Well, I am officially more than half-way done with my time in the MTC and have already completed 1/24 of my mission! I know I say this every week, but how time flies! We must use every moment while we can, because if we don't, at the end we'll look back and wonder where all the time went.
This week, like every other week has been amazing! For our devotional on Tuesday night, we were privileged to hear from Elder [Richard G.] Hinckley of the Seventy and his wife. As he talked, I couldn't help but think of his father, President Gordon B. Hinckley. President Hinckley is dear to my heart because he was the prophet that I grew up with. I remember hearing all the stories of President Hinckley's cheerfulness and optimism. One of the Twelve [Apostles] (I believe President [Henry B.] Eyring) said that if he could ever get President Hinckley down, it wasn't for long. During their talks, Elder and Sister Hinckley both mentioned that attitude is everything. In my mission and in all of our lives, I know that the way that we look at something will determine what kind of experience we have. Even though the glass might not be full, it will never be empty, we just have to see the water and be thankful for what we have been given.
Just before the devotional on Tuesday, I watched a CES fireside from 2007 given by [Elder Jeffrey R.] Holland. I learned a lot from his talk which is entitled "Lessons From Liberty Jail." The time spent in Liberty Jail were some of the darkest times for Joseph and Hyrum Smith and the other men illegally and wrongfully held captive there. However, during this time Joseph received many revelations--some of which have been canonized in Doctrine and Covenants Sections 121, 122, and 123. Joseph was able to turn this prison into a temple, or as Elder Holland says a "prison-temple." Even in our darkest hour we can learn and grow or as stated in Doctrine and Covenants 122:7, "...all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." We should "fear not...for God shall be with [us] forever and ever" (Doctrine and Covenants 122:9). Although it was a horrible time in his life and the conditions were painful, harsh and unjust, Joseph was able to turn his prison into a prison-temple. We must also remember in these times that "the Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art [we] greater than he?" (Doctrine and Covenants 122:8). As Elder Holland says, "the road to salvation has always and will always go through Gethsemane." In these times, we can look to our Savior for guidance and support and He will be there for us!
In the very last verse of the canonized sections from Liberty Jail, Joseph demonstrates his incredible attitude and says "therefore...let us cheerfully so all things that lie in our power" (Doctrine and Covenants 123:17). I am striving to have an attitude similar to my hero, Joseph Smith. I am trying to do all that lies in my power and do it cheerfully.
As of Sunday I am no longer the district leader. During my time in that position I learned a lot about myself. I also learned about how to be a better leader. As with everything else, we have a perfect example of leadership in Christ.
I am thankfully for the example of Christ in my life. I am thankful that I Elder Rowley have been born of goodly parents and was taught in the learning of them.
The glass is never empty! Find the water! . . . I love my mission!