Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Come Fly With Me

Monday, June 24th, 2013

This is going to be short since I need to be in the travel office in 5 minutes but I just want to say that its been another great and crazy week here at the MTC.

The week was filled with lots of prep for leaving, including dry cleaning, departure devotionals, language assessments and saying goodbye to our teachers.

There has been a stomach bug going around the MTC this week and thankfully I have not gotten it.  If you are sick 24 hours before you are to fly they postpone your departure.

Thursday we had an infield orientation which focused on how we can be better missionaries.  It focused on how important members are to missionary work.  Again on Friday and Saturday we learned about members and then on Sunday with the broadcast, "Hastening the Work" it was stressed again.  I never thought of that before I got here but now I can see how much help members can be and how they can improve missionaries efficiency.

On Friday we had a special service assignment to set up for the New Mission President Seminar.  There are 173 new mission presidents here for the week so they have taken over the cafeteria.  They got all nice round tables with table clothes and fresh flowers.  We got sent to the gym where we eat our meals and even had our departure devotional there.

On Sunday the broadcast was awesome.  The choir of 1400 sounded pretty good and to see all the work that went into making the broadcast happen was amazing. It was great to see how real all the Quorum of the Twelve are!

I started packing on Saturday and finished just a few minutes ago.  I never knew it would be so hard to get everything into two suitcases that weighed 50 lbs. or less.

I'm excited to get to France and start real missionary work.  Much love to all of you and thanks for letters, packages and support.  It means sooooo much!!!

In the center of Paris in front of the St. Merri Chapel
Paris Airport - Just Arrived

Monday, June 17, 2013

High Five...It's week 5!

Another week has come and gone.  They go so fast!  Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.  Most of all Happy Father's Day to my dad.  I love you and look up to you!

This week had a lot of first for the MTC with more firsts to come.  Tuesday was the first devotional ever to be held at the Marriott Center.  We all made the journey to the outside world and it was quite exhilaration...took almost 15 minutes.

The choir is now over 1200 missionaries sings at devotionals and will be singing two songs on Sunday the 23rd at a devotional called "Hastening the Work of Salvation".  It will be an awesome way to say goodbye to the MTC.  In our short 6 week stay here we have heard from many apostles and on the 23rd, several of the twelve apostles and the prophet.

On Wednesday we got to host as a district and we will get to do it again this coming Wednesday.  There were over 800 new missionaries entering the MTC and the summer wave hasn't even begun!

Also, on Wednesday Elder Rigsby and I had an awesome lesson with Raphael.  It couldn't have gone better.  He even had us teach and share it with the class and he accepted a baptismal date!!!!

On Thursday we taught a member who actually lives in France and is here for work for a year.  They speak so fast but I could understand a fair amount.

On Friday we taught Delphine and it went well.  She wants to come to a baptism to see what it is like.  So what do you know...we had a baptism on Saturday for Eliza.  Hopefully in our lesson tomorrow we can commit her to baptism.

Each week the devotionals are amazing and the spirit is always so strong.  This is what we learned on Tuesday from Mervyn B. Arnold of the Seventy:
"Serve with no regrets and know that one day you will have to give an accounting of your stewardship from your mission."  He gave 5 points for a successful mission.
1.  Understand who you are - Remember you have a divine nature and destiny and that He has an abundant love for all of us.
2.  Each one of us has been given specific gifts and talents.  See the best in everything and everyone and recognize how we are all blessed.
3.  Understand the sacredness of your call and what you covenanted to do when you accepted it.  Devote all your time and talents to service.
4.  Understand and observe the Law of Obedience
5.  Understand your purpose - invite and help others to come unto Christ!
It was an awesome devotional and than on Sunday Steven B. Allan spoke to us again.  He had us watch a series of clips from commercials by the Church called, "The Homefront Series".  Here are a few quotes I really liked:
"It's often life's smallast moments that bring the greatest memories - don't let them pass you by!"
"It's not who you aren't but who your are"
"The people in your heart can't hear it, so let them know it every day." and
"Whatever you do in life, just do your best, and finish every race you start."

This week we have our in-field training, special service on Friday, departing missionary devotional and the Worldwide Broadcast!  A week from now i"ll be at the airport heading to France.  Always remember how much the Lord loves you and with him nothing is impossible!
Elder Lambert and me!
My District with the French Flag
Jumping with the French Flag!
I look like I'm in a potato sack race!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pictures from Week 3 and Week 4

A great missionary quote!
Fast Sunday!
The Provo temple with the roses in bloom...beautiful!
 Pondering my mission!
My Shoes all shined and ready to go for another week!
A Sunday Portrait by the Provo Temple

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 4 - The Fun Continues

This week marks week four and by the end of the week I will have been gone a month!  Crazy...doesn't seem like it's been that long.  This week was a lot like the last few but I'll try to share a few things that were different.

Tuesday we taught Delphine again.  The lesson went great!  We were hoping to talk about the restoration more but she said she believes all of that and had read through 2nd Nephi already.  So we changed our plans a little and talked about faith and repentance.  We were really happy how it turned out.  That morning during personal study I decided to read over some talks and came upon a talk by Elder Tad Callister of the Seventy.  I loved it!  And than that night guess who our speaker was?  Elder Tad Callister and his wife!  He talked about many churches have truth but aren't fully following the blue print of Christ as he laid out in the New Testament.  There is only one church on the earth today who follows all those guidelines perfectly.  It is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  He only used the bible to show how perfectly the church is organized.  It's just as Christ's church was.

Wednesday we taught Raphael again and it went good.  The new missionaries arrived, including Landon, but I didn't get a chance to talk to him until Saturday.  He said he's doing great!  Next Wednesday we get to host!  That means we get to take the "newbies" away from their families and show them around.  Should be lots of fun!

Thursday we had Teaching Resource Center where we teach members.  That's always fun!  A week from Thursday we have field orientation.  This we where we teach non members...scary....on and yes in FRENCH!  Our district will be singing.  The sisters got the music and we started rehearsing the EFY Medley, As Sisters in Zion and We'll Bring the World His Truth.  Later we taught Delphine who said that if we'd asked she would have accepted baptism.  That will be tomorrow's lesson for sure!

Saturday actually feels like a Saturday.  We get to sleep in for an extra 30 minutes.  That means we get up at 6:30 a.m.  We grab a donut, do service and than lunch.  That evening Sister Worsham decided to do a lesson that invovled role playing.  She randomly called people up to play the parts of investigators or teachers.  The spirit was so strong.  It was awesome!

On Sunday we had 10 missionaries leaving and 10 missionaries coming.  We got new zone leaders and our Branch Presidency is really cool.  Our devotional was Brother Heaton and it was good.  We watched the movie, "Jospeh Smith" in French.  Wow!  The French talk fast.  We were looking at each other like, "what is happening".  We were able to pick up some words and phrases.  All in all the French is coming.  It's hard to learn when you can so easily go back to English.

This morning we went to the Provo Temple and did sealings.  It was as awesome experience.  We got to sealed as children to parents and be witnesses.  I'm so grateful for eternal families.  Thanks for all your love and support.  Two weeks from today I leave for Paris.  I couldn't be happier to be than right where I am.

PS  On June 23rd at 4pm on the mormonchannel.org the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 will have a worldwide broadcast.  Watch for me in the choir of over 1400 missionaries.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 3, 2013

Hello from the MTC...I hope everyone had a great memorial day!  I have almost been here for 3 weeks.  A lot of what goes on is the same but I'll try to tell you some exciting things that happened.

We have 2 new investigators, which are our two teachers, Raphael and Delphine.  Delphine is a gypsy and Raphael is a devote catholic.  Needless to say we have some hurdles to get over.

On Tuesday night Elder and Sister Zwick from the seventy came to our devotional.  They talked about the fundamentals used to build a temple.  Elder Zwick is the lead contractor for the Portland, Oregon temple so he knew what he was talking about.  The 6 steps are as follows:

1. Start with the end in mind...a blueprint.
2. Have a strong desire and commitment.
3. Be willing and have the discipline to work hard...don't be discouraged because Heavenly Father is always        patient with out efforts.
4. Prepare for challenges - they will come.
5. Structural integrity and physical integrity are important.
6. Total dedication to the Lord in all you do.

It was an awesome talk and I got to be in the choir so I sat up close.

Wednesday we had Elder Vinson from the Seventy observe our class.  The night before he came we did some cleaning, set up pictures and made everything spiffy.  It was pretty funny, but we passed.  We got over 700 new sisters and elders this week.

Thursday we taught two lessons to French speaking members.  It was amazing to see how we could actually speak French and their feedback was encouraging.  You could really feel the spirit.

Friday was another good day and on Saturday we had a substitute, Sister Judd, who served in Paris and just got home 5 months ago.  She told us that having a native mission president has really helped the work to explode.  She told us to cast aside all stereotypes of the French and you will have success and the best mission you could possibly imagine.

Sunday was fast Sunday.  We had a 25 hour fast.  That was a first for me.  I was called to be a District Leader in the meeting.  A shock but exciting.  The rest of the day was District council, District meeting and a bi-weekly leadership training.  Ted Gibbons was our speaker at our devotional last night. He told the story of Joseph Smith through Willard Richards testimony and journal.  It was amazing to hear about the inspiration Joseph received.  At the end we sang "Praise to the Man".  The spirit was so strong!  Be sure to read D&C 135:3 and reflect on how your life has been affected because of Joseph Smith.  This one man changed millions or lives and gave his own life so we could have the gospel and the ability to have eternal life.  Pretty amazing what one person can do!

I am so thankful to be here, learning more about the gospel and strengthening my testimony.  I can hardly wait to share this joy with the people of France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Thanks for all your letters and support.  You're the BEST!