The Brethren

The Brethren

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Last 5 days in the MTC

Hi Everyone!!

So... in five days...five days I'll be on that plane headed to Bangkok, Thailand. I will finally be out of the MTC. Some missionaries who have been here for a while refer to it as "Prison break." Some refer to it as "Finally being born in the mission field." Whatever it may be that people call it, I am so ecstatic to finally go to Thailand. To immerse myself in their culture, language, and in the work of the Lord. To love and serve them with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. 

It will be a bittersweet farewell though... I previously wrote about my teachers, and I have come to love them so much! All of them served their missions in Thailand, and are now continuing their education at BYU. The other day, I even tried to convince Brother Shipley to come to Thailand with us, to relive the glory days of missionary work!! I've also gotten so connected with the Branch Presidency for our zone. Brother Callister and Brother Penrod are simply men of God. They had become my mentors here in the MTC. I am so grateful for the Lord preparing me (because I have much to prepare), by placing the right people.
Today, I want to give a few thoughts I got from a talk given by Sister Kathy Anderson and Elder Neil L. Anderson!! Yes! An Apostle of the Lord finally came to the MTC to talk to us! I have been waiting for this since I entered the MTC! My Thai teacher shared that five Apostles came when she was in the MTC, so I've been anticipating one for weeks! Although I didn't get the chance to hear from multiple Apostles, I'm grateful that Elder and Sister Anderson spoke to us.

I'd like to share a few thoughts that I had during the devotional.

4/15/14 - What is it worth to you?

Sister Kathy Anderson testified the importance of conference talks. Her words echoed in my mind when she said..  "What worth is it to you? To listen, read, and study the words of God given to us through prophets of God?" She shared an experience with then Mission President Anderson asked a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, "You often visit various parts of the world to speak to different congregations. Do the talks you give at these places differ with the talk you give at General Conference?"

The Apostle replied, "The talks I give at various congregations around the world are usually not densely written. I have a few thoughts and inspirations, and I am usually guided by the Spirit as I am talking to meet the needs of the people. However, for General Conference, I prepare a talk much ahead of time. I typically go through about fifteen drafts until it is complete." Sister Anderson paused, then asked.. "If an Apostle of the Lord goes through fifteen drafts to deliver a ten minute message.. How many times should we read these Conference Addresses?"

I was struck. Sister Anderson wasn't standing firmly and scolding at us.. She is this cute, short lady that humbly shared her fervent, yet powerful testimony with us. I need to study the word of God more than ever... I need to study them.. Remember them... and use them so I can become like Christ, and invite others to come unto Christ. What is it worth to you? To study the message from God? To deliver the message from God to your loved ones, friends, children :)

Elder Anderson began his talk by reading a lot of statistics. He read that one in four Americans now doubt the validity of the Bible. More people are skeptic of the teachings of Jesus Christ than ever before. I was again hit with the realization that we live in a world of skepticism. This time has been prophesied for centuries. So how can we survive through this crazy reality? Elder Anderson counsels to know the Doctrine of Christ! To know that it's true... so much that you'll never ever be skeptic of it. We all believe in it, but to know it so much that you'll never be separated from your testimony of this truth! I was reminded of Alma Chapter 17. At this time, Alma was preaching the word of God. To his astonishment, he met the Sons of Mosiah during his journey from the Land of Manti. They haven't seen each other in a very long time, as they were all busy doing missionary work. In verse 2, it says that "Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren." 

So it's obvious that Alma would rejoice to see the sons of Mosiah again.. but what's more significant is what follows that line: "and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth" Next to this verse, I wrote the names of Elder Isaac Moa, Elder Isaiah Mo'o, Elder Koa Kalamau, Elder Elias McMoore, and soon to be elder, Elder Kuuipo Kanae and Ezra Mo'o.

The rejoicing that Alma felt in verse 2 is how I want to feel when I am reunited with my brothers in Christ. As I am away from home, I have faith that my brothers and sisters in Christ are bringing others unto Christ as well. I yearn for a testimony so deep and unmovable. Elder Anderson closes his talk to by encouraging all to live the doctrine of Christ. He testifies that becoming a witness of the Book of Mormon is an elevating experience. Very little of us will have an almighty experience like Alma the Younger (Though I'd love to see an Angel with my naked eyes) 

Let us work for the Lord until we are welcomed into the Kingdom of God!

I love you all! I leave on Monday morning, so I'll probably be able to write the following Monday!

Elder Lindsey Takeuchi

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