Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Work through trials!

     Hello! This week was great, I'm learning so much here! I'm so happy to be here to learn Spanish and to learn how to teach the gospel! 
     My district leader position didn't last long. My companion and I got called as Zone leaders for the next few weeks and I'm excited for that. 
     This week was hard not to think about BYU football. My companion had to get a cyst removed from his face, so every Wednesday morning we drive right past Lavell Edwards Stadium and I look up at the new scoreboards they have and it makes me miss BYU football a lot!  After we went to the dermatologist we went to the pharmacy to get some bandaids and they had a song playing on the radio. I don't know who the artist was or what the name of the song was but it was so weird to hear worldy music which I haven't heard in over a month ha ha! I know I'm in the right place though and this is where I'm supposed to be. 
     One thing I saw this week has really stuck with me and it actually happened to me and my companion on our Wednesday drive to the dermatologist. There was an elder in the van who has torn literally every ligament in his knee. He was serving his mission in Peru when he tore it and he had only one month left to serve. The Mission President asked him if would like to go home and end his mission. The elder told him no, that this would not be the end of his mission and there was so much work left for him to do! He decided to finish his work as a missionary in the referral center. I thought that was awesome! He was a great example. I think some missionaries just would have finished there mission right then, but this elder didn't. He knew that the Lord has never given up on him so why should he give up on the Lord right before the finish line! That has strengthened my faith tremendously and I'm so excited to give my time and efforts to serve others in Mexico! When the trials come, that's when we need to work harder! And the Lord will bless and help us through those trials. 
     I'm so grateful to be an instrument in the Lord's hands, to be a part of this great and wonderful church, and I'm so grateful for the privilege I have in serving others! This church is true, I know it with all my heart, The Book of Mormon is the word of God and has been given to us by revelation to the prophets and through their words! I treasure the time I get to read in it, I love applying the the truths into my life as a missionary and it has become such a strength to be able to read out of it everyday!! Have a great week!!

Elder Tanner Aiken

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Listening to the Spirit!

     This week was another strong week here in the MTC! The days here are starting to fly by and everyday that goes by gets me more and more excited to get to the field! 
     I was called as the District Leader probably for the next four weeks and I'm happy that I get to do that!! 
     Yesterday we were able to hear Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Twelve Apostles!  His talk was one of the best I've ever heard pertaining to missionaries. The spirit in the room when he walked in was something I'll never forget,  hearing a somewhat roudy bunch of missionaries go from talking, to dead silent.  You could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium and the building was filled with the spirit of the lord as he entered the room. 
     Elder Anderson talked on fullfilling our duty as missionaries and listening to our promptings and how key they are especially now that we are missionaries.  He said we are young and just starting our path of learning how to listen and to recieve those promptings, and how it can be tricky at first. 
     One story that came to mind was when President Monson had just became a bishop.  He was young and one night he was asked by the Stake President to go see a man in the hospital.  The man was inactive and he was dying.  President Monson also had a priesthood meeting that night and when he got to the meeting he had a prompting to go to the hospital and see that man.  He ignored the first prompting he had then towards the end of the meeting he thought he had better go to the hospital.  When he arrived at the hospital he walked into that man's room just as the nurse was placing that sheet over his corpse.  His heart sank as the nurse told him that the last thing he said before he died was that he wanted to see Bishop Monson. He learned a very valuable lesson that day of the importance of listening to promptings and acting on them as they come to you!!  I'm trying to apply that to my life everyday any good thoughts that come to me through the power of the Holy Ghost I try and write them down the best I can!!  
     Follow the the promptings of the spirit, and the Lord will bless your lives, those promptings may also help others with their struggling inactivity or testimonies!  Love you all - have a great week!!

Elder Tanner Aiken

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Power of Prayer!

     Que Pasa familia? How are you all doing? I'm am doing just great. This week my ingrown toe nails are gone and I'm not sick anymore! 
     This week I would like to talk about the power of prayer. I had an experience this week that strengtehned my testimony tremendously about prayer and its importance in our lives. I was praying very, very hard for an answer that I desperately wanted to know. I had strong faith I would recieve that answer.  As I went walking into sacrament meeting this Sunday, I had a good feeling that my answer would come that day!  As my branch president uttered some words that stuck out to me, and were exactly the words I was looking for, the spirit fell over me and I knew that my prayer had been answered. Prayer is so important in our lives!

     My favorite story of prayer is in the book of Enos, where Enos is filled with grief and burdens.  He kneels down to his Heavenly Father and prays all the day long pleading for a remission of his sins that his burdens may become light. The Lord tells Enos that he his forgiven of all his sins for the great faith that he had shown. The Book of Mormon has many great examples of prayer and I'm trying to apply all that I can into my personal prayers.  
     We need to be grateful for everything that the Lord has given us. We need to ask Him questions and show faith and personal righteousness so that we can recieve answers to those questions! We should tell the Lord how our day has been and ask for guidance and help in what we can do better in improving our lives! I love my Savior Jesus Christ!  I love setting aside just a few short moments a few times a day to talk to my Father in Heaven! He wants to hear from each and everyone of us! If any us are struggling with prayer I would challenge them to start praying now!! It is so key in our lives! We are taught as missionaries to constantly have prayer in our heart and to pour out our concerns and struggles to our Father in Heaven! 
     Yo se que jesucristo is mi redonter, el es my salvador! dios contesta nuestros oraciones. Estoy agradecido por la oportunidad servir mi mision, es muy importante tener oracion en nuestros vidas! Dios y jesucristo son amiable y amoroso y quieren oir de nosotros cada dia!
     Have a great week!

Elder Tanner Aiken

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Week #2 in the MTC!

     This week has gone by so fast, I cannot believe I got dropped of two weeks ago!  This week was a very spiritual week even though there is a nasty cold going around which I happened to catch.  I also have a pretty infected ingrown toe nail, awesome I know! 
     The Lord has taught me some great lessons in such a short time. I have learned to study the scriptures as often as I can.  This past devotional we had another area seventy and he spoke about the miracle of the Book of Mormon.  Did you know that Joseph Smith translated that book in about 70 days, seven pages a day? That is incredible!  Did you also know that Joseph Smith had over 200 lawsuits against him? Wow, I can't even begin to comprehend the amount of faith he had! The Book of Mormon is the word of God, it teaches us all in different ways we must listen to what the Lord wants to teach us through the Holy Ghost. 
I love going into reading the Book of Mormon with a question in mind and it seems every time I read I find an answer to that question! 
     The MTC food is getting so old!  Cod nuggets and carboard waffles are starting to take a toll on me!  The spirit can be felt all around here, knowing that we are all serving our Heavenly Father and bringing others unto Christ, it is truly an awesome work we are engaged in!  
     We have 10 missionaries in our district and we are all super close now and love each others examples that are being set.  Four missionaries are going to Guadalajara, Mexico, 4 are going to Columbia, and me and my comp are going to Leon!  Funny thing is that my Branch President, President Mortensen was the Mission President in Leon and has given some great advice! 
     Love you all have a great week!!

Elder Tanner Aiken

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First week in the MTC!

     The MTC has been great so far! I have learned so much and I feel so much closer to our Heavenly Father.  We have Spanish class for 6 hours a day and gospel classes for about another 6. I love this gospel!  Heavenly Father has blessed me with so much! 
     We had a great talk yesterday from Elder Pinegar an Area Seventy.  He was talking about how the Lord has called us to where he needs us. He talked of an elder who had always known he would serve his mission in Toronto, Canada, but when he opend his call is was to Hong Kong, China. He told his dad this is not where I'm supposed to go, I know I'm suppposed to go to Canada. His dad told him you go where you are called until the President of the Church makes a change, that's where you will serve! He went to the MTC and learned the Chinese language then went out to the field. When he got there, he told the mission president to keep him close to the mission home because he said I'm going to be transferred to Canada. The mission president told him the exact thing that his father told him, that he will serve where he has been called until the the prophet calls him to make a change. So the elder served his mission will all his heart. About a month left in his mission, his mission president called him and said pack your bags and come to the mission home! When he arrived he saw five other elders with their bags packed. The mission looked at him with a smile and said you're being transferred, the Lord needs you in Toronto, Canada to teach 5 Mandarin Chinese couples! When his mission in Canada was over he had finished by baptizing those 5 couples! It's so awesome to see how the lord works in mysterious ways. 
     I know that this church is true and our Father in Heaven knows each and everyone of us. He's their to comfort us in our pains and there to rejoice with us when we are obedient. Pray to him often and he will bless your life!! It's been such an awesome experience so fa,r besides sharing a room with 6 elders for one that is meant for 4, it's awesome! 
     I played basketball with Harvey Langi the other day totally took him to the rim! Ball-in! My spanish is coming along, I already know how to say a prayer, bare my testimony, and I have taught an investigator three times! Everyone have a great week! Love you all!!

Elder Tanner Aiken