P-Day Fridays

Pre-script from the Sister: For those of you planning to send letters to Elder Jalla this weekend or next week, please bear in mind that he will be in Fresno by October 8. His Fresno address is on the column on the right side of this post. Thank you for all your love and support! Happy letter writing! 

Bula! (Hello!)

        My dear friends and family, Elder Jalla reporting for the second time. It has been precisely 10 days since I have left home and entered the amazing halls of the MTC! Time is flying by so fast. At first it seemed like the days would never end but now I want to hold on to every single second, moment, and memory. I don't want to leave this place but I know that there is no one for me to teach here and the Lord is preparing people for me out in Fresno, California. 

        This past week has been an absolute spiritual roller coaster ride. I've had tons of low points and incredible high points. Being a district leader and also a teacher to my Fijian companion has put a lot of responsibilities on me. Along with my own studies, I am also teaching my companion English, helping my district with various gospel topics, reporting to the ZLs, and taking the lead in all investigator lessons. As district leader you also have to set the example by being the first to rise in the morning and the last to sleep so you make sure every missionary in your care being obedient. During my entire stay at the MTC there hasn't been one morning where I've had the opportunity to wake up at 630am, its always much earlier... But guess what? I LOVE IT!

          I've never been pushed to work this hard and to dedicate my everything to such a righteous purpose! I am stretched and put into situations that are just plain uncomfortable, down-right nerve racking, and overall frightening. I've learned more than ever to trust in the Lord. I am not the teacher, the spirit is. My goal is to know the doctrine and to continually study and live by its principles so that Heavenly Father can place in my heart the words that He would like His children to hear. "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then if you desire, you shall have my spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men." (D&C 11:21) I have strengthened my testimony of that, especially as I have had the opportunity to teach investigators here in the MTC. 

        We have an investigator named Carla. Just a quick overview: She is Muslim, which means she believes that Jesus Christ was just a prophet, she agreed to meet with missionaries on the basis that it would appease all her Mormon friends that badger her to take the lessons, she is a law student (so she is very educated) and she could care less about missionaries....

        Alrighty then, so here comes two inexperienced missionaries and one that barely knows English to teach her about the restored gospel and invite her to come unto Christ. Needless to say our first lesson was a complete disaster. She was on her cellphone the entire time, asked questions that completely tore me down, and at the end of our lesson she made it clear that she did NOT believe our testimonies. I came out of that room with tear streaked eyes cast on the floor wondering to myself, "Can I really do this?" "Was I really called to this work?" 
         I don't think I've ever prayed as hard as I did that night.

         The second lesson was different. I prayed fervently because well, I had no idea what to say or teach. I was really scared to come back and tell her what I knew to be true and have her completely tear down what was dear to my heart. My companion was asleep on his desk despite my many attempts and pleadings to help me with this lesson. I asked Heavenly Father to please help my companion and I. I read and re-read the Restoration pamphlet and lesson in PMG. 

The time came, "Knock Knock"

        We sat there and I apologized for the previous lesson. I made it clear that we were just learning to teach together and that we were nervous--as she could already assume. And then I told her, "Carla... my companion and I have only been in the MTC for 4 days, we are still learning how to teach. We may not be able to string beautiful eloquent words together that does justice to the important message we have to share with you, but I know that what we have to offer you is true. It is the most important message that we have here on earth and that you will ever hear and hopefully come to know of. Our message to you is that Jesus is the Christ and that because of Him you can come to know of yourself that we have been sent here to invite you to come unto Him through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, so that we can all endure to the end."

           We then taught the Restoration. Shared with her Joseph Smith's vision. Committed her to pray to know if these things are true. And she accepted to do it all.

           Yesterday was our last lesson with her. She soaked up everything we had to share. And at the very end said, "I was wrong about you two. I want to know more, I wish I can come to know as you know." Oh how I wanted to leap off of the couch and hug her at that very moment! Here was someone who hardened her heart until Heavenly Father humbled mine to teach in His way so that she can experience His love! She exclaimed that she had never prayed with missionaries here but as we left she offered the closing prayer and blessed us and asked sincerely to know if she can come to know of the divinity and truthfulness that is the Gospel.

         My dear brothers and sisters, this is truly a sacred and miraculous work that I am so blessed to be a part of. You are all missionaries whether you wear a tag or not. You can all touch hearts and change lives. Study the gospel, learn the principles, and then live it! Oh how wonderful will the experiences be when you share what you've come to know is true! For that very moment when it happens when you treasure up his words in your heart than "it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted to every man." D&C 84:85. I love you all. 

Your eternal friend and brother,

Elder Jalla

p.s. This is my last e-mail in the MTC. Our P-Days are on Friday. Weird right?
p.p.s. Claire I've received the letters, thank you so much!
p.p.p.s. I'm sorry I haven't replied to everyone, we only have an hour of e-mail time here and I have just enough time to write this e-mail and read all of yours. I LOVE YOUR E-Mails, I promise to reply back on my P-Day out on the field where we wont be so restricted with time. Love you all!

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