Letter: August 18, 2012
I love you so, so, so, so much!!!! Please ask me questions and tell me what you want to hear. Otherwise, I don’t know what to tell you in these letters. Before coming here I was told or read somewhere that write letters about what they want to hear, and my journal is what really happens. And that journal is full of good stuff. I actually enjoy writing in my journal, weird huh? I’ve never missed a day and I will never while I’m on m mission. They are getting longer each day too. The atmosphere here is so great. With all such great people around me, it is really difficult to not fell the Spirit, improve as a missionary and as an individual. I’ve grown so much while here and it’s only been just over a week. For my blog which I assume exists, feel free to share my stories, facts, and random things I say on it. Don’t share anything too personal. My collega (companion) Anziano Klemm is a great guy! I got really down on myself Saturday. The day started good but I felt like I didn’t know the language. We do a lot of role-playing for practice and I just could not make a sentence. I feel well and able to understand when others talk, my vocab is pretty good. My class is so smart and it seems like everything clicks with them. I’m constantly reassured I’m doing well, I’m better than yesterday so it’s ok! My presidency: Johnson, Miller, and McMullin are so great! Those men help me so much. Wish you could meet them.
From Sacrament meeting: “I am called to serve the Lord and will return with honor.” That is exactly why I’m here. I have grown so much, you have no idea. I learned about myself, and what the gospel and the doctrine of Christ is and how it applies to me. The topic on Sunday was “endure to the end.” Once we have entered the straight and marrow path we need to exhort every effort to stay on that path.
The Spirit is so strong here. I know and can tell you with complete sureness, the Holy Ghost is true and ever so great. I can recognize him and enjoy his gift so much. The help He offers is so great. The feelings are so great. I’m happier, stronger, and able to do so much. Temptations are nearly nonexistent, it’s due to so many great and strong people around who all have the Spirit with them so unclean things do not dwell in the MTC. It’s awesome. I’ve learned about repentance on Sunday in priesthood and how to teach it to others. Repentance is so wonderful and I know how true it is. The Savior helps us through anything and everything.
Have faith in everything and really come unto Jesus Christ and God. The people who wrote the BOM (Book of Mormon) on those plates/sheets of metal were really awesome. They dedicated their time, their entire life to the Lord and his teachings. We need to read the BOM. So many blessings come from just reading, even more blessings when we really search them and try so hard to really dig deep and enjoy the blessings from the BOM. Preach my gospel has so much packed in to it. I have grown to love it greatly. It puts things simply and gives insights a well. Make the Savior at the center of your life. everything then will fall into place. God can’t wait to forgive us and help us, we just need to earnestly seek for it. His blessings are so great, I can’t tell you all of them as they are so abundant. It’s wonderful. The language is hard, but it’s a good challenge. The MTC is great, every aspect of it. The Church is so organized. Wednesday’s are crazy! So many new missionaries arrive and everything schedule wise is great. It’s crazy to think that you can control 2500 young men and women and everyone has time at lunch, PE, etc. Also, the church rocks at not being in debt. Before a building is dedicated to the Lord it is built with the finest materials and it must be paid for 100%. Not sure where I learned that, but…yeah.
· My district is great/awesome/incredible/amazing
· My zone is Zone 33 (it’s all the Italians)
· I’m district 33B
· In the Zone there are two older districts A and D, with 3 new ones, B, C, and E
· Older districts have 6 people in each
o District A = 4 Anziani & 2 Sorelle
o District D = 2 Anziani & 4 Sorelle
o District B = 6 Anziani & 2 Sorelle
o District C = 6 Anziani & 4 Sorelle
o District E = 8 Anziani & 2 Sorelle
§ District A & D leave August 21st at 8:00 a.m.
§ Districts B, C, & E: We all came in together –biggest group since 2006 (which was 50ish)
· Each District makes up a class
· Zone 33 (Italians) is now one of the biggest here in the MTC. We overtake a part of the lunch room, it’s a cool sight
· I’m Sr. Companion and will switch out at week 4.5
· Someone in the new districts B, C, or E will be the Zone Leader because Anziano Worthom leaves Aug. 21st.
As of Sunday I know 19 Elders here. I see Elder Bushnell ALL the time. It’s awesome. He is doing well and he hasn’t ruined anything, but the first day, Elder Bushnell made his bulletin board in his room fall off…so he is being himself.
Side note: just noticed, I don’t use paragraphs…oh well, deal with it!
I have so many letters to write it’s crazy. I love it so much! Each and every letter has a great message and I love them so much!
Jeffery R. Holland is the greatest man alive! His talks are so fantastic. “My mission meant everything to me.” –Jeffery R. Holland. He was so into his talk. He was mean too. He hates how missionaries want to leave. He really would tie you up to prevent you from leaving the MTC. Oh, it was just great. It is also only an MTC talk, like all of the pre-recorded talks for Sunday evenings, and Tuesday and Sunday firesides are live and really good chance a quorum of the 12 will speak to us how that they are not on a “vacation.”
Random quotes from David A. Bednar:
· “Knowledge of the Lord leads to a personal conversion to the Lord.”
· “Christ turns outward with compassion, love, and service when we turn inwards.”
Funny part from Bednar’s talk: talking about people who say their ancestors came across the plains and had so much faith and did so much, then quite rudely , he said, and says to people when he talks with them, “That’s nice, what have you done today?”
Random facts/answers to questions:
· Weather is hot. Gym in the afternoon most days, but whatever
· People are crippled everywhere, not many arms/legs broken, but hyper extended knees and torn ACL and muscles. People scream really loud when they bust their knees and ACL.
· I always do sand volleyball. Did soccer twice and it was boring and everyone is a billion times better than me
· Got our second teacher finally! Fertello Acerson. He is awesome. Just came back almost a month ago from Cataña Italy mission. I think I will learn better from him because of the different teaching styles. So I’ll learn differently with each so that’s really good.
· Love the food. Maybe gained like 3 pounds, but yeah the food is really good.
· Tuesday s are service days so you can get sack lunches (and breakfast) in P-day clothes (as well as on Thursdays), and those are a good mix up from cafeteria food.
Again, I enjoy and like and appreciate my district. I love them. I have learned what real love is and I fell it in my district. We are so open and we all have shared really personal experiences with each other, and cry together. The other districts are not like that. They enjoy each other and work well, but my district is so fantastic. You have no idea, I honestly can’t explain. I feel so close with these two sorelle and 5 anziani. This group is so special and close to my heart. There is a feeling I have not felt before here in my class, ever, ever in my life. It is so special.
You all have instilled something special in me and it is great and so strong. Please continue to be who you are and love me, and love your Savior. I know He loves you and I both. You love me, so love Jesus Christ more than me. Just please pray for me and others. Find those to bring unto Christ as I will do so as well in Italy. But more importantly, love yourself and grow to convert yourself unto the church and the truth –fullness of the gospel.
Just learned that the next group coming in 3.5/4 weeks (or whenever it will be) is 17ish people. I am part of the biggest group EVER going to Italy. EVER!!!!!! That comes from Brother McMullin.
Jeffery R. Holland is fantastic. From one of his talks, “My mission meant the everything to me.” That is how I want to feel, and that is how I feel already. He talked about generations of missionaries, whether it be one or a dozen. I’m happy to tell others my dad served a full-time mission and the time comes when I can tell my kids that your grandpa served a mission. That is just so cool to think about.
I’m not going to waste any time starting now. I have wasted seconds, minutes, and even a few hours of the Lord’s time already and now it will not happen again. This is the Lord’s work, I’m just a helping hand for him.
Love you all and know that you are loved so much!
*Other random quotes/thoughts from this letter:
· “Spelling is stupid! When in doubt cross out and write an easier word.” –A.J.
· “If you don’t love someone, you don’t know them well enough.” –Anziano Day
· 1 Nephi 3:7 à D&C 49:11-14 à Matthew 28:18-20
o Missionary work, God was called, He prepared me, He has commanded me and I will go forth and do it because there is a way for me to accomplish it. The Holy Ghost is and will be at my side, always.
o I am with you always!