MOM!!! I love it here at the MTC. You should have gotten my letter already that I sent home, and if you haven't, well its on its way. It is most definitely weird to be called Sister Walker, but I at least respond to it now when it is called out by someone trying to get my attention.
I have learned so much here. I used to think I was basically ready, with a few things here and there to which I would need fixing, but everyday I learn so much.
On Sunday after the Sunday Devotional, our district watched a talk given by Elder Bednar at the MTC. It's titled "Character of Christ." If you can find it, you should watch it. Its absolutely phenomenal.
One of the stories he shared I wrote down so I could share with you because I thought it was really cool. Elder Bednar was a Stake President, and one night in the middle of the night, he received a phone call from a Young Women's President who lived about two hours away. She told him that three young women had been involved in a serious car crash, one of whom was pronounced dead at the scene. She needed him to go to the hospital (which was super close to where he lived) to identify the girls who were in the crash, who were on their way there. At some point in the conversation, Elder Bednar realized that the sister who was on the phone with him actually was speaking on two phones, and on the other phone was an LDS nurse who was with the girls in the ambulance. He could sort of hear what the other person was saying, and shortly after the Young Women's President had asked him to go, and he had agreed, the nurse on the other phone said that the girl who had died had been identified. It was the daughter of the Young Women's president. Amazingly, the first words out of her mouth were to Elder Bednar, and she told him that the mothers of the other girls needed to be called and told that her daughters were still alive. Not once did she break down and become incoherent or even focus on the fact that she had just been told that her daughter had died. One of the other mothers was a Relief Society President, and was a single mother to her only child. That girl died later as well. After the body had been prepared for the closed casket funeral, this sister called Elder Bednar, and invited him to come and see her before her casket was closed, because she didn't want the last time he saw her to be when she was nearly unrecognizable in the hospital. How sweet of this sister to think of how Elder Bednar was feeling in the midst of all this sorrow for her. When this sister was about to leave for her daughter's funeral, she received a phone call from another sister in the ward, who didn't know that the Relief Society President's daughter had just died, and she called to complain that she had a cold and no one had come over yet to deliver her food. This mother, who was on her way to her only child's funeral, stopped by this other sisters home and brought her a dinner, without complaint, with love, and without telling this other sister where she was going.
The point of Elder Bednar telling this story was to show how these two sisters exemplified the Character of Christ. Christ in the midst of adversity and pain and suffering turns outwards to see other's pains, when the human wants to turn inward. These sisters could have turned inward and been completely justified by crying and thinking only of their loss, but instead they turned outward and helped those who needed it. This is who Christ is. This is who we need to try to be. It's hard, but we have been promised great blessings if we do.
I have so many more insights and notes from that talk. Sometimes I really wish I could call home and talk to you because I am just learning so much that I didn't know before, and I want to share it with you, but emailing and writing letters just take a really long time and I have so much to do. All of our "investigators" are just members acting like investigators, but even still we are learning so much. My companions Sister Pilimai and Sister McCulloch are amazing teachers, and both are about half a year older than me, so its strange being at this same stage in life when we are all learning the same things, when sometimes I feel like they should know more. Its also strange that at the MTC, even though I haven't been here for very long, the new missionaries in our Zone think we know everything. Its kinda funny.
OH! One of the Branch presidency members and his wife are from the Modesto area somewhere and they know Brother and Sister Tolboe. I thought that was cool. Their names are Terry and LaNiel Nielsen. You should ask the Tolboe's if they remember them.
One of my branch presidency members said something I liked and wanted to share with you all. He said "A short pen is mightier than the longest memory" -Brother Gallacher. Basically it means that we need to remember that writing things down will make the thought, impression, or lesson last longer, and be more effective than if we just tried to remember it all. I've definitely seen that considering I teach three times a day, and if I didn't write things down, I'd forget what I had taught everyone and just gotten it all confused.
The last thing I wanted to tell you is concerning the sacrament. We usually refer to the sacrament as a renewing of our covenants that we make at baptism. No where in the scriptures does it say this. In fact saying it would be incorrect. Partaking of the sacrament isn't renewing our covenants, we are actually making new covenants every single time we take the sacrament. Think about that next time you take the sacrament, and then ask yourself, why do I need to make new covenants every Sunday? Its interesting what you might find.
Love you all:)
-Sister Monica Lyn Walker
PS Robert, I read this in the scriptures the other day and I thought of you want want you to read it. It's in the Bible Dictionary under "prayer". Read it, study it, then tell me what you learned. Will you do that? (The rest of you can do it too if you want.)