Friday, March 1, 2013

Half Way Through MTC

So I am officially halfway done with the MTC. how crazy is that! I only have 2 and a half weeks left, that blows my mind. Time has gone by so fast the past couple weeks, it really feels like I just had P-day yesterday! But I'm on the downhill now and I'm getting more and more excited every single day to be in Mexico! I can't wait to be out there. I'm really excited to just be in another country and experience another culture! So before I start with the good stuff about the week I'll start with some sad news. Elder Keenan is leaving in a week and a half:( it's so weird! he's the only one in our district who is leaving early, so we are getting his travel plans today and he leaves 2 Mondays from now! Super sad! So for the last week here I will be companionless... so sad. 

Haha, but this week has been great and SUPER eventful! On Saturday night we did what is called TRC, where people volunteer to come in, usually members, to just talk to us! So we talked to 3 different people, and just talked to them and got to know them and then just applied  a gospel principle to their life. It was SOOO cool! Because it wasn't staged like our investigators that we are teaching, but it was with real people as themselves. We talked with a girl who was on the BYU rugby team! Pretty cool. Everyone was really nice and it was so cool to talk to them and bear our testimonies to them. It got me REALLY excited to be out in the field! And then on Sunday me and Elder Keenan volunteered to pass the sacrament to our branch, which has 4 districts, or about 50 people in total. We literally were ONE cup short, so we had to go get another one. Haha, it was kinda funny.  The highlight of the week was definitely on Tuesday night!! We had a devotional, like always. And my district always goes to choir so we will be guaranteed a spot in the main room just in case an apostle comes to speak to us. And there was a rumor this week that an apostle was going to come, but there's a rumor EVERY week that an apostle is going to come so I didn't get my hopes up. But we were sitting in with the choir a few minutes before the devotional started and we still didn't know who the speaker was, and all of a sudden it got really reverent and quiet and everyone stood up and in walked Elder M. Russell Ballard! So cool! He brought such an incredible spirit, and other than general conference it was the only time I had ever been in the same room as an apostle. So that was super super cool! He talked about Christ's atonement and the power of missionary work and how to be more confident and bold in sharing this great message. It was a really great talk! And it was an unbelievable experience to be so close to an apostle. On Wednesday our district got chosen to host the new missionaries. So basically what we did is we were at the curb when the new missionaries got dropped off and we waited for them to say their goodbyes and then took their luggage and helped them get settled into their room and find all their books and classroom and stuff like that. So that was pretty cool! we had soooo many new missionaries come in this week but somehow my room avoided getting any new missionaries so we still only have 4 people in our room! Which is way nice! we are one of the few people on our floor who have that. It was interesting seeing all the different reactions from the families when they dropped off their missionary. Some were crying a lot, and others were just like "see ya later!" Haha, I guess everyone is different. But something I've been trying to do this week is to find ways to love people and to show I appreciate them. We've had that thought drilled into our heads here at the MTC and I'm learning how important it is to love others, regardless of who they are or the differences you have. And it's REALLY easy to love the people in my district, because... they're awesome! and super funny! But I never realized how much of an impact you can have on someone else, and the littlest things you do or say can make a HUGE difference. So look for opportunities to serve! Even if it seems really small and insignificant, it could make a lot bigger difference than you think. This week, Elder Newman has been sick in bed all week! So we've all been taking shifts hanging out with him in his room. Which is actually pretty nice to get some peace and quiet and extra study time. But he literally sounds like he's dying when he coughs, he's got a throat infection mixed with bronchitis, poor guy. But he's getting a little better now and he should be back in class tomorrow, but now he got his companion Elder Hamm sick! So I'm just praying I don't catch anything! For this week's Sunday devotional our district got chosen to usher, which should be kinda cool! And it means we'll get really good seats. Umm, it's always so hard to compact a whole week's worth of events into one e-mail, it's so hard to know what to say. This week I've been trying to strengthen my testimony on the Book of Mormon, I've been slowing down and trying to get everything i can out of them and it's amazing how many incredible lessons and scriptures there are! I love reading them now and the spirit that it brings.

Grant! your letter cracked me up! I forget how clever you are. Haha.  I LOVED hearing from you and how much of a stud you are. And thanks for that fact about the goldfish! 90 pounds? That's crazy! You should try to put a crazy story in every one of your letters. I told all my roommates that story and the other one you told me that happened at school, which I won't put on here so i can save you from embarrassment. Haha, but write me again this week please! and let me know how your knee is! Kendall and Dad told me about that and I heard you were on crutches? I'm sorry! That's no fun, but you were definitely in my prayers all week. And Caden and Audrey, write me this week!

Kendall, your letter made me laugh too. I could almost hear you telling me that whole story, all in one breath. Haha, I love how you would always tell me every single detail about your day and about.. you know who;) You better keep me updated! If my math is correct, and it USUALLY is, your birthday is this week on Wednesday! Happy Birthday to you! I can't believe you're 17, that's crazy. You're only like 2 years away from marria... I mean college! Haha, but I hope you have a GREAT day! and just know I'll be throwing a party in here on your behalf:) 

And you guys will all be getting a letter in the next few days from me! I promise!

Also, thank you guys so much for the package!!!  It seriously saved my life! :)

Ahh, I wish I had more time to write you guys more about what happened this week but unfortunately my time is up! I PROMISE you guys will get pictures sometime before I leave here! I think I figured out a way to get them to you! so we'll see if it works. I love you guys and miss you a ton!

Elder Bird

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