May 30, 2012
Ahhh!!! I can't believe it's almost June!!! Less than 3 weeks till I leave for Hungary and almost 3 weeks till I turn 20! Can you believe this?!?! I can't, but at the same time I'm just super excited to get in the field. The MTC is a great place, but being here for 12 weeks is crazy!! Seeing all of my best friends leave for the respectful missions, Matthew to Washington D.C and Adam to Sao Paulo (Technically he is still in the MTC, but he is in a different country so I'm going to say that counts :P), just makes me want to get out of the MTC more. I just can't wait to be in Hungary! (Sung to the tune of Lion King).
Our District starts "Consecration Week" next Wednesday, where we give up a few things for a week, including our native language. So for a week, I can only speak Hungarian.....yeeeaaaaahhhh, It's going to be one of the most difficult things I will have ever done....at least so far. Ha ha, but it's going to be tough and it's a good preparation before we leave for Hungary. Our best friends, "The Finns", just left on Monday. It was only two of them and we hung out with them all the time whenever we had free time (Which is rare here). Their names were Elder Oberhansley and Elder Kääriä (He's from Sweden). They were such awesome Elders and it was a bittersweet moment to watch them leave. I almost got teary eyed for some reason. We only knew them for 9 weeks, but yet it was like we knew each other forever (9 weeks here is like 9 months). But the one good thing about them leaving was that they were able to finally get in the field and it would soon be our turn. All of us are just waiting for the day when we get on that bus and head for the Salt Lake City airport. I think it's like a 23 hour flight including the layover to Hungary. That's what it said on our "Usik" (Older Hungarians) flight plans. We get our flight plans next week sometime. It will have the departure times and arrivals. When I get them I'll let you know so that you can know when I will probably be calling you from the airports. And let Jordan know also, so that if she wants to come over to the house that she may be able to chat for a little bit before my times up. :)
Last night, we had a devotional from W Craig Zwick of the Quorum of the 70 and he gave his talk on the power of the Book of Mormon. He said that there was a day while he was on his mission in Bolivia that he had to go to the hospital and have surgery. He didn't tell us what he had surgery on because it wasn't important to the story. Anyways, he and his companions brought 20 Book of Mormons with them to the hospital and Elder Zwick, while he was in the hospital bed, wrote in Spanish a small and simple testimony and put a picture of his family in each Book of Mormon. They were able to give away all of the Book of Mormons by the time they left the hospital. 20ish years later, he was called to go back to Bolivia by M. Russel Ballard to do something. He went back and gave a talk to the stakes there about something, I can't remember what, it wasn't to important. After his talk was over, a man came up to him and said "you look familiar" and said he had something to show him. When the man came back, he had a Book of Mormon in his hand. He gave it to Elder Zwick and told him to open the first page. In it was a picture of his family and the small testimony he wrote. The man said that he got it from a man who was giving the book away and took it home and put it on his shelf. During the course of several weeks, his family was getting ready to move and he tried to throw away the Book of Mormon because it didn't look interesting, but his little son said every time "dad, don't throw that book away, you haven’t read it yet." After they had moved, the man decided to take the book of the shelf and see what the book was like. He saw on the first page a picture of missionary and his family and the short testimony on the front page. He said "that was what made me interested in reading the Book of Mormon." He read the whole book in 6 days and found the missionaries and took the discussions and he and his family joined the church 2-3 weeks later. The Book of Mormon is the most powerful book on this earth. It is our greatest tools as missionaries and is what really converts ones heart to the church. If they don't have a testimony in the Book of Mormon, they are not truly converted. We have been challenged to read the Book of Mormon before we leave the MTC and take Moroni's challenge. I challenge everyone back at home, to read the Book of Mormon from cover-to-cover. Finish it by the end of the year starting now. We have been told that "the more times we read the Book of Mormon, the stronger our testimonies grow and the stronger our power grows." With that statement, why wouldn't you read it?
So, some quick comments on the things going on at home. I had the biggest grin when I saw the Blaser picture with Ryan and his sisters. I just thought "Wow, 2 years flew by. I can't believe he's home." I also noticed that he hadn't shaved and kind of chuckled because all of us here have said "You know, when I get home, I'm not going to shave for the first couple of days" since we have to shave every day here. Elder Beck has been in our ward for almost 6 months now right? He's gone through, what, 4-5 transfers in Citrus Heights? That's a long time. Hopefully he's still having a grand old time like the first few months he had when I was there. Thank you for the pictures! I loved them! I really loved the picture with Jordan in the front of the Rexburg Temple. She sent me some pictures a couple weeks ago and there were some of her in front of the Oakland temple. She looks so pretty in front of temples. :)
I can't say much more. I've already gone overboard on my time. Thank you so much for the emails! And thank you Sister Marshall for the package you sent me! Thank you everyone! Love you all!
From the MTC,