October 5, 2013
Well, they say you need to make 10,000 mistakes before you can become fluent in a language. I think I've made over a thousand this week, so I'm a little closer to being there!
I can't believe I'm more than halfway done here at the MTC. We get our flight plans this week, so I'll be sure to let you know next week. I think we'll be flying to the west coast somewhere and then to either Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Japan, and then down to Manila. I can't wait to be able to talk to mom and dad in the airport!!
Being a part of the RS broadcast in the choir was incredible!! It was amazing being in the conference center for the first time and it was even more amazing being in the presence of the living prophet here on the earth. When Thomas S. Monson walked in, the Spirit just came over me so peacefully and testified to me that he is a prophet and that he speaks with God. I am so grateful for that personal witness because I will be testifying of him as a prophet nearly every day of my mission. As we sang last Saturday night there was such an amazing spirit. I love the strength that the women of the church have. One of the best parts of the whole night for me was when the huge section of sister missionaries from the SLC area stood up and waved at us at the end of the program. It was amazing seeing hundreds of sisters from all over the world showing their love and support in that way. I love being a part of this international work!!
Yay for general conference this weekend! We will be watching it from Main Campus with all of the missionaries in the MTC. What an incredible once in a lifetime experience - listening to the words of living prophets and apostles with 3,000 other missionaries! I can't wait!!
We had some really incredible experiences teaching our investigators this week. Confession time: my kasama and I had really been slacking off on companionship study. We would just plan out the lessons for a few minutes and then take the rest of the time to study on our own. This week we set a goal to improve our companionship study in order to teach our lessons more effectively. On Thursday we were going to teach Mark. We had a great comp study where we studied the doctrine together and planned everything out in great detail. We prayed and prayed that the lesson would go well. When we went in for the lesson it was so great! The spirit was definitely there and I just really kept feeling prompted that we needed to ask him to be baptized, but I was reluctant because I hadn't studied the baptismal commitment in Tagalog. I finally got up the courage even though my heart was pounding. I asked him in broken Tagalog if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority and he said YES! It was an incredible testimony builder for me that we need to do missionary work the Lord's way. I know the plan, study, teach cycle is inspired by God and when we follow it with obedience we are blessed. We recognized that the reason the Spirit was so strong and that we were able to commit him to baptism was because of our obedience in having meaningful comp study that morning. Nothing brings me more joy that seeing an investigator come closer to Christ especially through baptism! I can't wait to do this for real in the Philippines!!! :)
I want to share my testimony in Tagalog with you all: Alam ko po na totoo an Simbahan ni Jesucristo sa mga Banal na mga Huling Araw. Sa pamamagitan panalangin puwede tayong malalaman ang katotohanan. Mapagmahal po ang Diyos at Tagapagligtas po si Jesucristo. Alma ko po na totoo propeta po sina Joseph Smith at Thomas. S Monson. Alam ko po na totoo ang Aklat Ni Mormon at kung magbabasa tayo, magbabasbas tayo.
Have a great week!
I love you all so much!
Sister Mckenna Gustafson
(Translation of Testimony - "I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. Through prayer we can know the truth. I love Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. I know Joseph Smith and Thomas. S Monson are prophets. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and if we read it will bless us.")