With a little over 2 weeks left at the MTC, lessons are picking up. My companion and I now teach an investigator everyday in French, and we are churning out more grammar concepts by the hour. Perhaps the most confusing part about the French language is conjugating the verbs for the different pronouns. Nevertheless, learning the language is great fun, especially with the amazing instructors we have.
There were a lot of great memories this week.
For our weekly Tuesday devotional, , Elder Neil L. Anderson, of the quorum of the Twelve apostles, came and spoke to us. His message, titled “First Love, Then Sacrifice” was simple yet powerful. He said, “We sacrifice for the things we love, and we love the things we sacrifice for.” How true this statement is. When he said that, my thoughts immediately turned to my family. Because of my love for them, I have always strived to be the best person that I can be. Love motivates us to be better, and that is the center of missionary work. Now, as a missionary, that love must be extended to those around me. Elder Anderson served as a mission president in the Bordeaux, France mission about 20 years ago, and got one of the missionaries who served under him to share his testimony of the gospel and an experience of the mission with us. It was powerful and sincere, and he delivered one of the greatest quotes about serving a mission: “Forget Yourself and Get to Work.” Again, I am humbled by the opportunity to increase in my capacity to love others, to focus less on “Me” and more on the people around me. To end of a wonderful devotional, Elder Anderson came around to shake the hands of the missionaries, and though he did not get around to shaking mine, I still felt the love he had for all of us. What an amazing man he is.
As I mentioned, my companion and I have been teaching more this week, and there have been two very memorable funny instances.
This first came as we were practicing our contacting with another district. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, contacting is when we talk to people on the street and try to share a quick spiritual message with them. Contacting is a great way to find people who are ready to receive the restored gospel, and it is important that missionaries are sensitive and approachable when engaging someone. So, my companion wanted to get to know our contacts a little better. We planned to ask him what he liked to do, which in french is, “Est-ce que vous-aime faire?” Instead, this french came out of my mouth, “Je vous aime,” which literally translates to “I love/like you.” Well, that certainly broke the ice, but I should probably be more cautious of telling random people I love them.
The second came when we were teaching an old man. We asked him where he lived, and he told us that he lived in Orem, 10 minutes from the MTC, just outside the Provo boundaries. Well, I forgot that Orem was near provo, and I asked him if he flew here on a plane to meet with us. Everyone in the room was stumped and it took us 2 minutes to figure out that I did not know where Orem was. My companion and I had a great time laughing afterwards. I felt so foolish, but was glad to have made my companion’s day. After all, what’s a mission if you’re not having fun along the way.
Well, that’s all I have time for. A special thank you to my mum and sister who have lovingly sent me packages over the last few weeks!
I love you all. The Church is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and God loves us very much.
Elder Parker Lam