Life is going great here at the MTC! The language has progressed so fast it's kind of amazing. As of last Wednesday, we were up to about half of all the grammar principles in the language, so after that it'll just be learning vocab forever and ever and practicing the grammar until I’m fluent. It's really cool. I've only been here for three weeks and the language seems to get easier and easier every day. Now that doesn't mean I'm anywhere close to being fluent right now, I still have A LOT to learn, but we're getting there. I've still got like 6ish more weeks here too, so we'll see where I am when we get there!
Time here is the eeriest thing ever. The first week it felt like the days took as long as a month to get through, and now it feels like the days are only a few days long. Looking back though, I feel like I've barely been here. Like it's only been a week at most, when it's been three! The food is starting to scare me, too. It's really really good food, but yesterday we had Chicken cordon bleu, which was our first meal when we got here. Hopefully there are a few more meals to go through before it starts cycling through again and we have the same things over and over and over again.
This last Wednesday we had two new districts come into our zone/branch/church, twenty new people!! Most of them are going to Arizona, but four Sisters are going to Temple Square in Salt Lake City. They are really cool people. One of the Sisters is from New Zealand and has an awesome accent - Sister Vaivai. Otherwise, it's interesting seeing everyone start all over again and see just how little we still know, knowing we were like them three weeks ago. The other district that came in with us though is leaving tomorrow. It's really bittersweet to see these people we've gotten really close with over the last few weeks to go away, but I'm really excited for them. If I had been called on an English-speaking mission, I'd be going out with them.
This last Sunday was the first Sunday, which means it was Fast and Testimony Sunday. This day is a day when all people in the Church are asked to fast for two meals on a specific request to the Lord and donate the money they would have spent to welfare. It was a little different here at the MTC, since here everyone fasts since the lunchroom doesn't open until 5, but I think yesterday was the best day I've had since I've been here. In addition to the regular Sunday Devotional where we have an accomplished couple come to give a talk or sermon Sunday night to all the missionaries here, we also had Mission Conference, where the MTC Presidency all gave talks on different topics they felt inspired to tell.
One of the things which really struck me was the fact that we can't be saved in ignorance, that simply burying your head in the sand won't bring you closer to knowing your Heavenly Father and seeking to return to Him, but rather seeking knowledge and truth is what will help us gain a greater understanding of God, and MOST importantly, our Savior's sacrifice for us, which by His grace we are even able to return. No unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God, and so we must seek Jesus and learn of Him and have faith to be cleansed from the wrong, guilt forming things we do, sins. As such is why I am here serving. IF Jesus is Divine, truly the Son of God, and if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and if the Book of Mormon is scripture like the Bible, then there is no important thing to do than to serve them. I will return to my profession later, this I am sure, but there are things of eternal significance, instead of worldly significance, which I seek to labor for. As such is what I am doing. If this work is true then it is the most important work of our generation. We grow and learn and progress in our lives through ignorance, as such would be like being an infant. And so I continue to seek out truth where I find it, because there is no greater labor in life.
I know Jesus lives, and he suffered all things, which you have suffered. He is our personal Savior, and all things of the gospel, particularly the restored gospel point us back to Him. I know this because I have found peace, which only He can provide, and divine direction and guidance, which I could not have, thought, but the results - or fruits - of such were joyous beyond measure.
Hope everyone out there is well. I DO want to hear from you! I'm a little behind on writing reply letters, but will definitely be back on top of it today.
Be safe and don't stop seeking!!
Elder Cameron Benson