3rd Email from Provo, Utah, MTC

July 29, 2014

Hey Mom!

Well, this week was just more of the same I guess–just studying and learning to teach by the Spirit (luckily for me the Spirit is fluent in Portuguese.) Today has been difficult because my trio companion (Elder M.) got his Visa earlier this week and we saw him off early this morning. He was just a champ. He’s probably going to learn Portuguese so fast down at the Brazil mtc. Also, my former zone leader, Elder B. (who is also going to Brazil but got reassigned to Boston Portuguese-speaking until his Visa comes) also left this morning, so I got up a little after 4:00 to see him off. Luckily, Elder Brown was a great example because me and Elder L. are the new Zone Leaders! (And Elder M. was too sort of… Zone Leader for a day, I guess.) We’ve made it a goal to pray for every single member of our zone, by name, each night to better remember them and remain open to promptings on how best to serve them. The two sisters in my district–Sister L. and Sister H.–were also called on Sunday. They were called as Sister Training Leaders, but me and Elder L. practically knew they would because they’re so awesome!

Also, we found that we will be getting one new Elder in our zone on Wednesday. It’ll be a little different experience for him than I had, considering he’s the only new Elder, and when me and my companion came in, there were only four veterans in the zone; everyone else was new. We have to prepare an hour orientation for him as well, which will be hilarious because it will be just the 3 of us and possibly the Branch President! He’s also going to be put in a companionship with me and Elder L., so it looks like we’re going to stay a trio! He’s also a Brazil MTC Visa waiter so it’ll be interesting to see what happens. I’m sure he’ll learn fast though because he’ll also be a SOLO Elder, which means he’ll have his own private teacher and classroom. For meal times and everything else, though, he’ll have to stay with me and Elder L. Hopefully we can make him feel accepted and loved.

We have had quite a few good devotionals here, but by far, the best one was actually a film after the Sunday-night devotional. It was of an address by Elder Bednar to the MTC a few years ago entitled “The Character of Christ.” I failed to bring my notes to the computer lab today, but it was undeniably the most powerful talk I have ever seen. Elder Bednar KNOWS Christ, personally, and it was apparent in his talk. His main point was that when most people–us–would turn inward and be concerned about ourselves, Christ turns outward. One such instance (because he said there are countless) was during the Atonement. Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane, atoning for all mankind and experiencing far more pain than any mortal could endure or even comprehend, and even his closest apostles could not stay awake for him. One of them betrays him to an angry mob. Peter, out of love for the Savior, cuts off the ear of a soldier. Without hesitation, the Savior heals the man’s ear. When we would turn inward, the Savior turns outward. In any situation like this, the last thing we would be concerned about is healing one of the very people who seek to harm us. Elder Bednar goes on to say that we receive blessings when we turn outward, but if that is the reason we are turning outward, the blessings will not come. I’ll share more about the talk next week because I am going to watch the film again. I wish everyone could see it, but I couldn’t find it on LDS.org unfortunately….

I hope everyone is doing wonderful! Thanks for all your support!

Eu amo Vocês!

Elder Zwahlen


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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