Thursday, February 21, 2013

Study the Atonement, Love the Temple, and Feast upon the Scriptures


Hopefully this letter will be a little longer, more informational than the previous ones. Life can get pretty hectic in the MTC when it comes to computer time. Especially for District Leaders.

First, I'll respond to all of the letters Mom has sent me.
  • I don't know if I ever told you, but I didn't get anything that Kerri put up on the blog that you might have sent via called2serve. Maybe because of that page limit you mentioned. I would love to see the picture that Sister McKinnon produced. Sounds sweet! Also, I would love to get a reader's digest paragraph for each of my cousins. And maybe what people in the family are up to? 
  •  Sierra! You are so awesome! Thank you so much for writing to me, and especially to my companion, Elder Bradley. He loved your letter. Just so you know, I'm not being naughty...=P It's crazy that someone is always going to be gone from the family for a whole month! I've never noticed that MTC sounds like Empty Sea before, but my friend Elder Lehman thinks it's really funny. 
  • Random: Two of the Hermanas in my zone are going to the LA visitors center! Hermanas Phillips and Howell. Just in case you go to the temple G&G!
  • Unfortunately, we aren't allowed to take pictures in the cafeteria, so I can't get a picture of eating. And because I spent most of my time in the dishroom and not in the actual cafeteria, I'm not really sure if it's fuller. Though yesterday I heard we got 1200 new missionaries, and today the lines were HUGE (luckily after we got our food).
  • That story about Lily and I getting married is awesome. If anybody has ever seen the beginning of Fireproof, I aspire to that, so this is a little taste.
  • As for choir, we went the first week, but we have class during the rehersal on tuesday, up until the devotional itself, which means we can't ever sing in the actual one. Though we got our teacher to let us out early last week so we could at least do it once. I think the most inspiring 'meeting' so far has been President Bednar's MTC address from Christmas 2002(?) called Character of Christ. It's a must see. Again and again. All the missionaries rant and rave about it whenever it's showing on Sunday nights (read it here).
  • All four of us in our district are going to Peru, though Elder Lehman is going to Cuzco instead of Lima Central like the rest of us.
Elder Hicken, Elder Bradley, and Elder McKell all headed to Lima...with Elder Lehman pointing to Cuzco
Where I will be for the next two years!
Peru Lima, Central Mission, HERE I COME! (In a few weeks)
Elder Lehman pointing to his mission: Cuzco, Peru
    • The rumor about the bunks is half correct. We moved another bunk bed into every room in our building last week, and most of the other buildings are following suit. All the Hermanas are already 6 in a room. 
    • I'll try and get a portrait picture, if I can manage to remember when I'm not in Pday clothes!
    • The Elders that looked like they were going to Bolivia are the two who are going to Colombia.
    • That drawer is everything we keep of the treats that are given to us 4 elders. We get more than we can eat, so things go bad before we finish them. 
    • I got that Valentine chain! It's hanging up in our classroom, so I'll try and get a picture of that too.
    • I haven't gotten that letter with the $10 and picture of the girls, so I hope it's not lost or anything.
    • I ran past G'ma Gunn's house on Tuesday! But I actually just realized I live in the building right across the fence from it. Yay!
    • ZRT = zone resource teacher. We have an AM teacher, a PM teacher, and the zone has two ZRTs that just go around and help whoever needs help with anything. We don't ever have those group meetings though. As for Hermano Hardy, he doesn't know anyone in Chicago, so no luck. Sorry, Pop.
    Thanks for all those letters! It's nice to know what's going on at home! 
    Now for what's going on here!

    This is my last week as District Leader! They switch halfway through, and this is the end of week 3 for me. Can you believe it's been that long/short. I'm not even sure how time works anymore. Either way, the only two Elders left in the Zone who are older than our District leave on Monday and Tuesday, which means one of the two companionships in our district will be called as zone leader. Yesterday we had 11 new elders move into our zone. One is from Aurora, CO. Went to Grandview HS, going to Mexico.

    I think lots of people come into the MTC next week, verdad? (s/o to you BYU students) If someone could send me who is coming in so I can keep an eye out, that would be great. I see Hermana Zortman and ...Sister (something crazy in Hungarian) Butterfield daily, and Hermana Scaife (sp?) is on my classroom floor. Several other Elders from BYU as well.

    Well on Tuesday at 3pm our classroom was called over the intercom, which never happens, and our two Columbian-headed elders were called to the travel office. (this is after having their visas declined on Friday, after recieving flight plans to leave on Monday morning at 4) Sure enough, their visas came in and they left on a plane to Columbia at 5 Wednesday morning! Crazy, the work is hastening too fast for paperwork to keep up with it.

    I know that might not be a big deal to all of you, since you don't know my District family, but for me it's a huge deal. These 5 guys have become so close to me so fast, it's very hard to part with them.

    Anyone who can't decide about serving a mission, start studying the Atonement with all of your energy of soul. You will not be able to resist the desire to share the amazing effects of a knowlege of the Atonement. As for everyone who has already been on a full time mission, congratulations, you're now a part time missionary--you're not done sharing. If you lack an intense desire to share the gospel, you'd best start studying the Atonement right along with everyone else. If you don't fit in either of those categories, you should study the Atonement. In summary, STUDY THE ATONEMENT! It is so wonderful, so happy, so inspiring, so spectacularly amazing! I know it is because as I study it every day, as I share it every day, as I pray about it every day, my happiness has grown exponentially, my energy has increased in duration, my attention has been refocused, and my desires are being tuned! If you seek happiness, seek a testimony of the Atonement, and the happiness will come with a flood of our Savior's love.

    The Temple is so wonderful. Memorize everything! Feast on the words spoken in the Temple! I can't express how much I love going time and time again. But most importantly, fear to take advantage of the scriptures. Be afraid of falling into the category of people Nephi spoke to in 2 Nephi 32:7! But even more so, fear to hearken unto the evil spirit which teacheth a man not to pray. Which whispers "you're too tired", "try it first and then pray", "see if you can do it on your own". If you're ever thinking of praying, you should be praying. Ye must pray always! (verse 9) The ability to do things without prayer is a vice, and a weakness. It is harder to rely on the spirit, than to do it yourself. I love these words, and I hope they strike you with the same importance they strike me, for "these are the things of my soul".
    And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—Therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God. (Alma 31:5)
    What a powerful, wonderful, inspiring verse. I am sometimes horrified by the world, and this verse has inspired me with strength to wield a sword of truth and virtue as I visit the world.

    I have come to anticipate being reassigned. The last district to leave our zone went all over the US, and it sounds so wonderful! Two missions? Sign me up! I don't care if I'm going to Miami, FL mission (yes, I think that sounds...unfavorable) I want to get reassigned. (Just for a few months. =])

    Well not too many more pictures this week, since it's only been one week and the initial picture taking has settled down a bit. 

    Elder Frehner calling his parents, telling them his travel plans were cancelled for Friday :(
    3 days later, he found out he was leaving after all!
    Trying to take an illegal picture legally.
    Playing the line game with Elder Lehman (someone doodles a line and the other turns it into something).  Look at the doodle between us...this Juabu (accent on the U) was picasso-ed.  (notice the valentine chain!--festive...thanks!)
    A candid photo during our break.
    I leave a note for the MTC dishwashers at every meal!
     As for everyone who is still waiting on letter responses, I don't have any addresses except for return addresses I've ripped off letters, and I've got a stack that grows almost faster than I can respond! But have no fear!

    Estoy muy feliz estar aqui al CCM, y esta tan divertido aprender sobre el Evangelio todavia cada dia. Me encantan las Escrituras, y estoy muy agredecido por mi maestros cuando me ayuda aprender y entender las cosas preciosas en cada vesiculo. Mi testimonio esta progressando y llego a ser un persona mas verdaderamente feliz. ¡Me encata Español y lo tan hablo como posible! Estoy muy agredecido por mis amigos en el Evangelio en mi distrito, mi zona, y los lideros que me guia. Me gusta ensenar. Me gusta compartir. Me gusta testificar. Me gusta este sentido de siempremente felicidad que esta siempre aqui en el CCM. Te amo mucho, y no puedo esperar hasta pueden ver como he cambiar. Especialmente al fin de mi mission, porque si he cambiar este mucho ya en solomente tres semanas, ¡voy a tan cambiar en dos años!

    (I'm very happy to be here in the MTC, and it is very fun to learn about the gospel all day every day.  I love the scriptures, and I am very grateful for my teachers when they help me learn and understand the precious things in each verse.  My testimony is growing and I am becoming a truly happier person.  I love Spanish and I speak it as much as I can!  I am very grateful for my gospel friends in my district,  my zone, and my leaders that guide me.  I like to teach.  I like to share.  I like to testify.  I like this constant feeling of happines that is always here in the MTC.   I love you very much, and I can't wait until you see how I've changed.  Especially at the end of my mission, because if I have changed this much already in only 3 weeks, I will change so much in 2 years!)

    Sorry, real world, but I don't miss you at all! I think I'm going to stay here for the rest of my life. (Literally...missionary, then MTC teacher, then if I don't get some type of calling, I'm just going to work in the dishroom for the rest of my life.--just kidding, the dishroom is tan aburrido.(very boring))
    I hope that's long enough to make up for the last little bit!

    Hasta luego!

    (p.s. Kerri you're the bomb! Thanks for helping an Elder out!)

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