Thursday, November 12, 2015

MTC Halfway Point- What a spiritual week!

Buenos dias amigos!

I love it here in the MTC! It is somewhat sad to me that we have passed the halfway point. It goes by so fast. The campus is really nice, being right next to my dream school BYU. The mountains are fantastic and it has snowed a little this past week. However, even more fantastic than the snow balls, delicious food, comfortable dorms, friendly missionaries, awesome companions, and excellent language trainers, are the powerful spiritual experiences everyday.
At the Provo Temple. I will miss this place.
On 11/6, Elder Inman was sick. His companion, Elder Starr, and I gave him a priesthood blessing. The priesthood is the power of God given to man to serve God's children on the earth. It is by this authority that we can baptize and also by which we can bless the sick. I am happy that God trusts me with his power and provides me with opportunities to serve.
The next day, we taught Lucas again. We focused on teaching him just about baptism. Here is a portion of my journal entry for that day:
"After sharing multiple scriptures (Mosiah 18: 8-11) about the people of Alma desiring to be baptized and the example of Jesus Christ, he prayed with us and asked God if he should be baptized. During the prayer, I realized that the only thing I wanted in the world was for Lucas to receive an answer from God. [I prayed mightily for him]. After the prayer, he was noticeably affected, but still unsure. The spirit then prompted me to tell him that this decision is really big, that it is not our decision and we can't make it for him. It is up to him to choose. I then invited him to be baptized again. It was quiet for what felt like two minutes. Finally, he replied 'I know God wants me to be baptized. Yes.' That was the coolest thing to hear! I know it will bless his life... Hurray!"
I must have invited him three times during that lesson to be baptized. My companion thought I was really pushing him, but I know I felt and obeyed God's promptings to me.
We sang this past Tuesday, an arrangement of "Nearer My God To Thee" for the devotional. This song applies so powerfully to me right now. If I am not coming closer to God each day, I am falling away from Him. I especially love the line "Angels to beckon me." I know that angels are with us daily to protect us and invite us closer to Christ. During the song, I was able to focus on the words of the song and felt the spirit very powerfully, as I plead with God to help me come closer to Him. What a great song!
My companion and I had a contest to not look at the screens while we were singing. If I looked, I had to do 10 push-ups, him, 30. Even though we focused really hard, me 10, him 90 (he is really built!)
We are learning to teach more specifically and with more power. My companion and I have a long way to go, but we are on God's side and have great love for our investigators and desires to follow Christ. I invite each of you to come closer to Christ this week. Read the scriptures, serve someone in need, or give a heartfelt prayer of gratitude. I know this will bring you greater happiness and peace.

Have a happy day!
Elder Cloward

P.S. To answer some questions, my departure date is either Nov 30, or Dec. 1, I'm not sure which yet. My Spanish is coming along nicely. I can communicate, but at this point, every sentence I give has at least one error in it. I'm getting all of our recent language lessons confused and there is little time to review or fully incorporate what I am learning. Still, it's fun to pop a Spanish word that the rest in the district don't know and have them decipher what I'm saying. Next Tuesday, our district is doing an English and food fast. I am excited for this opportunity to develop.
This is my last week as district leader. It has been a great, but difficult experience. I am excited to see who will be assigned this next week.

Love you all!
Spike Ball With Elder Maisey


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