NEWS (INVESTIGATOR'S NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO MAINTAIN ANONYMITY)
May 20, 2013
BONJOUR!!!!!!!! wow! Time is weird around here... Days seem like weeks, and this week has seemed like a day. But over-all, I'm loving it! I don't even know where to begin.
Wednesday (actually the ENTIRE week) was hectic. Running one place to another getting books here, getting my tag there, running from orientation to orientation, then being taken to my classroom and meeting my district, and my Companion! Elder Herring is his name. He's from the San Francisco Bay area. He's been going to BYU for a year though. He's pretty much my personality twin. We're SO MUCH ALIKE it freaks me out every day. I feel like I'm walking around and planning lessons with myself.. It's bizarre . He's got a "rocking'" testimony (as he would say), and has a true sincere love for his Savior and his family. He's a CRY-ER like me, so we are both just a teary eyed mess the entire time, but we love it. We are just best friends. I couldn't have asked for a better companion. My district is probably the BEST district here at the MTC. It consists of 10 missionaries. 5 Soeurs (sisters) and 5 Elders. 3 of the soeurs are going to Paris, the other two are going to Lyon. Me and Elder Herring are the only Elders going to Lyon, and the other 3 Elders are going to The Congo in Africa. (One of those is Elder Brad Brockbank from Murray High). We're just such a tight knit family. I absolutely love us. We laugh more than I've laughed in a super long time, but have some of the most incredible lessons, and planning sessions ever. Our teachers are Frere Smith, and Soeur Judd. Both are PERFECT! I swear Frere Smith is like some weird mutant perfect person. Soeur Judd is probably the funniest person I've ever met. She get's really giggly when something is funny, and she tries not to ruin the spirit by laughing so she'll hide that she's laughing by hiding behind her preach my gospel or book of mormon, but everyone can see her shoulders doing that shrug you do when you laugh, so we all just lose it.
I think part of the laughing comes from us being in the same little brick room for anywhere from 10-12 hours a day. Either that or we all are just genuinely happy. :) The French is coming along.. Truthfully, I'd say that Elder Herring and I are the furthest with our French, so we tend to spend a lot of time teaching the rest of the clan, but it's incredible to see the progress that has occurred ALREADY in our lives. Little Elder Leavitt has never taken ANY french, and never even thought about it until he entered the MTC, so he's been a total stress case. But ALREADY he's praying in French without our helpful book. (we call it the Orange Bible.) We've had an investigator named Christopher (pronounced kreestoff) since about day 2. Ever since then we've been teaching him in French, and can I just say, the power of the Spirit it so real, and the gift of tongues is absolutely available to ANYONE that puts fort the effort. Elder Herring and I have already taught Him how to pray, taught him about the atonement and Jesus Christ, challenged him to read the Book of Mormon, and Challenged him to be baptized. He keeps saying to us that he wants to change to be a good example for his daughter, but he just doesn't know how to change. Tonight we are teaching him about Repentance. :) He is such a cool guy!
On day 1, we did this really cool thing where we watched missionaries teach an investigator, and then they left, and the group of 200 missionaries or so had to teach the investigators as if we were one HUGE companionship. But before any of this would happen, the lights would all be off, and there would just be a spotlight on the investigator, and over the intercom we'd hear, "This is a child of our Heavenly Father." I've truly tried my hardest to look at EVERYONE that way, and it's been such a cool experience! If we all would just look at people that way, and treat them as if we knew that, the world would be so much of a better place.
So... My P-Days are on Mondays, and it seems like this will be the only day I'll be able to write home. The rule is you only write letters and E-mails on P-Day, so just plan on that from here on out. (there was a small exception with the fact that they let us write our family a hand-written letter the first few days to say we were all ok. ha) I get mail every night except Saturdays and Sundays I'd say that for the MTC, the Dear-Elders work the best. :) I've loved getting your letters. It's crazy how much the outside world seems to disappear while we're in here, so it's nice to have a bit of fresh air, and home. :)
Sundays are the BEST at the MTC. It's just a nice break from the NON STOP work. Every day we wake up at 5:45, and literally do not stop for more than 3-5 minutes to go to the bathroom, until 10:30. It's nuts. But it's SO rewarding. The spirit here is so strong. In fact, it's so strong ALL the time that you half forget what it's like to not feel the spirit. I was worried the first few days that I was getting SO used to the spirit that I wasn't getting SUPER strong promptings or overwhelming spiritual experiences, so I was praying a lot about how to get the spirit "back" in my life. On Sunday my Branch president gave us a letter in priesthood describing that often times, when you're THIS exposed to the spirit, and you are obeying EVERY RULE, then because your will, and the will of the spirit, and the will of the Lord, are all in line, you don't need a spiritual "correction" you just do what you're doing. And the peace you feel is the fact that God is trusting you and your decisions. It really helped me realize that I was doing what I needed to be doing right now, and in every decision. I absolutely KNOW that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now!
I have felt your prayers, and I really appreciate them. I hope all is going well, and that you never forget that we have the blessings we have in our life because of our amazing, loving, Father in Heaven. Say a prayer of JUST gratitude each day for the things you have, and for the things He has helped you with!