Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On my way!

Apostles, General Authorities and spouses at the dedication of the CCM February 9, 2014
Elder Peck and his District at the same sign February 24, 2014.  Future leaders.
This last week has flown by, and it looks like I am leaving today at 3 for Chile! I have a 6 hour layover in Santiago, then a one hour flight to the mission home in Concepcion.  I cant wait! Today is going to be so good.  The time at the MTC (CCM) has gone by so fast and I have learned more than I expected.  I cannot wait to start my service.
Yesterday I went to a devotional that was a rebroadcast of a Provo MTC devotional by Elder David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve.  It was so good, and I think what he said will have a great impact on how I serve.  He quoted Neal A Maxwell who said something to the effect of: There would have been no atoning sacrifice without the character of Christ.  This is something that has much more meaning than we think.  Elder Bednar based his entire hour long discourse on this quote.  The main idea was that when the natural man in us would turn inward, Christ turned outward.  When Christ was tempted after fasting for forty days, He did not give in because in doing so, He would be using His power to serve Himself.  When in the garden, having had three apostles fall asleep and not keep watch during His suffering and having one apostle completely betrayed Him, he healed the injured ear of one of the guards that captured Him.  He did not ask for a single bit of sympathy or attention from anyone.  He did not expect people to feel sorrow for Him and administer of Him after suffering the pain and sin of everyone who had and would live on this Earth.  He ministered.  We can do the same.  Remember that Christ suffered all, and even that was not an excuse to turn inward and focus on Himself.  Another theme that was brought up in this devotional and has been a continuing theme throughout my time at the CCM is that turning out is a step in conversion. Knowing that Jesus is my Savior is one thing.  Acting on His commandments and letting the doctrine change my life is another. Strive for conversion, rather than only testimony. 
Thanks for your support and emails!
Es lo mejor!
Elder Peck

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I leave on Monday!

This week has been good. Lots of fun stuff and spiritual experiences. 
We played soccer last P Day.  Gringos vs Latinos and somehow we won. We have been playing baseball too, except we usually play as district with a tennis ball and racket because we don't have a bat or ball.  Its so fun though!
Ive been have some interesting conversations with our Latino roommates to practice my Spanish.  We talk about everything from Bigfoot to hamburgers.
And I don't know why, but Mexico is always on fire. We always see these huge raging fires on the mountains, far away from the CCM, but still big enough to see. Also got a haircut today.  The haircut is free, and they cut it the same way for everyone haha!
Highlight of the week: my cousin Elder Michael Clark came to the CCM today! It was so good to see him! He brought me some tacos and I brought him some Reese's.  We talked about all kinds of stuff.  He stayed for about an hour, and then left to go teach.  
This week I learned the power of prayer.  You can pray to your Father in heaven at any time and any place.  He listens and answers, especially when you pray sincerely.  Talk with God, discuss your thoughts, concerns, fears, doubts, and questions.  Express gratitude and praise.  Pray like you are speaking with a friend, because you are.  He listens and answers.  I know that this is true.  Have faith that he listens! Don't doubt that your Father hears you.  Never think that you are unworthy to address Him.  When you feel unworthy or down, that is the best and most vital time to talk with God.  He wants to hear you the most then! Trust that He will answer.  
This Church is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know it is true.  Keep the faith everyone, have charity, go forward and pray often!
Elder Peck

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Two More Weeks!

This week has been great.  Lots of funny stuff.  Elder W in our district has been sick all week, but he starting coming to classes again yesterday.  Even though he was sick, I think he missed only one lesson, coming and teaching with a fever sometimes.  Crazy awesome guy.  Last night we had a district meeting and he out of nowhere ran over, got on the cabinet, and jumped out the window haha! I don't get him, but he makes us laugh.
Elder Peck is a District Leader.  This is his district.  Not pictured - Elder Peck and Elder H (companion)
Lots of big stuff too, including the dedication of the MTC.  An apostle, Elder Dallin H. Oaks came to dedicate the MTC.  I know that God really does call prophets today, as well as twelve apostles to direct the church. In his talk before the dedicatory prayer, he mentioned that with this dedication, Mexico has become a nation among nations in the hastening on the work of the Lord.  This was an exciting statement for me as well as all the native Mexicans in attendance.  He stated the importance of setting goals in missionary work and in life, giving the analogy that a child will never become a doctor without setting intermediate goals, such as passing biology and math classes, to achieve the ultimate goal.  He then went into talk about testimony and conversion, a theme that has been prevalent this week in my classes.  Having a testimony is knowing and stating beliefs.  It is not conversion.  It is the foundation for conversion.  It can be built and grows as we share it and search out our beliefs.  Conversion is change.  It is changing ones beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God, as it says in the Guide to the Scriptures.  It involves offering your whole soul to Him.  It involves having the disposition to do good continually.
Hope all is well with everyone! Have a great week!
Elder Peck

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Week Three in the CCM

I just finished my third week in the CCM! Today is the midpoint of my training in Mexico and so far the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. 
Highpoint of the week was actually today.  We went to the Mexico City Temple Vistors Center.  The temple is closed, so we only got to see the outside, but the visitors center is awesome.  Its super high tech, and really well done.  Everything is in Spanish and it is very Mexican themed.  
 The temple is beautiful.  It is styled kind of after a Mayan temple.  It looks like a giant pyramid with an angel on top.  It made me think about the blessings the temple has brought into my life and the blessings it can bring into countless others lives.  Even though it was closed, I still felt the Spirit of the temple on the outside.  
We also got to leave the CCM grounds for a bit and drive through Mexico City, which is always an adventure.  There are all these random people in the street selling sketchy food and washing windshields at red lights.  Cars drive a million miles an hour and the roads make zero sense.  But it is so cool.  It makes me want to get out into the field right now and start sharing the gospel and getting to know people!

This week, I gained a greater belief in prayer.  I know that we can talk with God through prayer and that He hears and answers us, not always according to our desired time frame, and not always the answer we desire, but He always listens and answers if we ask sincerely. 
Also, read the Book of Mormon.  It is true.  Its actually pretty exciting to read as well.  Read it, know it, and come to love it.  I have become a much better person because of my study of the Book of Mormon.  Don´t fear it if you have never read it.  Start with the introduction, and keep reading, continuing with first Nephi chapter one after the intro.
Thanks for yours thoughts, prayers, letters, and emails everyone! Los vemos
Elder Peck