How are you all doing? Hope you guys are doing well. . It has been a fantastic week and it seems like it was yesterday that I had just written you. Days are weeks and weeks are days. Never understood that phrase until I became a missionary and it is so true.
Monday we had our P day and then later in the night we taught our investigator "Jose". He is progressing very well
After class we sang God be with you till we meet again with the elders who would be leaving for Guatemala and then we said most of our goodbyes. Our district only has 7 now and then the other district that came in the same day as us only has 6 now. There are only 3 in our two districts that are not going to Antofagasta, they are going to Costa Rica, but the rest of the 10 of us between the two districts are going to Antofagasta. I love the elders that are coming to our mission and I can't wait to serve by their sides (if I ever get to).
Tuesday night we had a fireside with Lyn G. Robins of the Seventy and he talked about how to better recognize the spirit and to receive more revelation as a missionary. It was a great talk.
Wednesday we taught in the TRC. It's great to teach in the TRC because we teach members and it is not as stressful. It is great to just be able to talk with them about gospel principles and then ask questions and look for ways on how the principle we are teaching can bring them closer unto the Savior. I saw Mrs. Jolley's (choir teacher) son at the TRC. He was just volunteering and he actually is heading back out on his mission because he had to come home to get a surgery done but is heading back out. It was good to talk to him and receive some encouragement.
On Thursday we taught Jose again and focused on the word of wisdom and why it’s important. It was great and it is an amazing experience to teach with the spirit. It’s so cool when you are teaching someone and then your companion says the exact words that were going to come out of your mouth. You know that you have the spirit when things like that happen. It was a great experience.
That night we talked with a Chilean from Santiago who is going to serve in SLC. It was great to talk to him and get more information about Chile. He loves his country and it was getting us all excited to hear more about the new home we are going to have. I cannot wait to get there.
On Friday we practiced door approaches with a substitute teacher. It was great practice and the elders in my room have taken it to heart and we try to practice door approaches and street contacting daily. It was great. I also got a package from Ashley for my birthday so that was nice.
The companionship between Elder Van Pelt and I strengthens every day. What really grew this past week was our companionship study. Every minute of time is precious in the MTC and it is easy to become distracted and not focused but we must put in our full effort and more when we are on the Lord's errand.
Saturday we taught Jose again and set his baptismal date. It was great. We had weekly planning and during that we usually create new companionship and personal goals. I love planning because it is somewhere that I can measure my progress and look for areas where I need to grow. It is a time to analyze the work we have put in and determine what we could have done better and then set new goals for the next week. Planning is what brings success as a missionary. Without a plan we can literally plan to fail.
All of the mission presidents got here on Saturday so that has made things really busy. It is awesome though because there have been so many general authorities here. Elder Packard's (who is going to our mission but in the other district) parents are here and they are going to be the mission presidents in Boston. I told them to look out for Elder Drew Bloomfield and Elder Brian Collins. They were really nice and great people. I also saw the Deere’s so that was good to see them. I saw Megan Jackson’s parents but they didn't see me. Hopefully I will see all these people again so I can get pictures with them. Saturday night while the missionaries got to meet their new presidents we got to watch "The other side of Heaven" it was awesome! It was really fun to watch the movie and to see what hard work and dedication to the Lord can bring.
Sunday was probably one of the best day's I've had since being a missionary. It was powerful. Sunday morning the district leaders got released and then they called new ones. Elder Dixon took over and he will do a great job. Sunday morning we had some final meetings and then I trained him on how to do his service. We had a combined priesthood meeting with the whole MTC and a branch president spoke. He did a wonderful job and talked about the importance of coming unto the savior and what we can change and do to better represent him. Later we had our Sacrament meeting which was also combined. It was pretty large and they had like 24 elders passing the sacrament.
Later we had our temple walk and then everyone started to get in line for the fireside because everyone was thinking we were going to have a general authority speak to us. There have been many general authorities here and it is cool, you can literally feel their presence it is hard to describe. Here are some that have been here in the last few days: President Monson, Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, Elder Oaks, Elder Perry, Elder Ballard, Elder Christofferson and I believe a few more. While waiting for the fireside I was saw Elder Peachey and talked to him for a while. That was great and then we went to the fireside. One of the District Presidents and his wife spoke about revelation. It was great. Try to find a Mormon message that James E. Faust did with talking about the voices we can listen to but we need to listen to the spirit. It was amazing. After that we watched a talk that Elder Bednar gave to the missionaries in the MTC on Christmas this last year (2011). I remember Elder Chris Nielson talking about it in his letters. Wow it was unbelievable. The spirit was so strong. He talked about the Character of Christ and how we are to become truly converted. Do whatever you can to find this talk and study it. Look it up on YouTube, Google it, whatever you need to do to find it and study that talk and apply its teachings. If we are converted we will never fall away from the church. We may know the church is true but are we true to the church? It was amazing and it has helped me to analyze my life and what I need to do to be a better representative of Jesus Christ. I must study his life so I can better represent him. My actions must be the way he would act, my thoughts must be what he would think and my desires have to be what he would. I have such a long way to go but we have a lifetime to accomplish the task. Line upon line, day upon day and precept upon precept. Day by Day and with the Lord's help every step of the way we can become what he wants us to become. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ because it makes every part of this plan possible. Without it we would fail.
I love you all so much! I hope you are doing well. Has there been a fire in Utah it’s been pretty smoky? Also we have had to speak Spanish 24/7 because I and a few other elders lost a wager that the thunder would win the series so we have to speak Spanish for the whole week! Its great practice though. Be converted to Christ and press forward with steadfastness in him! Have a great week!