I am 15 days into my MTC experience. I also have 5 1/2 days left here! WOOT!!
Starting Monday morning, my little district will start abandoning me… I mean leaving for their missions. Elder Lee was the last to leave. I walked him and his bags to the Travel Office here at 3AM. I look forward to seeing him again and know that he will do an excellent work in Toronto.
I am in a new branch now. I moved across campus and up four floors with all the other German missionaries. I will be taking German classes now and learning the language finally! My new companion is Elder Nelson from Corvalis, Oregon. We have only been companions for a few hours now, so I don’t know him all too much yet. But since I am in a new district and branch now, my Prep-Day is different.
Hmmmmm…. so what has been happening…? To the outside world, something amazing happens here every day. But I am so used to seeing and hearing new things that make me think differently; I stopped taking notes on everything because I remember everything I learn. It gets filed away and I know it’s still there because it is a part of me now.
Last night Elder Lee and I walked over to the Marriotr Center on the BYU campus for the MTC Devotional. We never know who is speaking until the walk up to the stand to take their seat. This time is was Elder Neal L Andersen of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. He walked into the auditorium when we were singing some prelude hymns and everyone stood up. I stood up too and had no idea why we were standing. Then I looked WAAAAYYYYY down at the floor and saw a little figure that kind of looked like Elder Andersen… And it was!
Here was the punchline of his talk: “We sacrifice for the things we love and love the things for which we sacrifice.” We love things, like friends and family, and we make sacrifices for them because we care them and want their happiness. But we also love the things we sacrifice. We may not intially LOVE saying a certain word less or spending more time with the scriptures, but we eventually seeing the silver lining and learn to love the things for which we sacrifice.
After the closing prayer, the MTC President came to stand and told us that it was raining very hard outside and that there was thunder and lightning. We were being kept in there for a little longer until it all subsided. We sang a few hymns and Elder Andersen went around and shook a few hands. After the lighting had passed, they told us to go back and try not to get too wet. So… there we all were… some 5,000+ missionaries hurrying back to the MTC in the pooring-down rain. It was fun! What an expereince though… listening to an Apostle of the Lord and then running home in the rain with all these missionaries. Not once did I hear people complaining. They, we, all had a fun time that night. My branch came together afterwards and we all talked about the devotional; it was a really great conversation about love being the central message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and, literally, the foundation of our work as missionaries.
I just have to say that I have so many small experiences here at the MTC. So many of them are just too sacred to share . These experiences are for me and know else could truly understand them. God’s hand is in my life and has been from the start. God’s hand has been in other’s lives, including Elders Lee, Ojeda, and Lucerna. We all arrived together in the MTC and by some miracle were put in the same district. I should not have been placed in that district or even arrived when I should have. All the other German Missionaries being fast-tracked, like me, came last week. I’m not sure who punched what buttons accidentally, but I am eternally thankful for these new friends in the Gospel.
I leave the MTC here in Utah at 5:30 AM on Tuesday the third. I will land in Amsterdam at about 6/6:30 for 4 1/2 hour layover. I have my pass along cards ready! Then I fly to Berlin, where I will land at 11:20AM on the fourth and my mission president, President Kosak, will pick all of us up. We’ll head to the Mission Home, I think, and do stuff…. I just need to try to stay awake that day!!
My next Prep-Day will be in Germany. So I will send an email then.
Ich liebe euch viel!