Hello family! All is well here at the MTC but i am sure you know that, i would rather hear about you guys! This week was a great week as always, but we had a few out of the ordinary special events!First of all, our speaker at deviotional last tuesday was Dallin H. Oaks! It is such a privledge for us missionarys to be able to here from such great speakers constantly! I sure am going to miss this when i get to Taiwan. Sister Oaks spoke first, and some of the points she hit that stuck out to me were This is your time, be bold! She told us how if she would have known as a missionary what she knows now, she would have been so much more bold. It just made me think live your mission with no regrets. Even though she is talking about a mission this message can apply to all of us! Live each day with no regrets! My branch president, President Baker, is big on one liners, so as he would say "live in a way that when you look back you will be able to say i am glad i did instead of i wish i had. I think one of the most important things we can do to live every day with no regrets is simple, just be happy! When you are happy it is so much easier to make sure you are always turning out and helping others, because you want them to have what is making you happy. That way you can always say i am glad i did. Dallin H. Oaks spoke mostly about the sacrament and the Holy Ghost. One thing he said was "The key to having the spirit with us always is in the sacrament prayers". As long as we are keeping our covenants that we made with God, we wil have his spirit to be with us. Sometimes we get so used to taking the sacrament all of the time that we don't often think about what we are doing as much as we should. He also mentioned how If we are commanded to take the sacrament every week (which we are) Then it must be very important! Which it is! So make sure we are taking it every single week!Another exciting thing that happened this week was our zone got to host! Hosting means we are the missionarys that are standing by your car when you drop your missionary off at the MTC. We grab their luggage, bring them to their room, get their study materials, and take them straight to class! Some elders in our zone got the opportunity of hosting the international missionarys that came in! I hosted Elder Da Silva from Brazil! He is going to Japan and is such an awesome Elder. He is going to be an amazing missionary I already know. We also get to host tomorrow so that will be fun!So last out of the ordinary thing....we got our travel plans this week!!! Yes!! We are flying from SLC to Portland, from Portland to Tokyo, and then from Tokyo to Taiwan! I am so excited to be out in the field! (And stopping in japan is going to be awespme :D) We have a 1 hour lay over in portland, so that is probably when i will end up calling. I think when we get to japan it is going to be really late for you guys, i am not sure though so if i don't call while in portland be ready for anything :D I am going to get a calling card here at the MTC.Thanks for sending me the soap, kleenex, and some treats! You are the best Mom in the world! (Sorry if i offend anyone with that comment, but hey you gotta admit, she's the best) Also thanks for sending me kaitlin's letters! I love to hear how she is doing! General conference is coming up, so don't forget to watch every session! Something that really put the importance of general conference into perspective for me was a story told by my old seminary teacher, Brother Franzen. He said one day he was walking out of his house and his neighbor, who is a non-member, was outside and started chatting with him. His neighbor brought up general conference and how it was going to be on the next day and asked some simple questions about it. The next day Brother Franzen was busy in the morning with something and didn't end up watching the morning session of saturday conference. When he got home he walked up to his house and his neighbor was outside again. His neighbor stopped him and said hey how was conference, and Brother Franzen proceeded to tell him how he was busy this morning and didn't have time to watch it. Astonished, his neighbor said what let me get this straight, you believe you have a prophet on the earth who tells you the words of God and what God wants for you, and you didn't listen to him? (You can finish the rest of the story yourself) Wow! How true that is! Conference is so important, we need to watch it, so don't miss it! I love and miss you family! Thanks for all the love and support you give me! I feel it everyday! Have a wonderful week and an amazing conference weekend! I can't wait to talk to you on tuesday! (Our flight arrives in portland in the afternoon sometime, our flight leaves at 11 i think) Love you all! -Elder Ripley
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Another great week comes to end! Hope all is well back home. I miss and love you all!This week was a little bit of an exciting week! Our new mandaran speaking missionaries came to the MTC! We now have 44 mandarin speaking missionaries! They are all so great and i can already tell they are going to be awesome missionaries. Elder James and I had the opportunity of teaching them how to have companionship inventories and how to make sure to resolve problems with your companion and things like that. Afterwards we got to take them all on a tour of the MTC campus and show them where everything is. It has been a pretty awesome experience to see them start right where we started when we got here. It kind of made us realize how fast you grow in the MTC and how fast you learn the language! It is going to be a great experience for the new people to be in the spot we are now and realize have fast they have grown as well. Even though we have been at the MTC long enough to be the "experienced" ones, I am about to start all over being the new guy in 2 weeks! It is coming so quick!You would not beilieve who speak at our devotional last week! President Cardon! Or Elder Cardon now. :D I wanted to say hi to him afterwards really bad but he got up and left pretty quick so i didn't get the chance. His talk was great though, he talked about how us missionaries are in smilitude of the Only Begotten, and we need to devote 100% of our time to the Lord. He talked about how he was writing Sister Cardon and eventually decided that writing her every week and looking at her picture all of the time would distract him from the work so he wrote her a letter saying he wasn't going to be writing her every week anymore. The day after sending the letter he got a letter from a friend saying something to the affect of your girlfriend is starting to hang out with some other guy so you better do something about it! Hahaha it is pretty funny that they ended up getting married. I admire him, he is such a hard worker!This week for our weekly sunday night movie, they were playing Elder Bednar's talk on the character of Christ in one of them rooms so i went and watched it again! I love that talk so much! Some of our branch presidency is saying it is one of the best talks ever given at the MTC. Everytime i hear it i get more and more out of it. The first time you are eyes are just glued on the screen and you can't even think to take notes because it is so good! I wish you guys could see it! He is extremely bold which i absolutely love. One thing that i loved about it is he talks about in Mathew chapter 4 when Jesus is being tempted by satan, and how after fasting for 40 days and being put through such temptations it is reasonable that angels would come bare him up, but if you look at the JST for that verse it is talking about John when it says "him". After going through all the things He did, the first thing Christ does is worry about John being in prison and angels minister to him. And he also talks about when Christ is on the cross, and he is worrying about his mother and asking God to forgive the men who are crucifying him "For they know no what they do". The character of Christ is turning out when the natural man in us would turn in. He says" The atonement not only gives us remission of our sins, it gives us strength beyond our own". Strenght to help us become Christlike and turn out instead of in! I just love that talk so much.Well i am running out of time so i will wrap it up. Dad, thanks for the box of food again! Everyone is loving it! I don't know if we are going to be able to finish all of that in 2 weeks but we sure are trying. And everyone thought the little diagram that tells you wethere or not you can eat your food after you drop it was hilareous! And by the way lately i have bene getting alot of compliments on my ties, and everytime i say these are my Dad's ties, he is the one with the good taste! So they told me to tell you that you have awesome ties :D Thanks for sending me Robby and kaitlin's letters! I love to read those! Goodbye love you all! The gospel is true!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Hey family! Life in the MTC is just as great as ever! Miss you all bunches!We had TRC again this week! (Just like every other week :D) This week we met with Lucy Lu again! She is so energetic and animated it makes me laugh. She joined the church when she was 16! She has such a sweet spirit. We talked with her about recieving answers to our prayers. In preach my gospel it tells us that praying with a sincere heart and real intent means that if we get an answer we are committed to act on that answer! Sometimes we pray hoping for a specific answer, but that may not be what God has planned for us. We need to be willing to act on our answers wether we got an answer we were hoping for or not! An awesome point that was brought up was God works by many different means to answer our prayers. Sometimes our answers come through other people, through speakers, through the scriptures, or through other things we read or hear. Truth can be found in many different places! Also, Lucy told us from a converts point of view, that she believes people need to know that there is a God, that He does love them, and that He will answer our prayers because of His love for us. I agree one hundred percent! Knowing that God loves us is the start to building faith in Him and in His son, Jesus Christ. Along with that, it is interesting that the very first subject in the first lesson in preach my gospel is God is our loving Heavenly Father. What a great message!Our younger generation comes into our zone tomorrow! I am so excited to have them in our zone! Because my companion and I are zone leaders, (I think i forgot to mention that last time sorry!) we get to do an orientation with all of the new guys, show them the ropes, and take them on a little tour of the MTC! I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the people in my zone. They are all such amazing missionaries and i truly love working with each and every one of them! It is amazing to see how inspired the companionships are. The Lord knows who we need to be with. I absolutely love my companion! As time goes on we grow closer and the closer we grow together the better we teach together.
Love- Elder Ripley
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
My goodness i cannot believe March snuck up on us already! Time is just flying by. I leave the MTC 4 weeks from today! That is just crazy too me. This week was an awesome week! We had some awesome speakers come speak to us!On tuesday for devotional, Jeffrey R. Holland was our speaker! Can you believe it! He is such an amazing man and i love to hear him talk about his testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ. He talked about so much, but i will try and sum it up for you. He talked alot about the Book of Mormon and how he feels like as missionaries we may not being using it as much as we should be. He said "the Book of Mormon doesn't just bring the spirit, it has a spirit! There is not one solid conversion i have seen where the person does not have a testimony of the Book of Mormon." (1 Nephi) He also talked about teaching after the manner of the spirit. He said if we are going to teach after the manner of the spirit then we need to have the attributes that the spirit has so that the spirit will be present as we teach! (Moroni 6:9) There was so much more i want to tell you, but i forgot my notebook in my room! Maybe i will have to catch you up next week.On Sunday Our speaker at the fireside was Alex Boye! I don't know if you know who he is but he is a singer! Look him up on mormon.org he has an "Im a Mormon" video. I don't really know how else to put it besides..he has soul. He speaks with so much power and has quite the sense of humor. He told about his conversion story and about his mission. He talked about the power that we have as missionaries because of who we represent and how we need to always remember that. He has an awesome voice and sang for us too! You could tell he had the whole audience captivated the entire time. The way he tells his conversion story is funny, he is such an awesome guy and inspires me to be like him!This week at TRC we taught a 40 minute lesson instead of two 20 minute lessons! We taught sister Day again. She is such a nice lady! We just got to know her better and then talked about the importance of the plan of salvation and gave kind of a quick overview of it. What an amazing plan it is. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ who made it possible for us to return and live with them again.We tried the tower challenge again this week! (In the cafeteria they keep the cereal in these towers and we try to eat an entire tower in one meal) And we failed...again..It is super hard to do with only 4 people. You wanted to know what we do on fast sundays! They are pretty much the same as regular sundays, we just have personal study during breakfast and lunch.