Greetings from the bubble of the MTC.
Everything here is spectacular. I love being here, and I’ve learned so much over the past two and a half weeks. I only have three more days before I fly over to Frankfurt, where I will get off the plane and immediately begin to “street-preach,” as my itinerary says. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. My companions (Elder Damstedt and Elder Forsyth…yes there’s three of us) have taught three lessons in German, and hopefully a fourth either tonight or tomorrow. They didn’t go as well as we would have hoped. In fact, if it had been a real investigator and not a teacher, we probably wouldn’t have gotten a second appointment. Throughout this past week especially, I’ve had several encounters with the Spirit. They were incredible. I can’t even explain how it feels to have something unfolded in a manner so simple that you almost wouldn’t believe it. It didn’t have anything to do with the lesson, it just hit me. Hopefully that keeps going. Also, it’s an amazing feeling to be teaching a lesson, and then in the next moment you know exactly what the investigator needs to hear. Even though it’s practice, it still very cool. As long as everyone is taking it seriously, it really seems like a real lesson, and the Spirit that is felt is so cool that it can’t be described except by three letters…PMA.
The International Branch is also incredible. There are 45 missionaries in the branch, with at least 23 countries represented. Lots of Tongans and Somoans. Just an FYI, never try to compete when singing against islanders. They may not be exactly on key, but they sing very loud and very enthusiastically. My district, before a few people left on Monday, had 8 different countries represented…United States (and Germany…we three kind of count for both), Marshall Islands, Somoa, Hong Kong, Russia, Phillipines, France and Finland. On Sunday we were asked to sing a musical number. We sang “I Need Thee Every Hour,” and each person sang a line in their native tongue, with the exception of us, because we sang in German. The choruses we sang in English, except for the last chorus, and we all sang in our own language. It was total mayhem, but total awesomeness at the same time. While other branches in the MTC conduct Sacrament meeting and other things in their respective languages, the International Branch does it English, since we come from all over the world. It’s amazing to see all the different cultures, but also all the similarities and the enthusiasm we all have to serve missions everywhere from Washington state to Washington D.C., the Pacific isles, and Europe. It’s quite an experience. Even though I am glad to get out to the field and begin bringing people to Christ, I will miss the MTC and all the glorious opportunities that come with it. Also, I forgot to mention, Elders Forsyth and Damstedt and I are the three Zone Leaders for the Branch. It’s been great to be of service to the other missionaries and help them in the places where they needed it. Last night one of the elders, Elder Jimenas, from the Phillipines, felt incredibly sick, and the other two Zone Leaders were busy with other missionaries, and so I went into the room and got to anoint the elder and made sure the blessing that was given was given correctly. Not too difficult, but still amazing to experience. I also got to welcome the new missionaries yesterday and give them a tour of the MTC as well as answer their questions. It was fantastic to hear all of their testimonies in the meeting for new missionaries, and even though a couple of them didn’t speak English very well, they did a great job and they will be great missionaries. That’s all for this time around. The next update will be sent from the great land of Germany!!!
P.S. – I fly out of SLC around 8:30am, stop in Dallas, and then arrive in Germany at 7am local time on Tuesday…the sun will be over us the entire time…no night-time.