Hola Hola!!How is everyone? Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and vacations! It has been fun this past week to see Elder Holmes multiple times throughout the day because we are on the same daily schedule. We have enjoyed our time on the bball court, it has brought back some great memories of good old church ball! Things are well as always here at the MTC and things have definitely slowed down since the Mission President Seminar we had last week. Last Thursday, we were priveleged to hear from Elder Bednar, a modern-day apostle of Jesus Christ. With him were 6 other apostles, namely Elder Anderson, Nelson, Scott, Holland, Oaks, and Ballard. The Spirit was so strong just simply being in the presence of these servants of the Lord and the reverence was amazing among the missionaries. Elder Bednar spoke to us about "Becoming Preach My Gospel Missionaries" (Llegar a ser un misionero predicad mi evangelio). He addressed 5 points that missionaries should: 1. Understand that they serve and represent Jesus Christ 2. Are worthy 3. Treasure up words of eternal life 4. Understand that the Holy Ghost is the Ultimate Teacher 5. Teaching is more important than just talking or telling. These points are simple, but extremely important. In his conclusion, Elder Bednar got emotional and then declared in a soft but powerful voice, "You can do this." We were all edified and strengthened by this experience to learn with apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. This week we recieved a new teacher who replaced our teacher that we grew really fond of. We were disappointed at first but when we began learning from this teacher (who is actually 2 weeks off the mission), we realized that we were supposed to learn from him these last two weeks of our MTC experience. He immediately started helping us improve our teaching skills and our abilities to love those people we teach. I also learned a lot about obedience while thinking of our Savior this week. Jesus Christ never had a personal agenda, He solely did the will of the Father, with 100% obedience. We can learn a great lesson from this example that as we are 100% obedient as missionaries to the mission rules and as God's children being 100% obedient to His commandments, we will have the Spirit to be with us in order to help others come unto Christ and look toward His perfect example as well. I also realized that "a missionary is one who leaves his family for a short time so that many other families can be together for eternity." This quote really hit home for me as I once again realized the importance of this calling to be a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ. We recieved our travel plans today and I will officially be leaving the MTC heading for Mexico on July 11th! This day is coming up very quickly and I am very excited to begin finding those who are searching for truth. It will be difficult, especially at first in my broken Spanish, but I know there are so many of you supporting me and praying for me. The Lord will strengthen me in any trial or challenge that I will have, what a comforting thought! I miss you all, summer is flying by so have some fun while it lasts!!! Les Quiero Mucho!-Elder Stutz
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Hope everyone had a great week! I enjoyed another nice week here at the MTC with a lot of studying and learning. It was fun to see Elder Scott Sonne arrive yesterday and I look forward to seeing many other friends come in next week. I have to admit, it is tough to be here and see a lot of the advanced speakers come and then leave to their missions. With every learning or spiritual experience I have here, I want to share this wonderful message that much more. I am getting very excited for Mexico! This week we had another Elder join our district because he is staying here an extra 2 weeks while he is doin therapy for a knee injury, Elder Maddox. He has moved in with my companions and I but they didn't break up our trio. The president thought it would be a mistake to break us up so I took that as a compliment. We continue to become better friends everyday. All 3 of us are very different but we are starting to understand each other better and learn what we can do to give service to one another. I continue to work hard on the spanish and it makes more sense everyday. I continue to love reading El Libro de Mormon and singing the Himnos en español. Elder Sawyer and I joined the MTC choir this past week and on Tuesday we sang "Jesus Once of Humble Birth". Neither of us are great singers but we are participating because we felt the spirit so strong and it was a huge testimony builder for me of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have thought about my Savior often this past week and how I can have a better relationship with Him. Our devotional this week was given by President Wixom, the Primary President of the Church. She talked about the name that we wear on our chests everyday, not Elder so-and-so, but Jesus Christ. What an honor we have to bear that holy name. We represent Jesus Christ and we are expected to act as such. I am so grateful for this unique opportunity in my life to wear that name everyday, to strive to be more like Jesus Christ and help others come unto Him by helping them to recieve His restored Gospel. I testify that He is our Savior and that He indeed has felt all the pains, sufferings, depression, everything that we have ever gone through. What a wonderful knowledge we have of an Older Brother that can relate to us and comfort us in all things. He is my best friend, mi mejor amigo. He has comforted and helped me numerous times in my life and especially now when I occassionally need a lift of spirits. I cannot wait to witness how this knowledge will change the lives of many in Mexico; I look forward to seeing that miracle occur. This week I am especialy grateful for fathers. My own father has been my "go-to" example for my whole life and I love him so much. I am grateful to all those men out there that have been father figures at different points in my life- bishops, teachers, friends, etc. I am especially grateful for a Father in Heaven, for the knowledge I have that we are all sons and daughters of a loving Father who knows and loves us each personally. Somos hijos de nuestro Padre Celestial (we are children of our Heavenly Father), what a great knowledge of comfort. If we never forget who we are, we will never fall. We will always have the courage and faith to press on in righteousness. I love my Father in Heaven and I know He has prepared a plan for us to come to this earth to gain experience and knowledge, so we could become more like Him and experience the same eternal joy that He feels. I hope everyone has a great Father's Day! Much love and I miss you all!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Hola mi familia y amigos!
We had a great week at the MTC! The work certainly gets better every semana. All is well with me and my district. I love seeing the new elders that come in, especially those who I knew before. Many friends from college are starting to come in so that is very exciting. Tuesday was easily our best day of this past week. We are doing this activity in our class where our two teachers pretend to be their "pre-converted" selfs and we teach them as investigators. We do this every other day. It has been the best practice for us in teaching with unity and meeting investigators needs. One of our teachers is an atheist, so she does not have much faith in anything at this point. We brought in Elder Church, an elder in our zone, on tuesday to talk to her because he was an atheist just a year and a half ago before coming on the mission. His testimony was unshakeable and he has recieved a witness, like I also have, that we are God's spirit children and the He loves all of us, personally. He also bore testimony of the power of prayer and the Holy Ghost. The spirit was so strong and it felt as if we were teaching a real discussion. This incredible experience made me even more excited to head to Mexico in a month. That night, we went to a devotional given by Elder Kikuchi. The talk he gave that night I will never forget. He talked about interesting subjects. For example, he talked about how we all need to arise a little earlier in the mornings, get all ready for the day, and then offer up thoughts, questions, thanks, and desires to God (our own personal Sacred Grove). He instructed us to continue to kneel after closing our prayers, in order to recieve the revelation we need. I have experienced the blessings from this instruction and it will be so helpful and crucial to me once I get into the mission field. He also talked about the sacred nature of the First Vision. He said it is the single most important item we teach as missionaries. When Joseph Smith saw a pillar of light, (vi una columna de luz) God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Him and they restored Christ's Gospel here on the earth. I know that to be true with every fiber of my being and I, like Joseph himself, cannot deny that I know it. The Holy Ghost has borne witness to my heart of this truth and it blesses my life everyday, to know that there is a living prophet on the earth and that I can overcome my sins and weaknesses through the Infinite Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. In his talk, Elder Kukuchi made hundreds of grammatical errors because he does not speak english all that well. But when I heard this man bear testimony, my heart caught fire and I felt the Spirit so strong. From this, I learned that my terrible, broken Spanish does not matter. What does matter is that I bear testimony with the Spirit because the language of the Holy Ghost can reach all people, nations, kindreds, and tongues. As you can see, we have so much to be grateful for here at the MTC. Our district rejoices together often over all the wonderful things we learn on an everyday basis. Hope all is well in the lives of my loved ones. I would love to hear from all of you. Take care this next week! Love you all!
You guys should watch the Thomas S Monson biography video on LDS.org this week for FHE. It was one of the most inspirational movies I have ever seen. His life is full of service and he is a great example to me of a life that I want to live, one of complete selflessness and service. Te amo mucho!