Today starts our consecration week, meaning that I (and my district) can only speak Hungarian for an entire week. That includes: no speaking English, no translating for people and the only exceptions are if we are being interviewed by a Branch President (which basically means never). It's crazy!! It's only been 20 minutes since we started (we started right after we walked out of the temple) and it's already super tough! This is definitely going to be one of the hardest things I have ever done. Yes, TJYC was super tough and saving up for my mission took a lot of work and diligence, but this is completely different. Consecrating one of my most treasured skills is scary. But I know that Heavenly Father is always with me and will help me through this week. My district and I are also giving other things up that are habits here at the MTC. The things I am giving up are: no cereal, no flavored drinks (meaning only water), vending machine stuff, wearing only one tie, no basketball and no reading mail (according to me, this is the hardest one). Now, giving up mail does not mean that you have to give up sending me letters and emails. It just means that I can't read your letters till next week Wednesday. But all of these I am giving up to help me better focus on my mission and studying the language. And we know, from the scriptures, that the Lord blesses those who consecrate their time and efforts towards Him.
One of our teachers, Erickson Testvér (Brother Erickson), has told us constantly, "You only have one shot at your mission. Do not take it for granted. This is the time to put all your efforts and talents in this work. 2 years go by faster than you think. Do not be that elder who comes back home and has regrets. Make every day, hour, minute and second count." For some it sounds intimidating. But to me, this is what I came here for. This is the reason why I am on my mission. I knew what I was getting into and how much work I need to put in for the Lord. In our devotional yesterday, our speaker was Melvin K. Jensen of the Quorum of the 70, and he told us "The Lord asks you to put 101% in to the work. At the end of your missions, you will have worked your hardest and only be giving him a handful of dust. But the Lord will accept your work and efforts and give you His kingdom." What a blessing. What a promise.
Today in the temple, while going through the Endowment session, I had a prayer in my heart asking if I may feel God's love for me. During the session, I didn't really feel anything. Of course, I felt the Holy Ghost, but I couldn't feel that specific feeling I asked for. When I reached the Celestial room, I offered a prayer asking if I could please have that feeling. I had no response. After I had finished my prayer, my companion and I headed for the exit of the Celestial room. Just as I was about to step out of the room, I heard a faint whisper that said "I love you". My heart jumped and my whole body came to a halt, and I quickly turned around to see who it was who had said that and found no one. I know that was the answer to my prayer. I know that was Heavenly Father saying "I love you" through the Holy Ghost.
My companion and I have been teaching Edina, one of our investigators (who is really our teacher of course), since our 3rd week here and we have been having some trouble helping her to gain a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. She is a Catholic, born and raised, and believes in Christ and the Bible. She has been keeping all of our commitments, but she still has yet to discover that the Book of Mormon is true. So this past Friday, we gave her a full lesson about her concerns about the Book of Mormon. It was such an awesome lesson! We addressed her concerns and helped her, through scriptures, how she can find out of the Book of Mormon is true. We used the promise in Moroni with her before but, apparently, how we used it wasn't as good as we could have used it. Instead, we used other scriptures and gave our strong testimonies of the Book of Mormon and asked her to sincerely pray to know if it was true or not. My companion and I felt great after the lesson and planned to teach her the Atonement and Repentance in our next lesson with her. When we met with her again, we followed up with her and asked if she knows the Book of Mormon to be true and, our astonishment, she said that she felt a prompting and she knows that the Book of Mormon is a true book. It gets even better, we teach her our lesson of the Atonement and repentance using Mosiah 4: 10-12 and Alma 7:11-16 and we committed her to be baptized. She told us that she would really like to be baptized; she just needs to see if she's ready for it. I know this is only a role play, but I just felt the warmest feeling in my chest. I was so happy and excited! I am learning so much here and am receiving so many wonderful and amazing blessings.
Now for some stuff back at home. Jordan got a picture in front of the MTC sign?!?! No way!!! That's so awesome!!! I'm sorry to hear that she got hit by a water balloon though. That's pretty weird. I hope she knows that I would "catch that balloon for her" (sung to the tune of "Catch a Grenade" ha ha). She has been telling me some of her adventures and missionary stories in Idaho and they sound so awesome! Tell Ashleigh and Heather that I'm sorry that I haven’t gotten them anything. I've been so super busy in the work here and I have so little time to write letters. I'll see what I can do. Promise. :) Ryan is already "in a relationship"?!? What is this?? Ha ha, he's back for a month and he's already lookin for someone. That's awesomely hilarious. And I'm glad Alisha has finished all her finals. I'm proud of her. She Dear Eldered me telling me about her preparations for it and her WilliamWilberforce speech. I love William Wilberforce! I don't know if she knows, but I used him for my virtue paper. Brilliant and wonderful man he was. Oh, and thank you for the silly pictures! Ha ha, I got a great laugh from them and so did my companion.
This my testimony to all: that God does speak to us in these days and He loves every single one of us. I love all of you. Wish me luck for this week! :D