I have learned a lot at the MTC—and have had many great experiences and some bad experiences.
Let’s start with the bad.
I managed to sprain my ankle so now I have a crutch, but honestly it’s not that bad. The story how I got it is amazing, though. I was playing basketball, and I just took a shot, sadly I didn’t make the shot and the ball rebounded. So, as I was “walking” to pick it up I stepped on the side of my foot and sprained my ankle. As a result, I also had to cancel one of my teaching appointments because of that so I missed out on a lesson. My companion also refused to do any prep for our next lesson and because of that the lesson didn’t go as great as it could have gone. Also we were fed Taco Bell for dinner (the agony that the toilets suffered that night). And to top it off the fire alarm went off and we had to wake up, get dressed, and leave the building. Oh and that all happened in one day.
But despite that day, and how basically everything went horribly wrong, I wasn’t that bothered. In retrospect you could easily call that day the worst day of my life; but it wasn’t the worst day of my life. In fact, I would call that day a good day.
Why? This is hard to explain but I do my best. While I was hobbling around on my crutch I felt like I was being comforted the entire time. Not by my companion, he’s was not interested in helping me out. Not by the success I had that day, because they were few and far between. Not by my teachers, they didn’t really teach us much that day.
So then what was I comforted by?
To all of my friends from school this might sound odd, but I felt like I was being directly comforted by Jesus Christ (No, I am not being forced to write this). I felt like I had somebody with me even when everybody else was somewhere else. And I was happy: when I rolled my ankle I was happy; when I had to cancel my appointment I was happy; and when I woke up in the middle of the night, and had to evacuate a building on a crutch I was happy. Not because I enjoy pain, but because I had the comfort of Jesus Christ around me.
Mormons (the real term is Latter-day Saints btw) believe Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, the son of God, the messiah and so much more. He was perfect and lived a perfect life; but despite that he took upon him the sins of the world so that we could return to God in heaven. But Jesus didn’t take only the sins of the world, he also took upon him every pain and affliction as well. So that he could understand every single person, and every single issue that they have ever had in their life. Which means that if you ever feel like there is nobody that knows what you feel like, you can be comforted with the knowledge that there is somebody that knows exactly what you are going through. I don’t think that words can express how powerful that concept is, that there is ALWAYS somebody that understands exactly what you are going through; not just in a matter of fact way, but deeply and personally.
Mormons have the reputation of being always happy (almost to a creepy level), and this is why. Mormons are happy often because they (for lack of a better word) lean of Jesus Christ. They open themselves up to God and Jesus and let them help them. We still face all the issues that the rest of the world faces: all the pain, the suffering, and afflictions that the rest of the world suffers. But when we lean on Christ, we can be happy.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Regards from Provo
Elder Alexander Brown