Dear Mom and All,
In 12 days I will no longer be in the US but instead on an Island more then 2000 miles from where you are. I can't believe that it all has gone by sooo fast. It's crazy that I've been here 8 weeks. It's crazy!
I hope everything back home is going well with everyone and everything.
This past week was full of really cool experiences:
I received a package from Clay & Jessica Blackmer which had some really really good cookies.
On Saturday Elder Lose and I finished service in 20 mins!! record time we are shooting for 15 mins this Saturday. ha ha!!
We had the TRC in all Tongan again and we were teaching lesson 2 for the first time in all Tongan so it didn't go as smooth as lesson one but we teach it again this Saturday and it should go better. Oh there is volunteer who comes to the TRC and is from Murrietta and knows Aunt Judy. His name is Hernande.
As a district we made up a rule that if you have a worldly thought or start singing a worldly song you have to do 10 push-ups; its kind of a way to keep every one focused. We are going to be yoked by the time we get to Tonga. ha ha
It snowed like crazy the other day here. I really can't wait to get to Tonga where it is 78 degrees year round. The sporadic Utah weather is really kinda annoying.
This Sunday I was in the Choir for the Fireside; it was pretty cool. We sang Precious Savior Dear Redeemer. I fell asleep in Choir practice while singing, it was pretty funny. The devotional was really good. It was a member of the MTC presidency and his wife they spoke all about Music and how it touches the soul and is really good at bringing the spirit into a room. Music is a HUGE part of the Tongan Culture.
I met a Madagascar teacher here at the MTC who was companions with Will Lumsden. It's such a small world. I also met an elder who is from Lewiston, Idaho and went to high school with Austin. His name is Elder Peterson. And I hosted this Wednesday an Elder from Pomona CA who's grandma is in the Downey 3rd ward, Mary Ann Foster.
It is neat to see all the different nationalities that are represented here at the MTC. You have Elders and Hermanas from all over the world. This really is a world wide church.
On Tuesday our devotional speaker was Elder Kearon of the 70. He is from England but has lived all over. He gave a great talk about inviting people into the refuge. I love that we get to hear from General Authorities every week. I only have one more Tuesday left which is crazy to think about. I also only have one more email that i will send from the US. That is INSANE!!
Hope all is well, love you all
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Dear Mom and all,
I only have 19 days here at the MTC, then i am in TOnga!! im so excited to get out in the Field and start serving. Also it has been really cold here in Utah and i cant wait to get to warm sunny!! Plus the food here at the MTC does things to a persons stomach that i wont mention here and i cant wait to have real food in tonga
Well this week went by so fast, actually all 6 weeks ive been here have gone by super fast, it feels like yesterday i arrived here.
i finally saw Dana Kendall, that was really cool, also on Saturday we taught lesson 1 in only tongan at the TRC and it went really welll. Elder Rose and i practices teaching twice before we got to the TRC and that really helped. I think that the language is coming along really well the Lord has blessed me with the Gift of Tounges and i am being blessed. I got a package from grandma and grandpa Michael full of valintines day goodies that was really awesome. Also on saturday we got done with service in 30 mins which is warp speed and i used the extra time to take a small nap and study the language, its always important to shapen the saw.
i tried my best to stay focued the entire day and use my time wisely, on the Temple walk i toook a lot of pictures and saw some friends from BYU, speaking of friends from BYU yesterday i had the opportunty to be a NEw missionary Host, The elders who greet the new elders as they arrive at the MTC, i hosted one of my good friends from BYU Elder Jake Shuss who was in my summer ward. It was really cool beuing a host, you can see the excitement on the new elders faces wayy awesome.
Monday was another productive day got a lot of studying done, i saw a kid from Uncle Johns ward, Elder Call who is going to texas.
Tuesday was not a productive day at all, as a district we wasted a lot of time and didnt get anything really done, and the Devotional speaker's talk was just what we needed.
The Speaker was Elder Pearsons of the 70, i was sad at first because it wasnt an apposle but the talk was the best one ive heard at the MTC, it was all abut how we need to be 100% obedient and jhave the faith to succeed,
One thing that stood out from the talk was that he said these exact words "happiness is a choice" no lie he said that, chills ran dwon mty back bec that was Aunt rachels famous saying, and i realized that its up to me to become who i want to become.
sorry i ran out of time love you all
Ofa atu Elder MIchael
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Dear Mom and Hello everyone else i hope all is well where ever you may be,
This week has been a really good one,
I got your pakage mom, thanks for all the goodies and the extra clothes. i love getting packages they are the best.
This Sunday was Fast and Testimony Sunday and i bore my testimony, i feel like when ever i bear my testimony it grows stronger so i am going to try and share it as often as i can. We had Mission conference this Sunday too and that was really cool, all the missionaries in the MTC were gathered together and the MTC presidency spoke to us. I fell asleep through the first half, (just like in school) but woke up for the second half and im glad i did, President Nalley spoke to us about 10 things that missionaries should never forget, they were things taht we need to be reminded of and they were things that i needed to hear. President Brown spoke about how important is that we never forget that we are representatives of not only the Lord Jesus Christ, but also we represent our surname or family.
Sunday Night i watched a fireside that Elder Holland gave to Missionaries a few years ago and it was the best talk i have ever heard. He talked about how we as missionaries are basiclly apostles, just with a lower case a. This is the only chance we will ever have to have that apostelic calling and we need to do our best as representatives of the Lord. I hope this is all making since, i read a lot of emails and i dont have much time so im not elaborating on likne anything sorrry
Oh the high light of my week (after Holland's talk) was being able to ride in a car for the first time in over a month. An elder was having surgery on his stomach and i got to be his companions companion while he was in surgery. We drove by Helaman halls and that was really weird since i loved there a month ago. It was really cool to be on the outside of the MTC people were all really nice and stuff. on the way back to the MTC we drove right p[ast the Cannon Center and that was sooo strange that a lot of my friends were probably eating there at that instance.
Well i leave for tonga in 27 days i am lonogo lahi (*really excited)
Love you all sorry this is a short em,ail
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Dear Mom and all,
Im really sorry if I havent written some of you back yet.
This week was a really good one, we had a lot of neat experiences. I'll try to tell you about them all.
Brother Payne gave us a really cool lesson about teaching by the Spirit. He gave an anology about a power plant, power lines, and a home. He talked about how the Lord is the Power Plant, we the missionaries are the Power lines, and investigators are the home. We are the power lines that connect the Lord to the investigator and the only way to do that effectivelly is to have the Spirit with us. We need to have the Spirit with us when we teach or else our entire purpose is pointless. It really emphasizes how important having the Spirit with us all the time is... really great lesson. One of the things that he said at the very end was that we have two years to serve our missions and the rest of our lives to look back on it. I want to be able to look back and say i gave my all.
It is really weird that I have been here a whole month!! It has gone by soooooo fast it's insane! I feel like i got here yesterday and now it's already been a month. In another month I'll finally be in Tonga!! Woot Woot!! can't wait to get there. The MTC is great but I really am looking forward to nice sunny warm Tonga.
I have been really tired this week. I fell asleep while I was reading PMG out loud with my companion. It was really funny.
I have to Teach at the TRC in only Tongan!! I'm really nervous but I know with the Lord's help I can do it. I feel like I can speak in complete sentences now in Tongan which is great.
we heard from Kevin R. Duncan of the 70. He gave a really good talk about building bridges between the Lord and the investigators. One of the things i took away is "it will not be easy, but work hard, work dilligently, and lose your self in serving the Lord". That has kinda been my motto since ive gotten here. I have had some difficult times with some of the Elders in my district who dont want to work and the language has been pretty tough at times but you just have to trust in the Lord and work hard and it will get better.
This past Wednesday when all the new missionaries were arriving here at the MTC, a couple of us experienced elders put our name tags on backwords and went up and asked the newbies where they got their name tags engraved. the look on their faces were hilarious, we asked some sisters and they totally fell for it; it was hilarious
Well, my time is just about done.Sorry this is kinda short. Tell Uncle John I met an Elder from Temecula who knows him. I didn't catch his name but he told me his dad works in Downey which was pretty cool. It's always fun to meet people from back home
Love you all hope all is well