Like Sardines, or The “Malachi” Effect

11 Feb 2013

“…prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”    Malachi 3:10

Dear All,

Thank you so much for your letters! I love it here at the MTC, and I’m learning so much, but some days get discouraging and nothing cheers me up more than remembering that I have a loving family and friends to support and cheer me on. Thank you 🙂 .

Provo is still cloaked in a crisp cover of snow, but around the MTC things just keep heating up: when I arrived, there were about 2500 missionaries here. Now there are 4000 – with more on their way! Because so many of them are sisters, we’re now squeezing extra bunkbeds into our rooms. The lunchroom and laundry are packed to the rafters night and day, and have descended into a sort of anarchy. But the ranks are growing and that’s what matters: if waiting in line for 15 minutes in exchange for stale toast and dodgy eggs will help prepare the earth for the Second Coming, then I’ll gladly tighten my belt.  😉

Please forgive me for taking some “poetic licence” in that description, I was only served a dodgy egg on one occasion (it wasn’t badly cooked, so much as it was completely uncooked. It was literally a raw egg…). Honestly, the food and facilities are great: we get weekly temple trips, visits from General Authorities, not to mention Lucky Charms cereal and pistachio pudding on demand. What a blessing! It’s all flying by too fast (I only have a few more weeks here).

The language is challenging (in a good way), but little by little it’s coming.  Frankly, I’m astonished at the vocabulary we’ve amassed in little more than 20 days, and we see the evidence of the gift of tongues every day. Our first investigator (that’s missionary jargon for a person who is investigating the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Church), Jaro, accepted the invitation to be baptised (yay! ) . He then admitted that he is really one of our teachers! We’ve now begun teaching Braňo (our other teacher’s alter ego), and hope to challenge him to baptism tomorrow, after teaching him about the Restoration. We also teach members of the Church, who kindly volunteer to be our guinea pigs while we practice our language and teaching skills. One of whom is actually from Slovakia, rather than an American who has returned from a mission there! She says that we speak well, and she is sure we will move the work forward in her homeland.

I feel so honoured and excited to be called to Slovakia! We just received word today that the Book of Mormon (or rather, Kniha Mormonova) has finally been released in the Slovak language, after years of struggle and opposition. What a blessing for the saints there to finally – just this week – read and understand those inspired words in their mother tongue.

Last night (Sunday), we listened to a talk Elder Bednar gave in the MTC a couple years back entitled “The Character of Christ”. He quoted Mosiah 3:19, and explained how coming unto Christ means becoming like Him.

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah 3:19

When the “natural man” would turn inward, searching for praise and sympathy and acclaim, the Saviour instead turned outward in love for others. Even on the cross, He asked for His mother to be taken care of, did missionary work in speaking to the two thieves, and prayed for His tormentors to be forgiven. Elder Bednar told us: “This mission is not about you. Get over yourself! You don’t get results because you want them:  you help others become converted when you lose yourself in loving others.” I am beginning to feel that every day is an invitation to recognise my own weakness, rely on the Lord, and take a baby step closer to Him. This mission is the hardest and best thing I have ever done – I have so much to live up to, but the Saviour’s grace gives me courage to face it.

Viem že Ježiš Kristus je náš Spasitel. Boh je náš Nebesky Otec ; on počuje a odpoveda náše modlitby. Kniha Mormonova je slovo bôžie, a nam prináša bližšie Bohovi ako ktorýkoľvek daiši kniha. Joseph Smith bol prorok Boha, a Thomas S. Monson je povolaný Boha aby viesť Jeho eirkev dnes. Iba spôsob dostávať trvale šťastie je prostrednictvom viery v Ježiša Krista a Jeho uzmierenia, pokánia, krstu a daru Ducha Svätého, a vytrvania až do konca.

Thanks again for your support!

Love always,

Sestra Jones


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