Well it has been a long first week at the MTC! I can't believe that on Wednesday I will be considered one of the older missionaries! We have a bunch of missionaries in our district coming in on Wednesday that are going to the DC South mission so I think that is Grandma and Grandpa Romney's mission! As zone leader, me and Elder Provstgaard have to do the new missionary orientation on Wednesday night along with a tour of the campus. I would attach pictures but the computer here won't let me!
On Wednesday me and Aunt Rochelle met up with (my cousin) Colton in Provo and went out to lunch before they dropped me off at the MTC. From there it was unpacking and meeting the zone and eating and just normal crazy first day at the MTC!
On Thursday we met Brother Cowdin, who is one of my teachers and role plays as Jaden, an investigator who went to church with his friend Brett. Turns out, he served in the Lubbock mission and knows Elder DeYoung and all the other missionaries from that time! He also served in the Shadowhills Ward in Lubbock! We had class that evening before we met our branch presidency. We have an awesome branch! As it turns out, my branch president, President Nielson, had a son who served in Houston in the late 90's! That was the last day I had to wear a suit to class because it is warming up here and we can wear short sleeve shorts everyday except for Sunday meetings and Tuesday devotionals.
Friday Elder Provstgaard and I had our first visit with Jaden and boy was it rough! We were not together on what we were talking about and ended up making Jaden frustrated. Although every one else had a good lesson with their investigators, I am grateful that we had a rough first lesson because it taught me what I needed to focus on as a missionary. We also started talking about the fundamentals of the gospel and learning more about the doctrine of Christ, prayer, and how to start teaching.
Saturday was a do-over in sorts for me and Elder Pro (his name gets too long to type!). We went into the second visit with the mindset that we were out in Oregon. We ended up talking about prayer for the entire twenty minutes but Jaden was more open than before! We also received our assignment for our TRC (basically our real investigator). His name is Chad and he is an atheist but loves to study other religions so this will be interesting!
Sunday was really good! I was starting to feel a tad burnt out (just from being stuck in the same room for hours at a time) so it was good to get away from the classroom and focus on the Sabbath! I attended my first branch council and it was awesome feeling the Spirit there. We had priesthood in the morning and we talked about the ordinance of baptism and how to perform it. During Sacrament, we had talks about baptismal covenants and such! We had some personal study time before going to the temple for our Sunday Walk. I had to wear my suit because I was going to the new zone leader training meeting shortly after and I was BURNING UP!!! Luckily we were only there for about 30 minutes before me and Elder Pro headed back to campus to eat and go to our meeting. During our Sunday devotional, Brother Allen, the Area 70 for the Salt Lake/Utah area talked about serving missions. He asked how many elders have been Dear John'd and there were about 5! Ouch! He spoke a lot about loving our companions and being worthy :)
Today we were supposed to go to the temple but it's closed.
I just want to share a few things before signing off and doing laundry. I was reading Moroni's challenge in Moroni 10:3-5 and I realized for the first time what it actually was saying! I thought that Moroni was telling the reader to pray to know if the Church and the Book of Mormon was true. I realized that he is almost daring us to pray asking if it is NOT true! Wish I could be as gutsy as Moroni!
Another thing was from a talk that President Uchtdorf gave to the missionaries back in April. He talked about an elder that was a convert who decided to make his mission count. He would look himself in the mirror every day and tell himself "I fear no man!" This elder also told his companion (who I am presuming shared this story with President Uchtdorf) about 3 Nephi 5:13 and it is my new favorite. It reads
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.
As a missionary, I have no need to fear what men can do to me. I am on the Lord's errand and I have been blessed to be able to be here. I am here because of the love and support I have received over the years. Yesterday the only thought that kept running through my head as I became zone leader was "Step up brother!" and that is now my new motto of sorts for my mission! I hope and pray that I can be the missionary that can honorable bear the Lords name not only on my chest for two years but for the rest of eternity. I love this Gospel. I bear witness that this church is true and that
my Savior and Redeemer lives!!
With all my love,
P.S. I fly out on Wednesday June 4th! Crazy!!