Dear Elders and Sisters …a letter from home(ish),
Serving as MTC choir director I have come to know and love tens of thousands of missionaries. Many of you have told me that you are the first and only members of the church in your family. For a few of you, that means you won’t be getting many letters from home, so I have decided that as long as I serve at the MTC I would send out a weekly letter to whomever wanted or needed one. You can expect some updates from the MTC, some of the highlights from the devotional speakers, and some of my personal thoughts and insights from scripture reading and study. These letters are NOT in any official capacity, nor are they sponsored by the Church.
An MTC Update
These are historic times at the MTC! Last night to celebrate the 24th of July, the Nashville Tribute Band performed as our Sunday night fireside. If you don’t know the group, they sing something like Country Christian Rock. Sounds strange, but it is pretty cool. They performed music about the Restoration, Missionaries, and the Savior. My favorite part was their back-up choir…which of course was the MTC choir. We had 3 rehearsals to prepare to sing 3 songs with the band. After our first rehearsal—which had about 600 missionaries—word got out that it was going to be something unforgettable. Last night for the performance we had 1,500 missionaries in the choir. That’s about 60% of all the missionaries in the MTC!
During the rehearsal I couldn’t help but think of how the first missionaries of this church must feel as they watch the work today. I imagined the time when you could name every missionary serving in the church personally. They were names like Samuel Smith, Heber C. Kimball, Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and Parley P. Pratt. Eventually we had 100 missionaries spread around the world! That must have seemed like such a land mark. We have had about 1,355,000 missionaries serve since that first missionary, Samuel Smith. There has never been a more exciting time to serve!
A Thought about Missions
Any missionary who has sung in the MTC Choir has heard me talk about how senseless it is to worry and stress over missionary work. This is the Lord’s work, He is in charge of His work, and He can do His work. We are so fortunate that He lets us join with him in accomplishing his purposes. But, happy workers is what He wants from us, not miserable worriers. Worrying is often a sign that we have forgotten whose work this is. If you think that YOU can’t do it, you are right! But, you can do it, with HIS help. After all, He has commanded us to call on Him for help anytime we are going to participate in His work.
There is also a common misconception that WE are doing most of the work. A few of you have heard me talk about being “Yoked with the Lord in his work.” Somehow, we get the misconception that we are equally yoked with the Lord. That He and We are doing about the same amount. In actuality, the Lord is more like Paul Bunyan’s giant blue ox, Babe, and we are just a little tiny cow yoked next to him. We are peddling our feet as fast as we can in the air, but feeling like we are doing the majority of the work. I imagine the Lord smiling at us as we swing away, and encouraging us along—while all the time He is taking the giant powerful strides and pulling the whole load along.
Two weeks ago a missionary named Sister May, who had heard me tell this little analogy, presented me with a framed picture depicting this little idea. It is so awesome! Here it is.
Have a great week. Work hard and follow the Spirit. In Elder Scott’s last address to the missionaries at the MTC he concluded by saying, “Don’t just have wonderful missions, Have a blast.”
Thanks for serving, Brother Ryan Eggett
*We hope to post a new letter early each Monday morning
**Moms, check out our home page for articles about marriage and parenting!