Thursday, February 28, 2013

Life At The MTC ...

I arrived at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah just a week ago but it feels like so much longer. This might sound like a bad thing at first, but allow me to explain.

First, all new missionaries are divided into groups, called districts (makes me think of Hunger Games every time I mention it). It feels like I've known my district for years. We get along so well and really bring out the best in one another. We attend class to learn more about the gospel and spend quite a bit of time together. Three hour classes fly by because we are all so involved. I've learned just as much from my fellow district missionaries as I have from my teachers. Well now that I mention it, our teachers are pretty incredible. They are so passionate about the gospel and ask just the right questions so that class is more like a guided study than a lecture.

Second, my companion and I are great friends already. Her name is Sister Haas (also from Northern California) and we get along like biscuits and gravy. We are different in so many ways but get along incredibly well. She is great. We have spiritual, hilarious, open, honest conversations that come so easily. I really enjoy her company and love how hard working she is. We have plenty of fun too though. As a district we've grown so much spiritually in class, but during meal times we will all sit at the same table and just laugh the whole time. Just the other day we were playing 'would you rather'. For example, would you rather have honey ooze out of your hands whenever you touched something (think about shaking someone's hand) or have snail goo come out of your feet, leaving snail trail footprints where ever you went. I think we've achieved a really good balance here between work and play.

Third reason why it feels like we've been here for at least a month: we've learned so much! This place is incredible. I shared in a few letters that the information feels new but familiar at the same time. It's the coolest feeling. My favorite topic to study this week was prayer. Prayer is a two-way conversation between Father and Child. I've known how important it is to pray but have learned how crucial it is to also listen. Try it out sometime.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Allow me to Preface...

     On the 18th of December 2013, I received an abnormally large, white envelope in the mail. It was obviously not a Christmas card or random note from a friend. This was something special. This was something that I had been anticipating and one that I waited weeks for. This strategically folded piece of paper contained the letter that would tell me where I was going to spend the next 18 months of my life. 
     As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have the opportunity to volunteer my time in the form of serving a mission. To me, a mission means that someone gets the opportunity to forget about themselves for a time while they focus solely on serving others. Today, there are almost 60,000 members of the church who have made the commitment to make someone else's life better and that number increases steadily every day. Think of what a difference all those people are making in the world.
     Upon receiving my call to serve in the Denver Colorado North Mission, I, like so many others, agreed to leave my family and friends for a little while to serve my Heavenly Father through sharing the happiness that comes from knowing the truth of His restored gospel. I am so grateful for all of the incredible opportunities I've been given in my life, but this is one that, although I am tremendously appreciative of, isn't about me. I look forward to meeting the people in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska and ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers. They are what this is all about.

Thanks for your support. Hasta luego Grass Valley, hello Rockies! The next big adventure begins February 17th.