Saturday, August 23, 2014

Trial Raisins, a Field Trip, and What I Do Every Day


This week was fantastic.

Wednesday we had another little language gaff in a lesson. Again, Elder Lofgreen was a bit nervous as we went into the lesson. We did great (nothing out of the ordinary there... *dusts of shoulder* ;) ), despite it. Our investigator was wondering about why the path back to God was so long. My companion tried to respond that, "There are many steps in life because each one makes the [journey] much more worthwhile", but mixed up the word pasos (steps) for the word pasas (raisins). I'll let you do the substitution. Personally, I still think it works. Raisins are just as nasty as a trial, in my book. Especially when they take refuge in a cookie, posing as little innocent chocolate chips. If ever I had trust issues, I blame raisin cookies. 

We went up to the Mexican Consulate on Thursday to get our visas, which was way cool.

One thing that really stuck out to me is just how many people watched us, wherever we went. I've been up to SLC many many times, but never have I ever felt so exposed and noticed as I did this time. The missionaries really are watched, by everyone. And they all have certain expectations. I talked with a woman for about forty minutes on our way up in the Frontrunner, and it was very interesting. She was currently semi-active, with a life I wasn't jealous of. She had a lot of burdens she was struggling with. I enjoyed talking with her and getting to know her. She seemed very grateful for someone who would listen. She avoided some of the other missionaries in our little group (not in our zone) because they went straight into lecture mode with her (you need to do this and this and this, or you can't be saved sort of thing), and I wanted to try and repair any damage that was done. It went well, and she left looking much happier than she did coming in, so I think my companion and I did our job. :) 

I've had several requests for the regular MTC schedule, so I will talk about that for a sec:
6:30- Wake up/get ready (Elder Lofgreen is quick at this, so I always have to dash to be ready at the same time. :) )
7:00- Breakfast (have met Jessica Cannon many times, because apparently she works here)
7:30- CLASS (personal study, then companion study, then language study)
10:30- Gym (We've [my district and I] have played volleyball every day so we pretty much dominate everything there)
11:40- Lunch (we always get a sack lunch and eat at the apartment)
12:45- Class again (This time with a teacher. We study everything from the doctrine to language, and often both)
4:30- Dinner (always welcomed with open arms and empty stomachs)
5:15- Back to class... (With a teacher. Basically the same thing as the afternoon class)
9:15- Devotional (We've had some phenomenal ones. These are just with our district or zone)
9:30- Home for the night (Hallelujah!! :D )
10:30- Lights out and asleep (Unless your companion is also a huge Sherlock fan and you just HAPPEN to spend another half hour commiserating with him... But that never happens.)

This is pretty much every day but P days. Sundays and Tuesdays we have devotionals in the evening that are really cool. We get speakers from all over the place. From one of the MTC presidency, to Jenny Oaks Baker, all the way to Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson (the General Young Women's President).

Sister Oscarson was our most recent devotional, and she did brilliantly. For her talk she talked to all of her family members that had served missions (or were currently serving) and then based her talk on the most poignant and frequently mentioned bits of advice. There was one thing that she said, however, that really got my attention and got me thinking. "Don't let an eternal memory be a regret." 

As I thought about it it not only made perfect sense, but inspired me to try harder to be and do better. Everything we ever do, think, or say is eternally recorded, and though we can't think of everything now, we will have both the time and the capacity in the eternities to recall everything. If this is the case, would we want to have anything else than the best of memories possible? If I'm going to spend the rest of forever living with myself, what I've done, and who I've been, I want to be happy and satisfied with it. I want to be able to look back with pride (though often flinching as I stare back into my teenage years). Though her advice was given in the context of the two year mission I am currently serving, my mind catapulted it into the stars. 'Cause that's where I'm headed. Where I'm trying to help as many of those in Mexico who will allow me to go. And I better see all of you there!! After all, that's why I'm so excited for it. An eternity with those who I love most my favorite aspect of this Gospel. 

That's all I have time for right now. I love you all very much! You're in my thoughts and prayers.


Elder Kennington

Elder Lofgreen and Elder Kennington in their room. The editor thinks the desk right there is Owen's.

A panorama shot of their ... classroom? Editor's Note: Since they are living in the former Raintree Apartments I can tell you this is where the living room, dining area (what is visible) and kitchen are (where the pic is being taken from). You can see the door to the apartment there.

Elder Lofgreen ala duck face.

Elder Demars. 

Our intrepid missionary. He said the sleeping pictures were both taken on the same morning. Evidently everyone was pretty tired.

Elder Goff welcomes a new district.

The first district in his zone. There are now six districts.

Elder Kennington, Elder Lofgreen, Elder Gale, Elder Fjerstad, Elder Nielsen, Elder Larsen. "These guys are about half of my district! They are all fantastic. Prolly my favorite people here at the MTC."

Elder Gale and Elder Kennington pointing to their missions on the main MTC campus world map

"Elder Lofgreen is beautiful when he sleeps. Elder Kitchen certainly thinks so. Kitchen is the guy on the left. We are currently on the train up to SLC to get our visas."

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