed never to trust either of us again, because literally everybody blamed him for everything, but we all got a good laugh out of it, including Elder Perry.
Now for a couple of spiritual thoughts:
On Monday, we were talking about our investigators as a district and I personally had a sudden epiphany about the work I was doing. The people we teach here at the MTC are already baptized, they already know of the joy of his love, and how much it can change their lives. Even knowing this in the back of my head when I go into to teach them, I am still filled with joy as they keep their commitments, feel them feel the Spirit, and listen to them say yes when I ask the question “¿Seguirá el ejemplo de Jesucristo a ser bautizado?” When they say yes to this, I feel an unquenchable joy well up inside of me, even though I know that they are just acting. But then I realized what it is all for. I just a couple of weeks, I will be in Argentina taking the gospel to people who have never heard of it and never had the opportunity to experience the joy of truly knowing the Savior and beginning to understanding how much he loves them and how much he has done for them. I thought about the joy I had experienced committing my investigators here in the MTC to baptism, about the Spirit I had felt sharing Joseph Smith’s own words about seeing our Heavenly Father in the Sacred Grove, and realized that the joy that I feel here will be nothing in comparison to really and truly bringing someone to the knowledge of their loving Heavenly Father, about hearing a real person committing themselves to baptism and a life of following the example of our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ. I am so excited!
I have also gained a greater love for the Atonement This week. During Priesthood on Sunday, we talked about the Atonement. There was some pretty good stuff brought up, but right now I can’t remember it off of the top of my head, and my Preach My Gospel book, where I was taking notes, it up on the classroom. What really got me happened afterward. After we got back to our classrooms, I looked up Elder Holland’s talk “None were with Him.” That talk was definitely one of the many spiritual highs I had that day. I loved what he said in the last paragraph: “Now, may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without our aid and assistance, that never again will He find only unresponsive onlookers when He sees you and me along His Via Dolorosa in our present day.” I’ve thought a lot about that quote this past week, and have decided to make that my goal for my mission and the rest of my life: that I can easily be identified as a disciple of Christ in everything that I do, that when the world looks down upon Jesus and scorns him, that I can be there standing tall and proud as one who follows him, undeterred by what is going on around me. I encourage all of you to look up the talk and watch it (you have to watch Elder Holland, because while the words are powerful, there’s nothing quite like him speaking them) and ponder on what he says. There is a lot to be learned from that talk about our Savior and how much he absolutely loves us, and a glimpse of how much he actually did suffer. He was completely and utterly alone, without even the companionship of our loving Heavenly Father for a portion of it. Having the Spirit with me is amazing, I can’t image being able to function through me daily life without it, let alone suffering for each and every one of us individually; every pain, every heartache, every temptation, every sin. I know that I will never be able to thank him enough for how much he has done for me. I can try, but in the end, the only thing that I can do it stand as a witness of him in all times, in all things, and in all places, no matter what the world is doing around me. All I can do is make sure that his suffering wasn’t in vain, that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to take advantage of the Savior’s suffering: he has given it to us as a gift, we need to use it. I love him so much.
En el nombre sacrago de mi Salvador y hermano, Jesucristo, Amen.
I love you all,
Elder Trenton Behunin