Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 3: MTC Half-Way Point

So week 3 is just about over, and this week has been pretty jam packed!

So last Tuesday night, Elder Marcus B. Nash of the 70 spoke to us at the MTC, and that was really cool! Elder Nash spoke at the ASU institute building a few weeks before I left and I went to that, and guess what! He gave the same exact talk!!! Haha! So that was funny, but I did get a lot out of it! So that was cool! That same morning, Tuesday morning, Elder Vance went home with severe depression, so I am in a trio now with Elders Draney and Larsen! They are super stellar and we get along really well! The next day, June 24, was Dork Dot Day!!! Wednesdays are the days that all of the new missionaries arrive and they where this orange dot on their tags to show that they're new and might need some help! So I had my eye out for 3 people the entire day; Elder Gurr, Elder Roberts, and Elder Hofeling! I even made my companions study outside with me just hoping that I might catch a glimpse of any of them! But no luck, it was about 2 o clock and I was talking to another class full of new missionaries going to Brazil, and as I was talking in Portuguese at them, I turn around just in time to see Elder Gurr walking down the hall with his escort! I yelled at him and gave him a big hug then sent him on his way! So he has class in the same building as I do, and I see him a couple times just about every day, so there is a tender mercy of the Lord. With renewed faith that I would see my other friends, I went on about my day with my head on a swivel, constantly looking for Elder Hofeling and Elder Roberts! It was after recess, and we were coming back from the missionary field across the street (the gymnasium was shut down all week for the mission president's seminar), and as I was walking back to my room, I saw Elder Gurr again! I shouted "Hey Elder Gurr!" at him, and he shouted back, "There's someone behind me that wants to say hello!" I looked behind him a ways, and LO AND BEHOLD! There was Elder Hofeling just smiling and waving timidly at me from I distance! I just about jumped out of my socks when I saw him, and I ran as fast as I could and wrapped him up in a giant bear hug! I picked him up and just held him for a minute. I love Elder Hofeling! He is one of my best friends and has always been there for me when I needed a friend! So talked for a minute and I met his companion Elder Howard, and found out that they are in the same building as I am!!!!! Better yet, just one floor above me! So I go up almost every night and say goodnight to Elder Hofeling and shoot the breeze with him for a few minutes, and talk about the MTC and how he's feeling. I know that I wish I had a friend here when I got here to vent to for the first few nights. The first few nights in the MTC are the worst, and you don't really know your companion well enough to tell him the things of your heart, so it all just gets bottled up inside and it hurts, so I've been trying to be there for Elder Hofeling if he needs it! I mean, Elder Hofeling is strong (just look at his biceps) but we all need help from a friend every once in a while!!! So it is super good to see Elder Hofeling, and we see each other EVERYWHERE! At meals, in between classes, and at residency! It doesn't sound like much, but that is really all our days consist of here at the MTC.

I was looking at my planner the other day with Elder Larsen and Elder Draney and realized that our schedule is this:

Wake up
Eat Breakfast
Eat Lunch
Eat Dinner
Go back to Residency and Sleep...

Super exciting, right?

But we find ways to make the time fly by! I testify that time is different when you're reading the scriptures. I feel like I'm closer to God when I read my scriptures, and what feels like I've only been studying for maybe 5 minutes, I look up at the clock and realize that 2 whole hours have passed me by. So that has been a huge testimony builder to me of the power of the scriptures!

So on Thursday I was really struggling. The language was difficult, the lessons weren't going all that well, and I wasn't feeling well at all. My biggest problem was that I wanted to share the gospel so bad, but my language capacity was hindering me. That has been my biggest problem the entire time, that my desires and goals surpass my abilities... So I guess I'll just have to work harder!

So Brother Nothum asked us on Friday to do an English Fast until Sunday morning! So we didn't speak any English on Friday OR Saturday! AT ALL! That was crazy!

I was also really sick with a fever Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday I slept in and had a priesthood blessing! But I'm all good now! But on Sunday I slept in till noon, and that was BEAUTIFUL!!!
So with it being the Mission President's seminar, all of the general authorities were here! We saw Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard in their cars as they left on Sunday while we were going to our temple walk! We lined the street and Elder Ballard rolled down his window and waved to us! Super Cool!

Sunday night Elder Allen of the General Missionary Commission or something like that and it was so much fun! He got super animated and jazzed about missionary work and got all of the missionaries involved! He was so funny and cracked jokes the entire time!
So the Provo temple is now closed for a couple of weeks, and today my zone gets to go in a clean it! That is something that I've never done before, so I'm super stoked to do that! And tonight is a general Authority's devotional! So I'll let you all know how that goes when I get the chance!

Oh! My mission President! I got to meet with him 3 times and even met some of his family that he brought! His name is President Koch (Pronounced like Kaw, like the sound a bird makes)! He and His wife are super awesome! They are super nice and sweet and fun to be with! He hasn't gotten his visa to Mozambique yet, but he is in Swaziland on a tourist visa right now while his other visa processes, so we'll see how that goes.

So I heard that Sister Kinnaman did a phenomenal job with her farewell talk! I am super excited to see her progress in the mission field and MTC! My zone leader is actually going to the same exact mission as her, and I had a few Elders leave this morning for the Brazil MTC because they got their visas, so I told all of them to give her a nice firm handshake for me when they see her! Haha!

Well, I wish I had more time to write, but I've got to go! I love all the mail you all have sent me! I pray every night for as many names as I can remember from home! Since being out on a mission, prayer has taken on a whole new light for me. They have become longer, more meaningful, more thoughtful, more selfless, and I can sometimes pray for an hour straight just thanking God for all of the wonderful blessings He has given me; My family, my friends, my mission, my companions, my health, tender mercies, EVERYTHING! I love it!

Well, tomorrow is my MTC hump day! Wish me luck! I love you all!

Elder Rash

Elder Rash and Elder Hofeling (Best Friends)

Elder Woods - The missionary Elder Rash described doing dance moves with.
Elder Hofeling and Elder Rash

Elder Rash with his MTC District

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