HI MOM, FAMILY and FRIENDS!!
Alright, to accomplish some housekeeping... Mom, I really do not think I need another pair of shoes because I have my brown boots and then my black super comfy shoes...not dad's. Dad's will probably have to be thrown out soon unless someone can do some resoling. I do need some waterproof ones, I guess, so I request the CTR Clothing Hush puppies (waterproof). Elder Stewart has some and they are super comfortable. I also have been getting your ooey gooey butter cake and other sweets. Thank you so much and I am sorry for not responding to them. Learning another language is tough.
Throughout my time at the MTC I have been really trying to study how I can prepare myself to everyday be fully in tune with the Holy Ghost. As I have studied I have learned so much. Every night I pray that my heart can be ready for inspiration from the spirit and that I can be the Lord's vessel in carrying out his work through service. It is interesting to see how sensitive the Spirit is. When our classroom gets the slightest bit rowdy or loud I can feel the Spirit's power lessen. It isn't that it completely leaves but I can sense how hard it is to bring it back. As a missionary I need to always have the spirit in order to teach, and the spirit does the converting. I just do the teaching and the inviting.
This past Sunday the Lord has blessed me with a wonderful service opportunity! Elder Baird and I are now the new ZONE LEADERS of our very large Zone. 80 elders and sisters. I can't wait to work with President Hodges, our Branch President. He gets the job done and has the grandfather touch. You've got to have the grandfather touch. Someday I want to have it. It is really fun to check up on all the missionaries every night to see how their day has gone. We have a really great Zone and the district leaders are all on top of things which makes my job easy. Everyone is so happy to be here and has a burning fire to serve! Missionary work is so much fun! You will see in the pictures that I sent this week. :)
|Ready for travel|
|The District, Outsiders style|
|Elder Baird frolicking to the temple|
We have 38 sisters and 42 Elders in our Zone and I can already feel the difficulty of keeping track of all them. Be that as it may...i need to stop using that phrase....I am so grateful that Elder Baird and I can be shepherds and keep track of our fold. In our leadership training meeting they talked about how to be the best leader -- it is all about following the example of Christ and his fold. He is the ultimate example and I love serving him.
The MTC is growing so fast and the sisters are closing in on 50% of the population of the MTC. Right now it is 44% sisters. It is so great to see them heed President Monson's call to serve. :) The devotionals require 2 separate overflows! It is such a blessing. By the way, I am not sure if the MTC records all of the devotional talks but if they do, look up Greg Doubay's talk on the advertising of the church. The Lord is hastening his work through technology and the results are astounding. It is so cool to see the massive increases of the word "mormon" searched on Google. So sweet! Eric should check it out. It is all about how the Church advertises.
Alright, so I have some more news for the world. The word on the street is that my visa is not coming to the Provo area anytime soon. It is honestly luck of the draw. Elder Christensen in my district who left for the Sao Paulo MTC sent in his visa papers a week after me and the guys who have turned in their visa paperwork in November (before me) got their re-assignments and still have no idea on the status of their visas. The way I imagine it is that all those papers are piled up in some Brazilian consulate and they pick up one paper each week and just work on it no matter when they were received. Supposedly Brazil does not have the same fast paced culture as we do...they work on it when they get to it and that is just how it is. Oh well. I will go where I am called and I am excited to get out in the field and teach people of the happiness of the gospel.
Send me some DEARELDERS with your guesses on where I will serve and whoever wins gets some sort of prize. I have yet to decide. I cannot wait to see the investigators' faces when it just clicks. The good news of the gospel is an echo of testimonies that they heard before they came to this earth. I love how the gospel sounds so familiar in everyone's life even if they are not members. They all came down here so they can return to live with their Heavenly Father and we all need to realize that it is possible, through the Spirit, to touch anyone's heart. :)
Thank you all so much for your prayers! I can feel them everyday. I know our Heavenly Father will bless you because of the appreciation for missionary work that you all have.
I love all of you. Stay sweet and peace out.