Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Adventure Begins!

Provo MTC 49th Ward

They don't give us very long to email in the MTC, so I'm just gonna send these emails to family who's email I have, for now.

The food is gross here. The worst thing my mom every made is better than the best thing they've ever served here. At least they have a serving area that has gluten and dairy free foods. The food there is still nasty, but at least I won't die from asthma and stomach problems if I eat it, just stomach problems. The food hasn't really gotten to me yet. It messed with one Elder in my group so bad, he didn't poop for THREE DAYS STRAIGHT. And it infected another Elder's wisdom tooth whole and made his right cheek bigger than my right bicep, which is really saying something ;). The ice cream is good though. They bring it straight from the BYU Creamery every Wednesday and Fast Sunday, which was a nice way to break my fast.

There are 11 Elder's in my district, and no Sister's, which is nice. It would be really hard to focus on the Gospel and Spanish if we had Hermana's in the room. The temptation to flirt would be too strong. They are also all really loud, which can be really distracting. Anyway, out of our 11 Elder's, 10 of us are going to Argentina, 4 of us are going to Rosario, and the other 6 are going to Buenos Aires Norte. The other guy is a really coincidental story. He got called to Trinidad Port of Spain and English speaking. The day before we came, on Tuesday, he got a phone call and was told that a Spanish area opened up in his mission and that he's being reassigned to there. Then, when he got to the MTC, he was put with some Spanish speakers going stateside, who all ended up testing out of the beginning class and into the Advanced class, which is 12 days instead of 6 weeks. So they stuck him in our room.

Turns out, he is from Virginia, and his family is moving to Phoenix sometime in the next few weeks (Phoenix is really close to Gilbert), he has a sister in the Argentina Rosario mission right now, and he said he used to live in Aurora, Colorado. Prophets have said that there are no such things as coincidences, so I wonder what I am supposed to learn or gain from this.... There is another guy in my room who has the exact same personality as Spencer. They say and do the exact same things that the other would do in the same situation. My companion, Elder McCardell, is a quirky kid from San Diego who went to BYU for a year before the he came on  a mission. He said he studied computer sciences and worked as a mover during the summer.

On Sunday night, Sheri Dew was the guest speaker at our Sunday night devotional. She is a really good speaker, she's funny and insightful. If you don't know who she is, she wrote biographies for two prophets, I know one was Pres. Hinckley and I can't remember the other. On Tuesday, Pres. Nelson spoke to us. He is such a good guy. I was a part of the choir that sang for that devotional. It was a really neat opportunity cuz they broadcasted that to every MTC in the world. So that was awesome. I couldn't stay awake during his talk though. We had to wear our coats, it was really warm in the room, and I was super tired. So I kept nodding off. Something I did catch though, that apparently he said during his last devotional talk, was that the best two people to make friends with as a missionary, is the ward mission leader, and ward family history consultant.

After the devotional was over, when he was leaving, before he walked through the doors, he turned around, when in the middle of the crowd, past several really tall Elder's and spoke with an elderly woman who could not have been more than 5 feet tall. That really stood out to me as a good example of finding the one and listening to the spirit. There is no way he could have seen her at all, yet he followed the prompting of the spirit to go find her.

I tried to follow that example of following the spirit yesterday, and we connected with our investigators better than we did either day. We didn't follow either lesson plan we had made, but we connected so well. When we were teaching our TRC investigator, the lesson was kind of spiraling out of control, and neither myself, nor my companion, had any handle on what to do. So, while he was trying to answer her questions in a language he barely know's, after being asking questions about concepts we don't know how to explain in Spanish, I decided to say a prayer, and ask Heavenly Father what he wanted me to tell her to bring her to him. Then I got a clear impression to "Tell her that I love her." So I said, "Hely, no conocimos hablar bien en espanol. Pero, yo se que Dios le ama. Dios mucho mucho mucho le ama." Which roughly means, "Hely, we don't know how to speak good Spanish. But, I do know that God loves you. He really really really loves you." And she didn't stop balling after that. It was such a cool experience.

I know the gift of tongues is real. I know there is no possible way anyone in my district could have progressed as much as we have without the gift of tongues. I know the Gospel is true and that because God loves us, he gave us prophets to help guide us back to him. En el nombre de Jesucristo.

Elder Brown

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