Today there was a fireside for the missionaries who are departing the MTC this week. It was a wonderful fireside, so spiritually uplifting. There were 710 of the young missionary elders and sisters and about 30 senior couples. The rest of the senior couples had already left.
There were four speakers. The first sister who spoke referenced a book by Wendy Nelson: Change Your Question, Change Your Life, I think it was. The quote from the book was "not even once". If someone is trying to encourage us to take an action and says "just once won't hurt", we can be very sure it really will hurt. So we need to make that our choice to "not even once" do the things we know deep in our hearts will hurt ourselves and those who love us, and even those who don't.
Later there was the regular Sunday night fireside for everyone in the MTC. In Church this morning all the senior couples were told we would not want to miss this event. So we were there! It turns out the Elder M. Russell Ballard and his wife Barbara, were guests. Elder Ballard spoke to us.
Elder Ballard was mainly addressing the young missionaries. The fireside was broadcast to all fourteen missionary training centers...some live and some on tape delay. We told of Sister Haehnel in Guatemala watching it as we were watching it unless she has finished training. The choir was glorious. Twelve hundred voices! Think of it!
Elder Ballard referenced counsel by President Spencer W. Kimball that he gave missionaries way back in the early 1970's but said it was applicable today. He told missionaries to keep a lock on their hearts while they are serving and leave the key at home(vis-a-vis their girlfriends/boyfriends) and to remember where their loyalties lie (to the Lord, the Church, their mission).
He also said we all have too much clutter in our lives...and he mentioned social media! He said as missionaries we need to cut through the clutter in our lives and teach others to replace the clutter with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Such a good evening.