Things have been busy as always here at the MTC, and it's strange to think that I've already been here for almost 6 weeks and only have 3 and half more to go! Now that I've gotten into a rhythm, I'm learning so much faster. I've realized a lot of my own personal weaknesses through long hours of practice and study, but I'd rather learn about them here than in Japan. Sometimes, I tend to try and "pour" all of my thoughts and feelings onto the people I teach, and I never really realized that that doesn't work (you think I would have figured that out by now). No matter how hard I try, if I try and do it on my own, I won't and cannot be successful. In one of our meetings this week, we learned about the inherent power of expectations. Essentially, our own expectations and the expectations of others do, in fact, have a concrete and very real effect on reality. Our teacher gave us one very poignant example. Before Roger Bannister, no human being had ever run a mile in under 4 minutes, and essentially everyone believed that it was physically impossible to do so. Scientists and doctors came out with studies that the human body would suddenly give out and die if one were to try and do it. Do you think that anyone could really give their entire effort believing that they would suddenly die trying to break this barrier?! Do you think that human beings were actually incapable of accomplishing this feat? Apparently, Roger Bannister didn't because he did it in, and just to emphasize that it was a mental barrier, only six weeks after, another man ran it even faster than Roger. Was that man incapable of running that fast six weeks earlier?! Too often, we impose our own limited perception and understanding on the world around us and accept it as fact. This is not only depressing and very ignorant, but it's also physically impairing and even damaging. Does this mean that man can actually do anything if he just believes that he can? Of course not! Just because I believe that man will someday run a mile in 15 seconds doesn't mean that it will ever happen. Then, where's the middle ground? How can we determine what is the perfect expectation? I believe that the only way to accomplish all that we can and to reach our full potential is to follow the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost and to align our will with God's. Any other method will only leave us feeling discouraged and defeated. There is no way that we can possibly know every need and every possible outcome so we must trust in He who knows all things. Through the Holy Ghost, we can be guided to those who need us most and to the places and people where we can be the most useful, and as long as we are truly and completely faithful, we can never be led astray. I know that this is true, and I hope that I can do my best to apply this while I'm in Japan!
Love you all,