Friday, April 10, 2015

Greetings Outsiders!

Hey. Stop freaking out. They just made us wait for over a week since we got here to let us have a P-day (preparation day) to do what we need to do!

The missionary training center (MTC) is pretty cool. I feel like I've been here forever. If you want to know what the food is like just look up Jeremiah 4:19. So I've done a lot and I have nowhere to start. I've taught some people and the lessons are going well. My companion is Elder Hamlin and I don't think I could have gotten a better companion. He's quiet but we get along super well and he makes funny comments that only the Elders in my district hear and we crack up during our six hour long study sessions. We have 0 time for anything else. Usually I try to keep the room clean but this morning we had to be at the temple for a session that started at 7:20 so I didn't make my bed like I usually do or put all of my stuff away and GUESS what happened. A surprise room inspection occurred while we were gone and we failed miserably. But that's okay. At least we know we might as well not worry about cleaning our room anymore. I think I'd rather go to the temple and get chewed out than be praised and have no temple time.You can't get a break in the MTC. We get out of class at 9:30 and have to be in bed at 10:30. 

My district rocks. We all get along super well and the Sisters are all very nice. Every meal I write stuff on napkins so that when people go to get napkins, they have something nice or funny to read. Other than teaching it's the highlight of my day. So we have investigators which are people that we teach and one of them is Ashley a.k.a. Sister Baer, one of our teachers. She's pretty cool and it's strange teaching a pretend investigator. They tell us that almost everyone you teach in the MTC is actually a member but I don't think Dan is. Dan is by far my favorite investigator. He is a BYU student who came from Japan to study. Dan is severely physically handicapped and has a hard time using his hands as well as most of his body but when I asked him what it was like he found a way to consider himself lucky. Dan isn't religious and has never even thought about God so at first he was difficult to teach because he knew hardly any of the terminology and on top of that his first language is Japanese so some English phrasing that we all understand, he doesn't understand. But although he was difficult we kept trying. I fasted and prayed on Tuesday for help in teaching Dan and lo and behold there was a MIRACLE. Not only did Dan begin to feel comfortable with the missionaries but we went to a devotional later that night that was on teaching those without Christian backgrounds! My prayers were answered because I had remained faithful to my promises, fasted, and kept myself aligned with God! It was unbelievable! And more miracles followed! On Wednesday when we were teaching Dan he expressed a new found love for nature and we didn't follow our planned lesson at all but instead felt inspired to talk about the Creation. After hearing about the creation Dan said "I think it's stupid for anyone to believe that everything happened by coincidence" and it. was. TRUE. Dan, the guy who was afraid to pray because he was almost sure that there was no such thing as God was now expressing a belief in something more than what we can see! I was so happy! Elder Hamlin and I expressed our own testimonies of the knowledge that we have of God and his Divine power. The feeling in the room was like walking on clouds. After we shared our testimonies, Dan said "Do you want me to pray now?" YES DAN YESSSSSS! We had been asking Dan to pray but he was too afraid of disappointing us by not getting an answer and there he was WANTING TO PRAY! His first ever prayer was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard. It went like this
"Dear Heavenly Father, are you there? I love nature. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
At that moment it was as though the gates of Hell themselves had been wrent in twain and no force on Earth could hinder the power of his sincere first prayer. I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear and tell dan how much I loved him. I could not cease to praise him. He said that he felt overwhelmed and that I was, as the Japanese would say, "Killing him with compliments" He told us "I don't think I've had anyone ever care about me this much after only three days." and that "I thought all religious people were crazy but I don't think you're crazy." Thank you, Dan. We felt that we should give him more time to clearly see the answer to his prayer before we invite him to be baptized but hopefully on our next and final visit, he will be ready. I know that he will get an answer. I know that nothing is coincidence and that there was a reason I felt so motivated to read that entire Learn Japanese book. I know I am where I need to be and that Love is the pick that can break even the hardest of hearts.

Elder Norrell

P.S. The MTC computer is weird and I don't think I can send photos. I'll send some when I get into the field.

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