Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hola de el CCM

Wow. Time keeps on flying. Just one week left at the MTC. I must admit that I am very excited to hit the mission field. It's going to be much, much more difficult than the MTC, but I am completely content with that. Not that I will miss the 10 hours of in-class time a day, but I look forward to being up, doing, and practicing what I've been learning when it counts. 

I must say that there are some easy things that I will miss about the MTC, however. Every Saturday morning we have to do service (which is cleaning the classrooms on West Campus. The classrooms are old dorms, so our classroom is exactly the same as our apartment, sans beds. Literally). We have seven zones, so each zone just has their service day on their P Day. 

Today we had two zones show up for service, including ours, so cleaning jobs were a bit scarce. Some people got assigned to wipe down doorknobs. Some others got to sweep entry ways. Most had assignments that involved black rubber gloves and heavy-duty cleaning spray. Elder Lofgreen and I? We were at the back of the line, and by the time they got to us they must have been desperate for jobs because ours was:

"Go in each classroom, turn on the faucet, run it and the garbage disposal for a second, and then turn them off."

Yup. Missions are difficult things. Despite the trials I have experienced, my faith remains miraculously strong.

We are officially headed to Mexico!! We just got our travel itineraries yesterday!! I am leaving the MTC at 4:30 in the morning on the 15th, and heading right up to the airport in SLC. I have one layover in Atlanta Georgia, which will last about five hours, so it'll be a decent trip. :) I should arrive in Mexico City at 9:46 pm in about nine days. 

And talking of heading out, I just realized that I have officially completed a month on my mission. It hasn't felt anything like that. 

But it seems that some of the other elders are feeling like it's been much longer than that. Our district is doing fantastic, but the district just younger than us is having a really hard time. Just in the last week they had an elder go home, one of the natural leaders/culture builders, and another elder have to go to the ER because the stress was too much. It normally wouldn't be a problem, but either one of these elders didn't confide in anyone or ask for help. So the problem just festered until it exploded. It's testament to something that our branch president said to us on our first Sunday in the MTC:

"When you are having a hard time, and what you're doing isn't helping, do not hesitate to reach out to those around you. Look on your right, and on your left. God put those beautiful people as part of your life for a reason. It is our divine calling, whether or not you are a missionary, to care for neighbor. Love them."

I am so grateful to be a part of my district. We are all brothers, and are extremely close. I've really needed it, because the adversary hasn't ever left the Lord's missionaries alone. I've not felt closer to the Spirit in my life, nor has the adversary ever worked harder to convince me I'm not good enough, not capable, and not a missionary. 

More evidence I'm exactly where I need to be. :):) If the adversary is leaving me alone he's obviously not worried about me, and if he's not worried about me then I'm not doing my job right! 

I'm out of time for this email... Thank you all so much for your love and support! You mean the world to me. You're in my prayers every night. 


Elder Kennington

A perfectly knotted tie...

Waiting for choir practice

Owen and Elder Wall at choir practice -- which we're supposed going to hear more about later

The Home Boys!! Elder Kennington and Elder Goodsell hail from the same home ward and this was the last chance the two of them had to get a picture together in the MTC. Elder Goodsell headed off to Finland this last week after over two months in the MTC learning Finnish.

Owen's companion Elder Lofgreen. What is most remarkable to the Mom/Editor about this pic is Owen's MADE BED.  All. The. Way. Made. As in everything tucked in neatly! The gospel must be true if this is what happens to eighteen-year-old young men when they go on their missions.

Elders Lofgreen and Kennington at the Provo Temple

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