Christmas yesterday was so awesome. Probably one of the best ones so far. Everything that everyone said about it was totally true. It started out with an awesome chance to email my family in the morning. That was great even if it was only for a few minutes. I loved getting to speak with them and can't wait to call them on the phone in a few weeks. Time sure flew by here. I've already been here 6 weeks. It seems like just last week that I was getting dropped off on the curb.
Later in the morning, there was an MTC-wide talent show. They told us about auditions and stuff last week and I tried out to be in it, but I'm obviously not talented enough. Oh well. The talents that were in it were awesome. My favorites were a sort of rocked out version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen on the piano and violin, a really cool guitar number called Drifting, a magic act, and a Yiddish Bottle Dance. How awesome is that on Christmas day?
After the talent show we had a great Christmas meal which was much welcomed after all of the mediocre food we eat here. But then shortly after that we got to hear from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. We didn't know who it would be until the very second that he walked in which was really exciting. Turns out, it was the one and only Elder David A. Bednar. That was so awesome. Since I've been here I've heard three or four of his talks/devotionals and they are so good. Watching him walk in the door was like watching Captain Moroni or Nephi himself come into the MTC. He's one of my new heroes. He spoke a bit about how we are agents to act and not be acted upon, but most of the devotional was a question and answer type meeting. The coolest thing about it is that the way he had us submit our questions (since the devotional was broadcasted to all but 2 of the MTCs) was that they handed out 200 cell phones to the audience and we could text our questions to his iPad. So if anyone wants to get ahold of Elder Bednar, I totally have his number.
Since it was a question and answer meeting, there wasn't really much of a theme, but I kept hearing one thing over and over again. He talked about how one of his favorite Book of Mormon characters was Nephi because when he had faith to act without knowing beforehand what he should do. And before that, he said that revelation comes line upon line, precept upon precept and that sometimes we have to act, and the Spirit will help us make slight corrections to ensure we stay on the right path. And then before that, he said that becoming a perfect being is comparative to a jar of black sand. On each end of the jar, there is a whole big enough for one grain of sand to go in or out. Each time we do something to improve ourselves, we put one grain of white sand in and one grain of black sand comes out. It doesn't make a significant difference, but the more we work at making ourselves better, the whiter our jar becomes. This was one really big lesson to on having faith to act on the decision that seems the most right, and then over time, the Spirit helps me make that good decision into the best decision. This whole concept is really well summarized in a series of videos on lds.org called Patterns of Light (also by Elder Bednar. He's the man.)
After we heard from Elder Bednar, we got to go to a devotional type activity with this super awesome Jazz Band. So awesome. I feel bad that the Lord decided to give me such an awesome Christmas gift and everyone else got like socks or whatever else. It was exactly what I've been needing to hear some nice Christmas Jazz music.
Our final main activity on Christmas, was that we got to watch the 2012 MoTab Christmas concert. It was so good. If you get a chance, look it up on youtube. There is this man that is featured in it who is some super famous baritone who won like a Tony and is some other kind of renowned, and I don't remember his name but I wish it was Anderson Elder. So good.
Also on the highlight list from this last week, Heilein Elder and I talked to this man at the MTC who is an investigator (obviously an actor but we treat it like its real and therefore it is) and his wife. Their names are Nick and Gabby and we set up an appointment to meet with them this next week. It was pretty terrifying but so super cool. I can't wait until I have to struggle through doing it in Hungarian. Speaking of, the other other day, during class, our teacher, Runnells Testver, had us practice street contacts in Hungarian. It was hard. But I love doing things like that so much. It makes me feel like I'm an actual factual missionary leaving for the real world in a few weeks rather than just a student learning Hungarian and Missionary Theory. I'm super pumped.
Well I hope everyone's Christmas was wonderful. I hope you didn't miss me too bad and that you all got to think about Christ. One of the thoughts that I had over the last week or so is how Easter and Christmas are essentially the same holiday. The whole point of both of them is that now, because of that beautiful baby that was born in a humble manger, we can all individually be saved from our sins and find comfort in our trials. A couple times when I thought about that, I just wanted to sing Hosanna to the Lord like the angels that appeared to the shepherds in Luke 2. I sure love Christmas.
You're all wonderful. I wish you the best.
P.S. turns out I've been saying Christmas wrong for like 3 weeks. Its actually, Boldog Karácsonyt.