Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Obedience with Exactness Brings Miracles

I know this first part isn’t very public but I can’t leave it out because I loved reading it so much!
Letter home July 2, 2013
“Dear Mom and Dad,

I love you guys so much! Thank you so much for the letters. I look forward to and love reading your words of encouragement!

The MTC experience is truly an amazing one. There is really no way to describe it perfectly. In some ways it is like school and EFY and church all bundled up. We are constantly learning and amazingly progressing.

The language of Portuguese is kinda funny. It seems almost slurred. But it is very pretty and ‘flowery’. It is coming so much faster than I would have thought and yet I still find myself getting upset and frustrated when I do not know things. Then I remember to tell myself ‘Elder, you have been here for less than 1 week, get a grip. Be thankful for the astounding amount you have already learned.’ Plus there is a section in Preach my Gospel about Christ like attributes. It was very helpful, especially the part about ‘patience’. Thee rest of the section really helped too. I also read the ‘learning your language’ section. It also helped me to realized how I have been blessed, and that with very hard work, I will continue to be blessed.

As I told Grandpa in his email, I have found that the Spanish I have already learned is both a great help and hindrance. Many words, phrases, and rules from Spanish directly correlate to Portuguese. However, supporting the ‘opposition in all things’ law, Spanish has been a crutch and a handicap to my learning. I will find myself saying Spanish words or pronouncing in the Spanish fashion, i.e. the word for me in Spanish is pronounced like ‘may’, but in Portuguese it is pronounced like ‘muh’ (kinda). Of cource I am grateful for the help that it has been.”

The last few days I have struggled with worrying about how he is doing with the language. Not that I can do anything but pray for him but that part of his training has been on my mind a lot.

He continues:

“I found an Elder going to the Argentina, Resistencia Mission. His name is Elder Naumann. He is very nice, but I had like 5 minutes to talk to him. I also ran into Hermana Biggs! I am still looking for Elder Clark though.

So, Sunday has probably been the highlight of my MTC so far. The Sunday night devotional was given by Brother (soon to be president) Swenson. He has been called to serve as Brazil’s MTC President! I can’t wait for Bryson to meet him! He is a funny and a very interesting speaker. You can really feel his love too! Immediately following his address, we had Sunday Night Videos. My district was challenged to go to ‘Character of Christ.’ It is an MTC devotional that was given by Elder Bednar. I love his message. I have no idea if you are able to see it, but is so please try!”

“Elder Bednar spoke on ‘turn outward… This is not your mission, it is the Lords… Forget what you want”

“I don’t know if Dallin had this when he was here, but they have “progressive investigators’ which are people that come in and we teach them as if we were in the field! Yes, that does mean in our mission language. Our first lesson with Manuel was on Friday. I was blown away by how much I spoke, I am sure some of it was wrong, but he understood. It has been a really cool experience to be able to teach him.

A saying that is used over and over here at the C.T.M. (Portuguese) that I love is ‘Obedience brings blessings, Obedience with exactness brings miracles.’ It is a great standard and has really shaped some of the choices I have made.’”

This next part might be my favorite part of the letter. A little background; He was ordained an Elder January 1st of this year and so attended Elder's Quorum on Sunday. Because he was still in high school he continued attending Wednesday night mutual. Mid February, he received his mission call. He graduated in late May but with only a month left until he reported, he still went to Wednesday night mutual. He really has felt the love and support of the current Priest age boys in our ward.

“Please tell the Priest Quorum, and all the Young Men, that they are amazing! Our ward rocks!!! They are already so prepared but tell them to continue that. Also tell them this; ‘Obedience brings blessings, Obedience with exactness brings miracles.D&C 125:2   

I read it kinda by accident and it really hit me good. If we follow what the Lord has told us and consecrate our time and the things we do, to Him, he will bless us.
I just love this verse.

Preach my Gospel is soooo much deeper than I ever could imagine. I know (by experience) I am beating a very dead horse, but READ IT!

But please do not just read it, earnestly study it, ponder it, and love it. Everything in it will boost you on your mission and four your entire life! Also the Mission Hand Book of Standards -  Whible (White Bible).

I know some of the standards and rules are not quite applicable to you now, but please read it! We carry it with us every day. And yes, do not be surprised or discouraged at the MTC [if] there are people who think rules do not apply to them or that some rules do not matter. Just remember D&C 125:2 and ‘…Obedience with exactness brings Miracles!” I love you guys and miss you all!”

Oh how sweet that was for a Mama to read. I know that as he keeps this attitude and desires to spread the attitude to others, he will be blessed with many experiences that will help him, his companions, his investigators and his family and friends here at home to grow!

He continues, but I will give you just a brief background the next part; On his 10th birthday we, along with his sister gave him a two-ish year old female pound dog. She ended up being a miniature pinscher/chihuahua mix. Her name is Harley and she is getting old and slow. He has been worried about her and a few months ago stated that he wants her to “pass” while he was on his mission so he wouldn’t have to be here to witness the end.

“Tell Harley I love and miss her. She is such a sweet doggie. I lied, I hope she lives so I can see her again! Can you send me our Utah pics and a couple of her?”

I hope not having me around isn’t too hard! Dad promise me you will not be dumb! I say this because I love you and do not want you hurt. If you need help do not, DO NOT try to do it yourself! Call Dallin or Randy or (he names the young men in our ward's priest quorum and some young men in our neighborhood), ANYONE! But especially your son and son-in-law. They would be glad and willing to help you! Just as you are happy always to help Papa, even though it takes time. Just know I do miss helping you.

I love you guys and miss you very much
Love, Elder Kanaga.”

We are already feeling the blessings of his service and we are excited to see his progress in the MTC.


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