Saturday, June 14, 2008

MTC 6-13-08

Friday June 13, 2008
This is the last day of our "Teach My Gospel" training. These are some of our instructors for this week. They are deceptively young looking, but are very well qualified both spiritually and scholastically to be our teachers and mentors. They have given us some extraordinary insights into teaching the Gospel we all think that we know well.

One of these insights came from a Hawaiian sister who used Alma 34 to teach us that we could not procrastinate the day of your preparation to be a good missionary. Just as the same spirit that possesses our bodies in this life will be who we are in the spirit world, the same spirit that controls our actions now in the MTC will control our actions in the mission. We need to start now to be the missionaries we want to be and not claim that we will be good missionaries when we get into the field. This is sage advice for all of us. We need to become the people we want to be now, not tomorrow.

This is a picture of our "class" of senior couples. This is a group of the best of the best. Each of them has their own miracle and angel assistance story in getting to the MTC. After hearing some of them we are impressed with how much satan does not want these couples to do this work and how much more powerful Heavenly Father is in this battle. When the Lord is for us, who can be against us; Right?

During the opening meeting last Monday they organized the week's meetings with pianists, choristers, and prayers. They also asked for a musical solo number and after waiting an appropriate amount of time, I volunteered to sing on Friday. This morning we awoke at the 6:30 am alarm and got prepared for the day. While getting her stuff on (pouches, phone, etc.) she noticed that the time on her phone was 7:50 am and the time on our clock was 7:28. We checked the clock and found that it had changed during the night and was 20 plus minutes late and the year/date had changed to 1/01/2000 as well. We missed breakfast and I figured that we had missed the time for me to sing, so I put it out of my mind.

Just before the final meeting at 4:30 pm the teacher conducting asked if I was still ready to sing and I said, "of course". Sister Owenby accompanied me and I sang , "Be Still My Soul". With a lot of effort I got through it without crying, but most of the group was in tears through the whole song. To sing about calming our souls and trusting the Lord, it was so meaningful for these couples who are stepping out into the darkness with only the light of the Holy Ghost to guide them. What a moment. I was so glad that I was allowed to sing and that it was so meaningful to these great missionaries.

One of the film clips today was an update of the one we used during our mission with the Family Enrichment Program showing the spread of stakes over time from 1830 to 2007. We have the one that stops in 2002 and it is impressive, showing a flash of light and a red dot for every stake and these lights continue to explode and leave red dots as the years pass on the title. This one was even more impressive to us because when it got through there was only one light that burst and one dot representing a stake in all of Russia. Our mission was totally dark. Mom and I both broke into tears thinking about our big, dark mission. Maybe we can help make one more light burst and leave a dot in the next update of this presentation. You can see it yourself by going to, click on Gospel Library, then Media Formats, then Church Videos, then Church Growth By Stake. It is a wonderful video.

Tonight Cindy talked to the Challburgs on the phone and set up a lunch appointment for next Wednesday. They are coming down from Layton especially to see us. The Stoeltzings stopped by around 8:45 pm just as Trisha was leaving after dropping off her scales so we could weigh our bags this weekend. They stayed for an hour and we told them what a wonderfully spiritual experience the MTC is. We sure have great friends.


JudyGrandma said...

Doug & Cindy. When do you leave the MTC? We would love to see you. Rick is out of town until this coming Thursday night. Is a visit possible on Friday or later Saturday? I loved reading your blog. So fun to glimspe your life. Also your clip on the growth of the Church was a tender mercy for me for my R.S. lesson tomorrow. What wonderful missionaries you will be. Thanks for adding us to your email list. The Salways

Rodney&Sara+3 said...

Hello, Elder and Sister Simmons, you probably don't even remember me, but you let me be a guest in your home several times during my Ricks college years with Trish. I hope you don't mind that I am lurking on your blog uninvited, but I saw in Trish's blog that you were going to Russia and saw a link and wanted to read about it. The two of you are quite an inspiration. I would love to continue visiting your blog (if you don't mind) to see what wonderful work you are doing. I probably never expressed this to you as a houseguest (I was not so mature and wise then :) ), but you make people feel like a part of your family from the moment you greet them and I know Heavenly Father will definitely use that to help build the kingdom in Russia and elsewhere (like Iowa where I'm reading from now). That video was very powerful, especially today being Pioneer Day. Thank you for posting that and thank you for your constant examples of Christ's love to everyone you come in contact with. You and your mission will be in my thoughts and prayers and I know you will be returning with honor. Sincerely,