Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 18th, 2011

What a wonderful week! First off, some very exciting news is that I will be going straight to Mexico--most likely on Monday! As a District we had offerred a number of prayers for guidance in blessing those handling our travel plans, and as one of the first groups in over a month to go to Mexico we feel very blessed! We have our "permiso's" which means that Mexico is good with us coming. So, hopefully tomorrow we will go up to the consolate in Salt Lake City, and leave the following Monday. There is still a high probability that we will have to wait another week or so, but for sure we will go to Mexico! I am so grateful for this, and I am so excited!!!

As next Sunday will most likely be the last for my companion and I, our Branch Presidency called new Zone Leaders (effective on Sunday) and so they are "shadowing" us all week, and we are training them--which is pretty fun to help them and remember what it was like 5 weeks ago to be trained as a new leader.

We had a special opportunity to teach a few role plays (4) with 4 different people who were trying to get a job at the MTC acting as investigators. It was so neat, and the Spirit was so strong. With one, I learned an important lesson. They had us teach for a few minutes and then pause and talk and continue teaching. As the first pause we realized we still barely new the investigator, and decided to truly get to know her better to teach to her needs. Within the next 5 minutes we found out that she was going through cancer and could die in the next couple of years, she has no family, and that she doesn't think God cares about her. Later, we shared a lesson for her and with her, not just at her. But there, the importance of truly loving and coming to know the people I will teach was clearly illustrated. In another one, we taught a man who had real gauges in his ears and some tattoos (you get the picture) and he knew the Bible better than practically anyone I have ever heard. We got to know him, talked, shared, testified, and then continued to get bombarded with legitimate questions by him. We slowed down, stopped, and began sharing the sweet story of Joseph Smith restoring the fulness of the Gospel to the earth. This grown man began to weep, and said, "I know I am not supposed to get out of character, but the Spirit in here is so strong!" I was deeply touched, and filled with fire and added conviction that Joseph Smith truly is the Prophet of the Restoration. I know God did restore the fulness of His Gospel on the Earth, and that His church is here. Nothing untrue could bring such peace, conviction, and happiness into my heart. I know it.

Elder Holland of the Quorum of the 12 came to speak last week (for the 2nd time since I've been here), and what a blessing! His fire and enthusiasm for the work is inspiring; he truly and surely is an Apostle of God.

I am so grateful to be here. The time here in the MTC was so special; it has brought added light to my testimony of Jesus Christ and heightened my perspective of the true purpose of life. I believe--feel--and know that we have a purpose in this life. That through the plan of our Father in Heaven we can fulfill the purpose of our creation and return to our God with our families.

I am stoked to go to Mexico. We received another native district in our Zone last week, so I was training and teaching a number of Mexicans--and I just love them already! They told me a number of horror stories about Mexico, but I know that the Lord will watch out for me. They told me also how humble and poor the people are. What a blessing it will be to teach among such humble people!

Not much else to report. Life is wonderful. Elder Hercules is great! And the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true!

Elder Palmer

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