2nd Email from Provo, Utah, MTC

July 22, 2014

So I did get over my cold, but then I rolled my ankle playing soccer. It was really painful the next morning so I had it checked out in the doctor’s office (I figured I really didn’t want to be reassigned or something because of a health problem, ‘cause that happened to a few people in my zone.) He had me go over to the BYU health clinic (I got to take a van with my companion) and get an X-ray, yay…. then he prescribed something. I took one of those prescription pills the first day and I passed out during personal studies. Needless to say my companions thought it was pretty funny. I went and actually read the instructions and it said in big bold letters “MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS,” hahaha!

So, the Portuguese is going better. Our first investigator is now our second teacher! She served in Portugal and got home a year ago. She is soooooo nice and her name is Sister B. She served during the same time as Adam K. and knew of him. Starting yesterday, we have started teaching twice a day. Our investigators are played by our two teachers, but it is very important that we think of them strictly as the investigator, not as the teacher. Yesterday, we asked one of them about his religious background and he told us he was Baptist. Well I thought he said he was baptized, and so I asked him if he was Catholic, and then it was kind of awkward, haha! Interesting fact, Portuguese actually has no word for “awkward.” I think we as Americans make situations awkward, but apparently Portuguese people are rarely, if ever awkward. Maybe it’s because they don’t have a word for it!?

If anyone writes me, I would appreciate it if they could just put their address on the bottom so I can have a chance to write back. Computer time is really brief.

So in the MTC you will usually have church with just your zone. Two missionary speakers are chosen AT RANDOM each week, on the spot during sacrament meeting. We all know the topic beforehand, though, so we are supposed to have a talk prepared. I haven’t been called yet, but from now on, all of the talks in sacrament meeting MUST BE IN PORTUGUESE. That is pretty scary to me. But anyhow, this week’s topic was Baptism and Confirmation. One Elder in our zone got up and after talking about Christ’s baptism in John 3 (I think), he then proceeded to tell us that he likes comparing the gospel to things he really likes, and this time, or every time I’m not sure, he compared baptism to Star Wars. Of course, everyone started cracking up, but what he talked about was actually pretty profound. He talked about how baptism was like entering into the Jedi Order. To enter into the Jedi Order, there are some things you have to do first. You have to be of a certain age, you have to have a certain Medaclorian count, and you have to be willing to follow all of the rules before entering into the order. When we are 8 years old, we are also baptized. We covenant with God that we are willing to take His name upon us and always remember him. We should have a testimony. We must be willing to follow God’s commandments for the rest of our lives. Even though it was pretty funny to compare Star Wars to the gospel during sacrament meeting, the truthfulness of the gospel rang true for me.

We had the most incredible devotional Sunday night. It was a by a man named T. C. Christensen. He is a huge LDS movie producer, and worked on movies such as 17 Miracles, Ephraim’s Rescue, The Testaments, Joseph Smith: The Restoration, the Emma Smith movie, all the Work and the Glories, and many other various church films. Anyway, he would show little clips of those movies throughout his talk and it was really powerful. He showed the clip from 17 miracles where Alpert was being attacked by wolves and Levi Savage goes and scares them off. He talked about how in the beginning of the video Levi Savage hates wolves and has to run away from them near the beginning. Later, during the clip he showed, he scares them off by shooting his pistol. Near the very end, he sees the wolves again going toward a little boy who had strayed from the main group. He ran and put himself in front of the boy and yelled until they scampered off. From behind them he yelled “And Never Come Back!” Brother Christensen said that we will all face spiritual wolves in our lives at some point. Sometimes we can avoid them by turning around and high-tailing it out of there. Other times, we must stand and face our spiritual wolves head on. We must stand up for what we believe in and not back down or give in out of fear or peer pressure. We can be made strong through our faith in Christ. And when the wolves turn face and run from us, we can yell back at them saying “Never Come Back.”

The best part of his talk by far, was a clip from Ephraim’s rescue in which Ephraim is called in a dream to go and meet up with Brigham Young to help afflicted saints. On the way, he meets a messenger who was sent to get him. When he gets to a big meeting, Brigham Young tells them that there are a bunch of saints who are afflicted and need help hundreds of miles away on the plains. He tells the men that we must go get those saints. One man raises his hand and says he just has to saddle up his horse, do a couple things and can be ready on Saturday. Another man says he can get things in order and be ready on Thursday. Ephraim Hanks raises his hand and says one of the most powerful things I have ever heard. He says, “Brother Brigham, I am ready now.”

We need to live our lives in such a way that we can be so in tune with the spirit that we can be ready to help people even in the middle of the night. We must be ready to travel any distance for the Lord. And at any time, at any place, in any circumstance, we need to be worthy and ready to tell the Prophet or even the Lord, “I am ready now.”

Thanks for your support. I LOVE receiving any mail! I see Ryan all the time, and Tanner C., as well as my friend Braeden H. Although it’s weird because Braeden got here the same day as me and he already left early yesterday morning because he was English speaking. Crazy right!

I love you all!

Elder Zwahlen

Cory MTC Photo1

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About Elder Zwahlen

Elder Cory Zwahlen is serving a 2-year proselyting mission in the Lisbon, Portugal area, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He entered the Provo MTC on July 9, 2014. One of Elder Zwahlen's favorite scriptures is Alma 29:1-2 "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth."
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