4th Email from Provo, Utah, MTC

August 5, 2014
Hey Mom!

I just love what you and Amy have done to the bathroom. It looks so much more modern and bright! It would probably make me want to stay in there longer haha!

My ankle is doing better, but it’s not fully healed since I always get tempted to do something physical during gym time. Yesterday actually I decided to do what he calls binders with him during gym. It consists of 40 jumping-jacks, 20 pushups, twenty toe-touches (on your back), 20 burpies, and 80 seconds of hopping around from side to side. That is one set. Immediately after, you start the next set. I could only do five before I thought I was going to die. It showed really quickly how out of shape I have become….

I Me and Elder L fasted for specific Elders and problems in our zone. It’s simply amazing how turning outwards and serving others can make your own problems so much easier. Fast Sunday in the MTC is powerful. I’m slightly useless when I’m fasting so we just watched Mormon messages for a couple hours till dinner. We also had MTC mission conference for 2 hours on Sunday which was really cool. One speaker told an experience from his youth when he and his friend wanted a job on “the big farm,” which paid $1.25 per hour, which was 25 cents more than most of the farms around. He and his friend approached the man in charge and asked for a job. He told them that he did not have any open spots on the big farm, but if they worked in his orchard for $1.00/hour this summer, he would give them a job on the big farm next summer. So the boys went to work and labored very hard all summer as they were instructed. When the next summer rolled around, the boys again approached the farmer and asked for a job on the big farm. The man told them again that there was no work for them on the big farm. Deciding that it was their right to have a job there, the boys reminded the farmer of his promise the previous summer. After some thought, the farmer agreed to give them a job. On the first day of work, the farmer brought them to a designated spot and told the boys to “pick rocks.” Of course, the boys were disappointed at their new job and wanted to quit. Every day, the farmer told them to do the same thing–pick rocks–with the obvious intention of getting them to quit. But, by the encouragement of his mother who dropped him and his friend off at work each day, they stuck with it. After a few weeks of this, the boys developed a system of goals for their labor: 2 loads in the morning and 2 more loads in the afternoon. The learned to enjoy picking rocks: not necessarily the actually physical labor of it, but by setting goals for themselves and fulfilling those goals, they felt a sense of accomplishment every day. After 6 weeks of faithfully picking rocks, the farmer finally gave them other jobs to do on the farm. For both missionaries and others alike, it’s important to make goals for ourselves and strive to accomplish them. If we don’t set goals and make plans then we can’t know if we are reaching our potential. Trials may come, difficulties may arise, we may be asked to do things we may not want to do, but if we set goals and rely on the Lord, we will be able to accomplish them.

I’ve picked rocks before and I must agree with the speaker, it is not a very fun job. Even so, it is an important one. If your field has rocks in it, it cannot grow as well, it breaks your equipment, and can even trip you when you’re changing sprinkler pipes. When I get to the mission field, there might be things I don’t feel like doing–tracting, getting out of bed, studying. But I need to do my part in picking rocks so that the work of the Lord can grow forth, unhindered.

Also, the Sunday night devotional speaker was the new president of BYU, and he said something I really liked. He said “You know you are teaching by the spirit when you learn something.” When you’re teaching and you say something and think “Oh, I didn’t know that before.” That is the spirit prompting you what to say for the person that needs to hear it. Who knows, it might even be you!

This week has been about the same: learning Português, learning to teach by the spirit, and learning how to get along with your companion. As a zone leader, I’ve come to understand that almost all problems that arise between companheiros (companions) narrow down to pride. We all have inner pride of some form that we can work on. There’s a reason they named the rise and fall of civilizations in the Book of Mormon the PRIDE cycle. In any case, I’m sure that learning to deal with a companheiro 24/7 would prepare anyone to be a better spouse after 2 years.

I hope you all are doing wonderful! Eu sei que o Sehnor pode ajudar vocês com qualquer problemas ou difficuldades têm. Ele ama vocês. Just have Zach translate that or something haha!

Eu amo você Mãe!

Elder Zwahlen

Cory MTC Zone pic6 SMALL

Elder Zwahlen’s MTC Zone at Provo Temple

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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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